An Opportunity In Lane County

Jesse Cornett

Lane County has the opportunity to appoint one of the strongest progressives I know. 

In my travels around the state, I've had the opportunity to meet and work with Val Hoyle on several different campaign efforts. Val is a vocal progressive who also has a strong business background and the ability build coalitions to get things done.  These skills will serve the Democrats in Salem well.  She's served as the Chair of the Lane County Democrats and is even a member of Emerge Oregon's inaugural class. 

House District 14 is not a traditional Eugene district.  Although there is a 9% Democratic edge, the district is a mix of blue collar and rural voters who value more populist and traditional Democrats that will fight for working people.  Val has the depth of experience and an ability to communicate with people at all levels. 

Perhaps fortuitously, Val decided to work for State Senator Floyd Prozanski during the last legislative session, where she got hands on experience with the legislative process which can be invaluable for an incoming legislator.

Val has worked or volunteered on countless campaigns and progressive causes for decades.  Not that I subscribe to the belief that one needs to earn their opportunity to be an elected official or need a ton of experience to prove their mettle, but if you do, I hope you will agree that Val truly fits that bill.

From working for Mo Udall and Jimmy Carter's presidential campaigns in New Hampshire to volunteering with Stand for Children here in Oregon, Val has been working hard and I know her support is valuable because since the day I met her, she's inspired me to get involved with what she's working on. Most recently, Val was a key factor in making sure that the progressive Kitty Piercy was able to remain mayor of Eugene despite a tough challenge.

Val currently spends her day working for the United Way of Lane County 100% Access Health Care Initiative, so she is gaining valuable insight on a debate that will unfortunately continue on until all Oregonians have health care.

The other candidate that is seeking the seat, Carol Horne Dennis, is also a solid progressive who is a Lane ESD board member and long time GLBT activist. If Val Hoyle wasn't in this race, she may also be a great opportunity.

So is Val going to seek the appointment? It sure sounds like it and I hope she does. I couldn't think of a better fit. Val: it's your turn!

  • Jan Wilson (unverified)

    I agree wholeheartedly - Val is the perfect candidate for HD 14. She's such a hard worker, and she's incredibly strategic, so even as a newbie, she'll be able to effectively represent west Eugene issues in Salem. As past chair of the Lane County Dems, she has built and maintained the relationships that would enhance her effectiveness. Her politics and interests are fairly similar to Chris Edwards's, so HD 14 residents are not likely to notice much difference at all - they'd still have all the same attention to their issues that Edwards provided (and, of course, they still have him there in the Senate, championing their issues). And thanks to the United Way board for allowing Val the flexibility in her work schedule to be able to provide this public service to our area.

  • Joy Marshall (unverified)

    I met Val Hoyle about 5 years ago as we sat around the table planning a campaign to help Eugene schools. She is a worker, a do-er, and a passionate champion for kids and schools. She can build a team to work together, a critical skill we need more of in Salem. She has worked for years to help our community, and will be an effective voice in Salem.

    Val has my enthusiastic endorsement.

    Joy Marshall Eugene

  • Anne Toomey (unverified)

    Val has my enthusiastic endorsement as well. I have known her all of her life and she has been politically involved since she was very young - She is a definate asset where ever she goes

    Yes I am her Mom

    Anne Toomey Hillsboro

  • gj (unverified)

    There are very few people who have worked as hard or done as much to ensure access to a quality education, help working people get a fair shake, and bring people together around the issues that matter most to Oregonians.

  • LT (unverified)

    Interesting point, Jesse.

    "Although there is a 9% Democratic edge, the district is a mix of blue collar and rural voters who value more populist and traditional Democrats that will fight for working people. "

    This should be the last nail in the coffin of the "can't win there, lousy R to D ratio" nonsense where FP implies they know all districts better than the people who live in them because registration ratio is all that matters. Districts are individual, and registration is not destiny. Anyone who has ever been in a room full of Democrats knows that they do not all think alike, and longtime volunteers (the sort who may have been active since before young staffers were born) sometimes have institutional memory that can inform current debates.

    I wish Val all the best of luck, but I believe it is time to go "back to the future" and treat districts individually, not have some central office decide which districts are "targets" and which should be given up on.

    It just so happens I had a conversation yesterday with someone I had first met a quarter century ago as a then-college student political volunteer but who later worked in the Majority Office in the late 1980s. She was relating a story from her point of view and I told her how I had heard the story from a different point of view---from a friend who had worked for one of the members of leadership who had not agreed with everything that went on in the Majority Office. Yes, folks, Dems in leadership have not always agreed with each other!

    This idea of legislators who sometimes talk and act as if their allegiance is as much to the caucus as to their constituents came in with Larry Campbell in 1991. Like many ideas which trace their roots back to the 1990s, it is time to openly debate whether the current system works well for all concerned.

  • Mark McGaffin (unverified)

    She has such an agile mind and is extremely gifted at building connections between people from all walks. I didn't know she was interested, but I would love it. I can certainly imagine her teaming up with other smart liberals like Ben Cannon, Jules Koppel-Bailey, and Jefferson Smith and doing great, progressive things.

  • Chris Edwards (unverified)

    I work with Val frequently. She is a great fit for House District 14, and would serve the people of West Eugene, Santa Clara, and Junction City very well. I know this because I call on her for opinion and advice frequently as I work on issues for my constituents. I can’t think of a more seamless transition for my constituents than if Val were to fill the spot I left to move to the Senate.

    It is important for Senators and Representatives who share districts to work well together. It makes the representation of the interests of the community much stronger. Val and I work very well together.

  • Kevin (unverified)

    Having worked alongside Val during the recent legislative session, I can attest simply that she is highly capable, effective, and respected in the building. Val is a remarkable person.

  • Ree Armitage (unverified)

    I had the joy of working with Val during the last legislative session when she was staff to Sen. Prozanski. She's got solid legislative skills and great a political instinct. As the new Senator from District 7 mentioned, her transition into serving HD 14 would be seamless. Best wishes Val!

  • Adam Walsh (unverified)

    I worked with Val in the '06 campaign cycle, and in the '09 legislature. I've found her to be a capable, hard-working and committed individual, and I think she'd be a fine fit for D14.

  • Mike Biglan (unverified)

    Val will be a great addition to the local area. Her pragmatism, and get-things-done attitude have been locally and will be statewide a huge asset. Exciting times!

  • Maluhia (unverified)
    <h2>Val is determined, positive, funny and a force to be reckoned with. She'd make a great rep for District 14.</h2>

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