The Oregon Way

We have a long-standing tradition in Oregon — the citizen initiative process. Other states that followed our lead refer to the initiative process as “the Oregon system.” We have a tried-and-true tradition of self-government, with the individual elector being the highest authority for local politics.

Thousands of Lane County voters signed to place an initiative on the May ballot allowing citizens to vote on banning the aerial spraying of herbicides. Hundreds of volunteers spent thousands of hours collecting signatures. They practiced the most sacred chores of grassroots politics, the citizen initiative, to have their voice heard.

They submitted more than enough signatures to qualify their petition. They followed the rules, dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s.

The commissioners have not voted to allow a public vote on their measure.

As a body, the Lane County Commission has no respect for our traditions. They have turned their back on the right of self-government. They are using intentional pre-emptive litigation as an obstacle to self-government.

I am a candidate for county commissioner for District 2 (Springfield). If elected, I will respect the right of Lane County citizens to petition their government. If a group of citizens follows the rules of the initiative process, I will advance the initiative to a countywide ballot.

It’s the right thing to do. It’s the Oregon way.

Joe Berney