Jamie McLeod-Skinner

Secretary of State

Born in the Midwest, Jamie McLeod-Skinner lived in East Africa as a child, where her mom taught and her classmates included Ugandan refugees fleeing Idi Amin’s regime. Jamie witnessed the terrible impact of war and the resiliency of the human spirit.

When her family returned to the US, they settled in Southern Oregon, where Jamie graduated from Ashland High School. Her record in the 800 meters still stands.

Jamie came out as a young adult and has been a leader in promoting the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. She has spent her life in  public service, advocating for and empowering underrepresented communities and bringing them into the political process.

After graduate school, Jamie went to work for the International Rescue Committee in Bosnia and Kosovo, rebuilding hospitals and schools in the aftermath of a war zone and securing the peace. When she returned to the US, she headed the IRC refugee resettlement program in San Jose, focusing on providing capacity building to community-based organizations and working to provide naturalization services and voter education.

Jamie has been a city planner, environmental planner, and elected city councilor. Twice elected to Santa Clara City Council, Jamie led the city to adopt protections for the transgender community and enhanced environmental protection standards. She held local and regional
leadership roles in economic development, ethics, audits, housing, and sustainability. She has degrees in engineering (RPI), regional planning (Cornell), and law with a focus on environmental and Indian law (U of O). Jamie is currently an elected Board Member of the
Jefferson Education Service District and an appointed Board Member of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.

In 2018, Jamie joined a courageous group of women running to flip the House, which resulted in a game-changing race in Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District that won two counties, the largest number of votes ever won by a Democrat, and established a political  infrastructure eat of the Cascades.

A 2015 Emerge Oregon graduate, Jamie is running for Oregon Secretary of State. A rural Democrat, Jamie and her wife, Cass, live in Terrebonne, OR.

View Jamie's response to the Candidate-Platform Alignment Questionnaire:

Candidate statement (optional)

I’ve been a leader in promoting the civil rights of the LGBTQ community for 30 years. People’s perceptions of the LGBTQ community change when they see us as people and when they look to us for leadership. I came out as a young adult and have been out in every job I have served in, including as an elected and appointed official, as senior government staff, and as an emergency relief worker in Bosnia and Kosovo.

As Regional Director for International Rescue Committee (IRC) – I provided citizenship service, voter registration and developed training programs to empower immigrants, refugees, and community organization. I was honored by The Services, Immigration Rights and Education Network (SIREN) as a Champion of Immigrant’s Rights.

I. Basic Rights
We call on our state legislators to pursue universal publicly funded health care for the state of Oregon.
We call for all members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to co-sponsor and actively work for the passage of expanded and improved Medicare.
We support the continuation and expansion of Medicaid.
Agree
We recognize that there is a housing crisis in our local communities and across the state. We direct Multnomah County and the City of Portland to develop affordable housing for individuals and families with zero to moderate incomes. Agree
We strongly support women’s rights to reproductive freedom of choice including unfettered access to reproductive health care services regardless of their ability to pay.
We oppose any legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood.
Agree
Comments (optional)

From working clinic defense against Operation Rescue in Buffalo in 1992 to working security at the March on Washington for Reproductive Rights to ensuring funding for agencies that provide support to women exercising their reproductive rights to discussing women’s rights with conservatives in rural communities, I strongly support the right to privacy and reproductive freedom. Our bodies, and our personal identities, are the core of who we are. The government has no right to define or control that for us.

II: Natural Resources Protection and Recovery
We support passage of state legislation to change our goals for economy-wide reduction of Oregon’s Greenhouse Gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and at least 50% reduction by 2035. Agree
We support the development and passage of legislation to provide mandates and incentives to:

• Expand public transportation systems; Advance an early transition to electric and zero-emission vehicles;
• Advance weatherization and structural improvements in existing buildings; Support implementation of solar energy production;
• Advance new net-zero-energy buildings and methane-free new construction; Incentivize energy efficiency in Oregon’s industries;
• Improve tree canopy and rooftop plantings where possible in all urban areas to reduce heat island effect;
• Require that electricity be produced entirely by renewable sources by 2040 and require net zero carbon building codes by 2030.

Agree
We support the development and passage of a Forest Protection and Restoration Act that will:

• Eliminate clear-cut forestry on all publicly held and managed lands and maximize climate resilient management;
• Eliminate all tax incentives to industrial forests not employing climate resilient management practices that re-establish multi-species and multi-aged forests, including protecting riparian areas that will lower stream temperature for fish habitat, restore intact functioning watershed areas, reduce landslides, protect municipal water supplies, and restore floodplain functioning to Oregon’s rivers and streams;
• Maintain incentives and subsidize independent landholders who engage in these practices;
• Reduce roads in forests; Develop and implement treatments to restore healthy forest soils;
• Accelerate programs to reduce and eventually eliminate forest stream passage barriers in Oregon;
• And re-evaluate the property tax structure for Oregon’s commercial forests.

