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Hunger on the ballot: What Michael Cross stands for

The priorities of our elected officials can make a major difference in the day-to-day lives of Oregon families and communities. Below they answer our questions and share their vision to end hunger and its root causes.

The Governor's responsibility to ensuring food access

Question

More than a million Oregonians, from every single county in the state, accessed food assistance through the Oregon Food Bank Network in 2021. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 702,000 Oregonians have participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP, sometimes referred to as “food stamps”). What are the responsibilities of the Governor to ensure that our communities have consistent access to nutritious, culturally-appropriate food?

Answer

As Governor, I will encourage increasing access to lower cost locally grown foods, and programs that support local growers. I will work with communities to increase access to farmers markets throughout our state and ensure that access to healthy foods is available throughout Oregon.

Systemic racism and hunger

Question 2

Community members who are Black, Indigenous or People of Color face significantly higher rates of poverty and food insecurity than White Oregonians.

  1. What role, if any, do you believe systemic racism plays in causing hunger?

  2. What policies and programs would you support to reduce poverty and food insecurity in these communities?

Answer

  1. I don't care which race they are, if they are hungry, we need to find a solution.

  2. I have a comprehensive 4-year solution to the homeless crisis. I would encourage you to watch the video and share it, and I welcome constructive criticism, if any.

Essential food workers and food insecurity

Question 3

From the fields to the grocery store, our food industry is anchored by essential workers who are immigrants. Yet the workers who keep food on our tables are among the lowest paid in Oregon. As governor, what would you do to ensure that the people who grow, process and serve our food do not experience food insecurity themselves?

Answer

I would continue successful programs while working to arrive at innovative solutions to current or future foreseeable issues.

Food insecurity in rural, urban and suburban communities

Question 4

From Ontario, to Portland, to Tillamook, rates of poverty and food insecurity are relatively similar. As governor, how would you design solutions to poverty and hunger across rural, urban and suburban communities?

Answer

I would, through my extensive business and entrepreneur experience in solving challenging dilemmas, use this background experience to provide solutions that may have been used in other states successfully while arriving at innovative solutions that may be new to Oregon.

Barriers to BIPOC farming

Question 5

Of the state’s 67,595 farm producers, only 64 were Black in 2017. Black, Indigenous and People of Color have long experienced barriers in access to land, infrastructure and markets to support farming — negatively impacting both food production and economic development in communities.

  1. Does the governor have any responsibilities to remove barriers to farming for Oregonians who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color?

  2. If yes, what policies and programs would you support?

Answer

  1. It saddens me because of Oregon's racism history and this is something that has gone on for a while now. An example of this is the non-unanimous jury verdict, that as of recently has been utilized when stopped by a federal court. Oregon and Louisiana have been the only 2 states that practiced this, that have been Jim Crow’s throwback. So, of course, as governor, I will zealously work to remove any racism in Oregon.

  2. I would support the immediate termination of any employee engaged in racist behavior. I would also work to remove elected officials that are found doing the same.

Affordable housing

Question 6

Oregon faces a crisis of affordable housing. People who request food assistance consistently cite the cost of housing as a primary reason for seeking help — and renters are more than six times more likely to experience hunger than homeowners. As governor, what will you do to move us toward an Oregon in which everyone has safe, affordable and healthy housing?

Answer

I would refer back to my homeless crisis solution to solve this issue as well. One of the byproducts of that program is to produce more affordable housing. Please watch the video and share the feedback.

Caregivers and food insecurity

Question 7

The work of caring for one another is disproportionately shouldered by women. While the labor of caring for children, the elderly and people with disabilities is often unpaid, professions of childcare and home healthcare are among the lowest paid in Oregon. Single mothers and caregivers are over three times more likely to experience hunger than the general population. As governor, what will you do to ensure that the people providing care in our communities do not experience food insecurity?

Answer

I will continue programs that are successful and work to provide solutions where we have shortcomings.

Hear from each candidate

Read everything the candidates had to say on anti-hunger policies by clicking on their photo below.

* Questions were sent to candidates who will appear on the primary ballot. We will be sending questions to other independent candidates who qualify for the ballot in the November general election and provide their full answers at that time.

Michael Cross

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