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Eugene/Spring/Rose/Alb/Corv News Releases for Tue. Feb. 27 - 3:20 pm
Police & Fire
Threat at UCC Determined Not Credible, Originated Outside of United States
Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office - 02/26/24 2:45 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. On Monday, February 26, 2024, the Sheriff's Office was notified by Umpqua Community College staff of a security threat to the campus. In an effort to prioritize the safety of students, staff and faculty, the College elected to cancel all classes, events, and activities until further notice. 

The Sheriff's Office is working in partnership with the College regarding the threat. There is an increased law enforcement presence on the campus today. 

“The Sheriff's Office takes seriously any threat directed toward the safety of our schools, whether kindergarten or higher education institutions," Sheriff Hanlin said. “The Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the FBI, has determined the source of the email originated from outside the country. At this time the threatening email is not considered credible, and there is no immediate threat to the college.”

The specifics of the security threat will not be released by the Sheriff's Office in order to protect the integrity of the investigation. 

"We are committed to taking all necessary precautions to ensure safe learning and working environments for everyone. We understand that this closure may cause inconvenience to the academic and personal lives of our community, and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding," said UCC President, Dr. Rachel Pokrandt.

Anyone with information may contact the Douglas County Sheriff's Office at 541-440-4471.

UPDATE: Victim from January White City Shooting Dies in Hospital, Suspect Charged with Murder (Photo)
Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office - 02/27/24 2:34 PM



JCSO Case 24-0520


WHITE CITY, Ore. – The victim from the January 28 shooting in White City died Wednesday, February 21 in an out-of-area hospital. Next of kin has been notified. The victim is Casey Ryan Helmka, 36, of Medford. Our condolences go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.


The suspect, Hector Cruz Orozco, 27, of White City, was originally charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, and two counts of felon in possession of a firearm. A Jackson County Grand Jury upgraded the attempted murder and assault charges to second-degree murder during a Friday, February 22 hearing.


On January 28 at 6:51 p.m., Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies responded to a call for gunshots and someone calling for help in the area of 29th Street and Falcon Street, and the suspect was no longer on scene. Through the initial investigation, JCSO detectives discovered Orozco and the victim were at a mobile home in the 3700 block of Falcon Street on the evening of Sunday, January 28. The two exited the residence and Orozco shot the victim at close range and fled on a bicycle. 


The next day, investigations led JCSO detectives to a house in the 7800 block of Laura Lane in White City. JCSO detectives served a search warrant with assistance from SWAT, K9, and the Crisis Negotiator Team. JCSO deputies took Orozco into custody Monday, January 29 at 5:54 p.m. 


This case is under further investigation. The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case. There is no more information available for release at this time. Further information will come from the DA’s Office.




Original Release:


UPDATE: White City Shooting Suspect Identified, Charged with Attempted Murder, Other Serious Crimes


JCSO Case 24-0520


WHITE CITY, Ore. - The suspect arrested last night for a shooting in White City on Sunday is in the Jackson County Jail charged with attempted murder and other serious crimes. The suspect, Hector Cruz Orozco, 27, of White City, is charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, and two counts of felon in possession of a firearm. The victim has been flown to an out-of-area hospital for further treatment and remains in critical condition.


Through the initial investigation, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) detectives discovered Orozco and the victim were at a mobile home in the 3700 block of Falcon Street on Sunday evening. They exited the residence and Orozco shot the suspect at close range and fled on a bicycle. JCSO deputies responded to the call for gunshots and someone calling for help at 6:51 p.m in the area of 29th Streetand Falcon Street, and Orozco was no longer on scene.


The next day, investigations led JCSO detectives to a house in the 7800 block of Laura Lane in White City. JCSO detectives served a search warrant with assistance from SWAT, K9, and the Crisis Negotiator Team. JCSO deputies took Orozco into custody Monday at 5:54 p.m.


This case is under further investigation. The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case. There is no more information available for release at this time. Further information will come from the DA’s Office.

Attached Media Files: 2024-01/6186/169705/IMG_0910.jpeg , 2024-01/6186/169705/IMG_3456.jpeg , 2024-01/6186/169705/IMG_3457.jpeg , 2024-01/6186/169705/IMG_3461.jpeg , 2024-01/6186/169705/IMG_0911.jpeg , 2024-01/6186/169705/IMG_0912.jpeg

Missing and Endangered 75-year-old Man Located by California Highway Patrol (Photo)
Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office - 02/25/24 3:15 PM

UPDATE 2:40 pm: Mike was found by California Highway Patrol on Highway 139 north of Canby, Calif. Thank you to all who called in sightings and helped search.

A special thanks to the SAR volunteers who answered the call and joined the search.

original release: CENTRAL POINT, Ore- Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies and Search and Rescue (SAR) are searching for a 75-year-old man missing from rural Central Point. The man, Robert Michael Lewis, went missing early this morning from his residence in the 6900 block of Old Stage Road. The man goes by the name “Mike” and may be suffering from confusion due to medical issues. He is described as a white male, aged 75, 5’8” tall, weighing 165 lbs.

Mike has no cell phone with him and was last seen driving a newer model silver Nissan Rogue with temporary plates. If seen call ECSO Dispatch at (541) 776-7206.

Attached Media Files: 2024-02/6186/170272/IMG_4884.png , 2024-02/6186/170272/image001.png

BODYCAM VIDEO: Sheriff's Deputies Rescue Infant and Toddler Abandoned in Woods by Suspect On-the-Run; Grand Jury Indicts Today on All Charges
Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office - 02/22/24 5:05 PM

BODYCAM Available for Download Here: https://vimeo.com/915796109?share=copy

JCSO Case 24-0935


MEDFORD, Ore. – A Jackson County Grand Jury indicted a man today wanted on charges stemming from multiple incidents involving domestic violence and child endangerment. The suspect, Justin Ryan Trompeter, 24, of Trail is wanted for two counts of second-degree child neglect, felony fourth-degree domestic violence assault, third-degree robbery, first-degree theft, harassment, and two counts of reckless endangerment.


The suspect remains on-the-run with Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies continuing their investigation. If you know of the suspect’s whereabouts, call ECSO Dispatch at (541) 776-7206. Trompeter is known to frequent Jacksonville, Shady Cove, Eagle Point, and Trail. 


JCSO deputies were originally searching for Trompeter in connection with a February 7 domestic violence assault call where he fled the scene at a high rate of speed with the children. On Friday, February 16, JCSO deputies received information that Trompeter was hiding with the children, ages 6 months and 1.5 years, deep in the surrounding Jacksonville woods.


Deputies quickly located a vehicle at the top of Wagon Trail Drive around 1:30 p.m on Friday, February 16. JCSO deputies approached the car with caution, but Trompeter had fled the scene before deputies’ arrival. Deputies found the two young children abandoned and alone in the car. Deputies believe the children may have been left alone in the vehicle for up to two hours. Further investigations revealed suspected fentanyl and meth in the car with the children.


Mercy Flights medics checked the children on scene then turned them over to Department of Human Services (DHS) personnel. After the incident, the children were treated at a local hospital and remain in DHS care. This case is open and ongoing with deputies following additional leads. If you know of the suspect’s whereabouts, call ECSO Dispatch at (541) 776-7206.



JOIN THE FUN: Soak-A-Sheriff Event Benefits Local Special Olympics Athletes This Saturday (Photo)
Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office - 02/22/24 12:47 PM

Link to video from 2023 Event: https://vimeo.com/915724415

Notify PIO Aaron Lewis lewisaj@jacksoncountyOR.gov if you are going to attend and would like interviews with participants.

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) hosts the third annual “Soak-A-Sheriff” event fundraiser from 10 am to noon this Saturday, February 24 in the JCSO parking lot (5179 Crater Lake Hwy. Central Point). This family-friendly event will raise money and awareness for Special Olympics Oregon (SOOR) athletes. 


Join Sheriff Nate Sickler and deputies as they get drenched by Jackson County Fire District 3 firefighters for a great cause. Donations are welcome and all proceeds go to support Special Olympics Oregon athletes! To help our team go to https://support.soor.org/event/2024-southern-oregon-polar-plunge/e505675 – click donate and type “Team JCSO.”


This will be a fun community and family event. We will have a kiddie jail, stickers, swag, polar bear for selfies, Team Grilled Cheese and Boba Tea food trucks, and more!


Plus, this year actor and Jackson County resident, Daniel Zacapa, who played Chief Palledorous from the movie, ‘The Sandlot’ will be there signing autograph pictures and posters and other fun things from the film along with lots of other baseball memorabilia - with all the proceeds going to Special Olympics. Come by and say hello have a picture with Squint’s grandfather ‘For-ever’!


Soak-A-Sheriff is one of several local micro fundraising events leading up to the annual Southern Oregon Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. This year the Plunge is on March 2nd at the Rogue Valley Country Club in Medford, and benefits more than 12,000 athlete-participants with disabilities across the state. 


In 2023, Soak-A-Sheriff raised around $1,500 and we are looking to top that this year. All money raised provides uniforms, sports equipment, and health and wellness programs in addition to year-round sports training for athletes with disabilities. 


For more information, contact Kim Andresen at soplunge@soor.org or call 541-841-6875. To register for the Southern Oregon Polar Plunge go to https://support.soor.org/event/2024-southern-oregon-polar-plunge/e505675 or for more about SOOR go to www.soor.org.

Attached Media Files: 2024-02/6186/170210/IMG_3108.JPG , 2024-02/6186/170210/IMG_3103.JPG , 2024-02/6186/170210/IMG_3154.JPG , 2024-02/6186/170210/IMG_3139.JPG , 2024-02/6186/170210/IMG_3133.JPG

02/26/24 - LCSO Case #17-8456 - Lane County Investigation Leads to 20-Year Sentence for Idaho Man
Lane Co. Sheriff's Office - 02/27/24 2:58 PM

In late 2017, a ranger with the Bureau of Land Management contacted a teenage juvenile at an illegal camp near Sharps Creek, Cottage Grove. The juvenile told the ranger she had been living there with an adult male for months.  The camp was in disarray. Concerned for her well-being, the ranger contacted the Department of Human Services. DHS had an open case involving the juvenile. She was taken into DHS custody and placed with her mother. Due to the condition of the campsite, the adult male, Lucas Anthony Lloyd, was arrested and lodged at the Lane County Jail for Littering within 100 Yards of a Waterway.  

Detectives with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office began investigating. The juvenile was interviewed by the Kids FIRST Children’s Advocacy Center. Although she appeared uncomfortable and tested positive for methamphetamine, she did not disclose any abuse. Two years later, in 2019, she opened up to a counselor and disclosed that Lloyd had sexually abused her repetitively.  Lloyd was then in custody with the Idaho Department of Corrections for taking the juvenile from another state to Oregon, violating his custody agreement.  

LCSO detectives interviewed Lloyd with assistance from the Idaho Department of Corrections.  During the interview, Lloyd admitted to having sex with the juvenile.  The case could not be prosecuted, however, as the juvenile had not provided a statement to law enforcement.  Detectives continued following up on the case while Lloyd was still in prison.  

In 2022, the juvenile advised she was ready to talk.  She gave detectives a detailed account of how Lloyd sexually abused her and regularly provided her with methamphetamine in the Cottage Grove area.  The case was presented to a Grand Jury and Lloyd was indicted.  

Lloyd finished his 60-month Idaho prison sentence and was immediately transported to the Lane County Jail.  On February 26, 2024, Lloyd pled guilty to three counts of Rape in the First Degree, three counts of Sodomy in the First Degree, three counts of Unlawful Delivery of Methamphetamine, and one count of Criminal Mistreatment in the First Degree.  Lloyd was sentenced to 20 years in the Oregon Department of Corrections.  

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office would like to the thank the many law enforcement officers and partner agencies that assisted with this case, all of whom came together to find justice for the victim.   

The Lane County Sheriff's Office will never ask for money or compensation of any kind by telephone, text, or email. (Photo)
Lane Co. Sheriff's Office - 02/22/24 2:17 PM
Warrant and Jury Duty Payment Scam
Warrant and Jury Duty Payment Scam

The Lane County Sheriff's Office will never ask for money or compensation of any kind by telephone, text, or email.

Our community continues to be targeted by scammers identifying themselves over the phone as employees of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office. Scammers have in the past also used text and email. The scammers claim there are warrants, missed jury duty, or unsettled legal issues. The scammers then ask for payment or personal information, often to avoid arrest. In some instances, the scammers appear to call from official phone numbers or provide fraudulent callback numbers with official-sounding voicemail inboxes.

If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a Lane County Sheriff's Office employee and you think you are being scammed, please hang up and contact our dispatch center at 541-682-4150 opt. 1.

Attached Media Files: Warrant and Jury Duty Payment Scam

02/11/24 - LCSO Case #24-0714 -- Lane County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue Recovers Remains using High Angle Rope Techniques (Photo)
Lane Co. Sheriff's Office - 02/21/24 1:28 PM

UPDATE - 02/21/24

The remains have been identified as Dustin Jay Steyding of Yachats.  


On Sunday, two Benton County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue volunteers were hiking near Cummins Peak southeast of Yachats.  The volunteers had previously been involved in search efforts in the area for Dustin Steyding.  During their hike, they located human remains.

Lane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue volunteers and deputies responded to investigate and recover the remains, which were near the bottom of an extremely steep coastal drainage with thick vegetation.  Operations took over ten hours and involved a steep angle rope system.  SAR volunteers and deputies used the rope system to raise the remains and recovery team 800 feet up the drainage to safe ground.  

The Lane County Medical Examiner's Office retained jurisdiction.  Additional information is being withheld pending positive identification of the remains.  

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office could not handle these types of calls and many others without the selfless service of our Search & Rescue volunteers.  Nearly every week, they assist with rescues in all types of environments and weather.  Learn more about our Search & Rescue program at https://www.lanecounty.org/government/county_departments/sheriff_s_office/volunteers/search_and_rescue

Attached Media Files: 2024-02/6111/170085/Cummins_Ridge.png

02/19/24 - LCSO Case #24-0851 - Death Investigation on Sweet Creek Falls Trail
Lane Co. Sheriff's Office - 02/21/24 8:37 AM

On Monday, February 19th around 11:30 a.m., a hiker in the Sweet Creek Falls area located a person down on the trail who was unresponsive. Fire personnel responded and determined the male was deceased.  Investigating deputies identified the male as Adan Miranda-Gonzalez, 29, of Eugene. They were later able to notify next of kin. Due to the hazardous trail, Lane County Sheriff Search & Rescue volunteers were called out to assist with transporting Miranda-Gonzalez back to the trailhead.  The death does not appear suspicious at this time.  