Agree
We support a ban for any new fossil fuel infrastructure. Agree
Comments (optional)

I have an extensive track record working on climate issues. As a Santa Clara City Councilor, I championed the city’s aggressive commitment to transitioning to renewable energy resources and implemented measures to address climate change, including increasing the percentage of renewable energy in the city’s public power portfolio (implementing a system similar to what the Oregon Legislature continues to fail to pass, and continues to water down). I worked as an Environmental Planner for a regional water agency serving 2 million people in urban and rural areas, where I incorporated climate change measures and best practices into the agency’s work. I served as a Board Member of Sustainable Silicon Valley, where we brought together thought-leaders to inspire entrepreneurs to develop creative solutions to the climate crisis.

I’m proud to be endorsed by our future leaders and youth led environmental groups Sunrise Movement PDX, Sunrise Movement Eugene, Oregon Youth Climate Strike as well as 350Eug Climate Emergency PAC, named as a Climate Champion.

III: Education
We call for legislation compelling large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes toward full funding to ensure the future of Oregon education Agree
We support public funding of a full-day, full-year, universal public preschool program for children age 3 to 4 in Multnomah County that is high quality, playbased, culturally responsive, and developmentally appropriate for young children. Agree
We recognize that poverty is a systemic problem embedded in society at large and believe that schools can be responsive in addressing poverty-related traumas, including the effects on highly mobile students. Therefore, we recommend that funding be invested in PreK-12 wrap-around services including mentoring, after-school programs, counselors, culturally relevant curriculum and instruction, and critical race theory initiatives, and other programs that have been proven effective in assuring student success. Agree
Comments (optional)

As the daughter of a teacher, one who taught in Southern and Central Oregon, and as a product of Oregon public schools (Ashland High School, ‘85), I know how hard our educators work to prepare our kids for the future.

IV: Equity
We call for proactive educational programs for all law enforcement personnel and for all local, city, county, and state government personnel to safeguard black and brown lives and protect them from race-based law enforcement actions that far too often end in death. Agree
We demand equal pay for equal work for women from all employers in Multnomah County. Agree
Black Lives Matter. We call for legislation that provides meaningful protection for African Americans at all levels of the justice system Agree
Comments (optional)

Leadership should reflect the communities served, and people of color and marginalized groups face systematic bias of violence, disenfranchisement and an under-allocation of and lack of access to public resources, such as healthcare and education. It would be my priority to reduce political inequities stemming from the historic under-representation of young people, people of color, and low-income people in the electorate.

I have made diversity, equity and inclusion part of my life’s work — from my work in war-torn countries, to resettlement for refugees, to capacity building for refugee and immigrant communities-based organizations. I have made it a practice of doing work to “level the playing field” — what is now commonly referred to as using an equity lens — but, I have always seen as simply a form of fairness.

Audits are an opportunity to improve government and daylight what is not working. While most people think of audit simply as financial audits, I have been talking about also doing performance audits, equity audits, and information security audits. It is through equity audits that we identify and daylight the failures of state agencies to advance racial equity.

V: Tribal Sovereignty
We call for universal, publicly funded health care to close health disparities exacerbated by Congress chronically under-funding Indian Health Service. Agree
We demand compliance with treaties between the United States and Tribal nations and hold the federal government to their trust responsibility. Agree
We support legislation that fully funds teams of investigators to work in consultation with Tribal authorities to respond to each murder and disappearance of Native American persons anywhere in Oregon. Agree
Comments (optional)

In my role as an elected Board Member for the Jefferson County Education Service District (JCESD), I serve one of the most diverse student bodies in Oregon. The demographics of Madras High School, our largest school, is 1⁄3 Native American students, 1⁄3 Latinx students, and 1⁄3 Caucasian students. Some of Oregon’s rural communities are more diverse than many people realize. To better understand racial inequities and talk to people about realities in their lives, I attended the community outreach sessions at Madras High School and on the Warm Springs Reservation. Demographic data was provided on the multiple barriers that different communities faced. The information was shocking, especially for Tribal communities, and the conversations were candid. I have used that information and experience to advocate for Tribal communities in my JCESD role.

