Andrea Salinas Says ‘We Don’t Have to Live This Way’

The climate crisis is here — and the time for action is now.

5. What’s one piece of advice you’d give your teenage self?

Don’t listen to haters — they’re always going to hate. And don’t fear failure — it’s how we will grow stronger and wiser.

Andrea Salinas in high school

6. If you could snap your fingers and change two things about politics in the United States, what would they be?

Truth be told, I think we need a whole lot more change than that. But let me try to keep it short.

Structurally, I’d like to see our democracy working better across the board. That means protecting voting rights, taking on the GOP’s dangerous political extremism, reforming our campaign finance laws, and returning power to the people.

In terms of policy, I’d like to see Congress finally tackle gun violence. The Republican Party and its gun lobby backers have spent decades blocking any meaningful reform on this issue — and it’s literally getting people killed. The bottom line is we don’t have to live this way. We can be an America where people can go about their daily lives without worrying about being shot. That’s what I’ll fight for in Congress.

7. What grade would you give Joe Biden’s performance in office? Why?

I think President Biden is the right man for this moment. As someone who has dedicated their entire career to taking on Big Pharma, I can’t stress how huge the Inflation Reduction Act is going to be. It allows Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and caps the price of insulin at $35 a month for Medicare beneficiaries. It will also reduce health care premiums for hundreds of thousands of Americans, including thousands of Oregonians.

President Biden got that bill across the finish line. While there’s more to be done to make health care accessible, this legislation was a welcome start.

8. Name one public figure you admire and why.

I absolutely love former congresswoman Darlene Hooley. She has a big heart, she’s down to earth, and she’s super approachable. But the best thing about her by far is that, during her time in office, her constituents were always at the center of her decision making. That’s the kind of leader I will be.

9. What is your stance on reducing funding for police departments and the term “defund the police”?

I do not support defunding the police. My dad was a Mexican immigrant who worked in the fields before becoming a police officer. First responders and law enforcement officers like my dad put their lives on the line to protect us. They deserve our support, as well as the resources and tools they need to do the job and do it well. When I’m in Congress, I’ll continue to fight for transparent, effective, and accountable law enforcement — because everyone deserves to feel safe.

10. How, specifically, are you engaging young people in your campaign?

Young people are the heart and soul of my campaign. I’m getting them excited by speaking to them honestly about the issues they care most about, from student debt to climate change to gun safety. We’re reminding them of their power to decide not only this election, but all the ones that will come after it. That’s going to be key to getting them motivated and making them feel like they can trust their elected leaders to do what’s in their best interest.

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