Commentary

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 […]

Shifting from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance widens the lens of what’s possible

BY: - May 15, 2022

There’s a sixth “W” to the list of who, what, where, when and why questions we ask as journalists. To me, that’s “What’s possible?” What’s possible when 60 plus newsrooms across Oregon agree to participate in a media collaboration to better inform voters about the 35 candidates running for governor? And what’s possible when we […]

Pursuing solutions to Oregon’s homelessness issue could be aided with better information

BY: - May 13, 2022

The old saying among business consultants is that you can’t manage it if you can’t measure it. That’s not true of managing everything. (Measures of quality don’t always reduce easily to numbers.) But it does seem true for at least one of Oregon’s most difficult problems: homelessness. We know it’s a big problem. But we […]

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More behavioral health care, housing in Oregon would spare individuals and society from pain

BY: and - May 11, 2022

Oregon ranks seventh in the U.S. in state spending on behavioral health supports. Yet it is ranked 48th in positive behavioral health outcomes. Every day, people who need behavioral health treatment and support are unable to secure them. These problems have now reached crisis proportions. As the Legislature continues to wrestle with these challenges, an […]

Oregon’s economy is pushing more people into homelessness

BY: - May 10, 2022

Oregon is facing a new housing crisis beyond anything we have seen to date. Desperately needed eviction prevention programs have poured more than half a billion dollars into the rental market since 2020, protecting thousands that lost income during the pandemic.  A series of eviction moratoriums and tenant protections, in support of the financial resources, […]

State’s billion-dollar timber case might be better resolved by Legislature

BY: - May 6, 2022

The state court case of Linn v. Oregon has involved a stake of a billion dollars and turned on a subtle interpretation of state law, but it ought to cause Oregonians to reflect on the meaning of … value. The value, that is, of their state lands. The case Linn County v. State of Oregon […]

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 […]

Abortion likely to emerge as key issue in Oregon governor’s race once Supreme Court decides

BY: - April 28, 2022

If you’re wondering what political issues aren’t top of mind for most Oregonians but may get there in coming months, abortion should rise to attention. It’s worth considering now, ahead of the upcoming primary election, for this reason. Sometime in the next few months, likely about June, the U.S. Supreme Court will issue a decision […]

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The curious case of crypto as a player in Oregon politics

BY: - April 25, 2022

Winners for election to the U.S. House in Oregon, who are mostly incumbents, typically raise campaign treasuries for the whole of an election cycle of up to about $2 million. Sometimes they raise more (as in the 4th Congressional District race in 2020), but that’s unusual. What’s happening this year in the 6th Congressional District, […]

Reforms could help Oregon families missing out on millions in tax credits

BY: - April 20, 2022

Tax Day has now passed. And many low-paid working families missed an opportunity to make their life a bit easier. Year in, year out, Oregon ranks at or near the bottom nationally in the share of families qualifying for the earned income tax credit who actually claim it. That’s bad news not only for the […]

Oregon journalists are experimenting with new way to report on governor’s race

BY: - April 19, 2022

Oregon voters, you’re about to benefit from a novel effort to report on the governor’s race. Between the Republicans and the Democrats, more than two dozen candidates are on the primary ballot for governor. Most news organizations don’t have the reporters, the space or the time to report on them all. Yet voters deserve to […]

Republican candidates for Oregon governor chasing small slivers of voters

BY: - April 18, 2022

Just 5.3 percent of the vote theoretically could produce the next Republican nominee for Oregon governor, far fewer votes someone would need to be elected state senator in the fall. The primary winner likely will get considerably more than that, of course. But since every candidate on the ballot will pick up at least a […]