Khanh Pham

State Representative, House District 46

Khanh works at OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon as the Alliances Director, where she leads the statewide Oregon Just Transition Alliance.

Prior to that, she was Manager of Immigrant Organizing at the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO).  Khanh brings years of experience and a deep commitment to Environmental and Climate Justice, plus decades of organizing people and campaigns. She is Vietnamese-American, an identity that shapes a lot of how she sees the world and has driven her to want to understand and address the systemic causes of inequality, both globally and locally. Khanh was a founding leader of and spokesperson for the groundbreaking Portland Clean Energy Fund Initiative.  Khanh currently serves on the Oregon Global Warming Commission and the Multnomah County Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Innovation. She is currently leading the Oregon Just Transition Alliance to develop a frontline-led vision and platform for an Oregon Green New Deal.  Khanh has a BA from Lewis & Clark College and a Masters in Urban Studies from Portland State University, where she specialized in urban planning, climate change adaptation, and equity planning.

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

Candidate comments (optional)

I’m running on a platform that uplifts climate/environmental justice, economic/social justice, and building a healthy democracy. I’m running because I want to be able to look my daughter in the eyes and be able to tell her I’m doing everything I can to leave her a world where she can survive and thrive. For the last 20 years, I’ve worked as a community organizer, primarily with communities of color. Most recently, I’ve organized at APANO and OPAL in the Jade District. We were able to form a broad coalition across Portland for the passage of the Portland Clean Energy Fund, the nation’s first environmental justice program created by and centered on communities of color. Leading the Portland Clean Energy Fund showed me what’s possible when you step up and fight for something bigger. We have a decade left to take bold steps to stop irreversible harm to our planet. I will bring our voices, our communities, and our track record of success to the Capitol and expand our movement statewide.

Both of my parents are refugees from Vietnam and my husband is an immigrant from Mexico. In my campaign, I work hard to make sure that I’m reaching out to immigrants in their language and media to listen to their concerns. When I’m elected, I will bring these communities with me, making sure that I have regular community conversations with immigrants, particularly the immigrant workers that make up so much of my district, to make sure that their issues and concerns are brought to Salem and that they are active participants in the policymaking process.

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.
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.
Comments (optional)

Healthcare and housing are basic human rights. I’m proud to have earned the endorsements of housing and anti-homelessness leaders in our community as well as reproductive freedom organizations, including Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

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.

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.

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

I have extensive experience as a climate justice organizer, including passing the Portland Clean Energy Fund, which operationalizes many of the aspirations in Article II. I lead the Oregon Just Transition Alliance and advocacy for an Oregon Green New Deal, and will take that movement to the state legislature with the urgency our climate crisis demands.

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)

I’m honored to have received the endorsements of every major educator organization in Oregon, including OEA, PAT, and AFT.

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)

Every issue is a racial justice issue. My entire platform is shaped by racial equity and how to improve outcomes for black, indigenous, and other communities of color. This dedication is rooted in my own experience as a woman of color with immigrant parents, as well as the cross-cultural work I have done in solidarity throughout my entire career. When addressing white supremacy, representation matters.

The widening racial wealth gap is one stark way the legacy of slavery and white supremacy continues to show up today. In 2013, white households own 13 times the wealth of black households, and that inequality is getting worse, not better. Our tax system is so blatantly skewed towards wealthy people, who are overwhelmingly white. I would be interested in exploring what policies to close the racial wealth gap could look like, starting with a higher tax on wealth that could then be used to fund programs that are directed at Black, indigenous and people of color communities. I also think we need to invest in history education programs to ensure that all Oregonians understand the history and legacy of racism and white supremacy in our state, and understand that systemic solutions are needed to dismantle systemic racism.

Oregon House District 46 includes some of the most ethnically diverse census tracts in the state. It’s essential that our next Representative reflects the diversity of our district. In addition to being a woman of color, I would be the only Asian elected member of the Oregon Legislature. It’s important for children to see people who look like them in elected office to know that it’s possible. Just identifying and presenting as a woman of color isn’t enough. We must all advocate for issues impacting underserved populations. For the last 20 years, I’ve worked as a community organizer primarily advocating for and with Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. I will take the work I’ve done with communities, and the community members themselves, with me to the Capitol. My holding office will provide an official venue for our movement to make an impact statewide.


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)

Coronavirus is further exposing the health and economic disparities between our Native population and the rest of our state and nation. I try to be intentional in centering and elevating Native community members and issues that matter most to them in my work and in my campaign, and will do the same when in Salem.

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.
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.
Comments (optional)

Anti-Blackness is real in communities across our state. I will use my position as a state representative to address this and all forms of racism through education, criminal justice reform, authorizing bank audits, and other manners.

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)

I agree with and will champion all of the above.

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
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
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)

We cannot have a functioning democracy without removing big money from politics, which is why campaign finance reform is a major priority for me. Oregon is long overdue for comprehensive campaign finance reform. Our shameful lack of contribution limits allows wealthy individuals and monied interests to donate hundreds-of-thousands or even millions of dollars to campaigns. Democracy can only function when government is in the hands of the people, not wealthy donors.

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.
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. Disagree
Comments (optional)

I support a direct regulatory approach to pollution and GHG emissions. While price signals can play some role in incentivizing behavior, at this moment in the climate crisis, we need direct regulation to reduce emissions at the pace needed to protect humanity and the planet from catastrophic climate change. Creating a trading market/auction for pollution allowances is complicated, difficult to watchdog, and takes away political capital from more effective and direct climate policies.

Based on my research about the experience in California, cap and trade has not effectively reduced emissions; it harms low-income Black and Brown communities who live around refineries, where oil and gas emissions have actually increased; and it has prevented local jurisdictions from passing stronger air quality laws. While I don’t support cap and trade, I do not support the Republican walkouts to kill the legislation. Using this tactic four times in less than a year undermines our democracy and the practice must be stopped.

Despite my opposition to cap and trade, I still received the endorsement of every major environmental organization, including primary supporters of the policy like OLCV. People and organizations who are serious about addressing climate change know that I am the best candidate to take immediate action in Salem. I will take the communities, organizations, and movement behind the Portland Clean Energy Fund to Salem to advance an Oregon Green New Deal that will address climate change in a manner that is centered on low-income communities and communities of color.


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’m proud to have earned the endorsement of every major labor union in Oregon, including SEIU, AFSCME, UFCW, AFL-CIO, AFT, IBEW, OEA, PAT, Teamsters, and Building Trades. My parents were refugees from Vietnam who were able to reach the middle class because of their union jobs. I support every worker’s right to join a union as well as a just transition as our economy shifts to a renewable energy future.

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)

As the child of refugees, wife of an immigrant, and organizer who has worked directly with immigrant communities for years, this issue is deeply personal for me.

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)
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)