Reduce Homeless Camping
Homelessness in the County is quickly getting out of control. Michelle Belkot plans to address the homeless crisis head on, putting an end to camping, and taking a closer look at where the money is going and assisting those struggling with addiction and mental health issues. We must be compassionate to those who struggle with illness. There are already many programs available for drug and mental health treatment. Part of the cleanup process must be helping to connect those in need with available resources. I believe that the necessary infrastructure already exists. We just need to take a serious look at where public funds for homeless “services” are going and restructure or eliminate unproductive agencies.
Increase Public Safety
This whole “defund” movement is producing terrible outcomes of morale and crime in our community. It’s clear that new leadership is needed on the Clark County Council. The sheriff’s Guild has not been listened to, as well as the public overall. There is a significant staffing shortage in the Clark County Sheriff’s Office due to budget cuts, a struggle to hire new sheriff’s deputies, and retain existing ones. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has .56 working officer (not equivalent to a deputy) for every 237,955 residents. This is the lowest ratio in decades, and well below the national average. That leaves ALL County communities vulnerable to crime. Michelle not only encourages better funding, but better public services and support for Clark County Sherriff’s Office. When law enforcement is respected and supported as a vital piece of our community, all community members win. This can be done AND maintain high standards of conduct.
Transportation and Tolling
In March of 2021, the Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) replaced the failing 2013 Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project. Despite CRC costing taxpayers over 200 million it produced nothing. During multiple elections, voters were against extending Portland’s light rail as part of the Interstate bridge replacement with a resounding “NO”. Washingtonians that work in Oregon already pay one of the highest state income taxes in the nation, with zero voting representation. The IBR also proposes a two-way toll on top of the state income tax, costing commuters double the expense of working in Oregon. No means no! I pledge to represent the people on this issue and support a third bridge now.