The election is now just 17 days away. Ballots have already begun arriving, and the choices you make this fall will determine the future of the state of Oregon, as well as the future of our country.
Oregonians need good living-wage jobs to support our families. Oregon needs to improve basic infrastructure, educate our young people, promote good export oriented businesses. All these help put Oregonians back to work and our economy back on track.
We must restore education funding in order to prepare the students of today to become the workforce of tomorrow. We must bring down tuition at our public universities and community colleges while preserving quality. We must ensure adequate funding for our pre-K-12 programs, and restore vocational education programs that have suffered from dramatic budget cuts in the last two decades. Only then can we can move towards the economy we hope to build for the future of the middle class here in Oregon.
In order to create the vision we share for Oregon’s future, we must elect candidates that best reflect our values this fall, those who want to continue fighting for a stronger economy, better public education, and a tax system that doesn’t favor the wealthy. By voting for them, we can help move Oregon forward. Please, support these fantastic public servants:
-Pres. Barack Obama
– Rep. Peter Defazio
Secretary of State
Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries
State Representative, HD 11
Measure 79 NO. Unnecessary. Freezes current law by putting it in the State Constitution.
Measure 84 NO. Cuts taxes for the top 2 percent and leaves the middle class holding the bag.
Get involved: Republicans have lots of big business money. We need volunteers to help us make phone calls, knock on doors, and talk to voters about their choices. Don’t wait! Join us today! For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Vote: Don’t forget! Your ballot will be arriving any day. Please make sure to fill it out and sign the envelope, and either drop it off at your nearest drop-box location, turn it in to your county elections office, or mail it. The stakes have never been higher than they have for this election, and it is vital that all citizens make their voices heard and have their votes counted.
Together, we can make a difference.
Our children, our future, return to school this week. The rhythms of autumn begin even though it is still summer. Our public schools are what made America strong, and their future is the future of our country and ourselves. Much of that future depends on our willingness to provide a great education to all of our kids.
At the end of August the State Economist told the Revenue Committees that his estimate of our revenues is up about $80 million for this biennium. It looks like we may have finally turned the corner on state revenues. This is the first projection of an increase in state revenues since the Great Recession began in the summer of 2008. Our people will continue to struggle in a very slowly growing economy for some time. If we can mobilize our innate talent, energy and innovative spirit, the longer term future will be bright.
SUMMER OUTREACH HIGHLIGHTS
This was a busy summer! Over the last few months I hosted eight coffee and town hall meetings and spoke with hundreds of citizens across the district. Providing opportunities for citizens to voice concerns, give feedback and get information about their government is a key duty of a State Legislator. But I recognize that your schedules are busy too, and the summer is no exception. In case you were interested, but unable to attend, this update includes highlights from this summer’s meetings and links to further information.
PARTNERSHIPS IN EDUCATION
My most recent informational town hall meeting focused on partnerships in education. The speakers panel included many talented and committed individuals who work tirelessly to provide unique learning opportunities to students. Apprenticeships, career shadowing, and other business and online partnerships have kept students in school and enriched their experience. At the meeting, a retired school teacher offered to create a math mentoring program. It is this kind of community support and commitment that we need at every level to ensure the success of upcoming generations.
I also hosted many small informal coffees with citizen driven discussion. Although no topic was specified for these gatherings, the most frequently raised issues were jobs, education, and health care. At the Sodaville coffee I presented the mayor and attending city councilors with a new Oregon flag-theirs had been stolen.
My Get To Know Your Government Town Hall meeting included a speaker from the Department of Consumer and Business Services, who specializes in identity theft protection. She provided us with several useful websites that warranted sharing: Tools for Consumers and Businesses, Creating Strong Passwords, and the Identity Theft Resource Center.
Many of my best legislative concepts come from constituent concerns, so your participation at these events or contact through email does make a difference. Let me know what you think by sending an email to email@example.com
PS – Phil Barnhart for State Representative lawn signs have begun sprouting up in yards all over District 11. If you would like to show your support and have one put up in your yard (along with instructions for proper care and feeding), email us your name, address and telephone number at firstname.lastname@example.org
After several difficult years, Oregon is finally starting to see signs of recovery. We have come a long way, but we still face major challenges while moving our state forward, restoring economic stability, and protecting our community’s most vulnerable members. If we continue to work together in order to find creative solutions to the problems we currently face, we can help build a better future for all Oregonians.
