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Sen. Kayse Jama
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 18 October 2021

PORTLAND, Oregon – State Sen. Kayse Jama has announced his intent to run to retain his seat in Oregon Senate District 24 (East Portland and North Clackamas). Kayse Jama was unanimously appointed by the Multnomah and Clackamas County Commissions to his seat in 2021 after over 20 years of community work.

“I am running for election to the seat I was appointed to earlier this year because I believe we can shape an equitable, inclusive system that works for women, people of color, indigenous people, immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ+ folks, people with disabilities, working-class families and rural communities,” said Senator Jama.

“I know when we work side-by-side, we can face any crisis.”

Since his appointment, Jama has worked to address the systemic inequality that Oregonians have faced, particularly among immigrant and refugee communities. Additionally, he worked to address issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, a worsening state housing crisis, and racial injustice. Jama pledges to continue this crucial work in his next term.

In his first legislative session, Jama pushed for significant and impactful policy initiatives including:

  • Passing mortgage foreclosure and renter protections to keep Oregonians safe in their homes during a deadly pandemic (SB 278 and SB 282)
  • Investing a combined $765 million in the construction of affordable housing
  • Supporting our local small businesses, community initiatives, and COVID-19 recovery programs through directing federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to Senate District 24
  • Passing a combined $470 million in funding for mental health care and addiction treatment Ensuring health coverage for all Oregonians, regardless of immigration status, through ‘Cover All People’ (HB 2164)
  • Reforming our criminal justice system through a suite of bills to address systemic racism and increase police accountability
  • Creating the first state Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement to ensure the newest Oregonians reach their full potential (SB 778)

I am honored to support Kayse’s reelection campaign. From day one, he’s been a valuable addition to the Oregon Senate and I look forward to his continued leadership on behalf of this community, ” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. “Kayse’s commitment to housing affordability, expanding access to addiction treatment, and creating equity for impacted communities are exactly why we need him in the Senate.”

“First as a community activist and nonprofit leader, and now as the Senator for one of the most diverse legislative districts in Oregon, Kayse Jama has been an exceptional champion for those who are too often overlooked in our political process,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal. “I am excited to see what Kayse will do in this campaign.”

“I have witnessed first-hand how Senator Jama has led with integrity and unflinching determination in the Senate,” said Senator Kate Lieber (SD 14).

“He has a unique ability to bring community members and lawmakers together to push for solutions that best serve all Oregonians, always centering the most vulnerable. Senator Jama's perspective, leadership and skill have served his district and our entire state well, and I am thrilled to support his campaign."

Jama will kick off his campaign with a virtual kick-off event on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. featuring supporters Sen. Rob Wagner (SD19), Sen. Lew Frederick (SD22), Sen. Kate Lieber (SD14), Rep. Tawna Sanchez (HD43), Rep. Karin Power (HD41), Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon (HD22), Rep. Khanh Pham (HD46), Rep.Andrea Valderrama (HD47), former Rep. Alissa Keny Guyer (HD46), Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal, Washington County Commissioner Nafisa Fai, Portland City Commissioner Carmen Rubio, Portland City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty, Former Portland Mayor Tom Potter, and Karin Potter, Metro Council Member Mary Nolan, community leader Reyna Lopez, civil rights attorney Ashlee Albies, community leader Wajdi Said, and community leader Christine Chin Ryan.

About State Senator Kayse Jama: Sen. Jama represents SD 24 (East Portland and North Clackamas) and serves as the chair of the Senate Committee On Housing and Development. He was the first former refugee, Muslim, and Somali-American to serve in the Oregon State Senate. Before his appointment, Sen. Jama was a prominent community organizer and Executive Director of Unite Oregon.

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