Southern Oregon Progressives: A Report

Sept 4:  Southern Oregon Labor Day Picnic at Immigrant Lake. Hosted by Jason Houk and Evan Lasley. Very smokey 🙁   but there was lots of food, fun and friends

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Sept 5: Unete Flash Rally at Vogel Plaza in support of Dreamers and to defend DACA.  Bret Levick filmed the event. You can see it on FB at ORD2 Discussion Group.

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Sept 5: Pam Marsh Town Hall in Talent. She also held town halls in Phoenix, Jacksonville and Medford.   Pam spoke about the success of the healthcare plan recently passed. Hospitals will pay a 7% provider tax that will be matched by the feds. Insurance companies will pay a 1.5% tax that will be used for uninsured. Both entities agreed to this because paying upfront saves them money in the long run. With these mechanisms in place our healthcare shortfall is resolved. But, alas, this is all too straight forward for one legislature who now is gathering signatures to put it to a vote. Even though the tax is specific, accepted and covered by those involved Oregon voters have a knee jerk reaction to taxes of any sort and a vote will probably take us back to a 600 million shortfall. Referendum 301 is not a solution, it is a problem.

Other successes are Cover all Kids and Justice reform which now includes justice reinvestment. Pam thought we fell short on revenue reform and the loss of Measure 97, which failed by one vote. She also addressed questions about mental illness, Measure 11, vector control Siskiyou National Monument  and Integrated Pest Management. (glyphosate and neonicotinoids are bad) The meeting was full of information, moved swiftly and was enjoyable.

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Sept 6: Oregon Wild Wednesday at Standing Stone

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Sept 6:   A Support Our Seniors, SOS rally was held on the Plaza. The new director of Parks and Recreation wants to decrease senior activities and services. Rebecca Cross is sure that the senior center was never meant to be a profit center for Parks and Recreation. At present the leadership at the senior center is totally dedicated and proficient at assisting seniors applying for housing, food and other services. They make sure seniors get the help they need. Kudos to the staff at the Senior Center.

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Sept 7:  Clean energy Jobs Bill Meeting hosted by Rogue Climate, SOCAN, Climate Policy Oregon and Renew Oregon. Pam Marsh, State Representative and Sonny Mehta of Renew Oregon were the speakers. The Clean Energy Jobs Bill is at the top of the roster for 2018. Even though it is a short session and there is resistance to take on big policy during that limited time Tina Kotek, House Speaker has stated that her Number One priority in 2018 is . This issue is too big to table for two years.

The brilliance in SB 1070 is not only does it cap green house gases but the money gets reinvested back into the state. Four sub-groups are dealt with; 1. Forest/agriculture/rural/triba l  2. Business and Transportation 3. Regulated entities  4. Environmental Justice. The last group is interesting because it uses their money to ameliorate the harm caused by the bill for individuals to get retraining and to help offset the expenses for small companies.

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Sept 7: Bernie Sanders was on Stephen Colbert and it was amazing. Bernie was on target, progressive and on task- like always. If you haven’t seen it you simply must. Thank you Bernie, an inspiration. He renews my hope that we have a chance for a better world. eForBernie/videos/682356135288 289/

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Sept 8: Carbon Sequestering in the Garden, an informative talk given by Gerlinde Smith addressing Climate Collapse and what we can do about at home. Well managed soil stores carbon efficiently. Lawns are not effective while indigenous plants are. Mixed ground cover is best, biodiversity benefits organisms that are underground. Feed the soil and the plants will take care of themselves. Composting feeds microorganisms and in turn they bind the carbon. Undisturbed soil supports a busy underground community. Fungi and bacteria form a boundary around every plant feeding on sugar and killing parasitic nematodes. Microorganisms can push water molecules for hundreds of miles. The effects of fracking are seismic to a healthy bio-diverse subterranean community, and a leak is so much worse.  Gerlinde supports no dig gardening with lots of mulching, and cover crops like Crimson Clover. There was so much more information on soil and sequestering carbon for a healthy garden and planet, this is but an introduction on how we can make a healthier planet starting in our own yards.

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Sept 8: Rock the resistance at the Ashland Armory. Huge turnout, great pictures on FB.

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Sept 9: Candidate Forum in Bend featuring the candidates for Representative Walden’s position. utesDems/videos/14620063105341 99/ 


Sept 11:  A day of Remembrance for all those that lost their lives on this infamous day and for those first responders that died waiting for the help that never came. Jon Stewart championed free medical care for First Responders, even with his star power it still took too long for many. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) proudly proclaimed, “After 15 years, the heroes and survivors of 9/11 will know that their health care is permanent and their compensation is full.”  Proving if we hold our representatives feet to the fire eventually we get more that lip service.


Sept 13:  Senator Bernie Sanders introduces Medicare for All in the Senate and social media goes wild! Thank you Bernie for championing the causes of middle America. Why are insurance companies involved in the fast paced, high turn-over business of healthcare? Insurance companies are a cost without a benefit. For every healthcare dollar spent 30% goes to insurance companies to regulate your care. Is that why American healthcare is the most expensive with the least to show for it? Three out of every four bankruptcies are due to medical emergencies of people who were insured when their illnesses started. Medical insurance fails as care is considered lost income. Well past time to brave a new system. Call Senator Wyden, who is on the fence, and tell him to support Medicare for All.   Local:  541.858.5122  or

Salem: 503.589.4555   or

Washington: 202.224.5244