As Secretary of State, I would continue this advocacy through the audit process to ensure that the rights of Tribal communities are being respected, they are receiving needed resources, and that we are fulfilling our obligations to them.

I have also worked to build the bench of future leaders for Tribal communities. I am supporting and endorsing Carina Miller of the Confederated Tribe of Warm Springs in her run for District 30 state senate run.

While in law school at the U of O, I served as co-director of the Native American Law Student Association. For my law degree, I specialized in environmental, water rights, and Indian law. The Secretary of State is one of three members of the State Land Board, and an understanding of how these areas overlap is critical to making good decisions about land use that respect the heritage of our Tribal communities.

VI. Historical and Ongoing Anti-Blackness in Oregon
We call on the Oregon State Legislature to immediately assess the Black correctional populations at the county, city, and state levels.
We also demand that there be review of punishments (bail amounts, sentence lengths, amount of time served before parole) being levied at unfairly high levels on Black Oregonians. This is particularly important for disparities based on gender and race for similar crimes to other racial/ethnic groups.
We demand there be significant Criminal Justice reform in the form of investment into counseling, alternative sentencing, job training, and rehabilitation for Oregon’s over-incarcerated Black population.
Agree
We call on the Oregon State Legislature to authorize bank audits to expose patterns of racial discrimination in lending and require these banks to extend loans to Black businesses and Black institutions. Wells Fargo and Umpqua received bailout from taxpayers and owe a debt to all taxpayers regardless of race. Additionally, Wells Fargo has a long and storied history of using predatory schemes to extract wealth from Black communities. Increasing SBA loans to Black businesses would be an excellent way for banks to begin to redress the past harms they have inflicted on Black communities. Agree
The Oregon State Legislature must create a law that mandates public schools in the state teach students about America’s original sin of slavery and the Jim Crow era that followed, with an emphasis on the state of Oregon.
The legislation should also incentivize the training, hiring, and retention of Black American teachers to teach the aforementioned subject matters. This will help address the Black teacher shortage in Oregon.
Agree
Comments (optional)

As Secretary of State, I would prioritize a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens, including demographic assessment of service gaps through equity audits. To incorporate racial equality into equity audits, I would solicit input from organizations and entities that represent vulnerable and traditionally disenfranchised communities, who would have an understanding of where our systems and processes are failing them and how to prioritize which equity audits to do first.

VII. Justice
We call for the repeal of all mandatory minimum sentencing in Oregon, substituting Guidelines in its place, and allowing a judge to have discretion in all cases. Agree
We call on the State Legislature to pass pay equity legislation for Public Defenders and Prosecutors and their staffs. Agree
The Oregon Legislature should do away with cash bail, which discriminates against poor people, who are disproportionally people of color. Agree
We believe that the voters of Oregon should abolish the Death Penalty and life without parole sentencing. Agree
Comments (optional)
VIII. Election Integrity and Legislative Alignment
We demand campaign finance reform.
We demand that the state Attorney General challenge corporate personhood, and that state and federal legislators pass laws and a constitutional amendment clarifying that corporations are not people and money is not speech
Agree
We encourage voters to pass an Oregon constitutional amendment to allow the state to regulate political contributions and expenditures.
We call for Oregon state legislation to set limits on contributions by individuals, PACS, corporations, and unions to candidates, candidate committees, political party committees and any other political committee
Agree
We support legislation that requires voter-verifiable paper ballots in all elections, and tabulation software that is open source, non-proprietary, and available for public scrutiny and analysis with source code that is verified using a public method by qualified third parties independent of any political party or vendor, and that guarantees secure chains of custody so there can be no modifications after certification. Agree
Comments (optional)

Campaign finance reform is critical to our democracy and I have a track record of supporting such reform. We should pass legislation to reverse Citizens United and enable better regulation of money in elections.

I’m personally committed to zero corporate donations, zero fossil fuel, and zero pharmaceutical money. I am the only candidate in this race not taking corporate contributions – and I never have, in the three previous races I have run.

From the first time I ran for office in 2003, I have always voluntarily limited campaign contributions. The voice of the people should never be drowned out by money. In the race for Secretary of State, I am the only candidate who has pledged to zero corporate donations, zero fossil fuel and zero pharmaceutical money. I am the only candidate who has never accepted money from corporations in any campaign.

