80 Strong!

Paulie Brading

Eighty Democrats from across the state arrived in Salem on Wednesday 5/18 for the annual Emerging Leaders Day. Hearing room 50 was standing room only listening to warm welcomes from Senate President Peter Courtney and House Democratic Leader Dave Hunt. Hunt explained it had been ten years since he too had sat in the Emerging Leaders audience considering how to make his contribution to our state.

Staffer's Andrea Cooper, John Pugsley, Tom Powers and Evyn Mitchell among others kept the group moving from issue discussions, to Representative Sara Gelser's presentation on how an idea becomes a law to observing Floor sessions. During the day Secretary of State Kate Brown, Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum, House Co-Speaker Arnie Robin, leaders of the Democratic Party of Oregon and the always provocative and entertaining Representative Jefferson Smith explained plainly with generous humor what it takes to serve Oregon. The day ended with a visit from Governor John Kitzhaber, a beverage of your choice and the always useful time to network.

Somewhere in the sea of Hispanic, African American, East Indian, Asian and White faces of all ages in the 80 strong attendees may be the next governor, Senate President, leader of the House Education committee or Secretary of State. Everyone of us were people looking to make an impact on our communities and the future of Oregon.

For me it was a day of reconnecting with hope for Oregon's future.

Thank you Representative Gelser for inviting three strong Medford education advocates to the party. I just may have recruited a Medford school board candidate for a race in a couple of years!

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    Thanks for participating in Emerging Leaders Day, Paulie!

    My legislative colleagues and I were inspired by the remarkable leaders from across Oregon who participated. Oregon's best days are truly ahead of us!

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