SALEM, OR -- The 2019 Oregon Legislative session gets underway Tuesday, in Salem, as State Representative Jack Zika (R-Redmond) accepts a position on the state Task Force on Addressing Racial Disparities in Home Ownership. House Speaker Tina Kotek recently appointed Zika, citing his work as a realtor in Central Oregon for the last 15 years.
Zika says he hasn't seen racial Discrimination in local housing, but that doesn't mean it's not happening. He says he's committed to learning where breakdowns occur and creating ways for everyone to be treated equally, "It might be eye-opening to hear some of the stories. In this group, there are all different backgrounds, different representatives from different areas, and ethnic groups, so it will be interesting to hear their perspectives." He says, "I'm going in with the mentality that everybody should be treated equal. So let's find out ways that people are not being treated equal, and let's fix those." Zika adds, "We're looking into if there's any groups that are being excluded or having a hard time in the home purchasing process." And, he tells KBND News, the committee is covering all aspects of the home buying process, "From the lender to the realtor to home inspections to appraisals, all the way to closing."
The task force was created by the 2018 Legislature, as part of the Human Services and Housing Committee, on which Zika sits.