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4th Congressional District Meeting Report - October 2017

by Dede Murphy, Coos County Democrats Vice Chair

Richard Kuznitsky and I attended the 4th Congressional District meeting in Corvallis, Oregon, on October 15, 2017.  There were a couple of speakers.  Chris Wig, chair of the Lane County Dems, was the first speaker.  He gave us some information on Measure 101, which will be voted on in a special election in January of 2018.  Highlights:

  • The passage of the measure is very important for the continuation of the Oregon Health Plan.  The measure asks voters to support the healthcare plan developed by healthcare experts and advocates throughout Oregon, businesses and unions, hospitals, the AARP and patient advocates.  The plan will guarantee that 95% of Oregonians, including all kids in the state, maintain access to healthcare and reduces premiums for those who buy their own coverage.
  • If the measure passes in January, there will be no reductions to healthcare coverage or benefits for the one million vulnerable Oregonians who count on Medicaid.  Premiums for more than 210, 000 Oregonians will stay at 6% lower than they would have been without the reinsurance program.
  • If the measure does not pass in January, state funding for healthcare will be cut by between $210 and $320 million, resulting in the loss of potentially $5 billion in federal funding, which will throw the state budget and funding for low-income children, families, and people with disabilities into crisis.
  • Suggested action items for county parties included presenting a resolution to defend Measure 101, going door to door to promote it, and/or writing letters to the editor of our local paper in support of the measure.  Whatever it takes to get out the information to the population that this measure is important for all Oregonians, but especially low-income residents.  

We will be getting promotional information from the DPO in the near future so look for more information and local actions soon.

The other speaker was Mario Parker Campbell.  He spoke about Constituency Outreach.  Some of the items to consider when reaching out to our constituents:

  • Consider a strategic coalition with other groups that can work with us to achieve our goals, such as the Indivisible groups and other such groups in the area. 
  • Also, consider who may be working against us so that we can be aware of any roadblocks that may be thrown our way.
  • Be aware of what’s going on in the community, city, county, state, country and the world so that we can speak truthfully and informed on the topics at hand.
  • Set goals and work towards them.  
  • Sometimes it is necessary to get issues out of the way first, such as the Hillary vs. Bernie issue.  Clear the air between the groups so that we can work together.  It’s so important for us to be working together in these times even if we do not agree on all issues. 
  • Keep moving forward and learn from the past.
  • Ask each other what can we do to complete whatever action that is necessary to accomplish our goals.

The whole meeting was great.  All the County Dems present gave reports on what they’ve been doing.  We got quite an ovation from all present when I told them we had opened an office on Broadway in downtown Coos Bay.  They were all thrilled.

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Thanks for the report, Dede!