In Oregon, answering the President's call to action

By Treasure Mackley of Portland, Oregon. Treasure is a longtime Oregon political organizer and has recently been appointed as the Oregon State Director for Organizing for America.

Last November, the American people sent Washington a clear mandate for change.

But when the polls close, the true work of citizenship begins. That's what Organizing for America (OFA) is all about. Organizing for America, the successor organization to Obama for America, is building on the movement that elected President Barack Obama by empowering communities across the country to bring about our agenda of change.

We at OFA are building on the movement that elected President Obama by empowering communities across the country to bring about our agenda of change. OFA is just getting started here in the state, and as the State Director for Oregon, I can tell you that we are excited to reach out to thousands of people across our great state and continue to engage them on the issues that matter to them most.

Now, in this crucial time, our voice once again has extraordinary power – and there are many ways to get involved:

Top on our agenda now is health care. And in plain terms, we can all agree: our health care system is broken.

Millions of Americans lose their health insurance when they lose their job, are denied care because of a pre-existing condition, and delay care or skip medication because they can’t afford it. Skyrocketing health care costs are hurting American families and straining already-strapped budgets for businesses and governments. It’s time to reform our health care system to lower costs, preserve patient choice and ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable care.

Such a monumental task of reforming the health care system will require a lot of support from Americans across our state and our country talking to their friends, families, and neighbors about the need for health care reform. In order to help them in that grassroots effort, we will be putting together some great events across Oregon. We will have listening tours, for example, where people can attend and talk about what issues mean the most to them and how they can make a real difference. OFA recently launched Health Care Stories for America, an innovative online tool where hundreds of thousands of health care stories can be shared, found and read - by city and state - from all across the country.

As the OFA State Director for Oregon, let me say again how excited I am to get started and to build upon the unprecedented grassroots movement that took place across Oregon and the country last year. And over the coming weeks and months, we will have more great events across the entire state, so stay tuned....

Comments

  • Emily Jackson (unverified)
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    I look forward to seeing OFA grow in Oregon and I am thrilled to see you at the front Treasure!

  • rural resident (unverified)
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    ". . . empowering communities across the country to bring about our agenda of change."

    So you want these communities to achieve YOUR agenda. How is it empowering to other people to get them to do what YOU want them to do? Sounds like the opposite of empowerment to me.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Number One Obstructor to Health Care for all Americans and reform of our system- Democratic Party. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have capitulated to the Blue Dogs and Republicans. They are coming home for their vacation with no bills passed, none even on the table, so they can meet with their corporate masters and raise more money. Now is the time to tell the Democratic Party the wallet is closed until a real health care bill is passed. I'm a 60 year old life long Democrat, a precinct rep in two counties, a volunteer in three presidential elections, and I have never felt more disgusted,nor had more contempt for the Democrats we elected.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Think electing Democrats makes a difference? Think again. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi just capitulated to the Blue Dogs in obstructing Health Care. They are adjourning with no bills on the table.

    Why, because the insurance industry is the one in charge of our Democratic Party. It's very lucrative to obstruct. Jeff Merkley doesn't matter. Ron Wyden doesn't matter, even President Obama doesn't matter, our votes don't matter. Because the Democratic party has cowards for candidates.

    Our votes in the fall didn't count for anything. 60 Senators, the presidency, a strong majority in the House.

    Meet the people who are really in charge; http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/23/756865/-Blue-Dogs-Obstruction-Proving-Very-Lucrative

    " The fiscal conservatives, members of the House Blue Dog Coalition, made their case for major changes in the bill at a White House meeting with Mr. Obama.

    The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, canceled sessions of the panel scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday so he could meet with Blue Dogs. They hold seven seats on the committee, a potentially decisive number, since the panel has 36 Democrats and 23 Republicans.
    
    "The seven of us cannot support the current House bill," said Representative Mike Ross, Democrat of Arkansas, who is the point man on health care for the Blue Dogs. "Whether it requires a new bill or whether this bill can be amended, those are decisions, I guess, for the parliamentarians to help us make."
    
    "We don’t need to box ourselves in with any artificial deadline," Mr. Ross added.
    

    ....... The Blue Dog Political Action Committee has collected $1.1 million for the 2010 election cycle, more than any other leadership political action committee on Capitol Hill, according to CQ MoneyLine.

    The total includes about $300,000 from health care interests, including $158,000 from doctors and other provider groups; $87,000 from makers of drugs and medical devices; and $50,000 from health insurance interests.
    
    For the comparable period in the 2008 cycle, the PAC collected slightly less overall: $875,000, including $218,000 from health care political action committees.
    
    Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona, co‑chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and other liberal lawmakers have criticized Blue Dogs for not backing a top priority for Obama.
    
    "Whose interest do the Blue Dogs serve if they vote no?" Grijalva said. "They should check with uninsured families and other interests that go beyond K Street."
    
  • Pat Ryan (unverified)
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    Hey Treasure,

    Delighted to see that you've landed, in a feline manner, on your feet again. Best of luck to you with the OFA, and I look forward to seeing you out around the state.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "Last November, the American people sent Washington a clear mandate for change. ...

    Now, in this crucial time, our voice once again has extraordinary power – and there are many ways to get involved:

    * Joining grassroots OFA campaigns to support the President's agenda. "
    

    Treasure: I don't know what to make of your post. Is it satire? You can't be serious, can you?

