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Jul-08-2006 18:25printcomments

Oregon Bus Project Rolls Into Salem

Founded in 2001, the Oregon Bus Project has mobilized thousands of volunteers and activists from around the state.

Oregon Bus Project
Photos by: Kevin Hays

(SALEM) - Hundreds of volunteers turned out Saturday at Bush’s Pasture Park to be part of a coordinated canvassing effort put on by the Brian Clem and Paul Evans campaigns.

Multiple grass roots organizations including the Oregon Bus Project, Stand for Children, Marion County Democrats, SEIU, and members of local Veterans groups were in attendance.

Oregon Congresswoman Darleen Hooley kicked-off the event by welcoming and thanking those who were participating.

"We are excited the Bus Project has made Marion County a priority for 2006," Brian Clem said.

Canvassers headed out from under the tree shaded area of Bush’s Pasture Park where they gathered, to the warm, sunny skies of Marion and Polk counties, going door-to-door trying to get their message out to voters.

The Bus Project brought over 70 members from Portland to Salem to go door-to-door to explain why this election is important for both the Clem and Evans campaigns.

Clem is a democrat running against incumbent Republican Billy Dalto for the Oregon State House Representative District 21 seat.

Oregon’s State House District 10 covers portions of south, southeast, and northeast Salem.

Evans, also a Democrat, is running against incumbent Republican Jackie Winters for the Oregon State Senate District 10 seat.

Oregon's State Senate District 10 covers portions of Polk County (Monmouth, Independence, and West Salem) and Marion County (Salem, Turner, and Aumsville.)

What is the Oregon Bus Project?

The Bus Project, is a grassroots organization from Portland. The bus runs on bio-diesel, and drives Oregon to be a progressive model for the nation. Engage, educate, and elect.

Since 2002, bus mass canvasses have knocked on over 170,000 doors statewide.

Former Governor Barbara Roberts, who now serves on the project’s advisory council, has called the Bus Project “the most exciting thing in Oregon politics in the last 20 years.”

Bus Project organizers say volunteers go door to door to spread the following messages, that they call the six “E’s”.

Education: Nothing is more important to prosperity and true equality of opportunity than access to an excellent education. While Oregon’s schools close early, conservative voices point fingers at teachers and citizens. Let’s invest in our schools, ensuring a quality of education that will keep our state and country great for generations to come.

Environment: The new frontier for the public interest is figuring out how to protect our natural environment in the face of growing population, pollution, and extraction. And the environment can be protected in a way that respects and fosters rural communities, natural resource economies, and general prosperity.

Economic strength: We have had both (1) a shrinking economy and (2) a growing disparity of wealth. Since 1998, the gap between the richest 10% of Americans and the bottom 20% has grown by 71%. Economists often justify wealth disparities by citing advantages of overall growth. But we’ve lost more than 2.4 million jobs since the 2000 election and tax cut. We need an economy that is both strong and fair. Visionary ideas like a sustainable economy and the open source movement can help take us there.

Equal Rights: Our country has been defined not by accident of birth but by something we’re willing to call merit. Ideas over identity. Freedom. Choice. Equality.

Election reform: Money creates an unequal discourse when it’s the driving force in elections. If “one person, one vote” is to be adhered to, then we need to equalize the debate. Right now, wealthy interests have the opportunity to speak far more than non-wealthy interests. We need an election system that responds to the public interest.

Health Care: We have the richest country in the world, and yet millions of American children lack health insurance. Let’s build a system that uses health care dollars efficiently, providing (as much as possible) affordable prevention-based health care, rather than an economic discouragement of early treatment that leads to expensive and resource-draining “sick-care.”

And the silent “P” - Peace / Public Safety: We once felt like the untouchable stronghold of liberty, we now debate how much liberty we will trade to once again feel like a stronghold. The basic case: Each of us is safer if fewer people want to kill us; and each of us is safer if there are others who will help keep us safe.

On the side of the 1978 MCI Crusader bus reads: “A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy.” - Teddy Roosevelt.

For more information on each of the candidates visit their websites:

www.paulevans2006.com

www.dalto.org

www.brianclem.com

www.jackiewinters.com




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