People like me—a former refugee from Somalia, a Black man, a Muslim, and a person for whom English is not my first language—have been constantly told, "you need to wait your turn" or "it is not the right time for you to seek leadership." Representative Jeff Reardon's decision to step aside and endorse me shows his deep commitment to equity and inclusion. In him, I have found a kindred spirit and, should I be appointed, a true partner in the legislature. I am looking forward to working with him on building a more equitable and just Oregon, in any capacity or role either of us play.
Jeff Reardon believes that "effective legislators find ways to bring people together to collaborate on challenging issues." It's an ethos we both share, and I honor what he has already done as a State Representative.
Representative Reardon led a task force on housing and another on pollinator health; spearheaded efforts to promote CTE (career technical education); passed a bill that restructured the workforce development system; and participated in a wide variety of Natural Resources committee work. When community college funding was at risk, Representative Reardon formed the Community College Caucus to head off devastating budget cuts. He also formed the Clackamas Caucus to raise a singular, bi-partisan voice to advocate for all who live, work and play in Clackamas County.
Representative Jeff Reardon is an outstanding legislator whose leadership values mirror my own: open, inclusive, and community-centered. While each of the remaining candidates brings a wealth of experience in many forms, it is comforting to know we have a servant-leader like Representative Jeff Reardon in the Oregon House who is willing to offer his own wisdom to whoever fills the Senate District 24 seat.
Kayse Jama, Candidate
Oregon Senate District 24