Sen. Chip Shields says he will stand down after more than 10 years in the Legislature, leaving a vacancy for Oregon's District 22. He helped pass bills on racial impact statements; and support for job training through Constructing Hope and Oregon Tradeswomen. Now, as he says in his letter below, he is clearing the way for other representatives to seek election while continuing as a board member for Oregon Foster Parents. District 22 includes Portland airport; The Universty of Portland; North Portland; St Johns, Albina, Piedmont and Irvington.
Sen. Chip Shields
I'm writing to let you know that I will not be seeking re-election to the Oregon State Senate next November. It was a difficult decision for me, spouse Shelda Holmes and family to make. After serving over 10 years in the legislature, I believe it is time for me to step aside after my term to spend more time with my family, devote more time to elevating the quality of fostering in Oregon through board membership with the Oregon Foster Parent Association, and give other community members an opportunity to serve our community in the legislature.
I want to thank you sincerely for giving me the opportunity to serve. Since 2005, I have been honored to go to work every day in the legislature and fight for working families in North and Northeast Portland. With the support of passionate, engaged community members like yourself, and strong organizational partners, I am proud of the work we've done together. We've passed hundreds of bills, including bills:
1. Making Oregon only the second state in the nation to pass racial impact statement legislation
2. Passing the largest reform in Oregon insurance law in recent memory to spur cleanup of the Portland Harbor
3. Making health insurance companies justify their premium increases
4. Negotiating and passing bills that are investing $2.1 million in pre-apprenticeship training for women and people of color at outfits like Oregon Tradeswomen and Constructing Hope
5. Maintaining $530,000 for assistance to returning veterans, including help for Oregon soldiers poisoned by the negligence of KBR at a water treatment plant in Basra
6. Reinvesting in the Family Preservation Project, in order to help children of incarcerated parents through therapeutic intervention
Giving the insurance commissioner the power to go after bad-acting insurance companies to extract restitution
I will serve out the rest of my term committed to advocating for raising our minimum wage to a living wage, lifting pre-emptions that prohibit local governments from using tools to address homelessness and gentrification, elevating the quality of fostering in this state to make every Oregon foster home a true home of healing, and
removing special privileges insurance companies enjoy in being the only line of business exempt from the state's premier anti-fraud statute.
I am comfortable leaving this position at the end of my term because I know we have many gifted and thoughtful leaders in our community who are passionate about making North and Northeast Portland a great and affordable place to live, work, and play for all our community members. I encourage those who care about our community to consider serving in our state legislature.
Lastly, and most importantly, I thank my spouse Shelda Holmes and daughter for their support and sacrifices over these years, and I thank you for the honor and privilege of representing North and Northeast Portland in the Oregon legislature.
Please don't hesitate to contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-231-2564 before January 2017, if there is anything we can do to assist you and your family. We stand ready to help and advocate on your behalf.
State Senator Chip Shields
District 22: N/NE Portland