("Making that difference for others, makes a difference in you.")
What a fine tribute that someone like Ralph Nader bring's us here together. I thinks we should give thanks to all those who made this event possible! Let's hear it for them. This is a great day for Oregon and it's a great day for the Pacific Green Party! Across this country of ours we are coming together and what a better place to start than in Oregon. I have always considered it a blessing to live in this state!
In 1902, Oregon was the second state in the nation to adopt the Initiative and Referendum process - thereafter to be known as the Oregon Plan to the other 23 states following in our footsteps. In 1912, Oregon gave women the right to vote. We are at the forefront of protecting our environment. We were the first state to adopt the bottle bill. We banned chlorofluorocarbons from aerosol containers and we have been a long time champion of land use planning.
In 1980, thanks to the help of people like Chuck Johnson and Peter Bergel, the people of Oregon banned the construction and operation of nuclear plants until high level radioactive waste could be safely disposed of. Since that time - There has been no new nuclear plants built in Oregon.
And with the help of people like Paige Knight, Robin Klein and Lynn Sims we have taken our battle to Hanford. Imagine what it would be like if you all showed up at the hearing on August 29 at 6:30 PM in OMSI and said no the startup and operation of the FFTF breeder reactor. Just think of the message we would send if enough Oregon and Washington residents showed up to make the attendance at Blazer games look like a small event in comparison.
The fact of the matter is I believe enough of you do care. We care enough to stand up to Portland General Electric illegally charging us for the dead Trojan Nuclear Plant and earning hundreds of millions in dollars of profit. Over 60,000 Oregonians signed petitions in 90 days to create Ballot Measure 90 and contrary to the disturbing news of a court settlement between the Citizens Utility Board and PGE, Ballot Measure 90 is not moot and it greatly affects the way we will be charged by utilities in the future. If you don't want utilities to charge you for something that doesn't work - Vote no on 90!
We as a people have great power to make change. Oregon is a state where people stand up for justice, for the environment and for integrity in government. This is a place where activists have a home and that home is within the Pacific Green Party. All you have to do is look at who's here.
As I stand before you today less that 50% of those eligible to vote are registered to vote in OR - 25% of those registered are independent. Doesn't that send you a message. There is an overwhelming majority of people who no longer feel they are represented by Republicans or Democrats. These are people who are disillusioned with "the best government that corporate money can buy." These are OUR people and we need to reach out to them.
Its time for real Campaign Finance Reform. Its time to take corporations out of elections. This country was not founded on the principle of being "of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation.' it was founded on the principle of being: (LET ME HEAR IT) Of the people, by the people, for the people." Lets make it so!
When you elect me as Secretary of State:
Remember the words from that song sung by Janis Joplin: "When you've got nothing, you've got nothing to lose." We've got nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Like Ralph Nader, I too am being frozen out of the debates. Sign the debate petition which is being passed to you from the aisles or go to my campaign table and sign one.. Isn't it amazing that the Portland City Club and the League of Women Voters can set a requirement of showing 10% of public support in a poll for the Secretary of State race before you can debate - but in the race for Treasurer where there is a Libertarian Candidate worth a million dollars, he's already included. What messages do we send to ourselves and our children when wealth becomes the common denominator for Democracy?
Finally I leave you with the words of our Vice Presidential candidate Winnona LaDuke:
"Until American domestic and foreign policy addresses quality of life issues for the poorest people in the country, we cannot say that there is quality of life. Until all of us are treated as people - with full human rights - we cannot tout a human rights record. Until policy decisions are made that do not benefit solely the 1 percent of the population which has more wealth than the bottom 90 percent of the population, I do not think that we can collectively say that we are talking about real economic and social benefits. And finally, until we have an environmental, economic and social policy that is based on consideration of the impact on the seventh generation from now, we will still be living in a society that is based on conquest, not one that is based on survival."
I pray that the Great Spirit of life will carry each and every one of you into our future.