If you’re like me, you can already feel the tension across our country mounting – between politicians and candidates, between states, between urban and rural areas, between political parties, and even between friends and family members. In this, our presidential election year, and for most of the last decade, the divide between progressive versus conservative ideologies has continually widened. And for better or for worse, in our current system, that comes down to Democrat versus Republican politics.

 

If we think of our country like a farmer’s field, then the political strategies coming out of Washington D.C. become the methods the farmer uses to keep his soil fertile and productive. A wise farmer invests in quality seeds and fertilizer, uses environmentally-friendly strategies to mitigate pests and weeds, and rotates crops, season to season and year to year, to avoid depleting the soil.

 

In my experience, conservative Republican governance has rendered our field, our country, almost barren. Republican-backed efforts to lower taxes, especially for the 1% have left budget deficits in vital areas like education, veterans’ services and social safety nets (welfare, W.I.C., S.N.A.P., etc.). Like a farmer choosing low-yield seeds and sub-par fertilizer, these short-sighted strategies don’t only hurt the children, veterans and poorest citizens. They hurt us all, because today’s children fail to reach their potential to be tomorrow’s thoughtful, contributing members of society. Our veterans languish and become more and more dependent on government assistance for longer and longer periods of time, while young people considering enlisting in the military have second thoughts about signing up to serve. Individuals and families desperate to feed themselves and their children turn to dangerous and criminal options to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. Or they fall through the cracks and end up on our streets, in our overburdened foster care system or in prison, the starkest illustrations of how our country is currently failing to take care of its own.

 

Meanwhile, the very same politicians approve ludicrous and obscene amounts of money for military spending. Don’t get me wrong. I have the utmost respect for our military and everyone who chooses to serve in the armed forces, but our investments need to be wise, well-thought-out and in balance with the rest of our country’s needs. Overspending on the military, making short-sighted investments in outdated technology, and directing those funds as favors to countries, contracts and companies beholden to (or even owned by) politicians is like the unwise farmer purchasing the worst chemical herbicides and pesticides, rendering their harvest dangerous and their soil toxic.

 

Conservative Republicans talk about de-regulation and cutting down on government oversight, but we don’t have to look very far to see where that leads. When Michigan relaxed its EPA regulations, it didn’t take long for conservative policy-makers to cut a lucrative deal with a giant corporation, leading to the Flint water crisis, a public health atrocity that continues to plague that state to this day. It doesn’t take much imagination or even common sense to see the trajectory of conservative policy in this area. Our national food supply, already underregulated in comparison to other first-world countries, could very well be next in line. And don’t get me started on what’s going on, on Wall Street these days. Going back to our example of the farmer’s field, pandering to special interests and the 1% hearkens back to the pitfall of overplanting a single crop and failing to rest and rotate the fields to keep the soil fertile. Governance that serves only a privileged few at the expense of everyone and everything else is not “of the people” or “for the people” as our forefathers intended.

 

I’ve thought and written quite a bit about how I would make the changes needed to make Oregon a flagship state for our country in many of the areas where we’ve fallen behind.

I hope you’ll read or listen to my ideas for healthcare, green energy,  infrastructure updates in the form of green-powered, high-speed railways,   working with unions, farmers and small businesses, tapping into the farm bill and making sure Oregon gets our fair share of taxpayer money. If you look to history, change in this country rarely happens in broad, sweeping strokes. It happens county by county, district by district and state by state. I want to be your voice in Congress for Oregon’s 2nd District. Elect me, and I’ll take these ideas to Washington and insist they be heard.

 

 

If you’re like me, you can already feel the tension across our country mounting – between politicians and candidates, between states, between urban and rural areas, between political parties, and even between friends and family members. In this, our presidential election year, and for most of the last decade, the divide between progressive versus conservative ideologies has continually widened. And for better or for worse, in our current system, that comes down to Democrat versus Republican politics.

 

If we think of our country like a farmer’s field, then the political strategies coming out of Washington D.C. become the methods the farmer uses to keep his soil fertile and productive. A wise farmer invests in quality seeds and fertilizer, uses environmentally-friendly strategies to mitigate pests and weeds, and rotates crops, season to season and year to year, to avoid depleting the soil.

 

In my experience, conservative Republican governance has rendered our field, our country, almost barren. Republican-backed efforts to lower taxes, especially for the 1% have left budget deficits in vital areas like education, veterans’ services and social safety nets (welfare, W.I.C., S.N.A.P., etc.). Like a farmer choosing low-yield seeds and sub-par fertilizer, these short-sighted strategies don’t only hurt the children, veterans and poorest citizens. They hurt us all, because today’s children fail to reach their potential to be tomorrow’s thoughtful, contributing members of society. Our veterans languish and become more and more dependent on government assistance for longer and longer periods of time, while young people considering enlisting in the military have second thoughts about signing up to serve. Individuals and families desperate to feed themselves and their children turn to dangerous and criminal options to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. Or they fall through the cracks and end up on our streets, in our overburdened foster care system or in prison, the starkest illustrations of how our country is currently failing to take care of its own.

 

Meanwhile, the very same politicians approve ludicrous and obscene amounts of money for military spending. Don’t get me wrong. I have the utmost respect for our military and everyone who chooses to serve in the armed forces, but our investments need to be wise, well-thought-out and in balance with the rest of our country’s needs. Overspending on the military, making short-sighted investments in outdated technology, and directing those funds as favors to countries, contracts and companies beholden to (or even owned by) politicians is like the unwise farmer purchasing the worst chemical herbicides and pesticides, rendering their harvest dangerous and their soil toxic.

 

Conservative Republicans talk about de-regulation and cutting down on government oversight, but we don’t have to look very far to see where that leads. When Michigan relaxed its EPA regulations, it didn’t take long for conservative policy-makers to cut a lucrative deal with a giant corporation, leading to the Flint water crisis, a public health atrocity that continues to plague that state to this day. It doesn’t take much imagination or even common sense to see the trajectory of conservative policy in this area. Our national food supply, already underregulated in comparison to other first-world countries, could very well be next in line. And don’t get me started on what’s going on, on Wall Street these days. Going back to our example of the farmer’s field, pandering to special interests and the 1% hearkens back to the pitfall of overplanting a single crop and failing to rest and rotate the fields to keep the soil fertile. Governance that serves only a privileged few at the expense of everyone and everything else is not “of the people” or “for the people” as our forefathers intended.

 

I’ve thought and written quite a bit about how I would make the changes needed to make Oregon a flagship state for our country in many of the areas where we’ve fallen behind.

I hope you’ll read or listen to my ideas for healthcare, green energy,  infrastructure updates in the form of green-powered, high-speed railways,   working with unions, farmers and small businesses, tapping into the farm bill and making sure Oregon gets our fair share of taxpayer money. If you look to history, change in this country rarely happens in broad, sweeping strokes. It happens county by county, district by district and state by state. I want to be your voice in Congress for Oregon’s 2nd District. Elect me, and I’ll take these ideas to Washington and insist they be heard.