IX. Media
We support a comprehensive net neutral public utility to provide state of the art internet access to serve all end users. Agree
We support the full funding of Public Broadcasting stations and networks, possibly supplemented by small donations from the public, to eliminate the inhibition of investigative reporting of sponsoring entities.
We support the development of ways to assure stable funding well-protected from political interference.
Agree
We support corporate responsibility with the management of our personal data. We demand internet media companies pay individuals for use of their personal data, and if there is a data breach to pay for all damages. Agree
Comments (optional)
X. Economy
We support breaking up monopolies, starting with barring Internet common carriers (i.e. Google, Facebook) from competing with businesses that use them. Agree
We support the creation of a public bank in Portland/Oregon Agree
We support the creation of either a cap-and-trade program or a carbon tax with dividend to recognize the need to eliminate fossil fuel use as one means to fight global warming. Agree
Comments (optional)

I have never taken fossil fuel money in any race I’ve run. The Secretary of State is not a legislative role, so I could not vote on legislation or resolutions, but I will be a strong, public advocate for legislation that supports and advances Green New Deal policies. As Secretary of State, I would use the tools of my office, such as the power of the audit process, to make sure any legislation was being implemented as intended to mitigate the climate crisis as well as conduct sustainability audits to ensure that when our tax dollars pay for projects they are not harming the environment, and I would insist that private subcontractors be audited for those purposes as well.

As Secretary of State, I would support investments in transportation systems that support healthy communities, cleaner air and infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions. Since 40% of our carbon emissions come from transportation, we must invest in alternative solutions that decrease use of cars. Unlike the current SOS, I would not hire outside legal counsel to attack opportunities for voters to choose more sustainable alternatives through the initiative process.

XI. Labor and Workers’ Rights
We call for the decriminalization of paid sexual acts between consenting adults and legislation allowing sex workers to organize. Agree
We oppose all legislation that diminishes workers’ rights to organize. Agree
We support legislation requiring retraining of displaced workers. We call for state and federal legislation to provide transition plans as technology and innovation change the workplace Agree
Comments (optional)

I was a proud union member for ten years (AFSCME & Sunnyvale Employee Assn.), am the daughter of a teacher, and am the granddaughter of a union factory machinist, and I fully support union rights and the rebuilding of our middle class.

I support unions for all, and I have been a lifelong champion for equality and equity. I am committed to making our community a better place to live and work for all families.

XII. Immigration
We call on the Federal Government to never take immigrant children away from their detained parents and to reunite families that have already been separated. Agree
We call on every member of the Oregon Congressional delegation to cosponsor and actively work for the passage of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM Act). Agree
We call on the State and local governments of Oregon to adopt policies that protect immigrants from unlawful enforcement of immigration laws. In addition, we call on the institutions to not participate in the enforcement of Federal immigration laws Agree
Comments (optional)

I have a track record of standing up for immigrants — providing citizenship services and voter registration and developing training programs to empower immigrants, refugees, and community organizations.

The Services, Immigrants Rights and Education Network awarded me Champion of Immigrant’s Rights in 2009. My executive, policy, and management experience includes providing naturalization and voter registration assistance and programs to empower immigrants and refugees. I have worked social justice issues for years, including organizing to defeat Measure 105 in rural Oregon in 2018. I recently proposed that my Jefferson County ESD Board adopt policies to protect undocumented students and families from ICE. I will advocate for Oregon NOT to delegate our responsibility for Real ID requirements to the federal government as the federal government does not have a commitment to protect vulnerable immigrant families.

As Secretary of State, I would prioritize a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens, including demographic assessment of service gaps through equity audits. To incorporate racial equality into equity audits, I would solicit input from organizations and entities that represent vulnerable and traditionally disenfranchised communities, who would have an understanding of where our systems and processes are failing them and how to prioritize which equity audits to do first.

XIII. Infrastructure
We support legislation to promote and implement high-speed rail or other high-speed technology, including monorail, within Oregon and along the West Coast. Agree
We support construction of renewable energy facilities or facilities that include carbon sequestration technology. Agree
We support public funding for electric vehicle infrastructure throughout Oregon. Agree
Comments (optional)

I support legislation for the development of clean energy jobs and to reduce the environmental impacts by shifting tax incentives to clean sustainable energy systems and away from dirty fuels. I am committed to preserving and protecting our natural resources, ranching heritage, and ecosystems. Global warming is the biggest threat to our health, environment, and future.We can begin by investing in renewable energy. I support increased efforts for regulations that limit carbon dioxide emissions and fund the development of clean energy options.

I am a long time advocate of multi-modal transportation that includes the minimal use of fossil fuels.

XIV. Abuse of Power
We support efforts to stipulate that corporations are not people, and money is not speech. Agree
We call for responding to drug addiction with treatment not imprisonment. Agree
We support legislation holding law enforcement personnel liable for inflicting harm through the use of excessive force. Agree
Comments (optional)