Jennifer Williamson for HD-36: A Progressive Champion

By Hannah Fisher, Katie Markey, Courtney Morse and Rudy Soto. Hanna, Katie, Courtney & Rudy served consecutive terms as the student body presidents of Portland State University from 2006 to 2010.

As previous student body presidents of Portland State University, we share a unique experience in understanding the intricacies of higher education at both a local and state level. We know that the state representative for District 36 must have an excellent grasp on the issues facing not only PSU but of all higher education in Oregon. It is Jennifer Williamson’s consistent demonstration that she has the experience and knowledge necessary to fight for the issues that affect us every day, which has inspired four student body presidents to stand behind and endorse a political candidate. We have never had a candidate who has motivated us to join together and take a stand.

Jennifer Williamson has been a champion for quality and access in higher education since her time serving as the student body president at the University of Oregon, where she successfully fought to keep student loan interest rates low. But Jennifer is not a one-issue candidate. Williamson is a leader in protecting a woman’s right to choose which is why she is the only candidate endorsed by Planned Parenthood, she has the background and courage to advocate for a single payer healthcare system and understands the investment needed to create jobs in Oregon.

We have personally faced the issues that are of concern to most residents of Oregon--massive student debt, chronic unemployment and lack of health insurance for both family members and ourselves. These problems are real and affect us everyday. Our lives have been drastically altered from situations like the inability to afford the tuition to graduate and the dire repercussions of inadequate health insurance; institutional barriers than Jennifer doesn't just talk about. Williamson, like too many of us, grew up as an Oregonian whose family sometimes had to rely on food stamps and food pantries. She shares the experience of being a first generation college student who put herself through college and law school.

Jennifer encompasses a unique combination of both the life and professional experience necessary to make real changes. Jennifer is an advocate, an activist and an ally--she is the uniting force that Oregon needs.

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    I got an out of state push poll call that was obviously in favor of Jennifer Williamson awhile back. (The person on the phone admitted they lived in Colorado or something, so I know.) I've never received a push poll call for a state rep in a primary before. I've also had my mailbox jammed full of fliers from her, and all I can do is wonder why this money is being used to beat up on another Democrat (who isn't really all that different on the issues despite what their supporters say) instead of being conserved for the fall campaign. Which is far more important, obviously.

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      This race will be settled in the primary. There are maybe 12 Republicans in the district. I get all the fliers too. Haven't noticed any beating up.

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      Oh, puh-leeze. There's absolutely no way there was a push poll in this race. The last serious allegation of push polling in Oregon was in 1992 in the AuCoin/Packwood Senate race - when that was much more common.

      Remember: a "push poll" isn't a poll at all. They're designed to deliver tens or hundreds of thousands of messages to voters, not survey the views of 400 people.

      Did the call you have include more than 2-3 questions? If so, it wasn't a push poll. It was a message testing poll -- which was probably testing positives and negatives about both candidates. And it likely could have been conducted by either campaign, or an outside group. (And to be clear: I have no inside info on polling in this race.)

      Full disclosure: My firm built Sharon Meieran's campaign website. I speak only for myself.

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    It's rare to find a candidate who has the right combination of sincerely held progressive views, charisma, and a well developed set of political skills. Usually, we settle for 1 of 3. Jen Williamson has it all. She is unabashedly progressive but knows her way around budgets, legislative committees and has a disarming and easy way with all kinds of people. She is a natural and an experienced player. Ms. Meiran sounds like a smart person and a hard worker and I hope she is part of a task force or working group to help with our health care transformation, but for the day to day representation of HD 36, Jen is the most qualified, and most exciting House candidate we've had in years. She's the no-brainer pick.

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