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Two Oregons

March 17th, 2005 by Admi

Oregon is really two Oregons (rural and urban), but what makes it attractive is that they co-exist in such proximity.

Urban Oregonians may go to the wilderness only two weeks every year, but
they love knowing that they CAN. Rural Oregonians may hope to never be
homeless or in need of “big city” social services, but there’s comfort in
knowing those resources are nearby and in-state.

Link fire suppression to social services for the homeless. (Or two items
that are equivalent in per-capita spending for the districts affected.)
Assemble a list of “matches”.

Look at 1990 funding levels as percentage of total budget. Compare that to
now. Propose plans to bring the funding levels back to those proportions and
pitch it to both sides of the split as fairness. Ask the legislature to keep
the matches in place when funding levels are set.

Remind both sides how much we value the other, even if it’s not “the world
we live in” — it’s important to have that other world nearby. Those who
want only urban can go back east. Those who want only rural can move one
state to the right. But what’s special about Oregon is the creative tension
between the two and the budget should reflect that.

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