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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Meet the Sean Cruz for Senate District 23 Campaign Manager: David Linn

Portland, Oregon: Montavilla-born David Linn brings a background in community organizing, strong technology skills, and degrees in Political Science and History to the Sean Cruz for Senate District 23 campaign, not to mention youth and an adventurous spirit!

David Linn was born in Montavilla neighborhood in 1982. He attended Buckman and Vestal Elementary, Binnsmead Middle, and Madison High Schools.

At Portland State University, he earned double B.A. degrees, majoring in Political Science and History.

After college, David became a very active volunteer in his community. He currently chairs the Montavilla Neighborhood Association, after having served previously as Treasurer, Outreach Chair and Vice-Chair of the organization.

Much of his work included using technology to improve communication and participation in the community. He has worked on several previous campaigns, including an effort to bring to Montavilla the first all-volunteer library in Multnomah County.

An avid student of history and a political theorist, he has written papers on many subjects including; the history of the Montavilla neighborhood, and the government of Multnomah County, Oregon property tax measures and their effect on the tax burden, and on the city’s experience with prostitution-free zones.

David is an admitted idealist, dedicated to making our community the greatest in all the world.

Photo: David Linn and Kristen Buus

Monday, January 28, 2008

Environmental Justice, minorities, and the Oregon League of Conservation Voters

Portland, Oregon--The Oregonian published an article titled "In Oregon and U.S., green groups are mostly white" yesterday (Sunday), by Scott Learn.

The story begins: "In the mainstream green movement, being any color but white can be a little lonely," and goes on to detail the utter lack of diversity among both paid staff and board members in the Oregon environmental community.

The Oregonian notes that nonwhites active in the environmental movement tend to engage with environmental justice organizations, around issues like asthma and pollution, but that they are as concerned about mainstream environmental issues as are whites.

The fact is that nonwhites are far more likely to live in poorer neighborhoods, where lead paint, freeway exhaust, improperly-cleaned-up meth labs, and the impact of industrial operations are daily facts of life. These are the central concerns of environmental justice.

The Oregonian story notes that career advancement for nonwhites in mainstream environmental organizations is highly problematic (see link below).

The same problem occurs in the OLCV's candidate endorsement process.

My response to the OLCV's candidate questionnaire last November included these remarks on the topic, where I noted that the issue of environmental justice (SB 420) didn't even make the OLCV's 2007 legislative scorecard (I didn't get the endorsement):

2008 Oregon League of Conservation Voters
Endorsement Questionnaire for Legislative Candidates

What experience do you have working on environmental issues that will be relevant to your legislative voting record?

Since 2003, I have provided staff support for Senator Gordly as she raised the issue of environmental justice and sought establishment of a statewide Environmental Justice Task Force (SB 420, passed 2007).

Had I been a voting member of the Senate in 2007, I would have supported OLCV across the broad reach of its concerns and added leadership on environmental justice issues to OLCV’s legislative agenda.

What environmental issues do you plan to emphasize in your campaign?

I will emphasize environmental justice issues, environmental issues related to the war in Iraq, and the connection between Oregon and the environmental health of post-Katrina New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. What matters there should matter here.

I will also probably draw upon my experiences walking solo through the entire Columbia Gorge in 2002, starting from Vancouver and walking through Portland parallel to I-84 all the way to the far side of Pendleton (it took me three weeks), and a childhood spent amid California orchards, farms, redwoods, vineyards and a dying San Francisco Bay fishery.

Honestly, with the nation still locked into two foreign wars when I take office, the already-visible impact of the Bush Administration’s catastrophic domestic and foreign policy failures on Oregon and on Oregonians will have to be addressed and dealt with.

Oregon‘s entire military community is suffering terribly. The stresses and real-world losses of many of its active-duty members, of its veterans and their families is reaching back even to veterans of previous conflicts.

This is where the conscience of the State needs to be.

The announcement that another 3500 Oregonians and their families will continue to shoulder the burdens of war virtually all on their own dominates my thinking as I respond to the OLCV questionnaire, and I want to apologize here for not having the time to respond to the questions as fully as I would like (my campaign just began earlier this week).

