Moderator, panelists announced for gubernatorial debate

Date: 
March 11, 2010

For immediate release: March 11, 2010

Contact: Toby Van Fleet, OLCV Communications Director
503-224-4011 x212, toby@olcv.org

Moderator, panelists announced for gubernatorial debate

David Sarasohn will lead Q & A between environmental experts and frontrunners for the state’s top post

Portland, OR—The Oregonian’s David Sarasohn will moderate a gubernatorial debate focused on environmental priorities co-hosted by four of Oregon’s leading conservation groups to take place on March 30.

Republican candidate Allen Alley and Democratic candidates Bill Bradbury and former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and will be asked to lay out a vision for Oregon’s future, addressing everything from climate change and clean energy, to toxics and public health, to management of the state’s natural resources and special places.

The candidates will answer questions from a panel of four environmental experts:

  • Andrea Durbin, Executive Director at the Oregon Environmental Council
  • Steve Law, Reporter at the Portland Tribune and Editor of Sustainable Life
  • Catherine Thomasson, Oregon Medical Association Environmental Work Group Chair; former National President and current member of Physicians for Social Responsibility; and Internist at Portland State University
  • Bob Van Dyk, Professor of Politics and Government at Pacific University and Forest Policy Adviser for the Wild Salmon Center

The event will be hosted by Environment Oregon, the Oregon Environmental Council, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club. OEC will stream the debate on their website. Find out more about the live stream at http://www.oeconline.org/debate.

The candidates’ performances and stated positions in the debate will serve not only to educate voters, but also as one of the criteria in the endorsement decisions of two of the host organizations: The Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club.

“Oregonians have a long history of caring about—and voting for—environmental values,” said Ivan Maluski, Conservation Program Coordinator of the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club. “We’ll be looking to see how what the candidates say to voters in the debate lines up with what they say in the remainder of the endorsement process.”

Other endorsement criteria will include questionnaires for the candidates and face-to-face interviews.

“This debate should not concentrate on what’s on the candidates’ resumes. It should illuminate the ability for decisive leadership in the state’s top post as we grapple with some tough questions,” said OLCV Executive Director Jon Isaacs. “When it comes to protecting Oregon’s natural legacy and re-establishing the state as an environmental leader, this race can’t be about the past. It has to be about Oregon’s future.”

The event will be also sponsored by the Associated Students of Portland State University and the Portland Mercury.

WHAT:  Gubernatorial Environmental Debate

PARTICPATING CANDIDATES:
Allen Alley
Bill Bradbury
John Kitzhaber

WHEN:         6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 30, 2010

WHERE:      Smith Memorial Student Union, Ballroom (3rd Floor),
                       1825 SW Broadway Avenue, Portland

TICKETS: Admission is free of charge but reservations must be made in advance here: www.oregon.sierraclub.org/debate

About the host organizations:

Environment Oregon

Environment Oregon is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization that works on behalf of its more than 35,000 members (and counting!).  Environment Oregon’s core mission: to protect Oregon's clean air, clean water, and open space. In practice, the professional staff combines independent research, practical ideas, and tough-minded advocacy to preserve our state's wild places and natural beauty, protect Oregonians from toxic pollution, reduce our material consumption, build sustainable transportation and communities, and shift to 100 percent clean energy. Overcoming powerful special interests invested in the status quo is no easy task, so Environment Oregon works tirelessly for its members, the environment, and the future. www.environmentoregon.org.

Oregon Environmental Council

The Oregon Environmental Council advances innovative, collaborative solutions to Oregon’s environmental challenges for today and future generations. For more than 40 years OEC has been a champion for solutions to protect the health of every Oregonian and the health of the place we call home. OEC’s vision for Oregon includes solving global warming, protecting kids from toxics, cleaning up our rivers, building sustainable economies, and ensuring healthy food and local farms. www.oeconline.org.

Oregon League of Conservation Voters

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters works to pass pro-environment laws, elect pro-environment candidates, and hold all of our elected officials accountable. OLCV has more than 5,400 members across the state and is recognized as a strong leader and effective watchdog for the environment. www.olcv.org.

Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club’s Oregon Chapter represents the organization’s 20,000 members in the state and has worked to protect Oregon’s environment and natural resources since 1978. The Sierra Club’s priority conservation efforts in Oregon include protecting the state’s wild forests and deserts, advancing policies to address climate change through energy efficiency and renewable energy, and shifting away from dependence on coal and foreign fossil fuels like LNG. www.oregon.sierraclub.org.

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Oregon League of Conservation Voters | 133 SW 2nd Ave., Ste. 200 | Portland, OR 97204 |  Phone: 503-224-4011 | Fax: 503-224-1548