Tim Nesbitt

First debate delivers telling first impressions of candidates for Oregon governor

By: - August 3, 2022

Candidates for governor are in a league of their own. Debates matter in these contests. Heads turn when the power hitters come to bat. And, unlike in the primaries, these are not events when the voters who show up are all wearing team caps. So, it’s the unaffiliated voters, now more numerous than ever in […]


The rising tide of inflation threatens to swamp Oregon’s public budgets

By: - July 19, 2022

Gas prices and grocery bills have headlined the immediate effects of rising inflation on household budgets. But inflation has downstream effects that will swamp public budgets as well, eroding the capacity of state and local revenues to sustain support for vital services. In Oregon and neighboring states, consumer prices rose 8.8% year over year in […]


Will Oregonians support a more aggressive approach to reduce gun violence? 

By: - July 4, 2022

Oregon’s latest citizen-led effort to keep guns out of dangerous hands has become a go-to campaign in the wake of the rapid-fire slaughters of innocents in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. Hundreds of Oregonians have reportedly taken to the streets with clipboards in hand to qualify Initiative Petition 17, titled the Reduction of Gun […]

Oregon Public Health Division

Reforming Portland city government is now an all-or-nothing gamble

By: - June 17, 2022

“I am large, I contain multitudes.” – Walt Whitman, Song of Myself Portland’s Charter Commission finalized its expansive reform effort this week with an epic-length ballot measure that contains multitudes. How it plays with Portlanders is now the question. In a single measure, Portland voters in November will be asked to diminish the role of […]


Most voters in Oregon will not be heard in primary, but their votes will resonate in November

By: - May 17, 2022

The fate of the Democratic and Republican candidates who prevail in Oregon’s primary election for governor this week will rest not with their own parties’ voters, but with the growing number of Oregonians who have abandoned or declined to join their ranks. So too for the major party candidates who will advance to the general […]


One plan to reform Portland city government aims for more diversity – but might not get it

By: - May 2, 2022

On any list of city governments ripe for reform, Portland has earned top billing. After two years of disruption, dysfunction and discontent, the need to overhaul Portland’s outdated commission form of government has evolved from a perennial talking point to an urgent 911 call demanding a city-wide response. Luckily, while the 911 callers remain on […]


Democrats learn to wave at the log trucks in rural Yamhill County

By: - April 15, 2022

Six of the leading Democratic primary candidates in Oregon’s new Congressional district have more in common than their largely indistinguishable policy agendas. Each of them has spent at least half a day, some a full nine hours, touring Yamhill County and driving old logging roads with the county’s only Democratic commissioner, Casey Kulla. Yamhill County, […]

Oregon State Seal Capitol

Reforms to PERS were needed, but Oregon leaders still shy from discussing pension issues

By: - April 4, 2022

For decades in Oregon, the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) has been the source of much-debated fiscal problems for the state, its school districts, cities and counties. But now that the rising costs of the system have finally stabilized, at least temporarily, the politicians who helped to craft its much-needed course correction don’t want to […]


Responses to the pandemic are driving Innovation in Oregon schools

By: - March 18, 2022

This is a week when parents and kids are celebrating the end of mask mandates in schools throughout Oregon. For many, it feels like a huge relief to return to the “old normal” in our classrooms. But the old normal won’t be good enough to overcome what our kids have lost during the past two […]

Oregon Senate floor session

In Oregon, legislators are stepping in to advance worker benefits broader than unions

By: - March 4, 2022

On first impression, the fight for farmworker overtime In Oregon looks like a struggle to claim 20th Century labor standards for a historically marginalized workforce. True enough. But it’s also another example of how blue state legislatures have begun to use their lawmaking powers to improve conditions for workers in every nook of the 21st […]


Yamhill may soon become a bellwether county in national politics

By: - February 18, 2022

Yamhill County has long been a neglected bastion of Republican politics in Oregon, relatively moderate in its conservatism and safely distant in its residents’ minds from the liberal excesses of metro Portland. It’s a county that used to be taken for granted by Republican strategists and written off by their Democratic counterparts in statewide and […]


Oregon’s long-overdue Private Forest Accord could set stage for climate change work

By: - February 10, 2022

It’s been a long time since Oregonians first saw the words “private forest” and “accord” in the same document – more than 50 years in fact, since Oregon adopted its first-in-the nation Forest Practices Act in 1971. One year after that, with enactment of the federal Endangered Species Act, the terms of engagement on our […]