Opinion

Guest Column


When I decided to finish my 32 years of public service I felt compelled to have some input into my successor.
I wanted to see a local citizen who knew the district and its people well win this seat.

By Deborah Boone
State Representative

The job of state representative is not easy. It has many factions and it requires many sacrifices including being away from family during the legislative sessions and poverty wages. Whoever wins the seat must understand how things work in Salem. One cannot simply say they will solve problems alone – that is not possible. They must be able to set aside partisan actions and act on behalf of all of their constituents and the entire state. I am also saddened by the unkind statements made by people, who I had considered friends, toward some of the candidates. I am afraid that they have learned this from the national stage and are being enabled by social media. For the first time I have seen long-term friendships torn apart just because the people disagree and for whatever reason there is an “I’m right and you’re wrong” belief without an attempt to understand the other’s side.
Some of the statements I am reading in the letters to the editor and in the voters pamphlet are often vague, uninformed (the state already is doing it) or not possible. For example, to say one is going to not allow offshore oil drilling in federal waters is not possible. Oregon already has a law that prohibits it within our three-mile territorial seawaters. That area is the only open ocean area in which we can act. The federal waters are not within the state’s authority. Nor can they say that they will make the state “pick up the slack” in the case of the federal government not funding programs or services. There will be another severe shortfall in the 2019-21 budget that will cause even more tough decisions to be made on the part of the legislature. Those decisions will be made by the Governor within the Governor’s budget and in the legislative budget that will be made by the members of the Ways & Means committees, not by a single member of the legislature acting alone.
Whoever wins the seat will need to be an independent thinker/actor who will represent all of the constituents in this diverse district, not just a select few. (Constituents in HD 32 range from very conservative to very liberal with a substantial moderate middle.) They will need to vote for their constituents and not just their financial backers and for what is best for the state. A good way for voters who are not familiar with the candidates to know who is funding the campaigns is to look at the Secretary of State site under elections (sos.oregon.gov/elections/Pages/orestar.aspx). A good guideline is to look for a diverse group of funders and local citizens.
In my opinion, the candidate who is best prepared is Tim Josi.
I have known him for more than 30 years and I trust him. He has served four terms as a state representative so we know he knows what the job entails and was re-elected several times indicating his constituents thought he was doing a good job. When term limits ended his time in Salem he went home to Tillamook County and won a seat on the county commission which he has held for five terms, again proving his electability and the satisfaction of his constituents and proving a good fit for the district. He understands how things work in Salem. His financial contributions, including individuals who actually live in the district, come from many sectors including health care, agriculture, business, labor, housing, building trades, forestry, retail businesses and many members of the current legislature. He is endorsed by dozens of advocacy groups. He is intelligent, ethical and he has the experience necessary to get things done for House District 32.