You’ll remember all the drama during the last session of the Oregon Legislature when Senate Republicans fled Oregon to avoid voting on legislation that would limit greenhouse gas emissions state-wide. In the House, 9 out of 12 Clackamas County representatives voted for House Bill 2020 – those 9 being our Democratic Reps. A Clackamas County Republican representative from Canby led the walkout and then was elected Minority Leader, though she is only in her first term. Gov. Kate Brown and other state Democrats have pledged their support for cap-and-trade legislation to be introduced during the 2020 session. But will Republicans show up for work?
Read this Oregon Capital
Insider report on the Dem’s strategy to get this important legislation
passed: “Democrats rev up plan for new carbon-reduction bill”
Present: Mike Kohlhoff (chair), Ron Carl, Cornelia Gibson, Peter
Norbye, Michael DeWitt, Jason Pierson, Connie Lee, and Mary Post (secretary).
Mike presented two draft resolutions: one addressing Criminal
Justice and the other, a proposed State Bank. Jason will make changes to
the first, and both will be forwarded to the Platform and Resolution Committee
A tentative resolution, “Clackamas County Changing Energy
Sources,” was discussed and will be further considered at our next
From the Racial
We continued our discussion of the health threats posed by racism. Connie outlined several paths to explore. Peter requested that we address racism in our own Democratic Party.
By Mark Gamba, Mayor City of Milwaukie
The last time carbon in our atmosphere routinely exceeded 400 ppm was three million years ago. At that time temperatures were 3.6 to 5.4 degrees warmer, and the ocean levels were 15 to 25 meters higher. Imagine if, instead of being above 80 degrees the last week in July, we were well above 90 degrees, and in August if we exceeded 100 degrees for weeks on end. With summers that hot in the Northwest, the probability of wildfires and forest fires increases. Energy usage would skyrocket as more air conditioners were installed, and our air pollution would rival or exceed Los Angeles.
These are not predictions; they are all already happening. Climate change isn’t something happening in some distant future; it is already here.
Can we keep hope alive? Is it reasonable to hope for a better, more just economy in which the 1% control a lot less than 50 percent of the wealth and income of our county? Is it reasonable to hope for policies that mitigate rather than contribute to climate change? Can we hope that future generations will participate in civic life and revitalize a democracy now on life support? What must we do today to keep hope alive?
The percentage of annual income collected by the top one percent in Oregon is greater today than it was in 1929. This is also true for Clackamas County. The average annual income for the top one percent in Clackamas County is $1,338,000. The rest of us, the 99%, have an average annual income of $61,062. Continue reading
By Peter Nordbye, Chair Democratic Party of Clackamas County
The existential crisis of our time, nuclear war, has a new partner: climate change. We have lived under the threat of nuclear extermination since 1945. We have gone from “duck and cover” to bomb shelters to a belief that our institutions have in place safeguards so that no one crazy enough to invoke mutually assured destruction ever could. We have stopped above-ground testing and, with few exceptions, nuclear proliferation. We have even reduced the number of nuclear warheads. We have stared into the abyss of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and said “never again.” Continue reading
Democratic Party of Oregon’s annual Platform Convention in March brought more than 500 active Democrats to Salem. The largest delegation was from Clackamas County, our state’s third largest county.
What happens under the “big tent” when you are in a minority and majority rules governs the outcome?
What happens when there are no structures for the minority to have their voice seriously considered, whether that minority is on the left or the right?
Jobs versus the environment has been a major conflict within our Democratic Party since before the Spotted Owl. This conflict has traditionally divided union workers from urban environmentalists. It has divided rural communities from urban financial centers. Those divides were well represented at the Platform Convention. Continue reading