I also am a rural Oregonian and was a participant in the Rural Congress. We all need to remember that as Oregonians, both rural and urban, we are all in this together. However, that does not mean that we always remember that or for that matter are listening. The Rural Congress is an attempt to help the more urban areas remember that the rural parts of the state are out there and that there has been a great deal of Legislation that has occurred over the last few years that forgot to take into account that it did not apply well to rural areas and as a result left rural Oregon bereft of the traditional tools it had used in the past to sustain itself.If we are ever to be "One Oregon" we have to remember that we each live in very different areas that are as diverse as our great Country. We have to remember that we each have specific expertise and knowledge of our respective communities and listen to that expertise and trust that we are all trying to make Oregon a sustainable, healthy place to live.
Like its urban counterparts, rural Oregon has learned new practices and techniques that can make for a better future, but is unable to apply them due to legislation that has taken local control and completely consolidated it at the state level. I, for one, advocate for increased local control with the state acting as our partner and not as our land lord. In order for that to happen, it will take urban citizens to lobby their legislators on rural Oregon's behalf to initiate the changes that can put the tools necessary for rural Oregon's sustainability back in their tool box.
Both Urban and rural Oregon know that diversity is important and we are both experiencing similar, and our own unique changes, that we must respond to. If rural Oregon is to prosper, the minimum wage jobs that tourism creates can not be the only answer. Rural Oregonians, with the help of the land grant universities, have learned new methods of Agriculture and agribusiness, sustainable and healthy forest practices, natural resource utilization and protection and are eager to apply them, as they are the keys that will unlock rural Oregon's future...but that will happen only with urban Oregon's partnership, trust and understanding of the tools that are needed.
The Rural Congress is and will continue to be a voice of rural Oregon. the question is, are our urban brothers and sisters ready to listen and help.
posted 4 years, 9 months ago
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