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An Independent Spirit: Oregon, Her People, and Her Legacy. By Brianne Kennedy Politics 303 Professor Basu Willamette University Spring 2004. Overview of Presentation. Service-Learning Experience Why Oregon Matters A Maverick State from the Beginning Oregon: Things Look Different Here

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An independent spirit oregon her people and her legacy

An Independent Spirit:Oregon, Her People, and Her Legacy

By Brianne Kennedy

Politics 303

Professor Basu

Willamette University

Spring 2004

Overview of presentation
Overview of Presentation

  • Service-Learning Experience

  • Why Oregon Matters

  • A Maverick State from the Beginning

  • Oregon: Things Look Different Here

  • Looking Back and Working Ahead

“She flies with her own wings.”State Motto

Service learning experience jackie winters for congress http www jackiewinters com

The Good

The Bad

Service-Learning ExperienceJackie Winters for Congress

Why oregon matters health care
Why Oregon MattersHealth Care

  • The Oregon Health Plan stands out as an “innovative, trail-blazing formula for achieving universal health care.”

    (Source: Oregon Health Care Forum, December 2000)

  • “I do not know of any more thorough and better-intended effort to ration health care than [Oregon’s].”

    (Peter Ubel, MD in Pricing Life, page 150)

    • In Pricing Life, Ubel uses the Oregon Health Plan as a case study for his discussions of, among other things:

      -Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA)

      -Defining “health care rationing”(11)

      -Ranking the importance of health care services (56-57)

      -The role of physicians in rationing (107), and

      -Methods for rationing (149)

Why oregon matters assisted suicide
Why Oregon MattersAssisted Suicide

  • Oregon is the only state which currently allows assisted suicide.

  • “One in 1,000 people in Oregon chose to end their lives in 2003.” (Source:

  • “Opponents can no longer afford the luxury of assuming that ‘it can never happen here.’”

    (Wesley Smith in Forced Exit, page 140)

  • In Forced Exit, Smith spends roughly 40 pages discussing Oregon.

  • Since assisted suicide has been legalized in Oregon, at least 14other states have “considered measures to legalize assisted suicide and/or euthanasia.” (Source

Why oregon matters the death penalty
Why Oregon MattersThe Death Penalty

  • “Oregon is going to play a special role in [ending the death penalty] nationally.” Sister Helen Prejean, November 2001 (Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer 11/9/04)


    -Would have replaced the death penalty with mandatory life imprisonment.

    -Chief backers were Sen. Hatfield, OR Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

    -Appeared in 2001 to be the only drive in any of the 38 states with the death

    penalty to repeal it. (Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer 11/9/04)

    University of Oregon Conference


    See: "Reasons Not to Oppose Death Penalty“

    Oregonian 3/3/02

A maverick state from the beginning oregon s pioneer roots

Key Dates in Oregon’s Founding

-1542:Spain discovers Oregon’s coast

-1805: Lewis and Clark explore Oregon

-1843: The first pioneers arrive on Oregon Trail

-1848: The Oregon Territory is created

-1859: Oregon becomes the 33rd state


“Oregonians have a strong streak of individualism. It’s been an element in Oregon character since pioneer days.” E. Kimbark MacColl, Historian

A Maverick State from the BeginningOregon’s “Pioneer Roots”

A maverick state from the beginning pioneering progressiveness

Oregon was the first state to:

-Directly elect its U.S. Senators

-Pass a strong minimum-wage law

-Ban non-returnable bottles and cans

-Mandate that all beaches remain public

-Address GM food labeling on ballot

Manzanita Beach

A Maverick State from the BeginningPioneering Progressiveness

  • “We are votin’, gloatin’ pioneers, controlling our destiny, protecting our space.”Steve Duin, Journalist(Oregonian 11/9/97)

  • A Citizen Legislature

  • Oregonians once seriously considered creating a separate country.

  • Oregon legalized abortions before Roe vs. Wade.

Oregon things look different here major demographic divisions
Oregon: Things Look Different HereMajor Demographic Divisions

  • Rich vs. Poor

  • Oregon ranks fifth among the 50 states in terms of income inequality between the rich and poor.

  • 11.6% of Oregonians currently live under the poverty line, including 21.1% of children under 5.

  • Urban vs. Rural

  • Urban and rural areas of Oregon are so different that they are sometimes referred to as “the Two Oregons”.

  • About 45% of Oregonians live in the 5 counties the federal government has termed “the Portland-Vancouver Metropolitan Statistical Area”. The other 55% live in Oregon’s 31 other counties.

  • "Myths and Realities of the Two Oregons"

(Sources:;; “Poor slip further while the rich get richer”, The Register Guard 1/18/00)

Oregon things look different here a snapshot of oregon politics
Oregon: Things Look Different HereA Snapshot of Oregon Politics

  • Party Registration

  • 21 percent of Oregon’s voters are registered as independents, more than any other state in the country.

  • There are only 44,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in Oregon.

  • The State Legislature

  • The Senate is evenly split with 15 Republicans and 15 Democrats.

  • There is a Republican majority in the House, although only by 5 of 60 total seats.

  • Election 2000

  • Bush lost in Oregon by fewer than 6,800 votes.

  • Oregon is going to be vital in the 2004 presidential election.

(Sources: “Bush Campaign Targets Oregon, Washington”, Oregonian 6/14/03;

Looking back and working ahead a few final thoughts

The Good

The Bad

Looking Back and Working AheadA Few Final Thoughts