|The link will take you to a YouTube video of the entire proceedings of the last day of the 2018 Democratic Party of Oregon Platform Convention on March 18, 2018 in Salem. It was one of the highest turnouts ever for one of our platform conventions with over 500 participants from all around Oregon. Five of our Josephine County Democrats participated in the convention and helped to create the platform: Lynda Spangler, Dusty Rhodes, Anita Savio, Bob Lange, and Brian Clark.
The eleven articles of the 2018 platform were amended, voted on and accepted. Additional legislative action items were also voted on in this session. This is what democracy looks like!
Wow! This past weekend, March 16-18, after 14 months of the worst of what it means to be an American, I had the chance to experience the best. The occasion was the 2018 Oregon Democratic Party Platform Convention, which I attended as a delegate along with county chair Brian Clark and three other Dems from our county: Lynda Spangler Dusty Rhodes and Bob Lange. The purpose of the convention was to come to agreement on the platform planks and a list of legislative action items. (The planks are the “what;” the legislative action items are the “how.”) The proceedings were pure democracy in action.
The first thing that impressed me was how the proceedings followed strict rules of order: We had motions, proposed amendments to motions, proposed amendments to an amendment, pro and con discussion on each motion or amendment, motions to call the question and votes on those motions, voice votes, standing votes when the voice vote was close, and votes tabulated by county when the standing vote was close. We even voted on motions to suspend the rules on motions.
Whew! The strict rules-governed procedures were a little overwhelming at first, but after a while I could see how they ensured a democratic decision process.
Among the most rewarding parts of the experience for me, personally, were the several times I had the opportunity — and found the courage! — to stand up at the microphone and present my own point of view. I was particularly proud when one of my personal amendments was adopted by the Criminal Justice work group.
But if I have to choose the very best part, it was this: After I stood up to argue against the wording of a particular motion, the convention chair encouraged several of us, representing the pro and con sides, to huddle together to see if we could arrive at consensus. We huddled, we listened, we respected … and found that consensus. Our solution was subsequently validated by the resounding “aye” votes of the convention delegates.
Did I agree with every decision made at the convention? No. There were some majority decisions where I was in the minority. But that’s not the point. The point is the wonderful and empowering democratic (with a small “d”) process that made me so proud and happy to be an American!
–Anita Savio, Delegate
WHAT: Informational meeting regarding GPSD Bond Measure 17.84
WHEN: Tuesday, March 20th at 6:00 PM
WHERE: Grants Pass High School Library (second floor of the Main Building)
The District will be presenting factual information about Measure 17.84 that will be on the May Ballot. This is a proposed $138.7 million General Obligation Bond Measure to construct and renovate school facilities.
Improve districtwide student/staff safety and security:
● Update doors, door locking mechanisms;
● Improve emergency alert systems;
● Update Camera Systems.
Relieve overcrowding and provide capacity to meet projected enrollment needs:
● Replace North Middle at current location;
● Build new South Middle adjacent to Redwood Elementary;
● Renovate existing South Middle to be used as an Alternative Education Site, Youth Transition Program site and house other District programs.
Protect Community Investment in existing facilities:
● Replace old boilers with new HVAC units to provide adequate heating/cooling and sufficient air flow and air exchange;
● Replace failing electrical panels; expand electrical service at Allen Dale, Highland, and Riverside elementary schools;
● Replace windows at Allen Dale, Highland, and Riverside to provide greater energy efficiency;
● Replace flooring containing asbestos at Allen Dale, Highland, and Riverside;
● Replace failing roofs at Lincoln and Redwood elementary schools.
Create 21st Century Learning Environments
● Upgrade technology infrastructure at all schools;
● Purchase new and replacement technology devices for students and staff;
● Create flexible learning spaces to support current and future teaching and learning strategies and better prepare students for careers after high school or college.
The proposed bond would mature within 30 years or less from its date of issuance and is estimated to cost $1.95 per $1,000 of assessed property value per year. The actual rate may differ based upon growth in assessed values and interest rates incurred.
Three of us recently visited the Wild Rogue Emporium on 6th and G Street after a Women in Black vigil we hold on the next block. We went there for the sole purpose of checking out a story we had heard, that the owner, Jan Bertaggia, had been threatened by local powerful conservative women for selling pussy hats for the Women’s March. They told her she would lose a lot of business when they spread the word to everyone they know to avoid shopping at her store.
Jan tried to explain that the Women’s March wasn’t about party affiliation, but was primarily concerned with supporting and empowering women. Undeterred, the women proceeded to intrude into her business Facebook page with further threats and ugly remarks. After the initial shock and grief over the threats, Jan, a strong, charismatic business person, decided in the end that she would not be bullied. She will have more pussy hats when next year’s Women’s March rolls around.
