In April, I had the pleasure of meeting with Wallowa County Democrats, a dedicated and growing group of Oregonians working towards positive change in November’s elections by building grassroots programs and raising both money and awareness throughout rural Oregon.
Despite being outnumbered, Wallowa Democrats are engaged because they believe in Oregon values, where we work together to care for our families and communities.
They want government to support economic and educational opportunities for everyone. Sometimes they take issue with urban Democrats, but we share the common belief that people, not corporations, are our most important asset.
These rural Democrats have worked to get access to and answers from Congressman Greg Walden, but he for too long has ignored the needs of his constituents. He now sides with corporate interests and the Trump White House –– supporting irresponsible tax cuts that now threaten funding for programs like Social Security, pushing trade policies that risk the economic future of our agricultural communities and leading the effort to “repeal and replace” the very law that has helped to build our rural care system. His policies are hurting us all.
Eastern Oregon Democrats have now found a superb candidate to take him on in Jamie McLeod-Skinner. For the past year, Jamie has traveled tirelessly throughout the district building a volunteer and supporter network that shows what can be done without expensive media buys.
She wears her family’s Eastern Oregon roots proudly and speaks to those values on the campaign trail. It’s a measure of the respect she has earned that the other primary candidates are now rallied behind her campaign.
Your local Democrats are teaching the wider Democratic Party in Oregon lessons in how to stand up for Oregon values and be true to the values of rural communities.
I am proud of county parties like in Wallowa and candidates like Jamie. Expect to see more of us in this pivotal election year.
Cedar Hills, Ore.
Atkins is chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon.