HD-15: Ron Green wants the job, Albany. You should give it to him.

Carla Axtman

HD-15: Ron Green wants the job, Albany. You should give it to him.

Ron Green

Ron Green has led an interesting life. He served in the US Army during the Korean War. He spent almost 10 years owning and running a bicycle shop in Texas. He developed and directed the richest one-day race in Texas, the Lewisville Criterium, in 1981, ‘82 and ’83. He even sponsored the winning team in the Spenco 500 mile race in its first year.

Green has also been a public school teacher. He's taught adult education courses in prisons in Texas and New Mexico. He was an integral part of the highly successful Disability Navigator program in Oregon, which helped Oregonians living with disabilities gain job skills to move into the work force.

He's been good at all that stuff. And now he wants to take his amalgam of mad skills to Salem as the state representative from Albany.

"I'm just a citizen whose complained about government from all sides of the spectrum," Green said. "Now it's time to do something about it. I've got the skills and background to represent the diverse interests of this community".

Green says there are a lot of good things about his community and he very much loves the City of Albany. He wants to be a representative for all of the people. He's retired from his other work and if he wins, "... my wife will be happy to have me out of the house", he jokes.

As a former teacher, Green has an obvious connection with the education community. Given that education funding is the largest chunk of the Oregon state budget, Green believes he's uniquely situated to be an advocate for schools. He also made note of how being a teacher is a great preparatory experience for becoming a legislator, "Be prepared and organized. Be ready to at a moment's notice. Being a teacher has enabled me to talk with groups of people and negotiate with different interests. And it's made me an active listener," he said.

Working in the prison system helped expand those skills. Green said that those experiences helped shape how he communicates, manages conflict/diminish hostilities and collaborates to find agreement with others.

When discussing how his military experience might inform his work as a legislator, Green was brief. "We should stop making so many vets, especially disabled vets, of which I am one," he said. Green said he hopes to support the expansion of healthcare to all Oregonians, as well as everything he can to support vets. "I am a vet. Unlike my opponent (Republican Andy Olson), I'm not just a flag waver."

Green said that he'd like to see the legislature build on the highly successful Navigator program. He said that the program did a lot of training with the Oregon Employment Department and various nonprofits before they were sunsetted. He believes that the resident knowledge is still there, and that it could be a key part of Oregon's jobs programs as the state continues to recover from the recession. In fact, work force issues would be one of his main priorities as a legislator, "I've seen what a small amount of money can do to make an impact," he said.

In addition, Green says job creation is a key priority as well. He said that he'd like to see the legislature do everything they can to encourage small business, including a possible revisiting of enterprise zones, which he says don't seem geared to small businesses or entrepreneurs.

A state bank is another priority for Green. "Local businesses must have access to capital--to guaranteed funds. Corporate banks like Chase and Bank of America aren't doing the job for people," he said. He'd also like to find ways to enhance Oregon's food production and find ways to help farmers diversify and be sustainable while remaining profitable.

Green is also a fan of infrastructure improvements, especially rail. He said that the northwest corrdior has done a good job, especially the Cascades Train for Amtrak. But we need more frequent and more higher speed trains between Eugene and Vancouver, Washington. He also says we must move away from fossil fuel based transportation to infrastructure that he calls "future-based".

"I'm a citizen. I'm not ambitious in terms of trying to BE something else. (Andy) Olson is a middle man for corporate money for the legislature. I'm not looking to make a career of this," Green said. He said that Oregonians on all sides of the aisle like that we're a populist state and that we're rightly mistrustful of a "government class". Green said that he believes if the people in Albany .."will shake loose from their Olson habit", he can do a good job representing them as their legislator.

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    This is a very important race for the cannabis community in that Andy Olson has authored legislation attacking the OMMP every Session for at least the last 6 years. I'd like to know how Mr. Green feels about medical marijuana and what he would do to bring Safe Access legislation next Session if elected.

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    This is the first I have heard of Ron Green, but based on this story I would say he sounds like a pretty awesome candidate, and he would make a fine addition to the OR Legislature. I look forward to hearing more about him. Does he have a campaign website?

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    Great candidate! Wonderful to have him representing the Dem. Party.

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    he'll be lucky to get 40%. he's the latest in a series of really good Dems running for this seat, and not a one of them had the slightest chance in hell. this district is beyond the reach of the Dems, and likely to stay that way for a long time.

    however, the Linn Co Dems take this situation as an opportunity. under the leadership of LCD Chair Loyd Henion, they have a permanent office in downtown Albany & work to unite Dems and their allies across the county. specific elections may be no-hopers, but that hasn't stopped Linn Dems from fighting the good fight.

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      Seems like you're not giving this district it's due, T.a.

      Obama got 48% in 2008 in HD 15 and Ron Wyden got 51% in 2010 even in the face of the Teap Party tide. Democratic Congressional candidates have won the district as well.

      It's very doable. But this wet blanket you're trying to throw on it is completely unhelpful.

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        Carla, i helped several candidates run in this district. i know it pretty well from my time in Corvallis, better than you do. it's Andy Olson's district. we've run a succession of people not much different than Green, great people, some even more representative than Olson. doesn't matter. it's an R district & it's staying an R district. i've worked hard for the district before; i'm not throwing a wet blanket. i'm simply being realistic.

        and Obama is getting nowhere near 48% this time.

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      Nothing like despair to motivate the voter. I don't buy this. Even in a reddish district in Albany voters can be persuaded by someone they see as a citizen legislator who is independent enough to represent their interests. I congratulate Ron Green for being willing to make his case to his fellow citizens and having the hope he will be heard.

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        what do you think has been going on the past several elections? this is exactly how candidates have run, including those i worked with. 15 is a red district just like 16 is blue.

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    wow! I'm really impressed with Ron Green's diverse background & experience. He sounds "down to earth" and I would think he'd appeal to a broad spectrum of voters. Let's get the word out!

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    I was at the convention in Albany yesterday, and got to visit with Ron for a little while. He's a good guy and will represent District 15 very well.

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