Come join the discussion when several elected Democrats answer your questions about jobs and opportunity in the county and the state. State Reps. Ann Lininger and Tobias Read and Clackamas County Commissioners Jim Bernard and Martha Schrader are hosting a town hall in Lake Oswego on April 30th. Here are the details:
When: Saturday, April 30, 11 am to 12:30 pm Where: Offices of Jordan Ramis P.C.
2 Centerpointe Drive, No. 600
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
Many people are gearing up for the regular Oregon legislative session next week. Hundreds of lobbyists are meeting with their clients to put schemes and dreams into law or to protect their positions. Bureaucrats are mulling whether to ignore or cater to the biennial barrage from legislators, the only chance elected officials get to shake a fist at them. Salem is gearing up.
But what about the regular folks? Those in the dwindling middle class in Milwaukie or Sandy, Molalla or Oregon City? What about the one-in-five Oregon children living in poverty? Or the motorist forced to endure the constantly deteriorating roads and highways, the bridges of our county and state? The list goes on and on. Who will represent these people in the fighting and clawing, biting and scratching for new laws? Continue reading →
Oregon is pretty well recovered from the recent recession, but Clackamas County and rural counties are lagging. Indeed, while neighboring Multnomah and Washington counties have recovered all of the jobs they lost, Clackamas is still 10,000 in the red. Part of the problem lies in government lay-offs, including several at the county under the reign of John Ludlow and his tea partiers, who believe fewer government jobs means less government taxes — and ain’t that simple!
Protecting Clackamas County and the rest of Oregon from Big Oil’s ongoing pollution and single-handed approach to new fuel standards has prompted Governor Kitzhaber to take a strong, pro-environmental stand last week. He asked the Legislature to join him in creating new fuel standards, which would also create jobs by addressing the “fossil fuel monopoly that is freezing out Oregon companies, Oregon agriculture and Oregon jobs.” Kitz has some good allies, too, in this fight. While some may see it as something of a David versus Goliath-type fray, clean fuel is the goal, and if the feds won’t do it then, as often happens, we have to do it ourselves.
Jobs? Way of life? Finding the right blend isn’t easy.
While the three-county Portland Metro area is leading Oregon’s micro economic recovery, recent reports indicate Multnomah County is the driver and Clackamas County is lagging considerably. Unemployment in our county is running at about 7 percent — that’s people actually receiving benefits and not counting, by economists’ rule, those who’ve fallen off the unemployment benefits rolls. Not enough jobs to go around.
Where would “new” jobs be located? After looking for a trained labor pool, reasonable taxes, a decent “way of life,” solid infrastructure, and easy access to interstate highways, captains of industry invariably turn to flat lands near freeways. The slight outlier in our region is Hillsboro. It hosts the state’s largest employer, Intel, and has everything but fast freeway access with a 25-minute run to I-5 on a good traffic day.
Wilsonville, on the other hand, has it all. In fact, it has more jobs than residents. This Clackamas County industrial base helps keep personal property taxes down for residents working there. Live close by. No commute. Pretty good deal all around. But other possible “new” county job locations are hard to find. Where to go? Continue reading →
How refreshing it can be to hear voices you don’t hear very often. In this case, it was the Dalai Lama, David Suzuki, John Kitzhaber and Andrea Durbin at Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum last week. How far away they seemed with their strongly held views on the environment, the job situation, education and mutual responsibility for one another. John Ludlow and Tootie Smith wouldn’t have enjoyed it at all.
“Universal Responsibility and the Global Environment” was the theme of the free-wheeling, unscripted exchange and discussion emceed by Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Dave Miller. It covered the merging of spiritual values in turning ideas into action with positive impacts on the environment.
The 14th Dalai Lama emphasized education and the ability to adjust. How is it possible, he was asked, for him to change his position on a topic, even when it is a full contradiction to a personal view he once held? “New information,” he responded, “makes you look at it differently.” Education was a common theme for him. “And not just facts and knowledge, but examination and understanding.” By knowing more, you are in a better position to rethink, reanalyze, and thus change your position without conflict or dissension.