Greg Mecklem for County Commission
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Dear Friends,

I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of what we accomplished during the past 8 months and how grateful and humbled I am by the amazing support and energy you all gave.  While my ugly mug was on the mailers and signs, it was simply a reflection of the ideas that we all strongly believe in and know are right.  We presented issues that needed to be part of the public debate – many of them for the first time in a County Commission race.  Our message was clear and it resonated with the public – protect our foundation farmland from urban sprawl for future generations, build urban town centers near public transit that are walkable, livable, robust, and elder-friendly, make a commitment to renewable energy, and create open, responsive government that involves people – we're a movement that's necessary for a healthy future!  Our message will prevail because it must.

To put the campaign in perspective, we started in late February with zero name recognition, and three months later gained over 35% of the vote.  Despite a few miscalculations and stumbles that naturally come with a first campaign (Linda tried to warn me about most of them), we lost the vote in the general election by only 2%. 

Now for my enlightenment of yesterday – apparently there's about a 2-5% advantage if you're listed first on the ballot. (sources:  1   2   3 )   By Oregon election law, the alphabet is randomly scrambled and candidates are listed according to the "new" alphabet order of the first letter of their last name.  Twelve states mandate that the candidates' names are rotated in different precincts for fairness (not Oregon).  So, we were unfortunate – we very likely would have prevailed with an equal listing, in spite of the fact that we filed late and were challenging the status quo.

For the past week, I've been reconnecting with the farm and forest at Accoyo America and Eagles' Nest.  As Dick Schouten told me last spring, campaigning is simply not sustainable.  I've been wrestling with the question, "Where do we go from here?"  Diana and I gave Linda a card that showed three women standing on a bench near a sign that read "Lost Persons Area" (she put in a superhuman effort).  I didn't realize to what extent the feeling would apply to me.  At any rate, I hope you're wrestling with the same question.  Ideas like "maybe we should start a newspaper, since there's little investigative reporting happening in Washington County" or "maybe we should start an umbrella association of progressive-minded issue-oriented interest groups (i.e., No on LNG/Farmland Protection/Fair Boosters/Affordable Housing Advocates/No on Airport Expansion, etc.).  I do know one thing – we need to stay connected – because our fight is not over.  Maybe the idea of a newsletter connecting our particular interest groups isn't a bad idea after all.

At any rate, thanks for working to make a difference!  Let this be a beginning and not an end!


Smart growth. Healthy future.

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