House District 38, comprising Lake Oswego and a bit of SW Portland, saw some 60 people turn out for their March meeting at the Foothills Community Center of Lake Oswego, including a wealth of victorious candidates in the recent election.
Proud of its work in November, HD 38 welcomed County Commission Chair Jim Bernard, Commissioner Ken Humberston, and newly appointed Commissioner Sonya Fischer. Victories by Bernard and Humberston created the votes to appoint Commissioner Fischer to fill Bernard’s unexpired term. Each of them spoke gratefully and emphasized the new-found camaraderie and sense of moving forward now prevailing in the county.
State Rep. Ann Lininger was also on hand to discuss key legislative issues which include transportation, gun sales background checks, family planning, education, housing and, of course, the elephant in the room, the state budget. The governor’s preliminary budget shows a shortfall of $1.8 billion. Legislators are mulling new revenue sources.
Newly elected Lake Oswego City Councilor Theresa Kohlhoff also discussed city plans, which include a new city hall as the existing 30-year-old edifice is in serious need of expensive repair. The council decided to replace it and avoid the ongoing problems.
Lake Oswego School Board candidate Sara Pocklington was also on hand. Another, Rob Wagner, doesn’t have an opponent and was drawn away from the meeting by his little son’s birthday party. Pocklington merits our support.
As the school board races are the only ones with local candidate interest, HD 38 will not have an active Neighborhood Leader Program for this election while encouraging all their volunteers to work for individual candidates. As much of Portland Community College is also in the district, support for its upcoming bond issue was also discussed.
Co-District Leaders Kathy Gordon and Gary Thompson indicated there are many opportunities for involvement and action on both the national and state fronts. These include:
Climate Change—Attending Climate Odyssey trainings and workshops, joining the People’s Climate March April 29, and learning about the Oregon Just Transition Alliance at their website and the Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project reading list.
Challenging Trump—Urging support for HR 111 in the House Judiciary Committee which would compel Attorney General Jeff Sessions to release documents revealing Trump’s conflicts of interest, including ties to foreign governments. Unfortunately, the House Judiciary Committee’s GOP leadership killed the resolution late last month. It was also suggested that a call to Rep. Kurt Schrader’s office to ask him to help in this fight would be appropriate.
National Popular Vote Compact—Following the lead of Clackamas Democrats in endorsing legislation creating the National Voter Compact, Democrats were urged to support SB 823 in the Oregon Legislature. It calls for the presidential election to be decided by popular vote. Both Al Gore and Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost in the rural-dominated Electoral College. (Note: The State Democratic Central Committee also endorsed the NPV concept at its most recent meeting.)
Also Worth Noting—Petitions are being circulated by Oregon Republicans for a ballot measure which would require Oregon voters to prove citizenship before voting. Nasty Women Get Things Done has a very active Portland chapter. And the American Civil Liberties Union is forming a new grassroots organization called People Power.
The next meeting time and place will be announced at a later date.