Into the ring: Jodi Hack announces candidacy for state representative

December, 2013 Posted in People

Jodi Hack

By Mary Owen

Former Stayton resident and 2012 First Citizen honoree Jodi Hack has announced her candidacy for the Oregon State Legislature.

“It’s time we stop worrying so much about partisanship and start doing what is best for the citizens of Oregon,” said Hack, communications coordinator for the North Santiam School District.

Hack seeks to seeks to fill state Rep. Kevin Cameron’s District 19 legislative seat, left open by Cameron’s decision to run for Marion County Commissioner. Hack will run as a Republican.

“Since the economic turndown in 2007-08, I have personally witnessed the struggles people have gone through,” Hack said. “I know firsthand what it’s like to have a family member laid off from a job, to lose equity in a home, and see what happens to classrooms when state and local funding dries up.”

A third generation Oregonian, Hack said her main priorities are rooted in her experience working with community leaders, businesses and nonprofits and their struggle during tough economic times.

“I want to be an advocate for small business people and nonprofits that are so central to our community,” she said. “With kids in school and through my work at the North Santiam School District, I also have experience with what is going on in education today. Larger class sizes and more furlough days can’t be the answer for the future. There needs to be changes.”

Hack is also frustrated with state and national challenges that often affect local government.

“Too often key political decisions are driven by what is good for Portland but may not be good for rural Oregon or other cities and towns like Salem, Aumsville or Turner,” she said in a letter sent recently to friends announcing her intention to run. “I don’t have any illusions about what I can accomplish, but I do know that our voices need to be heard and no matter what, we will always have to fight for what we believe is important.”

According to Hack, Oregon needs to be a leader for new job creation, higher wages, high student achievement scores, and efficient and compassionate delivery of social services with minimal waste and fraud.

“Instead, Oregon is unfortunately among the leaders in homelessness, hunger and unemployment,” she said. “Clearly, our system needs attention and better leadership.

“I have respect for the history of where our state has been, but I do believe it is time for young leaders to step up and be ready to learn and go to work for our state and its citizens,” she said.

As a working mother and wife, Hack believes she can relate to people. She said she has never shied away from challenges or tires from hard work.

“My goal is to listen to the citizens and to respond to what is important to them,” she said. “This isn’t about me. It’s about serving the people.”

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