By Chris Garrett of Lake Oswego, Oregon. Chris is a candidate for House District 38. Learn more at www.ChrisforOregon.com.
The presidential primary has revolved at times around a theme of “change vs. experience.” Oregon primary voters are weighing the same values as they evaluate candidates for the Legislature. What sort of candidate is best suited to help move Oregon forward?
The need for aggressive action in Salem has never been clearer. The Oregon where I grew up was known nationally for strong public schools, incomparable natural beauty, and progressive government that advanced innovative public policy ranging from land-use planning to the Oregon Health Plan. After a long era of misguided leadership in Salem, legislative Democrats finally regained the majority in January 2007. With that opportunity comes the responsibility to act: Oregon has the most unstable revenue structure in America, ranks near the bottom in per-student investment in higher education, faces a decaying transportation infrastructure that costs us hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and leaves one in six of its residents without health insurance. Like every state, we face the rapidly accelerating reality of climate change and the imperative to shift from a fossil fuel-based economy to a future of clean, renewable energy.
The challenges are daunting. Few doubt the need for major reforms. The open question is whether the Legislature will show the ability to coalesce around solutions, the guts to enact them over entrenched opposition from narrow interests, and the willingness to engage the public in a frank discussion of where we are as a state, where we need to go, and what it will take to get there.
Primary voters surveying this landscape have to decide what to value the most in a candidate for the Legislature. Someone who stands for "change"? Someone who brings "experience"?
My campaign recently answered that question. Click below to find out.
For more information, visit www.chrisfororegon.com