Oregon's 4th congressional district centers on Eugene. Until the current redistricting it was a swing district (R+1) and now it's safely blue (D+9), running along the coast from the California border up as far as Lincoln County and east to include, besides Eugene, Roseburg, Corvalis, Albany and Lebanon. With Pete DeFazio retiring, this is the first time there's an open race since 1986, when he was first elected.
Although 8 Democrats are competing, only three are plausible contenders, progressive Doyle Canning, a serious climate activist, endorsed today by Blue America, and two establishment candidates, Val Hoyle-- a champion of a locally hated fossil fuel pipeline being pushed by business-friendly power-brokers-- and Andrew Kalloch, a lobbyist and executive for AirBnB. In 2016, the district voted overwhelmingly for Bernie, who won every county with double digit margins.
We asked Doyle to introduce herself with a guest post and I hope you'll read it and then invest in her campaign by clicking here or on the 2022 Blue America congressional thermometer above. Election day is May 17 and we're trying to help Doyle to raise funds for her GOTV field operation, which is exactly what will determine which candidate wins the Democratic Party nomination.
Climate Can't Wait
-by Doyle Canning
The latest UN report pulls no punches: “Earth is firmly on track toward an unlivable world.” You’ve seen these headlines that confirm what you have probably observed on unseasonably hot days, while choking on wildfire smoke, or sandbagging your home in the midst of disasters like monster hurricanes and floods: the climate crisis is here now. One in three Americans have been directly impacted by climate change driven disasters in the last few years. Climate change is already costing us hundreds of billions of dollars. We know the window of time we have to act is short-- and closing. And if we don’t change course now, the consequences are almost unthinkable.
Climate can’t wait. That’s why I am running for Congress.
I am an environmental policy strategist, climate activist, community organizer, and attorney with 20 years of mileage in the climate movement. I’ve done just about everything there is to do to stop climate change: petitioned, protested, organized, built coalitions, passed state and local measures, changed corporate policies, communicated compelling messages, moved groundbreaking lawsuits, and advocated at the United Nations. Along the way, we’ve notched some important wins, including stopping the Jordan Cove fracked gas project in southern Oregon. But despite decades of work to change course, fossil fuel pollution continues to expand. Despite the groundswell of grassroots activism for climate, we won’t see the necessary transition to renewable energy until we elect unbought climate leadership in Congress.
I’ve been told for my entire career by establishment operatives that “Voters don’t care about climate change,” and that “You can’t run on climate.” Well, deadly wildfires and superstorms change that. Despite what some members of our party claim, American voters’ alarm and concern about climate change at an all time high of 70%. Clean energy jobs proposals like the Green New Deal poll favorably across party lines and urban and rural divides. American voters are hungry for leadership on climate now. So why aren’t we seeing more action in Congress? Follow the fossil fuel money.
While Washington Republicans are pretty much completely bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, some members of our own party focus more on their corporate donors than on delivering climate solutions, and we are simply out of time for foot dragging. The Greenpeace UK expose on Exxon’s lobbying to purposefully bifurcate an infrastructure bill from the climate investments in Build Back Better, to make sure the climate stuff died, tells you everything you need to know about what is in the way in Washington. Corporate obstructionism in Congress, not public opinion in America, is our biggest obstacle to climate action today.
For Democrats in 2022, there is true urgency to electing champions who won’t be swayed by the more than 11,000 lobbyists working on Capitol Hill, or the kinds of big campaign contributions from billionaires, CEOs, fossil fuels, telecoms, lobbyists, and big pharma that my opponent has built her career on.
I am running for Congress because our progressive priorities simply can’t wait for another generation. We all want a future where every human being-- no matter our gender, our zipcode, our faith or race-- is respected, and housed, can drink clean water and can see a doctor or get a prescription when we need to, and all are offered opportunities to build a future. Progressive Democrats share a vision for a future with good living wage union jobs, and a healthy living earth-- and that future is possible and just within our grasp.
In 2022, Democrats must stand firm for our values. To win elections this November, and for the next decade, in this district and beyond - we need to show what we are for and take action. Real changes that will improve peoples’ lives, like Medicare for All, bold climate investments that create jobs, raising the minimum wage and building affordable housing. We can't wait. We must elect champions now, who renounce funding by the fossil fuel industry, Amazon lobbyists and corporations, and will stay in the fight to deliver, especially when the pressure is on. Medicare for All polls at 75% support in Oregon, from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Our progressive agenda is popular! And people are ready to vote for leadership to get it done.
My two decades of leadership as a community organizer, progressive strategist, attorney and activist have demonstrated that I am that leader for Oregon now. I am in this race because Climate can't wait. Health Care can't wait. Our country can't wait. For leadership that is unbought and unafraid to put us back on track for a livable world. Thanks for your support!