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150 opt. 1.  

Tip of the Week for February 26, 2024 - Data Privacy (Photo)
Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office - 02/22/24 10:00 AM


Unfortunately, every year thousands of Oregonians fall victim to online criminals who disguise themselves as established organizations or businesses. Internet scams continue to evolve and become harder to recognize. The term cyber-criminal generally refers to someone using internet services or software to take advantage of victims. Cyber-criminals and other scammers have become quite skilled in getting you to provide your personal information in a variety of ways. Some scammers are selling “official merchandise” while others ask you to pay fees urgently to avoid serious consequences (which are not real). Another popular scam is the click-bait link or file attachment that collects your data by inviting you to open it from a message such as “I think you know this person that was in this car accident” or “Your account has been suspended, click here to reset your password”. But of course, when you click these links you get viruses or are directed to give your personal information to “reset your account” or login. When in doubt don’t open the link, instead open a new browser and pull up the organization’s official website or call their official number. 

Here are a few tips to keep you safer from scams and cybercrimes:

  • Use caution, especially with those you are not familiar with.
    • When you receive uninvited contacts from people or businesses, whether it's over the phone, by mail, email, in person, or on social media, always consider the possibility that the interaction may be a scam. 
    • Remember to call or log on to the organization’s real website to verify the information you’ve been given is accurate. 
  • Protect your passwords and personal information.
    • Always use password protection.
    • Don’t share account or password information with others.
    • Update security software and back up content regularly. 
    • Protect your WiFi network with a password.
    • Avoid using public computers or WiFi hotspots to access online banking or to provide personal information for services.
  • Ignore unfamiliar attachments or links. 
    • Don’t click on links, open attachments, attempt to unsubscribe, or call any telephone number listed in suspicious messages. 
    • Do NOT give any money, credit card info, or other personal details.
    • When in doubt, look up the organization’s website or phone number and contact them directly. 

If you have information about or have fallen victim to a scam, please contact the Oregon Attorney General's Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or online at www.oregonconsumer.gov

For more information and tips visit our website at www.lincolncountysheriff.net and like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon. 



Attached Media Files: 2024-02/5490/170185/02.22.24_-_Data_Privacy.docx , 2024-02/5490/170185/02.22.24_-_Data_Privacy.pdf , 2024-02/5490/170185/Tip_of_the_Week_Images_-_Data_Privacy.png

Convicted Child Rapist Captured (Photo)
Linn County Sheriff's Office - 02/22/24 4:47 PM

Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan reports that today at 3:37 p.m., Gary Louis Coomer, 51, of Sweet Home, was arrested on his outstanding arrest warrants.  On January 12th, 2024, a jury found Gary Coomer guilty on charges of Sodomy in the First Degree, Rape in the First Degree, and two counts of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree.  The judge ordered him released and to return to court on February 15th for sentencing.  When Coomer failed to appear, warrants were issued for his arrest. 

Law enforcement officials from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Lebanon Police Department, and Sweet Home Police Department have been working together to apprehend Gary Coomer since he failed to appear for his sentencing.  Law enforcement officials conducted surveillance, contacted known associates of Coomer, and tracked down all leads from the public.  

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office located Coomer hiding on a property east of Lebanon.  Coomer was given commands to surrender to law enforcement but ignored those commands.  Once a K-9 unit from the Lebanon Police Department arrived on scene and began giving commands to Coomer, he surrendered peacefully.  Once Coomer was taken into custody, he complained of medical issues.  Coomer was transported to the Lebanon Community Hospital to be evaluated.  Once cleared, he will be taken to the Linn County Jail where he will be lodged without bail and wait to be sentenced at the Linn County Circuit Court.         

Attached Media Files: 2024-02/2993/170229/Gary_Coomer.jpg

Man in custody after SWAT standoff in Salem
Marion Co. Sheriff's Office - 02/23/24 4:12 PM

On Thursday afternoon, February 22, 2024, around 4:30 p.m., law enforcement personnel from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a residence on Hollywood Drive NE in Salem after a 911 caller reported a man had brandished a knife.  The victim was able to get away safely from the residence.   

When deputies arrived, the suspect retreated inside his residence and refused to come out. He was identified as David Sotelo of Salem. Marion County Sheriff’s Office SWAT was activated.  Trained negotiators were able to get David to surrender peacefully, after over four hours of negotiations.  No force was used and there were no injuries during this incident. A knife was recovered at the scene. 

David Sotelo (46) was lodged at the Marion County Jail for charges including Menacing, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Stalking, and Attempted Burglary in the 1st Degree. He was scheduled for arraignment on February 23rd, 2024, at 2:30 p.m. Special thank you to the Oregon State Police and Woodburn Police Department for their assistance.

Residential Structure Fire
Newport Fire Department - 02/21/24 8:14 AM

NEWPORT, OR-Firefighters from the City of Newport Fire Department, Depoe Bay Fire Department, Toledo Department, Seal Rock Fire Department, Central Oregon Coast Fire Department, and Pacific West Ambulance responded to a reported structure fire at the 1100 block of South East Bay Blvd, a single-story residential modular home. A total of four engine companies, one paramedic ambulance, two chief officers, and PUD were dispatched to the scene. 
Firefighters from Newport Fire Station 31 arrived at 12:06 p.m. after receiving the first 9-1-1 call. Upon their arrival, firefighters encountered a fully involved single-wide modular home. Fire crews went immediately to a defensive attack and protected exposures. The fire was fully contained at 1:04 p.m. 
An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway. The source of the fire appears to have originated in the bedroom. The investigation is ongoing. There were no injuries as a result of this fire. 
One resident inside the structure at the time of the fire exited the building without incident. The CityofNewport Fire Department reminds everyone to ensure that every bedroom has a working smoke alarm. 

Remains of Sandra Young identified after 54 years (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 02/22/24 4:37 PM
Forensic approximation side view
Forensic approximation side view

Previously unidentified remains resolved through advanced DNA technology

PORTLAND, Ore. 22 Feb. 2024 – Through dedicated inter-agency cooperation, the remains of a previously unidentified young woman have been identified as Sandra Young, a Portland teenager who went missing from the Portland metro area more than five decades ago. The young woman was a Grant High School student and had not been seen since 1968 or 1969. 

“Sandra Young has now regained her identity after 54 years,” said Dr. Nici Vance, the state’s Human Identification Program Coordinator at the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office. “Her story represents a remarkable amount of diligence and collaboration between family members, detectives, Oregon State Medical Examiner staff, and our contract laboratory Parabon Nanolabs. This is yet another example of the innovative ways the ME’s Office and investigative genetic genealogy can help Oregonians find closure. This technology gives investigators the powerful ability to assist all Oregon agencies with the resolution of their cold case mysteries,” Dr. Vance continued. 

On Feb. 23, 1970, the remains of a fully skeletonized young female were discovered buried in a shallow grave at the far north end of Sauvie Island in Columbia County. The discovery was made by a Boy Scout troop leader, who first saw what he thought were items of clothing and then discovered human remains within the grave. Investigators recovered the remains and the remnants of a black curly wig. Investigators believed the remains were that of an African American and trauma to the body indicated foul play.

The young decedent, still unidentified, was moved to the state medical examiner facility in Clackamas County in 2004 along with more than 100 additional sets of unidentified remains. An anthropology report was completed, a bone sample was submitted to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, and a NamUs profile was created.

The case was the subject of consistent attention by the state medical examiner’s office. DNA results had been uploaded into CODIS, but no genetic associations were discovered. The DNA results indicated the remains were, in fact, that of a female. The NamUs system was checked for new cases of missing teenagers and young adult women on the West Coast, but none appeared to match the decedent. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) picked up the case and provided media attention and a more thorough review of additional missing person websites. DNA results only indicated that the remains were female in origin.

In 2018, the Oregon State Police Medical Examiner’s Office was awarded a National Institute of Justice grant to perform innovative DNA techniques on unsolved unidentified skeletal remains cases. This case was recognized as one that could potentially be resolved by DNA Phenotyping and Investigative Genetic Genealogy provided by OSP’s contract lab, Parabon NanoLabs.

An additional bone sample was submitted for DNA extraction, and a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) DNA profile was successfully analyzed.

The first Parabon Nanolabs report to be completed was a DNA Snapshot© Report, where genetic material is used to determine eye color, hair color, skin color, and the ancestry of the deceased. The report predicted this individual was of West African, South African, and Northern European descent, with brown to dark brown skin, brown eyes, and black hair.

The subsequent investigative genetic genealogy report, unfortunately, showed the lack of promising leads in the now 50-year-old cold case. Recommendations and contacts were made, but additional follow-up was slow.

Further analysis was performed by Parabon NanoLabs, with encouraging results. In February 2021, a deeper genetic dive was taken into the young woman’s ancestry, and a prediction of her facial characteristics was created. “To see her face come to life through DNA phenotyping was striking,” said Dr. Vance. 

In January 2023, an individual uploaded their DNA into the open-source genetic genealogy database GEDMatch and immediately was recognized as a potential distant family member of the decedent. Through research and interviews, the genetic genealogist encouraged other members of the family to upload their DNA data into GEDMatch, and a more complete picture of heritage emerged.

In July 2023 an additional Parabon report was completed. Descendants and countless family trees were developed; more matches came to light and communication with family members indicated that a teenage girl named Sandra Young went missing from Portland around the time the decedent was discovered. Sandra was a Grant High School student and appeared to be the sister of one of the genetic matches who, when contacted by the genealogist, agreed to assist in uploading their DNA data into GEDMatch.

Because Sandra was last seen in Portland, the Portland Police Bureau was contacted for assistance. PPB Detective Heidi Helwig took information from the Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) report and contacted the DNA donor. Through a series of informative, poignant, and difficult interviews, Detective Helwig learned that this individual not only lost a teenage sister when Sandra went missing in 1968 or 1969, they also lost a sister to gun violence in the 1970s. The family member was cooperative, supportive, and motivated to determine if the remains could be their sister, Sandra Young.

In October 2023, the Kinship Inference Report was definitive in its conclusions. Genetic evidence confirmed the hypothesis that the young decedent was Sandra “Sandy” Young, born June 25, 1951, and unaccounted for since 1968 or 1969.

Based on the totality of the evidence (both genetic and circumstantial) Oregon Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Sean Hurst positively identified the individual as Sandra Young and the next-of-kin has been notified. The PPB detective division is now aware of the case and has been encouraged to conduct further investigation to determine, if possible, the circumstances of Sandy Young’s death.

Significant resources are needed to continue this type of advanced testing at the State Medical Examiner’s Office. Genetic genealogy casework and confirmation testing have shown incredibly successful results but can cost between $6,000-$10,000 per case. The State Medical Examiner’s Office is eager to continue the good work of identifying unknown decedents once again if funding is secured for future testing.

# # #

About the State Medical Examiner’s Office 
The State Medical Examiner’s Office is the sole provider of forensic pathology services throughout Oregon and seeks to provide professional, timely, consistent, and compassionate death investigation services. Deputy State Medical Examiners are stationed in the Portland metro area (Clackamas), Eugene area, and Central Point, performing forensic autopsies and certifying the cause and manner of deaths under medical examiner jurisdiction. Our team closely collaborates with county medical examiners and medical legal death investigators employed by each county’s death investigation program, providing technical supervision of all medicolegal death investigations.

Attached Media Files: Forensic approximation side view , Forensic approximation , Sandra Young yearbook photo

OSP plans saturation patrols in Lincoln County Feb. 22-24
Oregon State Police - 02/21/24 12:40 PM

High visibility patrols to focus on impaired drivers

LINCOLN COUNTY, Ore. 21 Feb. 2024 – Oregon State Police is stepping up patrols along the central coast Feb. 22-24, 2024, in anticipation of the Newport Seafood & Wine Festival. The annual event draws an estimated 25,000 visitors to the area during the four-day festival. 

Nine troopers from the OSP’s High Visibility Enforcement Unit will augment units from the Newport Patrol Office. The high visibility saturation patrols will focus on impaired driving including Ignition Interlocking Device (IID) requirements, minor in possession of alcohol or marijuana, and open containers.  

Troopers will also concentrate on other Fatal 5 violations such as speed, occupant safety, lane usage, and distracted driving. Along with impaired driving, the Fatal 5 violations are those that are statistically shown to contribute to serious injury and fatal crashes. 

“We encourage event attendees to make plans for a sober ride home as part of their weekend festivities,” said Capt. Kyle Kennedy. “The festival offers a free shuttle bus with stops at Newport area hotels throughout the weekend. We appreciate the organizer’s commitment to safety and encourage attendees to use the service, designate a sober driver, or utilize taxi and ridesharing services.” 

OSP patrols will primarily focus coverage along Hwy. 101, Hwy. 20, and Hwy. 18. 

# # #

About the Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP) is a multi-disciplined organization that is charged with protecting the people, wildlife, and natural resources in Oregon. OSP enforces traffic laws on the state’s roadways, investigates and solves crime, conducts postmortem examinations and forensic analysis, and provides background checks, and law enforcement data. The agency regulates gaming and enforces fish, wildlife, and natural resource laws. OSP is comprised of more than 1,400 staff members – including troopers, investigators, and professional staff – who provide a full range of policing and public safety services to Oregon and other law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon.

Passenger dies in traffic collision in South Salem (with correction)
Salem Police Department - 02/24/24 7:42 PM


DATE: February 24, 2024

CONTACT: Salem Police Communications Office | spdmedia@cityofsalem.net


Passenger dies in traffic collision in South Salem (Correction)

Published 02/24/2024 | 7:45 p.m

Correction:  This is actually the fourth traffic fatality of 2024 not the third as originally stated.



Published 02/24/2024 | 6:45 p.m.

Salem, Ore. — Just before 5:30 p.m. on February 23, emergency responders were called to the intersection of 12th St SE and Oakhill Av SE on a call of a three-vehicle motor vehicle collision.

The preliminary investigation indicated a black Audi A6 was south bound on 12th St SE. A black BMW passenger vehicle, driven by Martin Lorin, proceeded west bound onto 12th St SE from Oakhill Av SE and was struck by the Audi.