I hope to clarify my statements regarding environmental concerns in the course of the interview.

I am writing as the father of two Army National Guard soldiers, first ordered deployed to Iraq four years ago this month:

My chief concern is the fact that we Oregonians are knowingly sending many of these soldiers off to get their lives ruined, and that we are doing so knowing that we are not doing enough to help either the troops or their families that have gone before them.

The 3,500 soldiers we are about to send off to the war realize this fact, and they have little reason to expect that we Oregonians will value their sacrifice enough to cover their backs.

The focus for the month of December will be on what it always is--holiday shopping and holiday travel.

Much of the holiday shopping involves the purchase of goods made or grown in foreign nations. This does nothing to strengthen the nation in either time of war or peace.

Most of the holiday travel involves the purchase of fuel that directly fills the coffers of the nation's enemies. I can tell you that I personally do no holiday traveling.

The nation struggles with the cost of gasoline at the pump, is locked into a war to keep the price under $ 3.00 a gallon. Nothing gets people more upset than seeing a nickle bump in the cost of fueling their private motor vehicle.

Meanwhile, it costs the US taxpayer one hundred dollars a gallon to get diesel into Afghanistan. That's right, $100 a gallon, but who cares?

These Oregon soldiers and their families know that they are going into the meatgrinder, making sacrifices for people who will begrudge every nickle spent on services for veterans and their families on down the line, for people who will make absolutely no personal sacrifice in return.

Who among us will these courageous people look to? Who will be there for them?

These are important questions, and one that we must settle among ourselves here in Oregon.

Ending these wars is completely out of our control. As a consequence of its relatively small population, its distance from the national Capitol and the factor of time zones, Oregon rarely has a meaningful role either in the selection of presidential candidates or in the election of the President of the United States.

We also lack the clout that comes from the presence of large military bases or defense contractors.

The one thing that is entirely in our Oregon hands is how we will address the needs of the troops and their families, how we will address the needs of those that have already served, those who are serving and those who will serve.

This is our mutual responsibility, and we are failing the troops and their families.

We are failing them both individually and collectively.

If elected or re-elected, will you take leadership in the legislature specifically by working to educate and persuade other legislators to vote pro-environment? If yes, are there particular issues you would like to advance? Are there any environmental issues for which you find the environmental position problematic?

The Portland delegation is solidly “pro-environment,” needs little persuasion or education on the topic, apart from environmental justice issues; b) yes, environmental justice issues, and the impact of the war in Iraq on Oregon’s environment (shrinking budgets, for example); c) generally speaking, regarding problematical environmental positions, no.

However, the fact that OLCV missed the entire environmental justice discussion in 2007, that SB 420 is completely absent from the OLCV 2007 Environmental Scorecard, indicates to me that OLCV’s interests fall short of a complete match with the concerns of the residents of Senate District 23.

In the closing weeks of the 2007 session, as we moved SB 420 through the legislative process, culminating more than a decade of work by Senator Gordly, Eugene’s Trainsong neighborhood was in the news, illustrating the fact that environmental justice is a statewide concern.

Senate District 23’s constituents have a great deal of constant exposure to noise, pollution and contaminants emanating from the I-84 and I-205 transportation corridors, from the rail lines and from the Portland airport that many others do not share.

Within 500’ of my front door is a traffic arterial, a rail line and the I-84 freeway, and many Senate District 23 residents have it worse.

Much of the housing in Senate District 23, including my own home, was built prior to the ban on lead paint.

Many of our residents also live with the aftermath of the meth-lab plague, in rental property that has not been properly identified and cleaned up. People are living in those properties unaware of the danger.

Environmental legislation that I am likely to introduce would be related to urban issues such as these.

I would be highly supportive of other legislators’ leadership on the broad scope of issues of interest to the OLCV.

Now that Measure 49 has passed, what do you believe is the single most important step to improve Oregon’s land use system while ensuring fairness for all Oregonians?

I have seen the following phrase attributed to both Tom McCall and Oswald West. It describes the strategic vision that Oregon should adopt and implement in improving the land use system:

“In the administration of this God-given trust, a broad protective policy should be declared and maintained. No local selfish interest should be permitted, through politics or otherwise, to destroy or even impair this great birthright of our People.”

