Stu Rasmussen, the mayor of Silverton, has launched a voter initiative that he says would give Oregonians greater access to their legislators. This proposed Constitutional amendment would require state politicians to vote from their home districts, instead of from Salem. Rasmussen is spearheading this because of difficulties he’s had meeting with legislators during session. But there is obvious interest from some state senators and representatives who, under the current system, have to give up their “day jobs” and essentially move to Salem for each legislative session.
What do you think? Should legislators be mandated to vote from home? Should they at least have the option? Have you tried to access your local politician when the legislature is in session? How did that go for you?
And what issues does this bring to mind for you about our citizen legislature as a whole? What would decentralized state politics mean for our brand of democracy?
- Stu Rasmussen, Mayor of Silverton
- Jefferson Smith (D-Portland), Oregon District 47 state representative and director of the Bus Project
- Peter Buckley (D-Ashland), Oregon District 5 state representative
- Jim Davis, Associate professor of Human Sciences at Marylhurst University and the Executive Director of the Oregon State Council for Retired Citizens