The voices of the hard-working people of Congressional District 2 are currently not being heard in Congress; I will change that. Providing a strong voice in Washington begins with actually listening to, and talking with, your constituents which is why I am going to answer my own phone at least five hours every week; because how can you represent someone who you neither talk nor listen to?
I have practical solutions to work with residents of the rural areas in District 2 to ensure that their needs are met. For instance, my position on infrastructure includes bringing rural communities high-speed internet to improve access to employment, education, telemedicine and economic development.
We must also develop long-term sustainable plans for agriculture in Oregon. This means addressing, head-on, both climate change and water issues. It also means working closely with small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers rather than focusing on large agribusiness corporations because small and mid-sized farms and ranches are more fully invested in our communities. Sustainable practices such as planting drought-resistant crops and renewable energy will both be part of the way forward for achieving economically viable and thriving rural communities. Farmers and ranchers are at the center of rural communities so they need to do well economically if rural communities are going to grow and prosper.
It is imperative that we maintain our public lands and keep them a part of our American legacy. Public lands are an economic resource and a huge part of our heritage and support the diverse vitality of Oregon. But because federal lands are not taxed by local communities, a fair and permanent funding formula for PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) must be passed by Congress so rural Oregon counties finally have a federal funding source that they can rely upon and confidently work into their budgets.
I am a big supporter of collaborative management of public lands because it gives local residents a seat at the table and ensures that their voices are heard. Local residents are the biggest users of public lands so they must continue to play a major role in public land use and management decisions. In Congress, I would support and strengthen those efforts in CD2.
Rural communities deserve representation that takes into consideration their traditions while providing the latest in technology and solid infrastructure to provide good jobs and good health for themselves and their families. For far too long corporate special interests have had the loudest voice in Washington. Since my campaign is solely funded by individuals, and not corporate special interests, and as a veteran, lifelong hunter and professional negotiator, I will be able to finally give rural Oregon the voice in Washington that it deserves.
Thank you to Linda Hanson, who provided the photos used for this page.