As I noted in my commentary titled “Measure 37 and the Case for Affirmative Action” the issue of “fairness for all Oregonians” is highly subjective. Measure 37 in effect forced the state to adopt a definition of “fairness” that applied to a period when Oregon minorities were systematically excluded from homeownership outside of certain urban neighborhoods.

In my commentary titled “Oregon Measure 49 and the Department of Environmental Quality Pollution Advisory,” I noted that farmers and future farmers do not have the luxury of staying indoors when the air quality is bad, they have to work their land regardless of respiratory issues.

Here’s the link to the full commentaries:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Oregon State Senator Avel Gordly wins Drum Major for Justice Award, publicly announces her strong support for Sean Cruz for Senate

Avel Gordly Wins Drum Major Award
Portland, Oregon:

Breakfast Speaker Says Environmentalism New ‘Lunch Counter’ Fight
By Brian Stimson of the Skanner

“State Senator Avel Gordly was awarded The Skanner Foundation’s Drum Major for Justice Award for her dedicated service to the people of Oregon during her tenure in the Legislature. Receiving the award, Gordly spoke about the urgent need for reforming Oregon’s mental health system. Citing a recent report that found serious deficiencies in care standards at Oregon State Hospital she asked Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski (left) and Senate President Peter Courtney (right) to act to protect patients.

“The Skanner Foundation held its 22nd annual Martin Luther King Breakfast last Monday. Every year, the breakfast looks at an issue related to Dr. King’s struggle for civil rights, equality and justice in America.

"This year the theme of the breakfast was: In Green Pastures: An Environment Where King’s Dream Will Grow.

”By looking at struggles for environmental justice,” The Skanner’s publisher Bernie Foster said, “he hoped to highlight opportunities for African Americans to improve our urban environment for future generations and generate ‘clean, green jobs’ for urban youth.”

”Winner of the annual Drum Major for Justice Award was Oregon State Senator Avel Gordly.

"Senator Gordly is a longtime champion for schools, jobs, housing, and health care for all. She will retire at the end of this legislative session.”

Link to The Skanner for the rest of the story:


Shortly after the Skanner Breakfast, Senator Gordly publicly announced her strong support for Sean Cruz to succeed her in the Oregon Senate, representing Senate District 23.

She spoke at the “Keep Alive the Dream” tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Highland Center in the Montavilla neighborhood, which is located in the heart of Senate District 23.

The theme of this 23rd annual celebration was “Our Personal Responsibility for Civic Engagement.”

Senator Gordly sponsored the legislation creating the state Environmental Justice Task Force in 2007, the culmination of more than a decade of work on this issue.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It is Joe Anybody here

Portland, Oregon -- This post just came in. So beautifully written and heartfelt, it deserves its own post, not lost at the end of where it came into the blog. Whoever you are, Joe Anybody, you are a giant of a human being. Be sure and look me up in the Capitol. I look forward to meeting you and your son. I'm going to live on these vibes for a little while. --Sean

It is Joe Anybody here

I support you and am sorry that your son had to suffer in the way that he did. I admire your spirit and am honored to have met you. I filmed you briefly at a Peace rally when you had a table set up at the WTO Trade Center here in Portland last summer 2007.

I am also in the PDXpeace group and was in the meeting when you briefly spoke.

Thanks for sharing your life with others, I am hoping that we all can turn this mess around. I feel by you being open and willing to let others know what your needing or doing or are concerned about ...that there is all the more hope for a better world.

My heart is torn to feel the pain you have endured for your children
I had my son stolen from me for over a year when he was 5 ...It tore me up.

I have had him in my custody since I found him (with his mom who was the one to take him to NY to hide)

He is now 15 ...
I just like you, don't want to send him to this damn war.

He walked w/ me in the MLK parade here in Portland a couple days ago, he went with me to the LT. Watada Rally last year in Washington, and other various peace events. I love him so much.

I know you love your children just as much. I am proud of your stance and love for your family

I read about your (sic)kidnapping case months ago in a post ...I think it may of been this blog here.

I can not say how much love and good vibes I am sending your way.

