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It's time for a change in how we do business

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PEGGY SAVAGE - Tom Kane, candidate for House Dist. 18As I have knocked on doors in House District 18, I have seen how so many people in our small towns from young to old are struggling economically. I want to be a part of bringing good paying jobs and services to our communities.

My opponent won the “Statesman of the Year “ Award from the Oregon Business Association for his past service to the state of Oregon. He is to be commended for that achievement.

But as a teacher of mine once told me, “the best time to leave is when you are on top” and it is time for Vic to leave, for his past service is not what we need for the future of our district.

The future is going to be radically different than the past, but we must hold on to important parts of what has made Oregon unique as we meet it. This means we need to hold on to our small towns, rural economies, and wise land use. The climate is changing and this means that our economy is going to have to change as well. We need someone in office that understands this and can direct some of these positive economic changes to our rural communities.

All our economic choices need to be guided by the fact that we must lower our carbon footprint. Contrary to the naysayers such as Donald Trump, who my opponent has endorsed, this means jobs--millions of jobs and I want to make sure that Oregon and District 18 is landing those jobs.

One area where those jobs can be created is cross-laminated timber. We need to make Oregon a leader in the field. This will bring good paying jobs to depressed timber communities. This product will allow us to build multi-story buildings with Oregon lumber products. The lumber can and must be sustainably harvested and this will be a part of smart development that decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

We also need someone who understands the importance of local food production and will hold the line against the development of our best farmlands. We are going to need to decrease the amount of fossil fuels that are used to produce food. The easiest and best way to do this is to create systems that maximize local use and ensure that farmers get a good price for their produce.

Finally, as a nation, we are going to need to build 30 large solar factories per year in the coming years and I want Oregon and our district to be the location for some of these factories--the sooner the better. This isn’t going to happen if our legislators are looking to the past, denying the reality of climate change, and fighting for new fossil fuel development. This puts me at odds with some unions, but I will stand up for what is right for our communities as we move into the future.

Not all jobs are the same, but there are many more jobs in creating a livable world for our children, and that is the kind of statesmanship we need now. This is not a liberal/conservative debate. This is about the future.

It is time for a change in the way we do business. It is time for a change in District 18.

— Tom Kane is a candidate for the House in District 18, which includes the Molalla area.