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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Portland voters in House District 45, House District 46 and Senate District 23, NE and SE Portland, reflect the future of the state of Oregon

Senate District 23, made up of House Districts 45 and 46, reflects the future of Oregon more than any other district in the state.

This is the most diverse senate district in Oregon by every measure of income, race and ethnicity, with its new China Town emerging along the 82nd Avenue of Roses, and its International District along NE Sandy, with its high-income, its middle class and it’s low-income neighborhoods side by side.

More and more, the rest of Oregon will look like us, and we should take this opportunity in this Senate race to harness the strengths, the riches, the strong currents of change that our many cultures working together can bring forth. I am uniquely suited to carry our Senate District and our state forward as we adjust to who we are becoming.

Nearly every business located in Senate District 23 is a small business, and small businesses and the employment they offer are the backbone of the Oregon economy.

I see Portland Community College’s Southeast campus as the key to the long-term vitality of east Portland, providing training opportunities that lead to family wage jobs and serving as a critical civic hub that benefits the entire city and county.

But there are long waiting lists for these classes. The ESL, nursing and welding , First Responder (EMT) and other classes are long full, with only 1 in 8 nursing students able to get in, while rhe state faces the critical challenges of a nursing shortage and an aging population.

I fully support the bond measure that PCC will put before the voters in November, and I will champion investment in the entire pre-k through higher ed education continuum.

I will work to strengthen the links between PCC and its Marshall, Madison and Parkrose High feeder schools, using the guidance and resources made available with the passage of Senate Bill 300, Senator Gordly’s landmark Expanded Options bill, that provides opportunities for high school students to get on a college track by taking vocational or other academic courses not available in the high school .

I walk my dog daily through my Parkrose neighborhood, and as a Realtor, I am struck by the increasing number of homes for sale that lie vacant, each with its own story. I will work hard for you to increase state investments in affordable housing.

Cuts to the Oregon Health Plan hurt more residents of Senate District 23 than in any other senate district in the state, and I was among them.

My personal experience of homelessness, hunger, uninsured illness, and clinical depression, my experience as my elderly and fragile mother’s sole caregiver make me uniquely suited to address these issues in our community, and from the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, I will work hard to expand access to the Oregon Health Plan to cover the uninsured among us.

As the father of two Army National Guard soldiers first ordered deployed to Iraq more than five years ago, I am fully aware of the damage to our nation, our state and our community and the costs military families are paying in this longest and most mistaken war our nation has ever endured, a war that has cost me both of my sons.

The Oregon Senate has no counterpart to the House Veterans Affairs Committee, resulting in the stranding of important veterans and war-related bills.

I am calling for the establishment of a new Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to work jointly with the House, and I will serve there, ensuring that we are responding as a state to support these families in crisis.

Senate District 23 also has its own unique environmental challenges. There is noise and pollution from airport operations. Air quality is a serious concern for those of us who live near freeways and rail lines, which intersect the district in many places.

I have had the great good fortune to work for and learn from one of Oregon’s great public servants, one of the great ladies of our state and of our time.

With Senator Avel Gordly’s retirement, Oregon loses its most tireless and effective champion for underserved populations, for seniors and people with disabilities, for those living with mental illness, for access to health care, for children and families who have fallen through the cracks in the system, for justice for every person, and for taking principled, straightforward stands simply because it is the right thing to do.

I will commit myself to living up to her legacy and do my very best to honor her confidence in me in my service to you.

It’s not about me, it’s about you.

Sean Cruz

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The Oregonian Editorial Board on Senate District 23:

“Cruz…knows the issues well…”

“Sean Cruz, who has served as (Senator) Gordly's legislative aide and chief of staff for the past five years…is qualified for the job. He knows the issues that are important in the district, and he certainly knows how things get done in the Legislature. Most notably, he persuaded Gordly to push legislation, called ‘Aaron's Law,’ that gives families tools to punish parents for the crime of child abduction. “

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Ridenbaugh Press on Senate District 23:

As in many of these primary districts, issues here aren’t distinctly philosophical: The 23rd is a solidly liberal Democratic district, and both contenders fit well within that framework.

But they are insiders of two distinctly different stripes.

Dingfelder, a four-term state representative from this area, would have to be considered the establishment choice, getting the larger share of endorsements and contributions.

But Cruz is not an outsider, either; he is retiring Senator Gordly’s Chief of Staff, is well informed, has her support and the support of her backers.

His campaign has hit rough patches but may also be more interesting to some of the primary voters.

Cruz is edgier; Dingfelder more easy-going. You have to figure the edge is with Dingfelder, but bear in mind that central Portland doesn’t always go the conventional route.

http://www.ridenbaugh.com/index.php/2008/05/03/or-the-legislative-primaries-seven-picks/#more-1691

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Think Blogolitical, Elect Sean Cruz!!!

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