I plan on going to Salem in Feb to protest this fricking war and I am sure I will run into you then if not sooner.

I have to run along.... I just needed you to know I am in "solidarity" with you and want to send my love and peace your way .

Stay strong ..... !
~joe anybody
7:25 PM

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sean Cruz for Senate District 23 campaign slides into second gear!

Last week, most of my time was taken up in preparation for and in attending the Joint Ways and Means Committee, which met Thursday and Friday in the Capitol.

On Saturday, I opened my semi-official campaign headquarters at Tupelo Joe’s

On Sunday, I hired my campaign manager. Look for an announcement soon.

Yesterday, on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, I attended the Skanner breakfast in the morning and then the “Keep the Dream Alive” celebration at Highland Christian Center.

During her featured speech at the Highland program, Senator Avel Gordly publicly announced her strong support for this campaign to elect Sean Cruz to stand in the gap for the issues that matter most to Oregonians, upon her retirement from the Oregon State Senate in 2009.

Keep the dream alive.

No one knows better than Avel Gordly what it will take in a legislator to continue the fight on the issues she has championed for years.

You can’t plug just anybody into that spot, to work at the Gordly desk in the Senate chamber.

Tomorrow is the Portland Monthly Magazine photo shoot, here at Jim Pepper House. Look for the feature in the March issue.

OK. We’re into second gear now.

Five years plus of Senate District 23 experience. Check!
Major legislative achievements accomplished. Check!
Semi-official campaign headquarters open. Check!
Steering Committee formed. Check!
Campaign manager hired. Check!
Key incumbent endorsement. Check!
Website and blog cooking. Check!
Fund-raising started. Check!
Continuing to work on behalf of the voters of Senate District 23. Check!

Send me a check!

Make the check out to: Friends of Sean Cruz
Mail to: POB 30093, Portland, Oregon 97230
Oregon state law requires you to identify your occupation and employer.

This race is a sprint to May 20.

I need your contribution long before then.

This campaign is leveraging internet resources to reduce costs and redefine campaign fundraising practices.

Here is my premise: If I can reach you electronically, then I don’t need to reach you on television or in bulk mailings, which means I don’t have to raise funds for either medium.

This is your opportunity to enact change and reduce the influence of special interest groups.

Thank you for your support. Please pass this message along to your lists.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sean Cruz for Senate District 23 semi-official campaign headquarters opens!!!

Portland, Oregon—Our semi-official campaign headquarters will be open on Saturday, January 19 from four to six p.m. All are invited.

We are located in beautiful Parkrose neighborhood at a table in Tupelo Joe’s, our premiere neighborhood barbecue house, where the music is live even when it’s not.

There is no smoking, minors are welcome, the staff is friendly, the room is warm, open and accessible.

Here’s the link:

My Tupelo Joe’s office hours will vary from week to week, but will be posted here:

And here:

See you there.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Why I am running for Oregon Senate District 23, pt 3 (experience)

I described my qualifications to succeed Senator Avel Gordly in the Oregon Senate in terms of my life experience in Parts 1 and 2.

Here, in Part 3, I will describe my qualifications for the office in terms of my five years plus of legislative experience, five years of serving the constituents of Senate District 23 and the people of Oregon:

Management: I have managed Senator Gordly’s Capitol and Senate District 23 offices since January, 2003 and have the management experience to keep the Senate District 23 offices running smoothly and efficiently, and five years of experience working successfully with all parties to the legislative process.

Constituent Communication: I developed Senator Gordly’s listserve, improving our ability to communicate key information directly with constituents, unfiltered, electronically, efficiently and at no cost to taxpayers. We do no conventional bulk mailing from these offices. We post all general messages from Senator Gordly permanently on our office website at

Constituent Service: Our focus on constituent service and problem solving, coupled with the speed of the Internet and our relationships among state and local agencies, has enabled us to bring resolution to a wide range of constituent concerns, often within hours of receiving the original contact.

I coordinate the statewide Mental Health Caucus, co-chaired by Senator Gordly, State Representative Ron Maurer (Grants Pass) and Oregon Advocacy Center Executive Director Bob Joondeph. The Mental Health Caucus has grown to more than 150 participants, including legislators, advocacy groups, mental health professionals, consumers, state and local agency heads, public safety representatives, family members and physicians.

