May 18, 2015

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Lobbying as a Small Business Owner

It was time to meet our legislators. We moved into a new neighborhood. The mail was forwarded, the utilities transferred, we settled into a community garden plot, now for the final step: get to know our representatives. Oregon wants its citizens voting and involved, created a unique law, mailing ballots to anyone with a drivers license. I love the vote by mail system. In Utah, I used to vote absentee to vote by mail.

Christy dutifully called the offices of our Senator Michael Dembrow and Representative Barbara Smith Warner. Scheduling a day both could see us merely an hour apart in Salem, Oregon. We promptly booked our Amtrak (bus?) tickets to visit one of only three art deco style state capital buildings and the fourth newest in the United States (thank you Wikipedia).

It isn’t just the architecture of the Salem capital that is new and novel. In early May 2015 Oregon passed a bill expanding gun sales background checks, one of the few states to enact gun control measures. Oregon has one of only six current female governors and the nation’s first and only lesbian Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, our former representative. I used to run into Tina at the grocery store regularly. Lobbying was much easier over produces and pet food at the check-out stand.