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Elaine Thompson’s love affair with Oregon started only three weeks after she graduated from Pacific Lutheran University when she first arrived to work as an anchor at KVAL, a Eugene-based television news station. She has since worked in television and media both locally and nationally, and was even nominated for a Northwest Emmy in 2010.
Elaine describes herself as a Northwest girl at heart and has always had a deep appreciation for Oregon’s great natural beauty.
“What’s not to love about Oregon?” says Elaine, who calls Hood River home. “We have beaches, mountains, oceans – it’s a great place to live, raise a family, and enjoy a satisfying lifestyle.”
That’s why Elaine became inspired after she recently saw a showing of the film “Bag It!” She immediately recognized that banning single-use plastic checkout bags in Oregon is a critical conservation priority.
A leader at her local United Church of Christ church, Elaine was supposed to take a church youth group to see a new showing of “Bag It!” that was premiering in Hood River. But, when those plans fell through, she ended up attending the screening with her daughter.
“This movie was just eye-opening. A very low percentage of these plastic bags actually get recycled, and they end up as litter in our water, our trees, and across our beautiful state. And with the backing of more than 400 Oregon businesses, this is a bipartisan effort that is a gateway to exploring the plastics problem here in Oregon.”
So Elaine stepped up and got involved. While riding her bike one day around Hood River she ran into a friend she knew and asked if he knew any environmental groups involved on banning the bag and other critical conservation issues. He suggested the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV).
“I was so impressed with how responsive [the OLCV] was. I contacted them about helping organize people to take action around showings of ‘Bag It!’ here in Hood River, and right away we had an event scheduled. And the showing went great as we work to let people know why it’s so important for Oregon to be the first state to ban these single-use plastic checkout bags.”
At the same time, Elaine decided to become a donating OLCV member because she supports the organization’s mission of protecting Oregon’s environmental legacy, electing pro-environment candidates to office, and holding all of our elected officials accountable – and because of the organization’s frontline work on hot-button issues like banning the bag.
“I know there are multiple sides to this and many other important conservation issues. I joined the OLCV because they look to bring people together to keep Oregon a special, beautiful place.”
But, most importantly, she joined because of her daughter.
“Supporting the OLCV matters because we need to leave our children a clean and beautiful world.”
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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