Our legislature has been hard at work getting Oregon back on track. As your Representative, I have been working to ensure that we restore the services and institutions that reflect the values of America. Historically, we have been a nation that prides itself on its strong public education system, its innovative and industrious workforce, and its ability to create a brighter future for the next generation. Even in the face of the greatest budget shortfall in our state’s history, it is critically important that we preserve these institutions and prevent them from further budget cuts. We must invest all that we can in our future to make sure that the next generation of Oregonians has access to a quality public education, opportunities for affordable higher education, and the necessary skills to find living-wage jobs.
The road ahead is long, but together we can guide Oregon and America through these tumultuous times. By investing in our future, and in the futures of our children, we can help make our communities and our economy stronger and more vibrant.
Most importantly, I want to make sure that your views are heard. If you have any issues you would like to hear addressed, send an email to email@example.com
Together we can make a difference.
Here in 2010, a lot has happened since I last ran for re-election: The Bush recession has devastated our economy doubling Oregon’s unemployment rate and leaving many friends and neighbors out of work.
Jobs: A major task for the regular legislative session in 2009 and the February legislative session this year was to work on job creation and infrastructure development. Oregon responded quickly in 2009 through construction on state sites and community college campuses that had important projects ready to build. We were able to hire Oregonians who were idled by the recession. We also got more than normal for your buck because materials costs declined from their highs in 2007. For example, Lane Community College built new and refurbished modern classrooms just in time for the influx of students who are out of work and need to upgrade their skills. We are also working to BOOST business development through loans and other supports that help put other Oregonians back to work. Economic development and jobs will be a major part of my work in the next Regular Session in 2011.
Oregon’s Budget: We face a grim budget outlook because of the recession that goes on and on. Our tax revenues that pay for schools, health care, and public safety have fallen and will be up only a little in the next biennium. I will work to increase the fairness of Oregon’s tax system without increasing taxes on the poor or middle class. We begin a major review of Oregon’s tax credits that tend to benefit those in the know and not Oregon workers. I will also push to review and revise our other tax loopholes to bring more revenue to pay for education, health care and public safety without affecting most Oregonians. The passage of the tax measures by the people in January makes the task a bit easier and brings in dollars our children, and the sick, need us to have to support Oregon’s most basic budgets. Most of the new corporate tax increases are paid by out of state corporations who usually take their profits to pay high executive pay in other states or dividends to stockholders in New York and London. I will also work hard to establish a Rainy Day Fund to protect Oregonians in the next recession.
Government Restructure: Campaign finance reform is dull but vitally important. Should our elected officials represent you or the special interests that pay for campaigns? I am working on getting the big dollars out of Oregon politics so that your interests are paramount and not those who can pay the most. Even now most of the time the interests of the people come first, Oregon is very clean compared to other places, but we can lead the way to a more responsive government meeting the needs of Oregonians rather than those of large out-of-state businesses.
In future posts I will talk about other issues and how they affect your well being. Let me know what you think. Comment here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we can make a difference.
(Originally posted in 2008)
The Republicans were in charge in the House of Representatives in Oregon for 16 years until we achieved a bare majority in 2007. They are responsible for the current state of Health Care, Our Schools, increasing crime rate, and the Unfairness of our Tax System. Health care can be made affordable again. We can have excellent schools again. Oregon families pay their taxes, but fat cats do not. Remember Enron’s $10.00 tax after it had fleeced Oregonians of Millions! If we stop spending our tax dollars on corporate loopholes adopted during the 16 years of Republican control we can make our tax system fairer and have more funds to pay for essential services without raising taxes.
Those who start or develop businesses will establish themselves here if we make health insurance affordable, schools excellent and property safe from crime. These are as fundamental to the development of good jobs as a sensible and streamlined regulatory system, land upon which to build and the availability of natural resources. In their 16 years of misrule, the Republican-controlled House has failed in all of these areas.
Together we can make Oregon a state we can leave to our children knowing we have done our best for their future. Email, call, or write if you have comments or questions and get involved today!