Environmental Justice in Oregon
“Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” -Ancient Greek Proverb
We’ve all seen or heard about the scientific reports. Climate change is a very real and looming threat, and leading researchers have repeatedly told the public that if we don’t act now, its effects on our ecosystems will be essentially irreversible. This crisis, which will have enormous repercussions on everything from wildlife to immigration, can be avoided – unless our elected officials abdicate their responsibility to the public, as well as our future generations.
Oregon is often heralded as a state leading the charge against the threat of climate change, with bans on plastic bags and straws making headlines in local media. But bans like these seem to imply that consumers are the only members of society with the responsibility to save the world from ecological disaster, and do not address the even larger role that big corporations play in the plundering of our state’s natural resources. A few years back, Nestlé lobbied our state’s government very hard to allow the company exclusive access to water in Cascade Locks, so that they could bottle that water and sell it back to us! Public outcry prevented this deal from coming to fruition, but it is just one example of how corporate interests aim to profit off of the destruction of Oregon’s beautiful natural environment.
As your representative, I will insist that our state officials stop dancing around the problem with half-measures, and fight like hell for meaningful legislation to save our planet for the sake of future generations.
Farming & Agriculture
Agriculture is a cornestone of human civilization – something that separates us from practically every other organism on our planet. When done right, farming can serve as an alternative type of link in the long chain of ecology; but when done wrong, it can weaken or even break that ecological cycle. For this reason, it is imperative that we encourage agricultural practices that are ecologically sustainable, beneficial to the regional economy, and socially- and economically equitable.
Our state of Oregon has long been a mecca for organic, family-owned farms and vinyards. But in the last few decades, the farming sector has been dominated by big agricultural corporations whose primary motive is profit, rather than serving the local community, and who sacrifice quality for sheer quantity. Our state government has been complicit in this trend by subsidizing these large corporations at the cost of our local farms. As your representative in Salem, I will do everything that I can to reverse this trend, and ensure that Oregon’s family farms remain economically relevant and financially stable year-round.