Connie Page

Oregon’s lone nay vote against the newly passed “Infrastructure and Jobs Act,” was Republican Congressman Cliff Bentz. That really says something loud and clear.

Even with a bill that is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Oregonians to rebuild our roads and bridges and expand our broadband for improved rural access, his political and corporate affiliations are more important to him than vastly improving the lives of his constituents (hmmm, makes me so glad that Oregon has a great voting system … a place for people to address the actions of their representatives.)

A hearty thank you goes to Congressman Peter DeFazio for working so hard to bring so many improvements to our state. Along with the support of Senators Merkley and Wyden, Congressman DeFazio was a major player in this bill, including the things that Oregon folks needed and had asked for.

This act will improve the lives of our regular friends and neighbors: the rural family with faltering internet access that wasn’t able to effectively attend online school classes or work their jobs at home; the homes struggling with access to clean drinking water (think Rockaway Beach or Corbett, or known effects of clear cutting); people devastated by the wildfires; and every Oregonian that drives our rough roads or needs improved public transport.

What is it that Oregon actually receives in the new Infrastructure bill, that Republicans seemed so dead set against? Our state will receive $529 million over five years to improve water infrastructure across Oregon and ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.

What else, you ask? $3.4 billion to improve our highways and $268 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years, along with $529 million over five years to protect against wildfires.

Wildfires have affected thousands of people in our state … lost homes, lives and livelihoods, health issues due to smoke inhalation and so much more. Residents in Douglas County know this scenario all too well.

President Biden’s signing of this historic law ushers in a new day for Oregon and our nation. Along with creating millions of jobs modernizing our infrastructure, this bill addresses the climate crisis (not enough, but it is a start).

There is money to strengthen clean energy and transportation and measures to increase climate resilience.

This bill is not an end-all solution for the climate crisis but it is a step forward. I think it is important to ask ‘how’, while not saying ‘no’ to ideas and actions that will improve our nation. That is why I cannot understand the constant negative response to progressive ideas from our conservative groups. We have to take steps forward, we cannot continue their path of standing still or, worse yet, regressing.

I am an enthusiastic outdoors person. We love to hike, walk, bike, walk at night to let the evening sky amaze us, sit along the river letting nature teach us her lessons. Douglas County is such a rare gem of natural space. Let’s treat her as such. Let’s move forward together … all constituents of one of the most beautiful counties in Oregon. We all want what is best for our county, our friends and neighbors, and our America.

With Biden’s groundbreaking new “Infrastructure and Jobs Act,” we can improve the lives of Oregonians in every county and honor the hard work and dedication of our elected representatives that support it: Congressman DeFazio, Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden. If you were one of those Oregonians looking for better roads, safer bridges, better broadband, cleaner water and more jobs, then make sure to take a look into this bill. Democrats heard you, and Democrats delivered — and not just for the wealthy few. I certainly know where my vote is going.

Connie Page is chair of the Democratic Party of Douglas County. Before moving to Roseburg in 2014, she was co-owner of a lumber and milling business for 18 years in Alaska. She ran this business with Rick, her husband of 45 years. Connie is an avid hiker, volunteer, dog lover, gardener and eternal optimist. She believes each day is an opportunity to make this amazing world a better place for all.

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(6) comments

kaydee44

[lol] Spending $50 to get $5 worth of work on your bridge is NOT smart government. Democrats promote people streaming across our borders, shutting down the energy independence we recently accomplished, mandating people out of their jobs, killing people by withholding life saving and inexpensive drugs during a pandemic, allowing thugs to rule the streets of our major cities, and that's just the beginning of it. I won't bother to discuss moral issues here. So many wouldn't comprehend.

FormerDemocrat

All the roads and bridges in the world don’t mean squat if people can’t afford the gas, the vehicles or the taxes needed to use them. It also doesn’t do a darn bit of good to create more jobs when no one wants to work. The progressive policies and programs seem to afford them the choice not to work, so why would they? It all sounds good in theory, but I prefer the conservative concepts of limited government and fiscal responsibility. I’m pretty sure Rep. Cliff Bentz does, too.

Wretched722

Most of this infrastructure bill is to bail out NY and CA...

Huge bbfan

And the delusion rolls on!

D Steel

Rolls on improved roads and infrastructure!

CitizenJoe

Exactly right. It's only fair to point out that Republicans used to support progress, building, and uniting: Lincoln defended the Union, developed the transcontinental railroad that likewise cemented the nation, signed the Morrill Act of 1862 establishing land grant colleges, promoted science and engineering, etc.; Garfield was a progressive's progressive who could have been among the greatest presidents if his doctors hadn't completed the assassin's work.

Theodore Roosevelt!

And Eisenhower/Interstates, etc.

Then came Reagan, who made an industry of governance-bashing.

At this point in time, Republicans are an anti-progress, nay-saying cult that excommunicates apostates who vote for infrastructure or defend the rule of law. (Trump had endless feckless rounds of "infrastructure week" that always came to nothing; Pelosi and Schumer came to him with multiple trillion-dollar offers, which he petulantly dismissed.)

Democrats are the only major party in America today that even believes in progress, good governance, the rule of law, and, oh: Infrastructure!

Delivered.

More progress to come. Stay tuned.

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