Policy for Oregon based on values and value.
I'm Julian Bell.
I'm a doctor, a parent and an immigrant. I'm offering to represent you in the Oregon state Senate.
I was born in Australia and my family moved to the United States when I was 5. I became a US citizen in 1998. I've lived in Oregon since 2006 and in Southern Oregon since 2010.
I got my first job at the age of 16 and I have been working ever since. My first job was working behind the cash register at McDonald's. After that I worked as a dishwasher and a line cook all the way through University. I was fortunate and I had opportunities that few people have. Both my parents were university graduates. Because my father was a professor my University degree was very inexpensive. And I lived at home for 3 of the 4 years I was at University.
I made the most of those opportunities. I graduated with honors and went on to medical school. I was able to go to medical school because I was a good investment. A bank invested their capital in me and earned interest on their investment - and I invested in myself and was able to move from a minimum wage job to the middle class. That's what capitalism did for me.
Today I am an intensive care unit specialist. I manage a team that includes nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, case managers, as well as other doctors. This team includes Republicans and Democrats. We are all focused on one goal - making our patients better. We develop a plan and assemble our resources and see the plan through to the end.
I'm running for office because we live in difficult times. Many people do not have any of the privileges I had. Many people cannot pay rent. Economic opportunity is hard to find. Many people cannot afford higher education and are working two jobs and not getting by. Also on the horizon we can see that our climate is changing and we know that the basis of our economy - the fossil fuels we use - are the cause of it. For a lot of us the future looks bleak.
We can do better. But we do need a different strategy to pull ourselves out of this rut.
We need to make a plan, assemble our resources and see our plan through to the end. We need to create the capital to finance the economic prosperity of our state. We need to invest in Oregon like the bank invested in me so that I could go to medical school. We need a taxpayer run state bank or a similar government funded and managed lending institution to invest in Oregon. This is how the rest of the economy works. It's how China works - and a public bank is the reason China has faster economic growth than the US.
With this investment we can build affordable housing and clean energy infrastructure. Our bank will put our capital into profitable investments. This investment will create full time jobs for people who don't have university educations like I do. It means housing for people who currently can't afford it. It means a clean energy grid to move beyond the fossil fuels that are creating climate change and costing our state money right now. If it's anything like the state bank of North Dakota it will also mean scholarships for students to go to Oregon state universities. And it will run in the black.
We also need a single payer no-opt-out health insurance system. This will make health care less expensive for all of us. There isn't any other way to control health care costs. And I mean the cost of health care for wealthy people as well as the rest of us. This is how insurance works. It's how the health care system of Canada, Germany, England, Japan, France, Spain, Australia, Taiwan, Italy and almost all modern capitalist democracies work.
There is a moral component to these ideas. We should do these things because building affordable housing, providing universal health insurance and getting rid of fossil fuels are the right things to do. But none of these ideas are going to get off the ground if there isn't a sound financial plan to make them work. To get to the brighter future that you want - and that I want for us and our state - we need a great plan. That's what I'm offering.
Julian Bell MD