Aelea Christofferson is a successful business owner and community leader. Her father was a minister who taught her that when something is wrong, you roll up your sleeves and fix it. Her mother was one of the first women to work for the Department of Labor. She served as a strong role model for Aelea.
Aelea earned her MBA from Golden Gate University and founded her company – ATL Communications – after working with AT&T and as a county social worker. Aelea has served as President of the National Association of Women Business Owners, President of the Sunriver Chamber of Commerce, a Finance Committee member of the Oregon Health Fund Board, and a member of the Cover Oregon board, where she advocated for increased oversight.
Aelea lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband Tom where they are active in the First Presbyterian Church. They have five children, three of whom are adopted.
Why She's Running
Aelea says it is time to put partisanship aside and put country first.
Aelea believes that we must continue to put in the hard work to fix health care, so that those who need care, get care. It’s time for our leaders think first about how to help middle class families instead of what will help politicians in the next election.
As a business owner, Aelea understands when government can help and when government should get out of the way. She knows that we can work together to create good jobs that allow us to support our families and our way of life. Aelea also understands the value of a good education and of job training so that we have a workforce in place to support businesses who want to locate to the area.
The 2nd Congressional District deserves to have a representative that’s listening to them and working for them, rather than for the next election.
Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District comprises about ⅔ of the state’s area and only ⅕ of the population and is the seventh largest district in the nation. Population centers include the Bend area, Ashland and Medford, and the Hood River and Pendleton areas. Aelea has been traveling across the district in her RV and meeting people in every area.
Aelea is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act and served on the state board that has helped over 300,000 Oregonians gain access to quality health care, including those with pre-existing conditions. Insurance protections – like ending lifetime limits on coverage and discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions – are improving care for millions more.
She also asked the tough questions about the Cover Oregon website, working to hold the program accountable for the technical problems and expenses.
Ultimately, the Affordable Care Act goes a long way toward making health care more affordable and accessible. In Congress, Aelea will work to improve health care reform so that families who need care, get care.
Aelea supports legal status for those who are employed, who have not committed felonies, and who are willing to pay a fine and back taxes. She also supports the DREAM Act. Aelea believes we must provide a path to citizenship for those young people who were brought here as children and who would like to access higher education or to serve our nation in the military.
Aelea views tax reform through the lens of a businesswoman and mother. As a businessperson, she understands limited budgets. As a mother, our legacy to the next generation should not be a mountain of debt and a big mess for our kids to clean up.
She believes that taxes should be less complex and should have fewer loopholes. Along with other business owners, she knows that a lot of time and resources are spent complying with many confusing tax regulations. She would work to simplify and reform our tax code to free up those resources so businesses can expand and create more jobs.
Aelea believes we should not increase taxes on small businesses or on middle class families, both of whom are struggling right now.
Aelea supports more local control of our public lands- from forests to grazing lands. In many parts of Oregon, there is a patchwork of ownership that makes it extremely difficult to responsibly and comprehensively manage the land. Aelea supports land swaps and shared management, when feasible. She also believes we need strong voices in Washington speaking up for the interests of Oregon.
Trade is deeply beneficial to Oregon. Aelea believes that trade agreements should include environmental and labor protections so that we don’t end up in a race to the bottom or undermining our homegrown industries.
Aelea is also aware that the lack of good roads can prevent businesses in the district from getting their goods to market efficiently. She’ll support transportation projects that put our roads back to work.
Fundamental changes need to be made in order to put retirement and senior health care programs on firm financial footing. Aelea understands that coordinated care and results-based payments will do a lot to reduce Medicare costs while actually improving the care our seniors receive. Reforms intended to slow the growth of health care costs were included in the Affordable Care Act and she believes that we should carefully evaluate their success moving forward.
She will ensure that Social Security is there for seniors today, seniors tomorrow and seniors a generation from now. Aelea doesn’t support benefit cuts given that more and more retirees rely on Social Security as their sole or main source of income. Raising Social Security taxes on struggling young people who are trying to make ends meet isn’t a good plan either.
Privatization is also a poor option. When Wall Street had the chance to gamble with people’s retirement savings, they failed and Aelea won’t give them the chance to do that with Social Security.
Aelea strongly believes our soldiers deserves smart reforms that modernize our military so that we can better react to the types of threats we face today.
She supports proper defense funding based on national security needs and what our military experts recommend – not projects that benefit a certain state or congressional district. We should modernize and upgrade our military so that it can meet the threats of the future – which is why Aelea supports the Administration’s proposal to efficiently employ our military resources and personnel.