The impact resulted in the BMW colliding with a Subaru that had been stopped on the west side of the intersection. A total of seven people were involved in the crash, with four of those person’s ultimately being transported to Salem Hospital.

One of those transported was Lynda Bush, age 81, who had been a passenger in the BMW at the time of the crash. The seriousness of Lynda’s injuries was not immediately known and sometime after arriving at Salem Hospital, Lynda succumbed to those injuries and was pronounced deceased.

The driver of the BMW was cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device. The Traffic Team will handle any follow up investigation.

This is the third traffic fatality of 2024.

# # #

Homicide investigation develops overnight -- UPDATE (Photo)
Salem Police Department - 02/22/24 4:18 PM
SMP24-6769 Photo of the victim and his vehicle.
SMP24-6769 Photo of the victim and his vehicle.


DATE: February 22, 2024 

CONTACT: Salem Police Communications Office | spdmedia@cityofsalem.net 

Suspect Arrested in Homicide 

Salem, Ore. — On February 22, 2024, Ventura-Arellano, Ismael age 21 was Arraigned and charged with Murder II and Felon in Possession of a Firearm in the murder of Ramos-Torres, Jesus age 23. Ventura is being held at Marion County Jail. The Salem Police Department and the Violent Crime Unit would like to thank the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) for their assistance with this investigation. 

All further inquiries will be handled by the Marion County District Attorney's Office.  

# # # 


DATE: January 26, 2024

Homicide investigation develops overnight

Update 01/26/2024 | 3:35 p.m.

The homicide victim is identified as Jesus Ramos-Torres, age 23, of Salem. Ramos-Torres was found deceased from a gunshot wound in the early morning hours of January 25. 

Violent Crime Unit detectives investigating the incident have released a photo of the victim and his vehicle with the hope someone will come forward with information helpful to the investigation. 

Investigators would like to speak with anyone who may have interacted with Ramos-Torres or know of his whereabouts Wednesday evening, January 24, or before he died at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Salem Police Tips Line at 503-588-8477. 

# # #

Media: See attached image file.


Salem, Ore. — Salem Police Violent Crimes Unit detectives are investigating a homicide that occurred early this morning.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. today, a deputy from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, responding to a report of gunfire in the 1100 block of Cordon RD SE, came upon a vehicle blocking the roadway. The male driver of the vehicle was found deceased from an apparent gunshot wound.

Salem Police responded to the scene and assumed the investigation which closed Cordon RD between Macleay and Caplinger RDS SE for approximately six hours.

No immediate arrests have been made. The incident is an active investigation, and no additional information is being released, including that of the 23-year-old victim.

Detectives ask anyone with information about this incident to call the Salem Police Tips Line at 503-588-8477 and refer to case number SMP24-6769.

# # #

Attached Media Files: SMP24-6769 Photo of the victim and his vehicle.

Interviews: Teens Obsessed with Skincare? What Parents Need to Know
Kaiser Permanente Northwest - 02/22/24 11:00 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (February 22, 2023): Fueled by the influence of social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube, an increasing number of teens and tweens are becoming obsessed with skincare. A 2023 survey reveals a surge of 19% year-over-year in average spending among teens on skincare, color cosmetics and fragrance, now totaling $324 annually. With this growing trend sweeping the nation, what should parents know?

“Teens and tweens are getting the idea that we need a lot of complicated, multi-step skin care routines, but for most young people that’s just not true,” said Dr. Jessica Smith, dermatologist with Kaiser Permanente Northwest. “Social media can trick young people into thinking that to look our best, we need to do the most. Marketing tells us that we need these toners, serums, moisturizers, cleansers, creams, sunscreens — every day, twice a day. But the truth is that young skin does not need pricey, heavy creams designed for mature skin, and some products can harm young skin.”

Children’s skin is more sensitive than most adults' skin, and certain products can be harsh. This can break down the skin barrier and cause irritation, redness and inflammation, allergic reactions, dryness, and acne breakouts. A child's skincare regimen should be basic. It includes a daily bath with a gentle cleanser, followed by application of an oil-free moisturizer.

Tweens should use products that are creamy, fragrance-free and additive-free. Parents are advised to look at the labels of skincare products with their tweens and look for products that are inexpensive, non-comedogenic (don’t clog pores) and fragrance-free. Some ingredients to avoid include products that exfoliate (contain salicylic/glycolic acids, micro-beads, or retinoids), peptide growth factors, synthetic dyes and fragrance.

Interviews available
Dr. Jessica Smith, dermatologist with Kaiser Permanente Northwest, is available for Zoom interviews with media this Friday, Feb. 23 from 9-11:30 a.m. Contact en.a.vitt@kp.org">Karen Vitt to schedule.

Dr. Smith is prepared to discuss:
• Why are teens and tweens obsessed with skin care?
• Why are some skin care products harmful to young people’s skin?
• What are the side effects of teens using products targeted for mature skin?
• What ingredients should parents help teens avoid in their skincare products?
• What is a healthy skincare regimen for teens?


Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.7 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. For more information, please visit about.kaiserpermanente.org.

Media Advisory: Join rural students as they celebrate, explore electrical careers through pre-apprenticeship and new "Learn and Earn" mobile units
Pacific Power - 02/22/24 2:00 PM


Media Hotline: 503-813-6018


Join rural students as they celebrate, explore electrical careers through pre-apprenticeship and new “Learn and Earn” mobile units

Thursday, Feb. 29, 1 p.m. 


Media are invited to capture photos, video and interviews with students at Glide High School during an in-school event to celebrate the Rural Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship, which is expanding to serve high schools throughout Douglas, Josephine, Jackson, Lake and Klamath counties. View renderings of new 50-foot-long “Learn and Earn” mobile education units that will deliver the pre-apprenticeship to dozens of schools starting this fall. Then visit students as they work on projects that will prepare them for well-paying electrical careers after high school.



Thursday. Feb. 29, 2023, 1 p.m. 

1-1:30 p.m. — student assembly 

1:30-3 p.m. — visit students in class


Interview opportunities:


  • 11th- and 12th-grade students recently involved in the pre-apprenticeship
  • Coby Pope, 2023 Glide High graduate who completed the high school pre-apprenticeship, now employed by Pacific Power
  • Jake Pedersen, instructor, Crater Lake Electrical Training Center
  • Loren Shaw, Glide High School science teacher 
  • Jeff Brown, Director, Hydro South, North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project, Pacific Power
  • Nick Carpenter, business manager, IBEW Local 659 



Glide High School, 18990 N Umpqua Hwy, Glide, Oregon

Directions: Parking is available at front of the school. Please check in at office and we’ll lead you to the gym.



Without family connections, many rural students aren’t exposed to potential careers as electricians in energy and other industries. Through support for the Rural Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship, Pacific Power, the Pacific Power Foundation and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 659 are removing barriers to opportunity, strengthening the local schools that are preparing students from diverse backgrounds to succeed in energy-related careers, and developing the next generation of electrical workers.



ODVA Seeks Diverse Veteran Candidates to Fill Current and Future Positions on Veterans Advisory Committee (Photo)
Ore. Department of Veterans' Affairs - 02/21/24 2:00 PM

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is seeking interested veterans to fill current and future vacancies on the Veterans Advisory Committee. 

The Advisory Committee was established in 1945 at the agency’s founding and holds a distinct and fundamental role in advocating for veteran issues, sharing insight on veteran concerns and advising the director of ODVA. The committee is composed of nine military veterans appointed to four-year terms by the Governor.

The Governor is committed to ensuring that all Boards and Commissions represent diverse Oregonians by age, race, ethnicity, gender, and LGBTQIA+ status. To ensure a broad and diverse pool of candidates to consider for appointment, ODVA is seeking applications from interested members of the veteran community from both rural and urban areas, across diverse backgrounds and eras of service.

The quarterly advisory committee’s meetings are held virtually and in-person throughout the state on the first Wednesday in March, June, September and December. 

Interested veterans from all branches of the U.S. Armed Services are encouraged to apply. The application process can be reviewed and accessed at the Governor’s Boards and Commissions webpage: https://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/board-list.aspx.

Follow the application instructions for “External – New Applicants” and be sure to include a resume, a short personal biography that includes your military service and other veteran community activities you have or are currently involved in, and fully answer the supplemental questions. Only complete applications will be considered. 

ORS 406.210 also states that the executive committees of congressionally chartered veterans’ organizations that maintain an Oregon state headquarters may submit a list of up to three veterans to be considered for Advisory Committee openings to the ODVA Director’s Office at odva_vaac@odva.oregon.gov. Important: All nominees must still apply through the normal application process by the application deadline.

Applications or nominations for the Advisory Committee must be submitted to the Governor’s Executive Appointments office no later than March 29, 2024. Questions about this recruitment process may be directed to ODVA at odva_vaac@odva.oregon.gov

More information about ODVA’s Veteran Advisory Committee can be found online at www.oregon.gov/odva/Connect/Pages/Advisory-Committee.aspx.


Established in 1945, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is dedicated to serving Oregon’s diverse veteran community that spans five eras of service members. ODVA administers programs and provides special advocacy and assistance in accessing earned veteran benefits across the state. Learn about veteran benefits and services, or locate a local county or tribal veteran service office online at oregon.gov/odva


Attached Media Files: 2024-02/1082/170193/Advisory_Committee_Applications_Open_February_2024_v3.jpg

Division of Financial Regulation publishes Oregon Investor Guide, other educational resources for the public (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 02/21/24 1:32 PM

Salem – Deciding how and where to invest your money can be a difficult and overwhelming decision. The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) now has resources available to help.

The division recently published the Oregon Investor Guide, a free publication that is available both in print and online. DFR created this guide to take the mystery out of investing and provide a useful resource for new and experienced investors alike. The contents are accurate, unbiased, and simply stated to make investing concepts easy to understand, and to help you make the best investment decisions possible. Whether you invest on your own or entrust your investments with a professional, education is the best defense against fraud and making uninformed decisions.

This publication is part of the division’s efforts to update consumer education resources available to the public. The division’s website now features the following new guides:

“This investor guide, along with other updated materials, gives us a good library of resources in areas where the public tells us they are needed most,” said TK Keen, DFR administrator. “Some of these guides help specific communities at specific times in their lives. There are challenges newlyweds face when they are combining finances and military personnel have unique money management situations. We can help Oregonians at different points in their lives, whether it’s providing guidance on repaying student loans, making health insurance choices, or beginning new employment. We are excited about these new resources.”

You can view all of DFR’s publications on its consumer education and engagement page.

To obtain print copies of any of the division’s consumer guides, email your request to each.dfr@dcbs.oregon.gov">outreach.dfr@dcbs.oregon.gov. Paper copies will also be available at all tabling events and presentations the consumer education and engagement team attend.


About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and  www.dcbs.oregon.gov.​​

Attached Media Files: 2024-02/1073/170191/DFR-logo-blue.jpg

State Forests Advisory Committee meets March. 8 in Salem
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 02/27/24 11:43 AM

SALEM, Ore.—The State Forests Advisory Committee (SFAC) will meet in Salem on March 8 at 8:30 a.m. This is a hybrid meeting and those interested can attend in person or via Zoom. The meeting agenda with Zoom link is posted on the SFAC webpage.

The State Forests Advisory Committee will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oregon Department of Forestry (Tillamook Room), 2600 State St., Salem, 97310. Opportunity for public comment is on the agenda and is scheduled for 8:45 a.m.

Agenda topics include:

  • Draft habitat conservation plan and forest management plan for Western Oregon state forests project update
  • Overview of Fiscal Year 2025 annual operations plan
  • Implementation plan revision considerations for Fiscal Years 2026-27
  • Planning for SFAC meeting and field tour in May

SFAC’s role

The State Forests Advisory Committee includes citizens and representatives of timber, environmental and recreation groups. SFAC provides a forum to discuss issues, opportunities and concerns, and offer guidance to ODF on the implementation of the Northwest Oregon State Forests Management Plan. The plan provides guidance for managing 616,000 acres within the Tillamook, Clatsop and Santiam State Forests, and several scattered state-owned forest tracts in Benton, Polk, Lincoln and Lane counties through a balanced approach to generate revenue while preserving environmental and social benefits.

The meeting location is accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. Questions about accessibility or special accommodations for the meeting can be directed to the Oregon Department of Forestry at(503) 945-7200.

Committee for Emergency Fire Cost meets March 5
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 02/23/24 4:15 PM

SALEM, Ore. — The Emergency Fire Cost Committee will meet in the Tillamook Room, Building C, Oregon Department of Forestry, 2600 State Street in Salem on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at 10 a.m. A virtual option will be available via Zoom video conference, which can be found on the agenda. To provide public comment, please contact na.m.hobbs@odf.oregon.gov">Lorna Hobbs at 503-881-8292.

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Financial status of the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund
  • Weather update
  • Update on status of large fire cost collection efforts
  • Determine Unencumbered Balance of the OFLPF as of Feb. 16
  • Administrative Branch/Fire Protection Division/Administrator reports

The meeting is open to the public to attend in-person or virtually via Zoom. Public comments will be accepted near the end of the meeting. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 72 hours before the meeting by contacting na.m.hobbs@odf.oregon.gov">Lorna Hobbs at 503-881-8292.

The Emergency Fire Cost Committee (EFCC) oversees the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund (OFLPF), established by the Oregon Legislature as a fund with the purpose of equalizing emergency fire suppression costs among the various Oregon Department of Forestry protection districts and forest protective associations. All districts/associations contribute to the fund so that money will be available to any individual district/association to pay fire suppression costs on eligible emergency fires. View more information on the EFCC webpage.

Board of Forestry to meet on March 6 and 7, Forestry Program for Oregon Subcommittee meets March 6
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 02/23/24 3:15 PM

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Board of Forestrywill meet for hybrid public meetings on Wednesday, March 6 at 1:30 p.m. and Thursday, March 7 at 8 a.m. The meetings will be held in the Tillamook Room, Building C, at the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters, located at 2600 State St. in Salem. The meetings will also be livestreamed on the department’s YouTube channel.

The Forestry Program for Oregon Subcommittee meets March 6 at 10 a.m. in the Tillamook room and available by Zoom link included with the agenda. View the subcommittee’s full agenda.

