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Four ‘real people’ on how to make Salem work for you January 29, 2012

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

Politics is a messy process, full of arcane rules and bureaucracies. It’s about as insider as insider can get. But it’s also true that the people — you — own the system.

The lawmakers in Salem work for you, and it’s up to you to tell them what you want. You can do it — fourth-graders have — but it takes a lot of work and persistence.

To help you, we’re launching a new online tool, a Civic Engagement page, that will be a permanent part of The Oregonian’s Your Government site. The page lays out how to get legislation passed, links to important resources, a map of the Capitol and other information and advice.

We also have four stories about ordinary folks who took causes to the Oregon Legislature. There’s no one way to  make a difference, but the stories we offer today show that government isn’t just for insiders.

As one advocate put it: “This is what we’re supposed to do.”

Here are there stories:

Wendy Davis: Pushed for legislation to help new mothers dealing with postpartum depression.

Anne Marie Gurney: Went to Salem when a bill threatened to shut down her son’s online charter school.

Liz Baxter: Used personal stories to try and persuade lawmakers to pass a bill to improve health equity for communities of color.

Stephanie Buzbee: Led a class of fourth graders through the legislative process to get the Dungeness crab named Oregon’s official crustacean.

You can also watch a video of them in which they give out their best advice for folks new to the system.

How real people lobby the Oregon Legislature How real people lobby the Oregon Legislature Four citizen advocates share their best piece of advice for folks looking to make a difference in Salem. Watch video


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