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Dear Friends,

I grew up loving Oregon. It was a place where our careers, families, and communities were thriving. Today we experience a different Oregon - one with a failing economy, sky-high unemployment, and a faltering education system. But together we can get Oregon back on track. As your State Representative, I'm working for you to make Oregon vibrant once again, because our state can be a trailblazer in our nation's recovery. Please join me - our future depends on it.

 

This is not a rhetorical question, nor a politician pandering. Each week the bulk of concerns from constituents and officials confirm what the Oregon Values Projectfound, that ”Oregonians consider education funding and quality the most important issue they want their state and local government..to do something about[.]” And yet:

Clearly there is a divergence between Oregon’s value of education and the results we are producing in our kids. Why this great divide? Although the causes are numerous, a growing consensus is emerging that Oregon’s educational deficiencies stem from fundamental failure to place our kids – the students – first.Not teachers first, nor administrators first, as much as they care. Not the state budget, nor pet ideas, nor the system that perpetuates mediocre results. Certainlynot Rudy Crew.

But the status quo and systemic inertia are extremely difficult forces to overcome. It will take both system-wide redesign and targeted investments in short-term measurable goals. Some key examples:

Want to learn more about these efforts? Oregon has pioneering organizations such as The Chalkboard Project and Stand for Children working to support our educators, and their results can be replicated in districts statewide.Oregon Learns is another initiative bringing the business and education communities together on a vision to create a student-centered education system in Oregon. The question remains - are we willing to take these attainable steps to put kids first?

Above – William (now two-years old) greets our two-month old Charles.
Join the “26 for 26 by the 26th” Campaign – CLICK HERE to Join 26 Other Couples in Utilizing your Full $100 Oregon Political Tax Credit by May 26th to Support John Davis for HD 26 ($50/ind & $100/couple)
Town Hall Schedule – NOTE RESCHEDULES
Our Spring Series Continues
  • RESCHEDULED BY POPULAR DEMAND (RIP CITY!) – Wednesday, April 30 - Rosedale Elementary School (Hillsboro, OR) -Rescheduled for the end of May, will be a Telephone and Twitter Town Hall.
  • Wednesday, May 7th, 7:00pm – 8:00pm (Evening) – Wilsonville Library (Rose Room), 8200 SW Wilsonville Rd, Wilsonville, OR 97070
  • Wednesday, May 21st, 7:00pm – 8:00pm (Evening) – King City Civic Association (Main Clubhouse), 15245 SW 116th Avenue, King City, OR
Categories : News
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2014 Legislative Session: Good, Bad, and Ugly

The second even-year annual legislative session in Oregon’s history recently concluded after 33 days in Salem, delivering good, bad and ugly results for Oregonians.

DAVIS

 

Rep. Davis & Speaker Kotek debated the results of the 2014 Legislative Session over the weekend on KGW’s Straight Talk.

On the positive end, in a series of nearly bipartisan votes, legislators funded capital construction needs throughout the state, including academic and medical research facilities that will benefit generations to come.

 

We unanimously supported a locally crafted Washington County land use solution that will create jobs and classroom space while preserving prime farmland for agriculture, simultaneously resolving a years-long legal dispute over the UGB and urban and rural reserves. Finally, the Oregon House passed nearly 100 bills in bipartisan unity, protecting seniors, providing local control in education and services, retraining workers for today’s jobs, correcting technical problems in the law and modernizing our statutes and regulations. These are examples of how citizens expect our lawmakers to work together.

 

Bad politicking and election-year posturing made some of us simply shake our heads. Cover Oregon turned into cover your you-know-what. Members of the majority party rushed to add reams of regulation to our IT contracting requirements, when the heart of the debacle was identified years ago and ignored: a lack of responsiveness to the warning signs by the executive branch. Further, controversial changes to business laws, the handling of our public investments and tax increases were rightly stopped — either as bad policy or being simply inappropriate for a short 33-day session with little time for deliberation and public input.

 

The ugly part of the 2014 session — the budget process — raises serious questions about the prudence of continuing our recent experiment in annual sessions. The budget was revealed just 24 hours before the final gavel fell and we left Salem. Instead of transparency, prudence and healthy debate, the budget was slammed through after a month of one-party backroom dealing with no public input. Adding insult to injury, despite nearly $2 billion in increased available revenue, the majority party chose to reduce our reserves, leaving less than 0.7 percent of the budget in various savings accounts. This is a precarious path when we have more than half of the 2013-2015 biennium remaining to keep our budget balanced.

 

In 2010, when Oregon voters supported Measure 71 to amend our Constitution to add annual sessions, we were told these short, even-year meetings would focus on budget stability and transparency. Even the official Legislative Argument in Support of Measure 71 claimed the primary purpose of annual sessions is to “provide greater accountability and more consistent budgeting by not waiting every two years to do the people’s business.” We were told that annual sessions would “protect taxpayer dollars by enhancing transparency and efficiency from government.” This year, unfortunately, Oregonians experienced 32 days of politics and one day of budget review — not the sort of “accountability” and “transparency” we should tolerate.

 

Originally published March 26 in the Wilsonville Spokesman

Categories : Events, News
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