Excerpts from Danny Jaffer’s announcement, January 19, 2018

I’m Danny Jaffer, and I am running for the Oregon State House of Representatives. All of us share a concern about our District 23 representation.  We are all motivated by the desire for change and action. We must move Oregon Forward.

I am running because, like all of us, I object to the politics of fear and ignorance that distract from the real issues facing Oregon, and hold us back from the progress our state deserves.

Education, Health care, the Environment, and jobs that provide for our families and preserve our livability aren’t just an agenda; they are the foundation of our way of life, here in the Eden at the end of the Oregon Trail. In rural Oregon, just as anywhere else, we must hold the line on degradation of services, and hold to our commitments. A promise, is a promise! And, we must improve everywhere we can. That is true progress.

I am running because this race is, and should be, about our shared values: those of community, hard work, human dignity, and public service. These values transcend our place of immigration and origin, what religion we hold. or what language is spoken in our homes. And these values are non-negotiable when it comes to true progress of the human spirit. They should be the values of all Oregonians, rural as well as urban.

I am running because this race is about real priorities: I believe every Oregonian deserves fully accessible education, and they should not have to mortgage their future for it. We must fully fund education — K-12,CTE and university level — and ensure that those who profit from it, fairly contribute to it. I believe all Oregonians should have health care; not just access, but truly have, quality affordable health care, and we should work to the day when we have health care for all without exception. And, Oregonians have an absolute birthright to clean air and clean water, and those who foul it should be held accountable, just as we would be responsible for cleaning up after our pets in the neighbor’s yard. No corporation should be off the hook simply because they “brought jobs.”

We should heed the words of the late, great Governor Tom McCall, who bluntly said: “Oregon, is demure and lovely, and it ought to play a little hard to get. And I think you’ll be just as sick as I am if you find it is nothing but a hungry hussy, throwing herself at every stinking smokestack that’s offered.”

So, we must work to encourage new, clean industries, energy and otherwise, that bring well paying jobs. And we must help dirty industries get clean and green.

I believe that these priorities are critical to everything else that we do and hold dear. Without education, health security, and the life sustenance provided by well protected natural resources, be it air, water, land and our spectacular beaches, all other aspects of our lives are threatened. (No drilling off the Oregon coast baby, no drilling.)

In my lifetime, Oregon has been a leader in these areas, and I am committed to them.  We have faltered at times, so we must work doubly hard to regain our footing. And we must strive to reach new horizons.

Finally, I’m running because this race is about trust and integrity in our process. Oregon faces serious challenges, so we must have serious leaders committed to achieving solutions. We must ensure that all of our business is above board, transparent, and open for examination. We must commit to forthright and unquestionable dealings in our politics, government and agencies. In all we do, all we work on, and all the good works that we can provide to those who have given us their trust, no matter how remarkable our achievements may be, we should be, in all aspects of our dealings: “unremarkable.”

This is how we go: “Oregon Forward.”

This will be a challenging race. Geographically, District 23 is sprawling and disparate, stretching from Dayton at the north, to Alsea and Monroe in the south;  from the hills west of Dallas, to the foothills east of Jefferson, encompassing large rural areas of four counties. Additionally, entrenched interests will, for their own personal agenda, stop at nothing to turn back the clock on the progress Oregon has achieved, and throw a wrench in our future progress.

I know that I have friends who differ in their views of how to achieve our goal in what we think Oregon should be. To you I offer this: Wherever you are from, I believe that we all stand together with a commitment to quality in education, equality in the workplace, and fairness in taxation. We can work shoulder to shoulder from there. I ask that you count on me as the standard bearer of your ideals. I know that is a tall request. It is a matter of trust. But, regardless of which side of the aisle you may normally stand on, know that my door will be open, and I will hear your concerns, and, just as importantly (or perhaps even more so), your good ideas. With that as a starting point we can work together, to meet our challenges, uphold our values and provide for our priorities, and be the best of who we are.

 

That is the Oregon way! That is Oregon Forward!