The board’s business agenda for March 6 includes:

  • Financial Dashboard Report – January and February 2024
  • Approval of agency director financial transactions, Fiscal Year 2023
  • Rangeland Protection Association formation: Expansion of Field-Andrews RPA boundary
  • Annual report on tribal working relationships and activities
  • Forest Practices Interagency Meeting report
  • Governance for the Board of Forestry-Board Policies Manual adoption
  • Oregon’s Kitchen Table outreach and engagement update
  • Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee testimony

The agenda for March 7 includes:

  • Macias, Gini, and O’Connell Implementation Plan close out
  • State Forester recommendation regarding draft Western Oregon State Forest Habitat Conservation Plan

The full agenda is available on the board’s webpage. Live testimony, both in person and virtual, is available on both days. Sign-up for live testimony is required as spots are limited. Sign-up closes Friday, March 1 at noon. Written public testimony will also be accepted. Written comments can be submitted before or up to two weeks after the meeting day by mail to the Board Support Office, 2600 State St., Salem, OR 97310 or email to oardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov">boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov with the appropriate agenda item and topic included with the submission. Tips for providing testimony to the board are available online.

Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services, or assistance can be arranged by calling ODF’s Public Affairs Office at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting at 503-945-7200 or by email at estryinformation@odf.oregon.gov">forestryinformation@odf.oregon.gov.

The Oregon Board of Forestry consists of seven citizens nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. Responsibilities include appointing the State Forester, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base. Read more information about the board.

Compliance Monitoring Program Committee meets Feb. 28
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 02/21/24 10:46 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The Compliance Monitoring Program Committee will hold a virtual meeting Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 9 to 11 a.m. To join virtually, please use the Zoom video conference information found on the agenda.

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Update on long-term compliance monitoring study
  • Riparian rule selection discussion

The meeting is open to the public to attend online via Zoom. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting by emailing ta.L.FriasBedolla@odf.oregon.gov">marta.l.friasbedolla@odf.oregon.gov.

The CMP Committee assists efforts to monitor compliance with Forest Practices Rules. The committee advises ODF regarding monitoring projects and procedures. View more information on the CMPC webpage.

Housing Stability Council Monthly Agenda (updated) - March 1, 2024
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 02/26/24 3:09 PM

Feb. 26, 2024

The next Oregon Housing Stability Council meeting will be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, March 1, 2024. This will be a virtual meeting. You can find all relevant meeting materials on our website. The Housing Stability Council helps to lead OHCS to meet the housing and services needs of low- and moderate-income Oregonians by: 

  • Establishing and supporting OHCS’ strategic direction
  • Fostering constructive partnerships across the state
  • Setting policy and issuing funding decisions
  • Lending their unique expertise to the policy and program development of the agency

Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5vfzdyiRTji0-P5Blrsi_Q#/registration


9:00: Meeting Called to Order 

9:05: Report of the Chair

9:25: Report of the Director

9:40: Affordable Rental Housing Division
           Natasha Detweiler-Daby, Director, Affordable Rental Housing

  • Predevelopment Program Recommendation: Mitch Hannoosh, Senior Operations and Policy Analyst; Rick Ruzicka, Assistant Director Planning and Policy
  • Minority Women and Emerging Small Business Briefing: Claudia Cantu, Senior MWESB Initiative Analyst; Michael Parkhurst, Affordable Rental Housing Initiative Manager
  • Agricultural Housing Grant Resources Introduction: Mitch Hannoosh, Operations and Policy Analyst; Roberto Franco, Assistant Director Development Resources
  • Funding Resources & Set Asides introduction: Mitch Hannoosh, Senior Operations and Policy Analyst; Natasha Detweiler-Daby, Director
  • Funding Process Update and Discussion (no memo)Natasha Detweiler-Daby, Director Affordable Rental Housing

11:00: 15-minute Break

11:15: Homeownership Division
           Keeble Giscombe, Director of Homeownership Division

  • Public Hearing Comments in accordance with ORS 456.561
  • Veterans HOAP Allocation: Alycia Howell, HOAP Analyst
  • Oregon Lending Program 2023 Highlights: Scott Shaw, Assistant Director of Homeownership Lending

12:00: Meeting Adjourned


Registration for webinars closes thirty (30) minutes prior to each meeting’s start time.

Public comment is limited to council decisions on awarding loans, grants, or funding awards. Commenters will be allotted five (5) minutes per topic unless time is extended by the Chair. (ORS 456.561)

In the event public hearing time expires and you are unable to speak or you have comments regarding another topic not related to the agenda items, please submit your comments in writing via email or USPS.

To mail in comments, please use this address:
Oregon Housing and Community Services
Attn: Oregon Housing Stability Council Assistant
725 Summer St. NE Suite B
Salem, OR 97301

Milwaukie Man Wins $8.4 Million Oregon Megabucks Jackpot (Photo)
Oregon Lottery - 02/27/24 10:44 AM
David Schultze of Milwaukie claimed his $8.4 million jackpot Megabucks prize on Monday.
David Schultze of Milwaukie claimed his $8.4 million jackpot Megabucks prize on Monday.

Salem, Ore. – A Milwaukie retiree is the latest winner of Oregon's Game Megabucks, with a winning ticket worth $8.4 million.

David Schultze, 68, said he didn’t know he was sitting on millions until he checked his ticket last Friday morning. The winning numbers were drawn back on January 24, 2024. He spent the whole weekend in shock and claimed his prize on Monday at Oregon Lottery’s Wilsonville office.   

He doesn’t play much, but when he sees the jackpot “getting up there,” he can’t help but buy a ticket – just in case. Schultze purchased the ticket at Fred Meyer in Gladstone. The store earned a $84,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. 

When asked about his plans for the winnings, Schultze said he will invest most of it. There are no plans for any big splurges.

Oregon’s Game Megabucks has some of the most favorable big prize jackpot game odds in the world. The jackpot resets to $1 million after someone wins. 

The Oregon Lottery recommends that you sign the back of your ticket to ensure you can claim any prize. In the event of winning a jackpot, players should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Players have a year to claim their prize. 

Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than $15.5 billion for economic development, public schools, outdoor school, state parks, veteran services, and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org

Attached Media Files: David Schultze of Milwaukie claimed his $8.4 million jackpot Megabucks prize on Monday.

Oregon State Parks recruiting about 250 seasonal park rangers and assistants for 2024 (Photo)
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 02/23/24 11:49 AM
Ranger at Sitka Sedge State Natural Area
Ranger at Sitka Sedge State Natural Area

SALEM, Oregon— Oregon State Parks is not just a beautiful place to visit – it’s also a spectacular place to work. 

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is recruiting 250 seasonal park rangers and assistants for positions across the state that range anywhere from four to nine months. The peak season is from April to September, but some of the positions start as early as March and run as late as December. 

Seasonal staff help visitors access world-class experiences and ensure clean and safe park areas for everyone to enjoy. Duties include janitorial work, landscape maintenance, visitor education and visitor services.

Salaries start at $17.34 per hour for seasonal assistants and $20.06 for seasonal rangers. Both positions include comprehensive medical, vision and dental plans for employees and qualified family members. The positions also include paid sick leave, vacation, personal leave and 11 paid holidays per year. Student workers, ages 16 and older, start at $17.32 or more per hour depending on experience (no benefits). 

OPRD promotes from within and several of our top leaders started as seasonal employees. 

“We love what we do at Oregon Parks and Recreation Department,” said Director Lisa Sumption. “We get to preserve and share some of Oregon’s most treasured landscapes and resources. Whether you’re here for a season or your entire career, you’re part of that OPRD family.”

For more information about current openings, visit stateparks.oregon.gov. If you have any questions or need additional assistance in accessibility or alternative formats, please email Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Recruiting D.Recruiting@oprd.oregon.gov">OPRD.Recruiting@oprd.oregon.gov.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, committed to diversity and pay equity.

Attached Media Files: Ranger at Sitka Sedge State Natural Area , Ranger at Silver Falls State Park

02-22-24 Commissioners Issue Proclamation Honoring FFA Week in Douglas County (Photo)
Douglas Co. Government - 02/22/24 3:08 PM


February 22, 2024


Commissioners Issue Proclamation Honoring

FFA Week in Douglas County


(Douglas County, Ore.) Douglas County Commissioners Chris Boice, Tim Freeman and Tom Kress were pleased to issue a proclamation recognizing February 17-24, 2024 as FFA Week in Douglas County prior to their weekly business meeting on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, on the front steps of the Douglas County Courthouse.  The proclamation recognizes the important role that the FFA youth programs and agricultural education classes in our local high schools play in providing a strong foundation for youth to excel in leadership roles, realize personal goals, and obtain valuable tools to prepare them for real-world success. A copy of the video presentation can be found on the Douglas County Government Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DouglasCountyeGovernment.


66 area high school students and 7 agriculture science teachers and advisors, representing seven of the nine Douglas County FFA Chapters attended the proclamation ceremony at the Douglas County Courthouse.   Douglas County’s FFA Chapters include Camas Valley, Days Creek, Douglas, Elkton, Glide, Oakland, Roseburg, South Umpqua and Sutherlin. In total, Douglas County has over 1,000 youth that participate in FFA competitions, livestock rearing and leadership programs annually. Receiving a proclamation from Commissioners and representing their FFA Chapter today were Emma Stutzman, Camas Valley FFA; Kylar Middleton and Adrian Gherghetta, Douglas FFA; Jasmine Parsons, Elkton FFA; Macy Mornarich, Glide FFA; Zoe Vickers, Oakland FFA; Savannah Kempton, Roseburg FFA; and Jada Gary, Sutherlin FFA.  A special shout out to the Days Creek and South Umpqua FFA Chapters that were not able to attend today.


We are super fortunate to be able to gather here today with our County Commissioners.  We really appreciate their support for our FFA Chapters.  It is a blessing for all of us to be able to connect around and celebrate this amazing organization that we love.  It seems that within the Umpqua FFA District, every week is FFA week. This year started off strong with our annual Umpqua District Leadership Camp with over 150 members in attendance.  So many students were there taking giant leaps in their leadership and involvement within their local chapters.  This is what FFA is all about, making connections.  Connecting with those around us during leadership camp can stick with us throughout the entire year.  Competitions for us are like family reunions, perhaps even a little bit more fun.  I think we can all agree that if it wasn’t for agriculture, we wouldn’t be here today,” stated Jada Gary, Umpqua FFA District President.


In addition to the presentation of proclamations to each chapter by the Commissioners, two local FFA members were invited to say a few words about why FFA is important to them.  Umpqua FFA District Representatives, Jada Gary, District President from Sutherlin FFA and Zoe Vickers, District Secretary from Oakland FFA spoke on behalf of the group. 


There are many aspects of FFA that deserve to be highlighted this week.  But one in particular does not get the recognition it deserves.  The National FFA Organization allows students to believe in their future. I believe that this district is special. We have shown an influence of success in winning CDE’s and LDE’s to represent Oregon at the National level.  We have shown that we are the future of agriculture by our district competing in national CDE’s of nursery landscaping, veterinary sciences, forestry, floriculture, and natural resources.  Although the Umpqua District is more than our successes.  Our district is full of love and learning about agriculture.  As the secretary I have seen the importance of our community on FFA students. Parents have told me how much they love FFA, because they have seen their children become more confident.  I have talked to employers about how they are quicker to hire an FFA student because of their foundational skill set.  We are motivated, educated, but most importantly believed in.  Because the National FFA organization believed in us, we can believe in ourselves and the future.  Let this week inspire you to believe in your potential,” stated Zoe Vickers, Umpqua FFA District Secretary.


Thank you to all the FFA students and advisors that were able to join us today.  As Commissioners and business owners we are honored to support our local FFA Chapters through recognition events and fundraisers.  It is our privilege to celebrate all of the FFA Chapters in our County and we encourage all of our citizens to do the same!” commented Commissioner Chris Boice. 


FFA and agricultural education programs help to provide a future for food production, the fiber industry and natural resource systems, by ensuring a steady supply of young professionals to meet the growing needs in the art, science, business and technology of agriculture in the United States and beyond.  FFA is a national youth organization, founded in 1928 as “Future Farmers of America” and officially renamed “FFA” in 1988 to reflect the growing diversity and new opportunities in the industry of agriculture.  The Commissioners also want to recognize that the national FFA youth program is not just for students who want to be production farmers, but welcomes members who aspire to be future chemists, veterinarians, government officials, bankers, entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, scientists, international business leaders, and leading professionals in many fields.




Media Contacts:   Tamara HowellEmergency Communications & Community Engagement Specialist | Douglas County Public Affairs Office | Office: (541) 957-4896 | Cell: (541) 670-2804 | Email: tjhowell@co.douglas.or.us

Attached: Proclamation & Photos © K.Trenkle/Douglas County. Individual photos available upon request.

Attached Media Files: 2024-02/6789/170220/2024_FFA_Week_Proclamation.jpg , 2024-02/6789/170220/2024_FFA_Collage.jpg

02-22-24 Notice of Meeting - LPSCC Behavioral Health and Housing Subcommittees
Douglas Co. Government - 02/22/24 10:15 AM


February 22, 2024


Notice of Virtual Meeting

Douglas County Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (LPSCC)

Behavioral Health and Housing Subcommittees

Tuesday, February 27, 2024


(Douglas County, OR) The next meeting for the Douglas County Local Public Safety Coordinating Council’s (LPSCC) – Behavioral Health and Housing Subcommittee will take place on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, at 11:30 am via a virtual conference format.


In compliance with ORS 192.610 to 192.690, we will accommodate any member of the public who wishes to watch or listen to the meeting via video or by phone. For information on how you can watch or listen to this meeting, please see the agenda, or contact Koree Tate at ee.tate@douglascountyor.gov">koree.tate@douglascountyor.gov or call (541) 957-7790.


The meeting agenda is attached and can also be found at www.douglascountyor.gov.



Douglas County attempts to provide public accessibility to its services, programs and activities.

If accommodation is needed to participate in this meeting, please contact (541) 957-7790 prior

to the scheduled meeting time.













