SOCAN Candidate Forums Educate on Climate and Environment
Alan Journet, SOCAN Co-Facilitator
As election season approaches, we are reminded that THE most important step climate activists can take is to VOTE! This involves evaluating the climate consciousness of all candidates for elected office from local to the federal levels and assessing whether or not they intend to propose, support, or oppose climate action. We are seeking and supporting candidates who are promote action that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the sequestration of carbon in our natural and working lands (wetlands, forests and agricultural lands).
It’s important to recognize that many elected representatives and candidates will claim to accept climate science, but when they have the opportunity to demonstrate their concern by casting a vote, they vote against science-based proposals.
As a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now cannot endorse candidates. However, we can educate candidates and elected representatives about climate issues and inform voters about candidate and representative stances on critical issues.
We inform voters both by organizing public forums where candidates are posed questions on issues of climate relevance, and by providing voters with information on where candidates stand on these issues.
In October, SOCAN will offer two candidate forums at the Medford Public Library on the topic of ‘Climate and Environment,’ both starting at 7:00 pm and running for 90 minutes during which candidates will be asked questions posed by the SOCAN organizing committee and members of the public:
October 4 offers candidates for Positions 1 and 3, Jackson County Board of Commissioners, and Federal Congressional District 2.
October 18 offers candidates seeking to represent Jackson County state legislative districts in Salem. This means Oregon House Districts 4, 5, 6, and 56, and Senate District 3.
All candidates for these offices have been invited to attend
The forum component on each date will be followed by a short ‘meet and greet’ opportunity during which candidates and constituents will be able to discuss critical issues.
The Governor’s Race
While we are not organizing candidate forums for statewide candidates, we offer this OPB report from the televised ‘debate’ among Governor candidates and draw your attention particularly to this section:
“Drazan, a former House Republican leader, and Johnson, a 20-year legislative Democrat who ditched the party last year, found plenty to agree on when asked about natural resource management and climate change.
“Both women…would both rescind a 2020 executive order by Gov. Kate Brown capping and reducing greenhouse emissions from some polluters. Kotek, a former House speaker who repeatedly pushed regulations capping carbon emissions, promised to build on what the state has already done.”
The executive order mentioned here is EO 20-04 which was signed by Governor Brown after Republicans walked out of both chambers during the 2020 session to thwart passage of a comprehensive climate bill (Senate Bill 1530). Governor Brown’s Executive Order charged state agencies with the task of reducing emissions within their authority and placing the state on a pathway to reduce emissions substantially by 2050. Since then, state agencies have developed plans and programs to achieve the Governor’s goal.
Clearly, two of the three candidates would immediately undermine and negate that effort by rescinding the Executive Order and eliminating the programs that have been developed. This would throw Oregon back into the dark ages of climate inaction.
The perspectives of the candidates are reflected on their websites:
Betsy Johnson “I will revoke Governor Brown’s…executive order”
As Oregon voters we can draw our own conclusions applying a science-based assessment of what reality demands.