CANBY, Ore – Christine Drazan announced her candidacy for the Oregon House of Representatives, running on a platform of improving graduation rates and reforming the state’s spending and budgeting process. The rural Clackamas County resident says she’s seen up close the need for reform, having served in positions at the local, county and state level.
“With our stable economy, budget shortfalls should be a remote possibility, instead we are faced with one shortfall after another because of the way our state budgets, how it allocates money to schools, and what it spends on PERS costs,” Drazan said. “We are committing to budgets we can’t sustain and these choices put our future at risk.”
Drazan says that she has the background to hit the ground running in Salem and drive tangible reforms. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s Drazan was a top staffer to Republican leaders in the legislature but has since focused her time helping in local schools and working with small businesses and non-profits statewide.
As the mother of three children in Canby’s public schools she is passionate about improving schools and addressing Oregon’s poor high school graduation rate. “The American Dream starts with a high school diploma and, today nearly one in four Oregon students don’t graduate,” she said. “Dropout rates aren’t just statistics, they are fortunetellers, warning us of the troubled road ahead for far too many of our young adults and their families who are not prepared with the tools they need to succeed.”
Drazan is also quick to point out that reforming PERS is one of the best ways to free up additional resources for schools. “School are paying five cents to PERS, for every dollar they have to educate our kids. You bring that liability down and you are putting some serious money back into classrooms to push graduation rates up.”
She also says that she will fight to protect federal tax cuts for Oregonians. “We’re already seeing politicians in Salem who are trying to eliminate the progress made at the federal level by raising taxes here at home, and trying to roll back the benefits for local taxpayers,” she explained. “We need to protect those tax cuts and find ways to create pathways to economic prosperity for middle class families.”
Drazan is running for the House District 39 seat being vacated by Representative Bill Kennemer who announced last month that he will not run for another term. She says that Kennemer and his wife and long-time aid Cherie leave a big void. “Together they’ve served our county with integrity and commitment. We are fortunate to have been so ably represented for so long, and I will work hard for the citizens of our district, to continue in this tradition of service,” Drazan said.
A fourth generation Oregonian, Drazan lives in rural Clackamas County with her husband Dan and three children. In addition to her many volunteer activities, Drazan was appointed to serve on the Canby School District Budget Committee and is currently serving on the Clackamas County Planning Commission. Professionally, Drazan is the Executive Director of a statewide nonprofit that supports the preservation of Oregon’s history and culture. In her free time she enjoys traveling and adventuring with her family on Oregon’s rivers and beaches or hiking and camping in our state and national parks.