Media Contact: Tamara Howell, Douglas County Emergency Communications & Community Engagement Specialist | Douglas County Public Affairs Office | Office: (541) 957-4896 | Cell: (541) 670-2804 | Email: a.howell@douglascountyor.gov.">tamara.howell@douglascountyor.gov


Program Contact: Koree TatePrograms and Partnership Coordinator | Douglas County Juvenile Department | Phone: (541) 957-7790 | Email: ee.tate@douglascountyor.gov">koree.tate@douglascountyor.gov



Attached Media Files: 2024-02/6789/170203/02-22-24_NOTICE_-_DC_LPSCC_-_Behavioral_Health_and_Housing_Subcommittee_Meeting.pdf

Lane County Human Services Announces Winter Blanket Drive
Lane Co. Government - 02/23/24 7:00 AM


Lane County Human Service Division, in partnership with The First Christian Church, Egan Warming Center, and St. Vincent DePaul, announced today a Winter Blanket Drive. The collaborative effort seeks to gather washable blankets suitable for winter use, sleeping bags, boots (sizes 8-12), sweatshirts (S/M/L), sweatpants (S/M/L), rain gear (S/M/L), tarps, and tents. The goal is to collect 500 blankets and other necessities to support those in need during the harsh winter conditions.The drive will take place February 26 through 29th, with drop-off donations accepted between 10 am and 2 pm at the First Christian Church at 1166 Oak Street, Eugene, OR 97401.

"All too often, our unhoused neighbors endure the brunt of winter's harshest elements without adequate protection. This drive represents not just a collection of goods, but a gathering of community spirit to provide warmth and shelter," said Lane County Human Services Program Services Coordinator, Maria Cortez

The blankets and supplies that are collected will be distributed to community members in need through direct service organizations. Specifically, Egan Warming Centers will use the blankets to help guests stay warm.

For more information about donating, please call the First Christian Church of Eugene’s Helping Hearts program at: 541-344-1425.

Colleges & Universities - Public
Western Oregon University staff selected for NWCCU fellowship (Photo)
Western Oregon University - 02/27/24 12:11 PM

MONMOUTH, Ore. - Western Oregon University staff from the Division of Student Affairs has been selected for The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) Mission Fulfillment and Sustainability Fellowship

Megan Habermann-Guthrie, director of New Student & Family Programs, and Malissa Larson, dean of students, were selected to participate in a cohort over the next 18 months. 

The fellowship program is designed to introduce faculty, staff, and administrators from NWCCU institutions to regional and national leaders in various areas such as equity-mindedness, assessment, accreditation, data analysis, quality assurance, educational innovation, and educational effectiveness.

"I am honored and excited to embark on this project to better Western and work with our accreditors more closely on enhancing college life for Western students," shared Habermann-Guthrie. 

"I'm so excited, and a bit anxious if I am honest, to participate in the NWCCU fellowship. This is an incredible opportunity to not only enrich my path as a professional but also to add tools to better advocate for and support Western students,” shared Larson. She adds that she looks forward to being better and doing better for students. 

Habermann-Guthrie and Larson will join Leanne Merrill Ph.D., professor of mathematics, and Melanie Landon-Hays Ph.D., professor of education and leadership, who are currently participating in a cohort from the Division of Academic Affairs. Together, these teams from Western will contribute to the ongoing efforts of the NWCCU in promoting excellence and innovation in higher education.

Learn more about NWCUU’s Mission Fulfillment and Sustainability Fellowship 


About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, established in Monmouth in 1856, proudly stands as Oregon's oldest public university. Hosting around 4,000 students, Western embodies a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution, with approximately 80% of its students hailing from within the state. Notably, its diverse student body comprises individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, veterans, and non-traditional learners. Western stands as the preferred campus in Oregon for those pursuing an enriching education within a nurturing, student-focused environment, characterized by faculty-led instruction.  Together we succeed.



Attached Media Files: 2024-02/1107/170307/NWCCU_Fellowship_PR.JPG

Western Oregon University serves the community through mentorship (Photo)
Western Oregon University - 02/22/24 11:39 AM

MONMOUTH, Ore. –  Since 1999, Western Oregon University’s Division of Behavioral Sciences has supported Talmadge Middle School students in Independence, Oregon to foster positive mentoring relationships. Juniors and seniors at Western interested in working with youth in the fields of education, social work, and/or counseling, have the opportunity to mentor middle school students and help them develop skills for academic success and emotional and social growth. 

Many middle school students who face socioeconomic, academic, behavioral, or familial challenges are recommended by their school counselor to participate in this program, and the positive outcomes for students in this program are astounding.

Since the program started 25 years ago, parents have unanimously reported that it has had a positive influence on their children. Children who participate in the program show consistent, measurable improvement across several areas, including school attendance, academic work, social skills, and self-esteem. They also become more interested in attending college. One parent observed “The mentor was great and worked with our crazy schedule and truly cared about my child. Well done.” 

Mentees in the program shared that participating in the program boosted their confidence because there was a steady supportive person to talk to, and noted interest in attending Western and giving back to the program by becoming a mentor. A student mentor shared that mentoring had profoundly impacted their life and helped them solidify their desire to pursue a career as a pediatric clinical psychologist.

Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences and Program Coordinator Brooke Dolenc Knott Ph.D., noted that leading the WOU-Talmadge mentoring program has been the highlight of her time at Western, as it intertwines both transformative growth for students and benefits the local community. “This collaborative effort not only supports local middle school students’ families but also empowers WOU students to go beyond the classroom learning to apply psychological principles in helping their middle schoolers.” Dolenc Nott shares that it is a joy to watch the lasting positive impact that takes place each year for both WOU and middle school students in the program.

Hayley Atkinson, school counselor at Talmadge Middle School expresses her gratitude for the mentorship program which provides intentional and additional positive support and connection to many of the participating students.  She shares that “Middle school years can be difficult for kids to navigate under the best of circumstances, and the WOU mentor program allows us to provide an extra boost of support to some of our kids.” She adds that her favorite part of the program is getting to see the growth in self-confidence and engagement in both middle school students and their college mentors. “Anyone involved in the program cannot help but be positively influenced by it.” 

This program has been a regular applicant to and recipient of Competitive Grant Funding from the Western Oregon University Foundation. Specifically, the award supports social family events and small stipends for mentors to help motivate middle school students’ success and family involvement that strengthens the mentoring relationship.




About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, established in Monmouth in 1856, proudly stands as Oregon's oldest public university. Hosting around 4,000 students, Western embodies a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution, with approximately 80% of its students hailing from within the state. Notably, its diverse student body comprises individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, veterans, and non-traditional learners. Western stands as the preferred campus in Oregon for those pursuing an enriching education within a nurturing, student-focused environment, characterized by faculty-led instruction.  Together we succeed.


Attached Media Files: 2024-02/1107/170207/Mentorship_Image.PNG

Colleges & Universities - Willamette Valley
Schlabach Scores 2000th Point in Regular Season Finale (Photo)
Bushnell University - 02/26/24 9:49 AM

LA GRANDE, Ore. – Senior Stevie Schlabach completed a milestone that no Bushnell player has accomplished in 33 years on Saturday as he scored his 2000th career point in a 93-86 loss to Eastern Oregon University in the final game of the regular season.

Schlabach, who currently has 2,008 points, is the third player to break through the elusive barrier, and the first since Mat Sand scored the Bushnell all-time record of 2,296 in 1991. Jon Willis, who is second on the list has a recognized scoring total of 2,064.

Head Coach Eddie Alexander said, “I am very proud of Stevie and his personal accomplishment. He is a very humble young man that has grown so much in our program these past five years. I wish everyone knew him the way I do. He deserves these accolades for his hard work on and off the court. What he has accomplished is not by accident. Commitment, loyalty, perseverance, and accountability are all words that come to mind when I think of where he started as a student-athlete and where he is today as a young man. I’m very proud of him!”

As for the game, coming into the night the Beacons had already secured the No. 6 seed for the CCC tournament and were not in danger with the loss, but it still wasn’t the way they wanted to end the regular season.

“Our goal was to build momentum heading into the quarterfinals,” said Alexander. “Our conversation post game was all about details that we can collectively control. It’s a life lesson I’m praying our guys take seriously as we move our program forward. EOU was hungry for a win and played extremely well. I give them credit as they executed offensively very well.”

Eastern (12-16, 11-11 CCC) established an early lead in this one, and never let the Beacons establish a foothold, matching nearly shot-for-shot for most of the game. EOU shot 54% with the Beacons shooting 48%. Bushnell was an impressive 25-for-29 at the free-throw line in a physical game that saw 41 total fouls.

The Beacons (15-13, 12-10 CCC) were led by senior Spencer Hoffman who scored 26 points, including 22 in the second half, along with a game-high 15 rebounds. He was 9-for-13 from the field and 8-for-9 on free throws. Coach Alexander said, “Spencer had a great game, especially in the second half. He was taking a physical beating and played through it. His growth as a leader has been enormous and it showed tonight.”

Schlabach followed with 18 points, shooting 7-for-10, and Kaden Sand scored 17 points with a team-high six assists. Alexis Angeles was also in double-figures with 11.

The Mounties had four players in double-figures as well, led by 26 from Garrett Hawkes. Jonny Hillman scored 21 points and seven assists before fouling out late, Preston Chandler scored 14 and Brennen Newsom came off the bench to add eleven.

Both teams are off to the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament and will both be on the road in the quarterfinals on Wednesday night at 7:30 pm. No. 7-seed EOU visits No. 2-seed Lewis-Clark State while the Beacons head to Klamath Falls to take on the No. 3-seed Oregon Tech. In the other quarterfinal matches, No. 1-seed College of Idaho hosts No. 8-seed Northwest and No. 4-seed Southern Oregon plays host to No. 5-seed Corban.

Attached Media Files: 2024-02/7128/170279/BUMBballMedia-67.jpg , 2024-02/7128/170279/_schlabach.jpg

Bushnell University School of Music and Performing Arts Spring Performances and Events (Photo)
Bushnell University - 02/23/24 3:15 PM
Photo by Lucas Pauly
Photo by Lucas Pauly

EUGENE, Ore. - Bushnell University’s School of Music and Performing Arts is pleased to invite the community to spring performances and events by the students in University Choir, Bushnell Jazz Ensemble, Bushnell Chorale, and The Grove Collective, the school’s traveling worship ensemble.  

The performance events will take place on campus in Ross Evans Chapel, First Baptist Church of Eugene, high schools, and various churches throughout the region. On March 15th at 12PM, Spring Performance Hour will showcase the music of students enrolled in private lessons and feature a variety of repertoire from lyrical classical arias to contemporary popular favorites. Join us the evening of April 12th at 7PM for The Greatest of These is Love, a performance of music, spoken word, and movement highlighting the theme of God’s love for all of us and our love for each other. We close the season with our beautiful Spring Concert, April 27 at 7PM, at First Baptist Church in Eugene, bringing all the music students together in a program including exciting contemporary choral pieces, meaningful classic and contemporary worship songs and a selection of classical and contemporary jazz repertoire. 

Join Grove Collective as they lead worship at churches in the region: 

Court Street Christian Church: February 25 

Lebanon Mennonite Church: March 3 

Salem Academy Christian School: March 6 

First Baptist Church Eugene, Women’s Retreat: March 9 (event registration required) 

Friendly Street Church of God: March 10 

Village Church: April 7 

Florence Christian Church: April 21 

See more at bushnell.edu/calendar. The Bushnell events are free to the public and open to all ages. 

Program subject to change.  

LOCATIONS: Ross Evans Chapel, First Baptist Church of Eugene, and schools and churches in the region 

Tickets: Free  

Interview & Media Opportunities: High-resolution photos are available upon request. For interviews, contact Emily Weinkauf Kidder at 541-521-6568 or ekidder@bushnell.edu 

IG: @bushnellmusic 

FB: @bushnellperformingarts 

About Bushnell University School of Music and Performing Arts
Bushnell School of Music and Performing Arts is a nonprofit, 40+ student music school based in Eugene, Oregon led by Associate Dean, Dr. Kelly Ballard. The school provides students with fundamental musical knowledge, performance, and leadership skills, marked by innovation, creativity, and high academic standards. Digital content is offered through its social media channels. More at www.bushnell.edu/music. 

Attached Media Files: Photo by Lucas Pauly

Bushnell University Hosts Visiting Lecturer Dr. Vince Bantu to Explore "Is Christianity a Western Religion?"
Bushnell University - 02/23/24 2:01 PM

EUGENE, Ore. — Bushnell University will host renowned scholar Dr. Vince Bantu on the subject of Christianity’s origins and its global identity. The conference, scheduled for February 27th and 28th, will explore the diverse narratives that shape our understanding of the Christian faith.  

Keynote speaker Dr. Vince Bantu is a leading voice in uncovering the global roots of early Christianity. His impactful work, including the book “A Multitude of All Peoples: Engaging Ancient Christianity’s Global Identity” (IVP, 2020), emphasizes the need to dispel the misconception that Christianity is exclusively a Western religion. Dr. Bantu contends that by rediscovering the ancient African, Asian, and Middle Eastern roots of Christianity, we can overcome obstacles to evangelism, particularly in Black, Asian, and Latinx communities. 

The event kicks off on Tuesday, Feb. 27th, at 11 AM during the University Chapel at the Morse Center with Dr. Bantu’s keynote address, “Reimagining the Christian Story.” Attendees will be challenged to broaden their understanding of Christianity’s global journey. In the evening at the Ross Evans Chapel, from 6:30 to 9:00 PM, there will be a screening and discussion of the documentary “Unspoken,” available on Tubi, a free streaming service located at https://tubitv.com

On Wednesday, Feb. 28th, the thought-provoking sessions continue with a keynote lecture by Dr. Bantu from 10-11:30 AM, titled “Is Christianity a Western Religion?” This session will provide insights into the rich and varied historical roots of Christianity. Following this, from 12-2 PM, there will be a community lunch open to local clergy, featuring a panel discussion on “Connecting God’s Global Story to A Multitude of All Peoples.” 

The conference aims to encourage a reevaluation of Christianity’s cultural narrative and foster a shared understanding of the faith’s diverse heritage. As we collectively explore the prayer “your kingdom come,” we invite pastors, church leaders, and the community to join us for this insightful event. 

Bushnell is pursuing meaningful conversations about how the Gospel nurtures present and future hopes of, in the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, “the creation of the Beloved Community.” It is in this spirit, and with this hope, that we continue Bushnell’s commitment to calling and Christ-centered reconciliation by hosting Dr. Bantu on campus.  

For further information, please contact: Lars Coburn, Director of University Relations 541-684-7320 and urn@bushnell.edu">lacoburn@bushnell.edu.  

