The COPE (Committee On Political Education) has reviewed some local and state candidates on the ballot. We have looked for those who are Labor-friendly, support public higher education, and will be helpful in their elected roles to our membership, our college, and our community. While we have not been able to review and consider all candidates on the ballot, there are a few races where either the candidates directly reached out to us or where a member has requested that we endorse a candidate. We have reviewed the websites of these candidates, and in some cases, had them fill out a questionnaire telling us their positions on issues important to many of our members, such as their support of organized labor and higher education/community colleges, their support of the diversity of our students and members, Covid, and the issues of homelessness and affordable housing in our county.
Below is the list of LCCEF Endorsements that we specifically discussed and approved.
Jo is running against the incumbent mayor. She is an artist who runs an art supply store in Florence. Originally from a small town in California, she earned her BFA from San Jose State and became a high-level administrator at the University of Chicago. She moved to Florence to be with her aging parents. She is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and several other Florence organizations. She understands Lane Community College is an important part of the Florence infrastructure, understanding how education, access to wifi, and ongoing LCC programs help meet Florence’s needs. She supports our members.
Lane County Commissioner, South Eugene
DUAL Endorsements: Laurie Trieger and Joel Iboa
Both candidates are extremely strong; both strongly support LCCEF and Lane Community College as one of the largest entities in Lane County and also as the educational engine that supports our community’s needs. Both candidates express wanting to ensure that Lane Community College remains strong, and both express their support for LCC’s Classified employees as a vital requirement for LCC to be able to serve Lane County.
After reviewing their questionnaires and qualifications, while each has particular strengths that stand out, we could not agree on only one of them. Therefore, like LCCEA, we decided to offer a rare endorsement for both candidates.
We suggest you look at their websites to help you make your decision, and, if you wish to see their responses to the questionnaires, we can make those available to you. Either candidate would be a strong choice for Lane County.
State Representative, House District 11
Marty is the incumbent in this district and has reached out to us multiple times to let me know he is available to our members for any issues he can assist with in the Oregon House. Marty is a veteran and has long supported labor. He is a strong proponent of education at all levels and particularly desires to address the high levels of student loan debt students graduate with. Marty supports better funding for LCC, as well as for all k-college public education.
Oregon Secretary of State
In addition to managing statewide elections, which Oregon does very well, the Secretary of State in Oregon has the role of overseeing any disputes with redistricting of Congressional districts. This is a Census year, and in 2021, Oregon will conduct redistricting based on Census results. It is anticipated that, because Bend has increased their population, Oregon stands to gain at least one new Congressional district. Redistricting has been a contentious process, and we want to avoid gerrymandering and other problems, as it directly impacts how budgets are allocated through the state.
LCCEF COPE feels that Shemia Fagan, who is strongly pro-labor, worked her way through public higher education to get her degrees in Oregon, and has served in both the Oregon House and Senate, is an excellent candidate for fairness in the upcoming redistricting of Oregon’s House districts, as well as someone who will use her oversight capacities for state public spending to ensure funding that is supposed to go to colleges, and our PERS retirees will do so.
Congressman DeFazio is in a tough race this election. Congressman DeFazio has worked hard for higher education and labor in general and has frequently helped LCC directly over the years. He wrote a letter to President Hamilton in support of LCCEA’s pay increase last year, and, back in 2009, was able to get Congressional funding of $400,000 in support of Lane’s Nursing Program. I have recently been on AFL-CIO calls with Congressman DeFazio, and he expresses strong support for Labor. There are many ways his local office has been available to our members over the years for help with a variety of issues, from rental and small business problems locally, to worker’s comp cases, to trouble with federal agencies such as Social Security. He is the Chair of the House Transportation Committee, and in July, he passed a transportation and infrastructure bill through Congress to fund $500 billion in roads, transit, and rail. This bill can directly impact the budget for some of Lane’s degree programs that support these industries, as well as local jobs. He also recently secured funding for those affected by wildfires in Oregon.