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Hunger on the ballot: What Keisha Lanell Merchant 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 1

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

My Good Stewardship platform campaign includes a strong action plan to start building food forests and water systems to provide universal food sources for Oregonians.

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

My Good Stewardship platform campaign includes a strong action plan to start building food forests and water systems to provide universal food sources for Oregonians.

  1. I have a strong action plan for reparations to alleviate poverty and food insecurities for vulnerable populations. The Good Stewardship platform campaign includes the Quality of life for all Oregonians.
  2. My Good Stewardship platform campaign includes creation of policies that will decrease poverty and food insecurity in the budget and grant system to build new Urban Ranger stations to establish excellent services and products for all vulnerable populations to experience excellent and increase Quality of life through a universal system for green zone lifestyle choices. These cutting edge campuses and rest areas will be spa like paradise hanging gardens of food forests, water systems, and smart cities-housing, advanced technologies to serve vulnerable populations as an equilibrium system of inclusivity.
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

These campuses will include all populations that want residencies in these campuses. It is opening doors to all populations but not excluding vulnerable populations who will get priorities. The Good Stewardship platform campaign includes a trade off system that allows a continuum and double shift system to serve around the clock to ensure excellent services and products are given to vulnerable Oregonians populations which includes all workers (professionals whether paid or volunteers).

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

The goal is to create a minimum 300 Park and Urban Ranger campuses that provide the Good Stewardship platform campaign model to ensure all populations receive access to resources as a basic human right. This cost can be taken out of all the government grant programs that are allocated for development of land management, forestry, wildlife, recreation, business, education, community partnerships. We can draw from grant funding from partnerships with federal, corporations, and philanthropy.

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

The Good Stewardship platform campaign includes a lot for every Oregonian tax exemption to farm, housing, or multifamily living. Everyone can own a lot size to develop according to civility and excellence for living, business, and shared interest of return investment as a holistic approach to Interdependent relationships with our environment and each other.

  1. Yes.
  2. I would create new policies and new programs. All programs can partner, collaborate and become Interdependent relationships collective with the Good Stewardship platform campaign.
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

The state of Oregon is a land ownership state. Therefore it is the Governor's responsibility to influence change and diversity social responsibility through innovation and support. Therefore the Good Stewardship platform campaign includes starting with a taskforce to assign abandoned land or misused land to share as tax exemption land ownership to Oregonians to be responsible for the care of that land and give or pass down generation to generation with the support of the Park and Urban Rangers.

The Good Stewardship platform campaign includes a holistic approach to sustainability and Quality of life through creating green zone campuses and humanitarian aid communities. It will include a mathematical system that crunches numbers for resource management systems and distributions of quality care services and products that will be high grade, excellent conditions using Maslow's theory of actualization, transformative leadership and systematic processes for quality assurance.

This is called the Good Stewardship platform campaign. And the Good Samaritan Act 1 and 2.

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

The Good Stewardship platform campaign includes voluntarism as a mathematical system and a Good Samaritan Act therefore currency. This creates a development of rural and urban development for the Good Samaritan and the Good Stewardship who may not always get the compensation or recognition deserved. This platform accounts and becomes socially responsible for all populations who are classified into the classification of under-represented, under-privileged in resources, access to technologies, products and quality services. These Humanitarian aid universities, campuses will stand in the gap of the disproportionately large gap of wealth. No charge tax exempt campuses.

Protect their universal basic human right to have human services, humanitarian aid and support through the Good Stewardship platform campaign includes the Good Samaritan Act 1 and 2.

Community collaboration, and community building and partnerships. Social Change agencies and organizations like the Food Bank can be a partner and in collaboration with the Good Stewardship platform campaign includes the initiatives Good Samaritan Act 1 and 2.

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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