Registration and More Information:  

Limited seating is available; registration is required to reserve your seat. For registration and more information about “God’s Global Story” event please visit https://Bushnell.edu/gods-global-story and to see some of the past events you can visit Bushnell.edu/churchrelations. 


Individuals, corporate partners, and local churches are invited to sponsor these events and participate in these no-cost experiences. In gratitude, the University will provide appropriate thanks and useful exposures to encourage and bless our friends who share in the leadership and impetus surrounding this important topic. For more information about sponsorship please visit: Bushnell.edu/sponsor.    

About Bushnell University

Founded in 1895 Bushnell University helps students discover and answer God’s call on their lives. Devoted to offering a Christ-centered environment, Bushnell encourages students to grow in wisdom, informed by faith, leading to lives of service. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the University was founded by pastor-educator Eugene C. Sanderson and pioneer businessman and church leader James A. Bushnell.

Bushnell is the largest private university in Eugene’s vibrant University District. The University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees for undergraduate and graduate studies through course formats on campus, online, and hybrid. More information about the University is available at www.bushnell.edu.  

About Dr. Vince Bantu:

Dr. Bantu (Ph.D., 2015, The Catholic University of America) is a leading voice in excavating the global roots of Christianity in its earliest expressions. He has partnered with the Jude 3 Project in public events such as “Is Christianity a White Religion?” (Lisa Fields, CEO and Founder of the Jude 3 Project, was one of our guests for the November 2023 “Becoming the Beloved Community” event.) Dr. Bantu is the author of several books, including A Multitude of All Peoples: Engaging Ancient Christianity’s Global Identity (IVP, 2020) and Those for Whom the Lamp Shines: The Making of Egyptian Ethnic Identity in Late Antiquity (Univ. of California Press, 2023). Dr. Bantu is a dynamic speaker, in demand as both a lecturer and preacher. He has been hosted at numerous colleges and universities, including Regent College (Vancouver, Canada), Biola University, and Wheaton College. Dr. Bantu’s message is that, to reach the world with the Gospel, we must dispel the myth that Christianity is a European, white religion. Christianity didn’t become global with colonialism, but its earliest expressions were nurtured in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Additionally, the recovery of ancient global Christianity enables white, European-heritage Christians to remold their own narrative as well. Christianity isn’t a cultural inheritance only of white Americans and Europeans; it’s a shared heritage with “a multitude of all peoples.” Recovering that story—God’s global story—will support Bushnell University mission of aiding students in finding their calling, assisting in the work of reconciliation.  


Coos Co. Schools
Special School Board Meeting 2.26.2024
Coos Bay Sch. Dist. - 02/22/24 1:43 PM

Special School Board Meeting 

Date: Monday, February 26th, 2024

Call to Order at 5:30 PM
Location: Milner Crest – Meeting Room 


The Coos Bay School District (CBSD) Board of Directors will hold a Special School Board meeting on MondayFebruary 26that 5:30 pm. 


The CBSD Board of Directors will conduct the meeting in person with video conference option. Members of the public may watch the board meeting live. 


The agenda and packet will be posted HERE the Friday before the meeting.

Public Input: To sign up for public input, e-mail or call the Board Secretary at 541-267-1310 or davenc@coos-bay.k12.or.us. Deadline to sign up for public input is 12:00pm the day of the meeting. Speakers may offer objective criticism of school operations and programs, but the board will not hear personal complaints concerning school personnel nor against any person connected with the school system. The board chair will direct the visitor to the appropriate means for board consideration and disposition of legitimate complaints involving individuals. (Board Policy BDDH)


Board Committee Meetings & School Site Council Meeting Schedules – click here 


Coos Bay School District meetings are subject to the Public Meetings Law (ORS 192.610-192.710).  Notice of additional meetings will be sent out as necessary. The public is welcome to attend except where noted during executive session. The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. Request for other accommodations should be made to Daven Cagley at 541-267-1310 or davenc@coos-bay.k12.or.us

North Bend High School Closure 2/23
North Bend Sch. Dist. - 02/23/24 7:41 AM

It is with heavy hearts that the North Bend School District’s reporting that there was an accident last night in North Bend, right next to the high school; there was a fatality.  Due to the investigation at the crash scene, the North Bend Police Department is asking that the district close down the high school for the day to keep people away from the scene.  


The closure is only affecting the high school, all other buildings will be operational.


North Bend High School Closure
North Bend Sch. Dist. - 02/23/24 6:20 AM

It is with heavy hearts that the North Bend School District’s reporting that there was an accident last night in North Bend, right next to the high school; there was a fatality.  Due to the investigation at the crash scene, the North Bend Police Department is asking that the district close down the high school for the day to keep people away from the scene.  

The closure is only affecting the high school, all other buildings will be operational.

High Desert Museum Now Accepting Submissions for the 2024 Waterston Desert Writing Prize (Photo)
High Desert Museum - 02/21/24 8:30 AM
Tucker Malarkey
Tucker Malarkey

BEND, OR — What do bestselling author Tucker Malarkey, Emmy award-winning actor Sam Waterston and one winning writer have in common? 

All will take part in the High Desert Museum’s 10th annual Waterston Desert Writing Prize which honors excellence in literary nonfiction about deserts. The Prize is now accepting submissions until May 1, 2024. 

This year the Waterston Desert Writing Prize will recognize the winner with a $3,000 cash award and a reception and reading at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon on September 26, 2024. The winner and finalists will be selected by the 2024 guest judge Sam Waterston – renowned actor and brother of Prize founder Ellen Waterston.

Known for his work in theater, television and film, Sam Waterston gained stardom portraying DA  Jack McCoy on the NBC crime series Law & Order (1994–2010, 2022–), for which he has received a Screen Actors Guild AwardGolden Globe Award and Emmy Award. Today you can also catch Sam’s performances in the Emmy-nominated Netflix Original series Grace and Frankie and Hulu’s award-winning limited series The Dropout in which he plays George Schultz. Other accolades include an Academy Award nomination for his role as journalist Sydney Schanberg in The Killing Fields (1984) and OBIE and Drama Desk awards in theater.

Sam Waterston will announce the 2024 winner and address attendees during the Waterston Desert Writing Prize ceremonies alongside the 2024 Prize winner and the 2024 keynote speaker, Tucker Malarkey, who will attend in person. 

Nationally bestselling author of the critically acclaimed and national bestselling novels An Obvious Enchantment and Resurrection, Malarkey’s first major work of nonfiction, Stronghold, describes one man’s journey to save salmon habitat in the U.S. and Russia. Stronghold was an editor’s pick for The New York Times, National Book ReviewOutside and Forbes. With a career that began at The Washington Post, Malarkey’s love of human culture and wilderness have since taken her all over the world.

The Prize was established in 2014, inspired by author and poet Ellen Waterston’s love of the High Desert — a region that has been her muse for more than 40 years. The Waterston Desert Writing Prize celebrates writers whose work reflects a similar connection to a desert, recognizing the vital role deserts play in ecosystems and the human narrative.

“To see how the Waterston Desert Writing Prize has grown in 10 years is exciting,” said Ellen Waterston. “Tucker Malarkey and my brother Sam Waterston will help us reach new audiences and promote the literary arts as the High Desert Museum has done since the Prize became a Museum program four years ago.” 

The winner of the 2023 Waterston Desert Writing Prize was Anna Welch. Her submission, “Momentum: A Trans-Continental Bicycle Journey,” details her 2019 adventure 3,700 miles across the continental United States. During that substantial bicycling trip, Welch encountered her first desert. Her work has been published in Wilderness Magazine and was most recently featured in the anthology True Travel Tales by Fine Line Press. 

“The many gifted writers who submit their work for the Waterston Desert Writing Prize expand how we think about desert ecosystems,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “We look forward to how our perspectives will grow in 2024.”

Emerging, mid-career and established nonfiction writers who illustrate artistic excellence, sensitivity to place and desert literacy with the desert as both subject and setting are invited to apply. The award supports literary nonfiction writers who are completing, proposing or considering the creation of a book-length manuscript. It is recommended that the writing sample submitted is part of the proposed project or closely represents it in content and style.

The Waterston Desert Writing Prize Ceremony will take place at the High Desert Museum on September 26, 2024. To RSVP, visit highdesertmuseum.org/2024-waterston-ceremony.

To learn more about the Waterston Desert Writing Prize and how to submit an entry, visit highdesertmuseum.org/waterston-prize. Submissions will be accepted through May 1, 2024.



THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. To learn more, visit highdesertmuseum.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.



Attached Media Files: Tucker Malarkey , Sam Waterston

Organizations & Associations
MEDIA ADVISORY: Home Care Nurses to Lead Candlelight Vigil to Close Historic Strike at PeaceHealth, Feb. 23 (Photo)
Oregon Nurses Assn. - 02/22/24 6:20 PM
ONA nurses and supporters on the strike line at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services. Nurses are advocating for a fair contract that addresses patient safety and community health; secures equitable pay; and solves PeaceHealth's staffing crisis. Photo Courtesy of Kevin Mealy, ONA.
ONA nurses and supporters on the strike line at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services. Nurses are advocating for a fair contract that addresses patient safety and community health; secures equitable pay; and solves PeaceHealth's staffing crisis. Photo Courtesy of Kevin Mealy, ONA.

Nurses and elected officials are calling on PeaceHealth to commit to a fair contract agreement that improves community health and safety and addresses its staffing and care crises.

(Springfield, Ore.) – Striking home care nurses, elected leaders and community allies will hold a candlelight vigil near PeaceHealth’s offices in Springfield Friday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. The event will include speeches and media availability and marks the end of nurses’ limited duration strike at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services.

Home health and hospice nurses at PeaceHealth declared a strike Feb. 10 - 24 to protect their community’s health and safety, combat care delays, secure equitable pay and address PeaceHealth’s staffing crisis at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services. 

The more than 90 registered nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services are represented by the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA).

WHAT: ONA-represented nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services will hold a candlelight vigil to discuss PeaceHealth’s pattern of health care cuts in Lane County; its impact on local patients and providers; and how nurses and allies can hold PeaceHealth accountable to our community.

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. 6 - 6:45 p.m.

WHERE: Intersection of MLK Jr./Beltline and Game Farm Rd. near PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center Riverbend in Springfield, OR. Street parking is available nearby. However participants are encouraged to park at ONA’s strike headquarters and shuttle to and from the vigil. ONA strike headquarters is located at 1075 International Way, Springfield, OR.

WHO: Home health and hospice nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services, hospital nurses, doctors, patients, elected officials, and community allies.

WHY: PeaceHealth’s corporate executives in Washington have spent the last year low-balling home care nurses in contract negotiations—insisting they are worth less than PeaceHealth Sacred Heart hospital nurses at Riverbend and less than nurses at other home care agencies. PeaceHealth’s disrespect towards nurses and their patients has driven nearly a quarter of nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services to leave. Another one-third of nurses plan to leave if PeaceHealth continues shortchanging patients and providers. Fewer nurses means home-bound patients and their families suffer from care delays, receive fewer treatments and ring up costly hospital readmissions bills.

PeaceHealth’s failure to retain and recruit home care nurses has real impacts for vulnerable patients who are experiencing delays and a loss of service. PeaceHealth was only able to admit 57% of hospital-referred home care patients into its programs in a timely fashion in October. The national average is 95%.

Nurses began negotiating with PeaceHealth executives in February 2023 and have been working on an expired contract since April 2023. 

Since receiving nurses’ strike notice Jan. 19, PeaceHealth has committed multiple unfair labor practices including refusing to meet and bargain in good faith with local nurses and for threatening to terminate health insurance for home care nurses and their families. 

Coming off of a successful limited duration strike, nurses are again asking PeaceHealth executives in Washington to come to the table and reach a fair contract agreement that enables them to recruit and retain the highly skilled and valuable nurses who care for some of the most complex home care patients in the state. 

Nurses are not discouraging patients from seeking care during the strike, however PeaceHealth patients may experience delays, cancellations or substandard care as PeaceHealth refused to temporarily transfer patients to other home health agencies and is relying on scab workers from an out-of-state, for-profit company.

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest and most influential nursing organization. We are a professional association and labor union which represents more than 18,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state, including more than 90 nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services and nearly 1,500 frontline nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org.


Friday, Feb. 23. Press Contact: Kevin Mealy, 765-760-2203, Mealy@OregonRN.org

  • 11:00 am – 1:00 pm: Nurse Press Availability on Strike Line by appointment
  • 6 p.m. Candlelight Vigil. Nurses are holding a vigil to talk about PeaceHealth’s repeated care cuts in our community, its impact on vulnerable patients and our hopes for the future.

Saturday, Feb. 24. No Scheduled Events

Attached Media Files: ONA nurses and supporters on the strike line at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services. Nurses are advocating for a fair contract that addresses patient safety and community health; secures equitable pay; and solves PeaceHealth's staffing crisis. Photo Courtesy of Kevin Mealy, ONA.

Survey of Oregonians: Election Reform - Ranked-choice, open-primaries, campaign finance, etc.
Oregon Values and Beliefs Center - 02/23/24 3:39 PM


Oregon Values and Beliefs Center

January 2024


Introduction:  This summary report, including strategic considerations and recommendations, was completed by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center in partnership with the Yarg Foundation. It incorporates quantitative and qualitative research findings from OVBC studies conducted in 2023 and described below.  This report is meant to assist the broader public with planning, policymaking, and communications about election reform. 


Oregonians Support Changes in Our Systems of Self-Government but Their Opinions Range from “Reform Curious” to “Reform Ready” Across Issue Areas

A majority of Oregonians are dissatisfied with the structure of elections, the conduct of campaigns, the role of political parties, and the effectiveness of their representatives in state and local government, and they are open to reforms in all of these areas at both the state and local levels. 

Support for electoral and governance reforms is both evolving and dispersing across the landscape of public opinion. Majorities have crystalized in support of reforms that are more familiar to them and have a history of debate in recent decades. But, when it comes to embracing new and untested reforms, Oregonians are more curious than ready. 

Reform Curious

Oregonians statewide are interested in major changes in how we elect our representatives and how we might restructure our system of representation at both the state and local levels.  Ranked-choice voting heads their list in the first category, while the concept of multi-member districts captures their interest in the second. 

But their interest in reforms in these areas is nascent, which we describe as “reform curious” but not yet “reform ready,” despite Portlander’s recent launch of these reforms. 

