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For OLCV supporters Rachel Bloom (pictured at left) and Scott Rector, joining OLCV in the fight to pass Measures 66 and 67 wasn’t just about protecting Oregon’s environment. It was also about protecting Oregon’s vulnerable residents and the social-service organizations that help them—including their own: Full Life.
Rachel is executive director and founder of Full Life (formerly Portland Supported Employment), a not-for-profit organization that provides recreational and employment opportunities to people with developmental disabilities. Full Life depends on state funding, so the outcome of the January 2010 election was the deciding factor in the future of the organization: If the measures passed, Full Life could continue to serve the developmentally disabled community; it the measures failed, it would have to close its doors.
With the stakes so clear, Rachel and Scott’s decision to help OLCV and the Yes for Oregon campaign was easy. And their commitment showed. Rachel loaned four Full Life staff members to OLCV who worked full time for the Yes for Oregon coalition. They also generously donated their own time and money. Their contributions paid off: the measures passed, saving funding for the important work of Full Life as well as for critical conservation programs.
Rachel and Scott’s commitment to OLCV didn’t end (or begin) with the campaign, though. They’ve been members since 2000. Their reason for supporting Oregon’s independent political voice? From endorsing pro-environment ballot measures and candidates to lobbying in Salem for laws that protect Oregon’s natural legacy, Rachel says, “we just like what OLCV does.”
Both Rachel and Scott are Oregon transplants—she from Baltimore, he from Kalamazoo, Michigan. The couple moved here 13 years ago, after falling in love with the Pacific Northwest on a bicycle trip around the Olympic Peninsula. Today, Full Life keeps Rachel pretty busy, but she and Scott still try to get out into Oregon’s natural beauty—to bike, and to swim, and to remind themselves what they, with the help of OLCV, are working to protect.
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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