Senate Legislative Achievements: I have established a record of significant legislative accomplishment in the Oregon Senate, even as a staff member:

My 2003 testimony and Senator Gordly's strong support led to the appointment of the Senate President's Task Force on Parental and Family Abductions.

Senate Bill 1041 “Aaron’s Law” (2005) was my original legislative concept, establishes civil liability for persons who kidnap children from the state of Oregon and authorizes the courts to appoint mental health and legal professionals to safeguard the interests of the abducted children.

Senate Joint Resolution 31 (2005) honors the life and achievements of Jim Pepper, the Native American saxophone player and composer, arguably the most important original voice in American music to emerge from Oregon.

Senate Bill 431 (2007) (passed on unanimous Senate and House votes) establishes new rules governing predatory patrol towing, provides protections for all drivers and for apartment dwellers in particular.

Senate Bill 116 (2007) regulating the towing industry. My contribution were the lines authorizing the State and local governments to regulate predatory patrol towing practices and the outrageous charges patrol towers impose on the public (many thanks to Tim Barrett for your fine research).

I have drafted other significant original legislation over a wide range of issues, including the war in Iraq, support for veterans and National Guard members and their families, immigration reform, promoting child safety and revenue reform.

Senate Committee Experience: My direct experience in the Oregon Senate, providing support to Senator Avel Gordly during her service on key legislative committees addressing human services, education, state and local budgets and public safety has familiarized me with the issues of greatest importance to our Senate District 23 constituents.

Once elected, I will seek to serve on these same committees, continuing the work of Senator Avel Gordly, continuing the fight. Those of you who have fought alongside us know that there is much more work to be done, that we cannot afford to lose ground with Senator Gordly’s retirement.

Once elected, I will ask leadership to appoint a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to focus on our veterans, our National Guard and their families. There is currently no Senate counterpart to the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Five years into two foreign wars, these Oregonians have critical needs that are not being met.

Veterans living in Oregon are greatly disadvantaged compared to many other states. The lack of large military bases or defense contractors in Oregon means that we have less clout in Washington, D.C., and a reduced support infrastructure for our veterans and their families. Once elected my goal would be to serve on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

My experience staffing Senator Gordly includes these committees:

2003 Regular Session

Joint Ways and Means (full)
Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services

2003-04 Interim

Joint Emergency Board
Joint Emergency Board Subcommittee on Education
Senate Interim Committee on Education
Joint Committee on Human Services
Senate President’s Task Force on Parental and Family Abductions (co-chair)

2005 Regular Session

Joint Ways and Means (full)
Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Public Safety (Chair)
Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education

2005-06 Interim

Joint Emergency Board
Public Commission on the Legislature

2007 Regular Session

Senate Commerce Committee
Senate Health Policy and Public Affairs, Vice-Chair
Joint Ways and Means (full)
Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee On Human Services

2007-08 Interim and February 2008 Supplemental Session

Senate Health and Human Services Committee (Vice-Chair)
Joint Ways and Means (full)
Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Senator Avel Gordly to celebrate February birthday with fund-raiser for Friends of Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon: Celebrate Senator Avel Gordly’s birthday in February and hear from the great lady herself why she is supporting Sean Cruz to succeed her in the Oregon Senate.


The historic Billy Webb Lodge #1050
Dahlia Temple #202
The Improved, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World
6 North Tillamook
Portland, Oregon

Date and time: TBA (February)

Dahlia Temple #202 marked its 85th anniversary “Celebrating 85 years of Unity” in December 2007.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sean Cruz for Senate District 23 whiskey tasting January 9!!

The campaign gets rolling in 2008 with a scotch and bourbon tasting
at Greg’s Backyard Bar and Grill, 3554 SE 82nd Avenue of the Roses.

Here’s your online ticket! See you there!

Friends of Sean Cruz
Scotch and bourbon tasting
5 to 8 pm
Wednesday, January 9th

Greg’s Backyard Bar and Grill
3554 SE 82nd Avenue of the Roses

Light hors d’oevres will be served

This fund-raising event is authorized by Friends of Sean Cruz