Reform Ready

Support for campaign finance reform appears to have matured to the point that supporters have the wind at their backs with initiative petitions that are circulating for the November 2024 ballot that would limit contributions to candidates. 

Also, those who reject the closed party primary system coalesce around the more familiar concept of simply opening up the major party primaries to all voters, but they split over reforms like “top two” primaries



Methodology and Terminology

We gathered the above findings and drew our conclusions from two OVBC projects:

  • A statewide survey (referred to herein as the “survey”), conducted of 1,807 Oregon residents ages 18 and up, conducted December 19, 2023, through January 7, 2024, with a margin of error of +/-2.3% for its full sample. 
  • A more extensive survey, the OVBC Typology Study (referred to herein as the “study”), conducted September 12, 2023, through October 23, 2023. This study, for which analysis and reporting remains ongoing, reached more than 3,600 respondents and had a margin of error of 1.6% for its full sample.

The general findings of both the survey and the larger study were generally consistent across most subgroups of respondents, however, differences among respondents were found most often among age cohorts, strata of educational attainment and household income, and political party affiliations. Other, less frequent, variations are noted where they appear. 

Age cohorts are categorized and described as follows: Adults aged 18-29 (Generation Z) and 30-44 (Millennials), whom we refer to as “young’ and “younger-middle-aged” respectively, or, as a group, as “younger Oregonians;” and, adults aged 45-54, 55-74, and 75+, whom we refer to as “older” Oregonians. 

Educational Attainment captures three categories: High school graduates or less; those with some college; and those who hold four-year and post-graduate degrees.

Household Income is categorized as follows: Less than $25,000 per year; $25,000-$49,999; $50,000-$74,999; $75,000-$99,999; $100,000-$149,999; and, $150,000 and above. In this report, we refer to the first two categories as “lower income.”

Political Party Affiliation captures self-reported identifications of Democrats (36% of the total), Republicans (25%), as well as minor party, unaffiliated and unregistered voters (40%). We refer to this last group as “Others” in the following analysis. This last category represents the largest group of voting-age adults, though their lower turnouts tend to diminish their impact in elections.

Other categories of respondents cited herein as relevant to our findings include Gender, Rural residency, Race/Ethnicity, and Newcomers to Oregon.

A separate set of findings and analysis is presented for Portland residents, given their recent approval of a new system of elections and representation for the city.


Survey Questions: Phrasing and Detailed Responses

Readers are directed to the survey documents for the specific wording of questions, the tally of responses to each, and subgroup variations. In the findings and analyses herein:

  • Question numbers are provided for reference to the annotated questionnaire and crosstabs for both the most recent survey (captioned Nov-Dec survey) and the 2023 Typology study. 
  • Due to rounding, the percentages reported below may not add up to 100% or compare exactly to the percentages for the same question in the annotated questionnaire and/or crosstabs.
  • Quotes from respondents’ open-ended comments are excerpted from a document entitled Anonymous Verbatims, which includes responses to “your biggest hope for your community” in 2024 (Survey Question 6), “your biggest fear for our community” in 2024 (Survey Question 7), “comments on any of the questions relating to elections and governance (Survey Question 15), and “thoughts…about possible changes to our governance and current election systems in Oregon” (Survey Question 24).

These documents can be found on the Oregon Values and Beliefs website at www.OregonVBC.org.


Some Glimmers of Optimism, But with Widely Held Concerns About Social and Political Divisions 

General Findings (Survey Questions 1-5.)

GRAPH AVAILABLE AT Election Reform - Oregon Values and Beliefs Center (oregonvbc.org)

Our survey identified Oregonians' views of how things are going in their communities (44% right direction, 49% wrong track) and their feelings about the upcoming year (52% optimistic, 45% not). By comparison, our Typology study showed wrong track sentiment at 53% for the state last year and 69% for the nation, with only 41% viewing the state as on the right track and even fewer (27%) extending that opinion to the nation as a whole.

Note that the survey framed its initial questions regarding respondents’ communities, while the Typology study referred to the state. In general, our surveys over the years have found more negativity about how things are going at the national level, but less at the state level and community level.

However, concerns about social and political divisions remain top of mind for respondents regardless of their right track/wrong track perceptions and their hopes for 2024. 

The political climate is so divided, nobody can work for the better of the state...”

--Deschutes County woman, 55-64, Republican


“Petty mudslinging in political arenas is a depressing waste of time, energy and money…”

--Lane County woman, 75+, Democrat


In our survey, roughly three out of four respondents think their community is socially and politically divided (74%) and are worried about these divisions (77%). Their views on whether “your community can come together and bridge this divide” reflect a great uncertainty: 35% think they can, 27% think they can’t, while a plurality (38%) can’t decide one way or the other.

The Typology study found nearly identical levels of concern for the state as a whole: 74% of respondents perceived the state as socially and politically divided, while 82% reported they were worried about these divisions, and 36% thought “We can come together and bridge this divide.”

Even with a little less “wrong track” feeling and some notable optimism at the local level, the wounds of social and political division have not healed. The perceptions of these divisions and a low level of confidence in the ability to mend them are evident in responses to both the survey and the Typology study in regard to local communities and the state as a whole.

Notable Differences within Sub-groups

Respondents varied little in their recognition of social and political divisions in their communities, their worries about these divisions, and their sense of whether we will be able to come together to heal these divisions, with a few exceptions.

Age: Young and younger-middle-aged adults are twice as likely to be very optimistic about the future, with roughly 20% very optimistic in their expectations for 2024 compared to less than 10% among older adults. 

Political Party Affiliation: The effect of partisan identities was starkly evident in respondents’ views of how things are going in their communities. Democrats were far more likely to see things headed on the right track (63%) rather than the wrong track (32%), while Republicans were the opposite in their perceptions (28% right track, 68% wrong track). Others split the difference (39% right track, 50% wrong track). 

Also, Democrats are more optimistic about 2024 (58%) than Republicans (46%) and Others (50%).

Gender: Persons who identify as “non-binary or other” (2% of survey respondents) reported being “very worried” about social and political divisions in their communities by a large margin (48% vs. 23%-24% for men and women) and “not at all optimistic” about 2024 (20% vs. 12%-13% for women and men). These were differences of intensity, as the combined numbers for “very” and “somewhat” opinions tended to deliver similar totals across all genders.

Race/Ethnicity: BIPOC respondents were slightly less likely to see social and political divide in the communities (69% vs. 75% for white respondents), were more inclined to think we can come together to bridge these differences (40% vs. 34%), and were notably more optimistic about the coming year (62% vs. 49%).


Support for Government Contrasts with an Overall Negative Opinion of Its Efficiency

General Findings (Typology Study Questions 6, 7, 11, 12, 34, and 35.)

GRAPH AVAILABLE AT Election Reform - Oregon Values and Beliefs Center (oregonvbc.org)

Oregonians generally support an activist government. Our Typology study found solid majorities in favor of:

  • “A bigger government providing more services” (59%) over a “smaller government providing fewer services” (41%);
  • Government regulation of business as “necessary to protect the public interest” (59%) rather than doing “more harm than good” (41%), and,
  • Stronger environmental laws and regulations as “worth the cost” (63%) rather than “cost(ing) too many jobs and hurt(ing) the economy” (37%).

Similarly, most Oregonians would prefer to keep or strengthen rather than relax our current land use and environmental protections by margins of 68%-22% (land use) and 75%-15% (environment).

But Oregonians are not happy with the government they have. Almost six in ten (57%) respondents in the Typology study thought that “government is almost always wasteful and inefficient,” while only four in ten (43%) grant that “government often does a better job than people give it credit for.”


There is Broad Dissatisfaction with Our System of Self-Governance, from Our Method of Elections to the Exercise of Representation

“The electoral process is flawed and either needs to be replaced or refined to better represent all constituents, not just those with the strongest voices and deepest pockets.”

--Deschutes County woman, 55-64, Democrat


“…Voters are disillusioned and have zero faith that politicians have their best interests in mind…”

--Clatsop County woman, 18-29, Democrat


“Despite the demonstrated needs of folks without stable housing, elected officials routinely ignore their needs…But anyone can plunk down six figures or more in donations to election campaigns and get all the attention they want.”

--Multnomah County non-binary, 30-44, Republican


General Findings (Survey Questions 8-14, and Typology Study Question 14.)

GRAPH AVAILABLE AT Election Reform - Oregon Values and Beliefs Center (oregonvbc.org)

We find dissatisfaction tending to cynicism prevalent in Oregonians’ views of our electoral systems. Only one in four (25%) respondents to our survey think that our elections result in “the candidate most qualified for the position winning,” while three in four (75%) think that “the most politically popular candidate” prevails. A clear majority thinks that “Oregon’s current electoral system produces outcomes that reflect the views and beliefs of a small group of particularly political Oregonians” (58%) rather than “the views and beliefs of typical Oregonians from around the state” (42%).

Underlying these views, we can discern an embrace of traditional good government principles.  

Survey respondents largely agreed that “once elected, an official should prioritize the interests of their district rather than their supporters” (71%) and that “all generations should be treated equally” in the allocation of public resources (66%).

GRAPH AVAILABLE AT Election Reform - Oregon Values and Beliefs Center (oregonvbc.org)

Similarly, in our Typology study, almost three in four (74%) respondents agreed that “compromise is how things get done in politics even though it sometimes (means) sacrificing for the greater good,” while only one in four (26%) favored the hardline view that “compromise in politics is just selling out on what you believe.”

These are centering rather than fragmenting tendencies, reaffirming a broad consensus in favor of bridging divides to better serve the common interests of all. 

At the same time, these traditional views do not reflect support for a “good old days” style of government. Roughly three in four survey respondents think that “future generations deserve more formal representation and more consideration by current government institutions” (73%), and that “effective governance requires continual experimentation with how best to get things done" (76%).

GRAPH AVAILABLE AT Election Reform - Oregon Values and Beliefs Center (oregonvbc.org)

Oregonians overall strongly favor “continual experimentation” over “adherence to tradition” as the best approach to effective governance, with Republicans being more divided.

Finally, almost three out of four respondents (72%) agreed that “voters in Oregon need to receive more reliable information about the issues and candidates on the ballot,” while 28% think voters “already have access to enough information to cast their vote.”

Notable Differences within Sub-Groups

Age: More than a third (roughly 35%) of young and younger-middle-aged adults think that the current system results in the election of the most qualified candidates for office, compared to less than half that percentage (about 15%) of older adults who share this view. Even more notably, a majority (52%) of the youngest cohort (18-29-year-olds) thinks the current electoral system produces outcomes that reflect the views of typical Oregonians from around the state, compared to 42% of Oregonians of all age groups.

Further, young and younger-middle-aged adults are far more likely to think that candidates who win elections should prioritize the interests of their supporters over those of their districts. Fully 50% of 18-29 year-olds and 37% of 30-44 year-olds favor this approach to governing, compared to roughly 20% of older adults. On this question, in particular, there is a near-perfect correlation between age and opinion: Younger Oregonians are more likely to want elected officials to favor their supporters; older Oregonians are more likely to want them to favor representation of a district’s interests, with increasing levels of support for the latter rising with one’s age, approaching 90% for seniors.

This aged-based divergence of opinion moderated somewhat in respondents’ preferences for “effective government,” when respondents were given a choice between “continual experimentation with how best to get things done” and “reliable adherence to tradition.” The youngest cohort of respondents strongly favored the former (81%), but all other age groups were not far behind, with support at roughly 75% for continual experimentation.

Educational Attainment and Household Income: Those with a high school education or less and those in lower income households (below $50,000 per year) were more likely to think that the most qualified candidates are prevailing in our elections, while those with college degrees and higher incomes (above $75,000 per year) were more likely to think that elections were going to the most politically popular candidates. 

Also, those from the lowest income households (below $25,000) were more inclined to think that our electoral system produces outcomes that reflect the values and beliefs of typical Oregonians than respondents in all other income groups.

The survey also found that those with less formal education and lower incomes were more likely to feel they need more information about issues and candidates on the ballot. 

Finally, on the question of how respondents prefer elected candidates to respond to their constituents, another clear pattern emerged: Those with less formal education and in lower income households were far more likely to want to see elected officials favor their supporters (47% and 43% respectively). Those with higher formal education level and household incomes went in the other direction, wanting to see elected officials prioritize the interests of their districts over those of their supporters by margins that increased steadily with education and income to as high as 94%.

Rural: Rural residents were slightly less supportive than others of “continual experimentation” in government and slightly more inclined to support “reliable adherence to tradition,” but they still favored the former by a margin or 70% to 30%. 

Political Party Affiliation: In their views about approaches to representation, however, Democrats were less likely than Republicans and others to think that elected officials should prioritize the interests of their supporters (18% of Democrats, 31% of Republicans, 35% of Others). Still, strong majorities in all three groups preferred that officials prioritize the interests of their districts (Democrats 82%, Republicans 69%, Others 65%). Note that the views of younger respondents on this issue (above) go counter to this consensus. 

In regard to other governance issues, Democrats are more likely to favor “continual experimentation” over “adherence to tradition” to get things done (89% to 11%), while Republicans favor tradition (55%) over experimentation (45%). Others are closer to Democrats on this issue, favoring experimentation (78%) over tradition (22%).

Race/Ethnicity: BIPOC respondents are much more likely than their white counterparts to think that elected candidates should prioritize the interests of their supporters (44% vs. 24%) and were more mixed about their political parties – less unsatisfied, less satisfied and more likely to align with neither position (27% to 19%).


Oregonians’ Dissatisfaction with our Systems of Self-Governance Extends to Both Major Political Parties 


“The problem in the political realm can be summed up very easily – everything has become too polarized. The Rs are too far right and the Ds are too far left. There is no compromise. If you vote against your party line your own party will punish you. It is unfortunate that the term ‘getting primaried’ is a part of our culture.”

--Lincoln County man, 55-64, Democrat


General Findings

(Survey Questions 16 and 17, and Typology Study Question 55.)

Most Oregonians blame one or both major parties for “threatening the nation’s wellbeing”.

GRAPH AVAILABLE AT Election Reform - Oregon Values and Beliefs Center (oregonvbc.org)

Survey respondents do not view our political parties as agents for a more representative or effective government. Only one in three respondents is very (9%) or somewhat (25%) satisfied with the political party they are affiliated with, and a notable plurality (42%) think the Democratic and Republican parties have too much say in selecting candidates to compete in Oregon’s general elections (compared to 9% who think that the major parties have too little power and 24% who don’t know.)

