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When I moved to Oregon nearly 25 years ago I quickly became involved with local and statewide environmental issues. I gave generously to several environmental organizations. Even though I followed what was going on at city hall and in Salem I didn't support political efforts--other than my $50 political campaign tax credit.
Over the years I've seen major attacks on our revered land-use and environmental laws (such as Measure 37 in 2004). Here in Lane County I've witnessed organized efforts that have successfully discredited pro-environment city councilors and county commissioners. Defeating these bad laws and candidates has taken countless hours and cost people who care about the environment millions of dollars.
I see things very differently now--money spent on getting pro-environment candidates in office and passing strong environmental legislation is an investment. If we get hard-working folks in office, they'll work for us to protect the environment. If we don't invest in the people who can pass strong laws to protect the environment we'll pay for it later. Whether the price is more pollution in our air and water or the price is a campaign to defeat bad legislation, we'll pay for it--and it's likely to come with a much higher price tag later on.
I don't like that political campaigns cost so much money and wish I could just give to a local group restoring habitat. I won't stop giving to these deserving groups, but the reality is that protecting Oregon's environment requires us to join together to make sure pro-environment candidates get in office and stay in office. Whether or not you like politics, supporting the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, is a wise investment in our future. Join OLCV today!
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The solemn expression on her young face, gazing out over the vast ocean before her, speaks volumes to me. This experience must be protected and provided for all generations to come.
Karen Erickson, Chayse's grandmother