Where? At the rally for Barack Obama at Portland’s Veterans Memorial Stadium, where else?
Standing for change. Doing what they do best.
As Senator Gordly transitions to take on new challenges, encouraging new voices to become involved in public service through her work in the Portland State University Department of Black Studies, and Senator Westlund moves to the office of State Treasurer, where he will play a leading role in steering Oregon through the recession and modernizing the state’s fiscal systems, a clearer picture of the 2009 Oregon Senate is taking shape.
Across the nation, voters are standing for change, clamoring for new voices in public office.
But in most races, candidates representing fresh ideas are fresh-frozen out of the process, and voters will be soon looking at ballots with only one candidate box to mark.
“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”, the Who famously sang.
Voters in Senate District 23 have an actual choice in the May 20 Democratic primary, a lone opportunity to send an independent-thinking fresh voice to the Oregon Senate, to fill part of the void that will be left with the departure of Senator Gordly and Senator Westlund.
It’s that guy in the middle, Sean Cruz, declaring victory with the sign made famous by Winston Churchill and FDR (damaged somewhat by Richard Nixon’s double V, but still serviceable, and all too germane for a nation at war).
Voters will soon learn where all of the special interests and their PAC monies are lined up in the race for Senate District 23, another dimension to the already-stark contrasts between the candidates.
Fresh voice or not.
Grass roots or special interest.
Choice of Senate committtee assignments: good or better, better or best.
Some think this race was already decided last summer, with all of the advantages a sitting legislator has against a staff member, including the luxury of running a campaign for a year and the easy access to PAC funds and endorsements.
But the voters want change in the broadest sense, and the Oregon legislature has only a 30% approval rating among Oregonians.
Good news for the underdog.
Arf! Says Rex, the Airedale companero to the candidate. Arf!, he says.
Contribute online: http://www.actblue.com/ Think grass roots! This means you!
“The Underdog” feature: http://www.portlandmonthlymag.com/
March issue is still available: contact Portland Monthly Magazine at 503-222-5144.