In the case of the Wild Rogue Emporium, the owner and employees were friendly and helpful, and there were items for sale that were unique, reasonably priced, and quite beautiful. The owner is remodeling and adding stock, trying to make a newly purchased business work without outside interference. All three of us ladies walked out with packages in hand and smiles on our faces from meeting strong, interesting women who personify what the Women’s March is all about.
Rep. Greg Walden has been a staunch supporter of the National Rifle Association. It isn’t easy to find how much money he has taken from the NRA. Here are links to some information about Walden and his relationship to the NRA.
This is to invite any of you who have not yet seen the movie, “Big Pharma: Market Failure” to come to a free showing this coming Monday evening, Feb 26, at 6:30 pm. Its about outrageously priced drugs in the U.S. and what we can do about it. Hint: it involves collectively organizing, but it is very promising because it is produced by a prominent business leader who is helping to get other business leaders behind the movement.
Despite resistance at the national level with the current administration, some very promising developments have been occurring here in Oregon as well as in neighboring states. And, here in the Rogue Valley our local chapters of Health Care for ALL-Oregon are continuing to work to build a movement for a more progressive health care system in the future. That includes our local Jo County chapter too, and we’ll talk a bit about that.
Currently, there are two bills under consideration in the state legislature. One, called the “Hope Amendment” will probably be approved for a statewide initiative for a state constitutional amendment vote by the public this Fall. It would commit the state to recognize basic health care as a right for every citizen of Oregon and obligate the state to determine how to meet that commitment.
Another bill, HB 4005, would demand greater transparency from pharmaceutical companies to justify their prices and the hikes they make in prices every year.
I hope you’ll be able to make it to the meeting. I believe you’ll find the movie interesting and informative. And, I would also like to share news about how we can help support moving toward better, more effective, less expensive health care — for everyone!
Why be elected rather than appointed? For one thing, you can then vote for the officers of our local Democratic Party!
It is easy to get your name on the ballot. Starting February 1st, you can file with our county’s clerk using this form . Last date to file is March 6th. Of course, you could also be elected via a minimum of 3 write-in votes (you and two neighbors/relatives in your precinct)… but isn’t this easier? And more “sure”?
Fill it out today and bring to the clerk’s office in the Court House: 500 NW Sixth Street, RM 170
Congressman Greg Walden paid $7,000 in taxpayer funds in a secret settlement with a staff member to resolve the man’s complaints that Walden unfairly cut his hours due to his combat-related health problems. Cody Standiford, the staffer with whom Walden settled in 2013, came to work for the congressman in his Bend office in 2010 after being discharged from the Army.
Read more in the Oregonian article.
The Trump Administration has shortened the time period of health insurance 2018 enrollment from NOW until 12/15, plus they have drastically reduced the resources to advertise open enrollment. If you have your health insurance via the Marketplace Exchange–check out next year’s plans to save money. If you do not have health insurance–check out the plans available and potential subsidies. If you are none of the above, but know people who are — TELL THEM!
Lots more information, including historical impacts of the ACA in Josephine County are here.
October 5, 2017 proponents of the veto referendum submitted enough valid signatures, over 59,789, to have this measure on the Ballot.
Ballot Summary: This measure asks voters to approve or reject five parts of HB 2391 enacted by the 2017 Oregon Legislature to address certain health care funding issues. The funding is for low-income adults, children, families and individuals with disabilities.
It will stabilize premiums charged by insurance companies for health insurance purchased by individuals and families. HB 2391 provides the funding through a 1.5 percent assessment on premiums of health insurance companies, Public Employee’s Benefit Board and managed care organizations for a two year period, and an additional 0.7 percent assessment on the net revenue of some hospitals over approximately 2 years.
This measure asks voters to approve or reject the majority of these assessments.
A YES vote provides funds that are currently budgeted to pay for health care for low income individual. It specifies that insurance companies may not increase rates on health insurance premiums by more than 1.5 percent as a result of the assessment.
A NO vote underfunds budgeted costs for providing health care to low-income individuals and families and individuals with disabilities and for stabilizing premiums charged by insurance companies, Public Employees Benefit Board and managed care organizations.
The proponents of the veto referendum ignore the resulting serious impacts if funding is withdrawn. Potentially a No vote will remove 375,000 adults from the Oregon Health Plan, reduce benefits for one million Oregonians, reduce health care jobs and reimbursements to providers and make private insurance more expensive.
The health care insurance companies, managed care organizations, and hospitals are in favor of this assessment.