    What elements of the President's agenda do you have in mind that we should support?

    The economic policies of Rubin, Summers and Geithner who were key players in helping to create this financial mess and who rescued Wall Street from a mess of its own creation while letting workers at GM fend for themselves?

    Toning down the war on Iraq so we could expand the war in Afghanistan that is becoming more problematic, to put it mildly, by the day?

    Ending torture on U.S. territory but keeping the option open for outsourcing this vile and squalid behavior to the likes of those great friends of ours in Egypt, Jordan, etc.?

    Keeping open the option to wage war on Iran?

    Letting Bush and Cheney and their cohorts off the hook for dragging us into an unjustified war and violating the Geneva conventions?

    A health plan that is rigged to steer more business to the insurance corporations that gave so much to his campaign?

    For stacking his cabinet with strong pro-corporate credentials, such as Ken Salazar, to undermine things the people want, like a cleaner environment?

    Keep me posted so I can join you on this great mission. My e-mail is [email protected]

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    That's all well and good, but are you going to empower communities across American to bring about our agenda of change?

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    I don't know what this babble is about Pelosi.

    Everywhere I read about her she doesn't stop talking about how she will not allow a bill through that doesn't have a strong and robust public option.

    Reid is not so awesome on this..but Pelosi? Jeez. She hasn't capitulated to the Blue Dogs..and this babble to the contrary is completely unhelpful.

    And while we're at it, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Obama from the left isn't helping. I'm not in love with some of his policies myself, but let's at least make an effort to come together long enough to get a good health care plan.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    @ Carla Axton

    The "babble" about Pelosi is that she has capitulated to the Blue Dogs and is allowing herself to be pushed around by them. She spoke today about leaving DC with no vote. And she's "afraid" of voting on a bill before the Senate does. A real profile in courage. The Repugs are gleeful, of course. The more delay they can do, the more they can intimidate Democrats and keep them from passing anything. And right now the Democratic Party is the obstacle. The day after the president's press conference, they all capitulate and want to run away. At least Ron Wyden is wanting to stick around.

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    The "babble" about Pelosi is that she has capitulated to the Blue Dogs and is allowing herself to be pushed around by them. She spoke today about leaving DC with no vote.

    No, she's really not.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/07/nancy_pelosi_on_health-care_re.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/23/pelosi-blue-dogs-wont-sto_n_243664.html

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "I'm not in love with some of his policies myself, but let's at least make an effort to come together long enough to get a good health care plan."

    Carla: I agree with you on this point and propose a compromise - his health plan can include all the commercial insurance plans that the insurance corporations want in any form they desire but he also include some version of a single-payer system and let the people decide. Something the insurance corporations who own a piece of him certainly don't want.

    Obama's predicaments now - and a formidable challenge for Organizing for America (OFA) - are the perception that he has reneged on the promises - real and perceived - he made during the campaign and the consequence if that perception is not reversed. That is, that he will seen as another naked emperor. I wish him well because if his presidency fails before it has begun then I suspect it will have a cultural and political shock that will only be to the benefit of the neocons and other people further to the right of the Democratic party now firmly ensconced to the right of center.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "I wish him well because if his presidency fails before it has begun then I suspect it will have a cultural and political shock that will only be to the benefit of the neocons and other people further to the right of the Democratic party now firmly ensconced to the right of center."

    Having given this more thought I find that the neocons and their ilk are not necessarily the only ones to benefit from a failed Obama presidency. There are Hillary Clinton and the faction within the Democratic party aligned with her. Hillary would have another shot at the presidency. Don't underestimate what she would do for that - to become the first woman president of the United States.

    How many of the Blue Dog Democrats undermining Obama were Hillary supporters? Is it just a coincidence that their hypocritical talk about fiscal responsibility happens to create a major problem for Obama? What fiscal responsibility? They were all for the war on Iraq and supportive of the expansion into Afghanistant.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    If Treasure can't defend criticism of Obama's actions so far, it is questionable if she can be very effective as the Oregon State Director for Organizing for America. To be fair, her task and that of Organizing for America looks more each day like defending the indefensible.

    In the meantime, more solid criticism of Obama: Report Card on Obama From a New Frontiersman. Anyone interested in defending Obama from that?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Treasure Mackley: "Top on our agenda now is health care. And in plain terms, we can all agree: our health care system is broken. "

    Health Care Hypocrisy

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    The Obama White House and the man who would expose what happened to the $700 billion (or was it $23.7 TRILLION?) given to the banks: The War Being Waged on the TARP Watchdog's Independence

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    This thread may be another signal that Obama is in trouble. It started off with a rallying call to support Obama's agenda that was followed by comments that questioned his agenda from a progressive point of view. The only sort of defense came from Carla by asking people to "not throw the kitchen sink" at Obama and asking us to make an effort to come together. Come together for what reason or purpose? To go along with his U-turn on what progressives believed he promised? To no longer believe in "change"?

    A defense attorney would not be likely to do his client much good if all he could do was ask the prosecutor and his witnesses to not throw the book at his client. Tossing in, "Can't we all get along?" would not likely be much help either.

    One of the few things Obama has going for him is that most Democrats appear to be Democrats first and progressives second or less. Unfortunately for Obama, some of those Democrats may still be for Hillary first and Obama second.

    It looks like real progressives would be better to get involved with the Progressive Change Campaign Committe than Organizing for America.

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