Even harsher views were evident in response to a question in our Typology study asking whether respondents viewed the policies of the Democratic Party or the Republican Party as “threaten(ing) the nation’s well-being.” Fewer than one in five (17%) rejected that assertion, while a plurality (33%) put both parties in the category of threatening the nation’s well-being. The remaining respondents blamed the Republican Party (31%) or the Democratic Party (19%) for these effects.

Taken as a whole, these views appear to motivate a multi-partisan interest in, and receptiveness to, reforms in our systems of representative government, tempered by uncertainty about their best formulations.

Notable Differences within Sub-Groups

Age: Young and young middle-aged respondents were more likely to report that they are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with their parties. Their answers to this question were likely influenced by the higher levels of unaffiliated voters in this age group. On the other hand, the youngest respondents (aged 18-29) were less likely to agree that “the Democratic and Republican parties have too much say in selecting candidates to compete in our general election(s),” with only 31% expressing that opinion compared to slightly more than 45% of voters aged 30 and over.

Younger voters are also less dissatisfied with our system of political representation. 

Educational Attainment and Household Income: Those with less formal education and lower incomes were less likely to think that the Democratic and Republican parties have too much power in selecting candidates who advance to the general election (34% and 32%), compared to those with college degrees and higher household income levels ($100,000 or more) who supported that assertion at rates of 49% and 54%.

Gender: Non-binary respondents are much more dissatisfied with their political parties (46% vs. 25% for men and women).

Political Party Affiliation: Democrats are more satisfied with their party (54%) than Republicans (42%), but dissatisfaction is evident in both parties (30% among Democrats, 35% among Republicans). Notably, the view that Democrats and Republicans have too much say in selecting general election candidates has similar levels of support in both major parties (Democrats 35%, Republicans 37%), while agreement rises to 50% among Other respondents.


With a Few Exceptions, Oregonians Haven’t Yet Advanced from “Reform Curious” to “Reform Ready”


I’m down to try something different as the current system isn’t working.”

--Deschutes County woman, 30-44, Democrat


“I am not sure I would want multiple representatives. After reading this survey. I believe I would want to research it a little more to get better information.”

--Marion County woman, 65-74, Democrat


“I worked my county's elections for over 10 years. Voters can't keep up with the current system, please don't muddle it more!”

--Multnomah County woman, 45-54, Democrat

When presented with a menu of reforms, respondents choose different, although similar, paths to many of the same goals. But, with several exceptions, strong majorities fail to materialize in support of a single reform. 

Those exceptions can be found in the strong levels of support we identified for campaign finance reform and open primaries when respondents are offered the choice of a single, clearly formulated alternative to the status quo. Otherwise, the split over different paths to reform remains a cautionary finding for advocates of change.

We analyzed the range of responses, from “reform curious” to “reform ready” in each of the following issue areas:

  • Unlimited vs. limited campaign contributions,
  • Closed vs. open party primaries,
  • Plurality vs. majority elections, runoffs and ranked-choice voting, and
  • Single-member vs. multi-member districts.

In response to this menu of reform options, we note that young and young-middle-aged respondents were somewhat less likely to commit to, and more likely to say they don’t know their position on, specific proposals.


Campaign Finance Reform Has Broad Support

General Findings (Typology Study Questions 23 and 38.)

With campaign finance reform, however, there is broad interest and super-majority support for reforms to limit campaign contributions to candidates. Respondents offered many unprompted comments like the following in response to the open-ended questions in our survey.


“Big money must be taken out of politics. Campaign finance reform is essential so that political power cannot be bought…”

--Lane County woman, 75+, Democrat


“Our top priority is to get money out of politics. It’s the only way to make things truly fair. Currently, politicians can be bought. Which puts all the power in the hands of just the rich…”

--Wheeler County woman, 45-54, Non-affiliated


“There needs to be stricter laws about campaign money. The rich and corrupt currently are our only option and they do not represent us.”

--Clatsop county woman, 18-29, Democrat 


“The other big issue is the influence of money on elections, which…requires candidates to worry more about funding for reelection versus what their constituents need.”

--Benton County man, 55-64, Minor party


Beyond the solicitation of comments, our survey did not probe respondents’ opinions on this subject, as we had done so in last year’s Typology study. That study showed 50% strong support and 75% overall support for regulating unlimited money in political campaigns.

GRAPH AVAILABLE AT Election Reform - Oregon Values and Beliefs Center (oregonvbc.org)

Competing initiatives headed to the November 2024 ballot in Oregon to establish campaign spending limits will benefit from this level of initial support and from a decades-long series of campaigns to bring this approach to fruition. However, if voters are offered two competing proposals on the same ballot, even super-majority support for a common goal can splinter into lesser levels of support for each proposal. For example, in our Typology study, we also asked respondents to indicate their preferred options for reforming our campaign finance system. In their responses, increased transparency topped donation limits, with support for the latter declining to 56%. (See Implications for Reforms in the Current Political Environment, below.)

Notable Differences Within Sub-Groups

There was consistent support across all sub-groups for limiting unregulated money in political campaigns, with a few exceptions where support was weaker but still exceeded 60%.

Age: Respondents age 18-29 were weaker in their support of limiting unregulated money in political campaigns at 60% vs. 75% for all respondents. Support for this reform rose steadily through the older age cohorts to a level of 89% support among seniors (65 and older).

Educational Attainment: Respondents with high school diplomas or less weighed in at 63% in favor of this reform.

Newcomers to Oregon: Respondents who have lived in Oregon for five years or less were less supportive of this reform (68%) than longer-term residents.


Support is Coalescing for Open Primaries


I think we should be able to vote across political parties in the primaries…not a ballot for Republicans, Democrats, etc. I want to be able to vote for the best candidate no matter the political party.”

--Washington County woman, 65-74, Republican

I have been a registered independent voter for decades and would like to be able to vote in the primary.  The difficulty of being a Republican or Democrat is that you are only given Republican or Democratic candidates to vote for.  I would like the option of voting who I think is the best candidate no matter the political party.”

--Clackamas County woman, 65-74, Independent Party


“…Primary elections should be OPEN TO ALL (open primaries), this would result in more centrist (more accurately reflecting the voters' moderate views) candidates being in a general election. This would strongly decrease divisiveness.”

--Yamhill County man, 55-64, Democrat


General Findings (Split-sampled Survey Questions 18 and 19, and Typology Study Question 39.)

When survey respondents were asked whether the two major parties should continue with their practice of limiting participation in their primaries to their own registered voters, only 21% affirmed that practice in one split sample, while 41% preferred opening up these primaries to all voters, and 16% supported non-partisan, top-two primaries instead. In another sample that offered an additional alternative, only 17% affirmed the current party primary system, while various alternative approaches garnered support at levels of 28%, 22%, and 16%. 

By contrast, when given just the two options of having the major parties continue with the practice of closed primaries or requiring them to open their primaries to all voters, respondents to the Typology study coalesced in support of the latter: Support for the status quo peaked at 27%, while support for opening up the major party primaries settled at 63%.

GRAPH AVAILABLE AT Election Reform - Oregon Values and Beliefs Center (oregonvbc.org)

When offered multiple alternatives to the current practice of continuing with closed primaries, Oregonians were less likely to support the status quo, as the “reform curious” dynamic tended to draw more of them away from supporting the current system. But when offered the single alternative of open primaries, support for the latter retained a sizable supermajority.

Notable Differences Within Sub-Groups

Age: Age was a consistent predictor of opposition to the current system of closed primaries and support for opening them up to all voters. In our Typology study, older respondents, aged 45 and above, were more likely to support the current system (30%) than younger respondents (22%). And the variations in support for opening the major party primaries to all voters was even more notable. Almost three out of four (73%) younger Oregonians supported that approach, compared to 58% of older Oregonians.

Political Party Affiliation: Keeping the current system of closed primaries draws greater support from Republicans (29% and 35% in two split samples) than Democrats (18% and 21%) and least of all from Others (10% and 14%). 

Respondents in all three groups favor alternatives to the closed primary, of which the most popular is the proposal for opening up party primaries to all voters, which elicited support from 46% of Democrats, 30% of Republicans, and 43% of Others. Notably, the least popular of several alternatives to closed primaries was the idea of “top two” primaries without party affiliations. Oregonians want to lessen party control of the primary nominating process, but they don’t want to do away with party labels on the ballot. 

Newcomers to Oregon: Respondents who have lived in Oregon for five years or less were even more supportive of open primaries, at 74% support. This group comprised almost one in ten respondents, so it can be a significant voting bloc. 


Support for Change in Our Methods of Elections Splits Among Options, From Majority Runoffs to Ranked-Choice Voting 

General Findings (Survey Question 20 and Typology Study Question 40.)

A majority of respondents want to change our method of electing representatives but differ on the best way to do so.


“I think that two-party winner-take-all all elections have become a poor way to elect representation. Branding takes precedence over ideas. I would like to see candidates elected on the strength of their ideas and practical ability to get things done, requiring more of voters to know and decide among options when they vote.”

--Lane County woman, 65-74, Democrat


“I think Oregon would do better if we had a second round of voting for the top two candidates.”

--Clackamas County man, 30-44, Republican


We need rank choice voting. I'm a bleeding-heart liberal but I don’t want anyone as liberal as me in charge. I want moderate centrists to be the decision-makers, compromising for the good of all. Rank Choice Voting pushes candidates to the middle - it eliminates the need to pander to the fringes (on either side).”

--Washington County woman, 65-74, Democrat


“NO WAY should Oregon allow 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice voting! Voters are confused enough, they don't need this type of voting to add more confusion, uncertainty and cause even lower voter turnout…”

--Yamhill County woman, 55-64, Independent Party


“Ranked-choice voting would be an absolutely incredible advancement. Absolutely no more concerns about ‘throwing away your vote’ if your favorite candidate isn’t the one you think is the most popular.”

--Clackamas County man, 30-44, Democrat


When asked about our current system of “first past the post” elections in our survey, in which winners can prevail with less than 50% of the vote, only 24% of Oregonians want to stay with this system, while 35% favor shifting to ranked-choice voting and 29% prefer requiring runoffs when necessary to determine a majority winner. 

GRAPH AVAILABLE AT Election Reform - Oregon Values and Beliefs Center (oregonvbc.org)

Our Typology study captured similar responses: 37% of respondents favored ranked-choice voting, 30% favored runoffs, and 30% wanted to stay with the current system.

Notable Differences

Age: Older voters (aged 45 and above) were slightly more likely to support the status quo, including the first-past-the-post method of deciding elections that delivers less-than-50% winners (approaching 30% in one survey question); while younger voters were slightly less likely to support this method of electing candidates. But, on the questions that offered multiple versions of reforms, there was little difference in support across all age cohorts. 

Political Party Affiliation: When it comes to voting systems, Republicans are split in their preferences for the current “first past the post” method (30%) and requiring run-off elections (40%), while Democrats favor ranked-choice voting (44%) over keeping the status quo (25%) or requiring run-offs (24%).

Educational Attainment and Household Income: College graduates and higher-income respondents were slightly more likely to support the status quo of closed-party primaries. 

Race/Ethnicity: BIPOC respondents were slightly less likely to favor ranked-choice voting (31% vs. 36% for white respondents).

Rural: Rural residents were more supportive of runoff elections (34% vs. 27% for non-rural residents) and less supportive of ranked-choice voting among the reforms tested (27% vs. 38%).


Multi-Member Districts Elicit Near Majority Support


“A multi-member district could force more compromise, which is sorely lacking these days since the two political parties require allegiance and forbid compromise.”

--Washington County woman, 65-74, Democrat


“It is absurd to think that we need multiple winners all of a sudden. How in the world would this make things better? It will only confuse voters about who represents them: When things go wrong, who do they hold accountable?”

--Multnomah County man, 45-54, Democrat


“Multiple representatives would likely do a better job of representing the area, but I'm not sure the system costs and revamping everything would be possible. Also not sure that the top two parties would allow for more diversity, or if we'd just see more candidates that are the same party-liners we have now.” 

--Klamath County woman, 55-64, Non-affiliated


General Findings (Survey Questions 21-23)

In this section of our survey, where respondents were offered binary choices, the results show a strong interest in radical change – namely, ending the long-standing practice of having districts represented by a single elected official (single-member districts) in favor of a system in which “two or more candidates are elected for a particular region to represent different perspectives” (multi-member districts). Asked which approach they favored, a near majority of respondents (49%) chose multi-member districts over single-member districts (28%) with the remainder (22%) undecided.

Asked again about the relative effectiveness of single-member and multi-member district representation in state and local government, a strong plurality (46%) of survey respondents agreed that “multiple candidates in an election that allows more than one winner, with the top two or three representing the area, would do a better job of getting things done for all voters.” A lesser 35% thought otherwise, agreeing with the claim that “a candidate who wins a single-winner election with the most votes is better able to achieve consensus on an elected body and get things done for all voters.”

GRAPH AVAILABLE AT Election Reform - Oregon Values and Beliefs Center (oregonvbc.org)

As would be expected from these findings, survey respondents affirmed their preference for multi-member districts and ranked-choice voting for city councils (50%), county commissions (49%), and the state legislature (47%).  The support was more “somewhat” than “strong” and about 20% were unsure. 

When presented with a binary choice between the status quo and a single alternative, one would expect to see a coalescence of support for reform. However, our survey and study results show that reaching majority support for many of these changes is far from certain when those who are undecided or only “somewhat” supportive of a specific proposal eventually make up their minds. One out of five respondents in our survey remained undecided on either approach. 

Also, observations of campaigns over the years confirm that strong and well-funded opposition efforts invariably erode support for reforms in the course of an election or a legislative session. (See Implications for Reforms in the Current Political Environment, below.)

Notable Differences

AgeIn binary choice questions related to single-member vs. multi-member districts, we found notable differences between younger and older respondents. In response to a survey question testing views of the more effective method of representation, a majority of respondents aged 18-54 agreed that two or three candidates elected from a district “would do a better job of getting things done for all voters.” By contrast, older respondents disagreed, supporting by strong pluralities the claim that a single-winner candidate who gains the most votes would be “better able to achieve consensus on an elected body and get things done for all voters.”

A majority of younger survey respondents aged 18-54 favor multi-member districts over single-member districts. And, although older respondents continue to show plurality support for multi-member districts, that support declines in older age brackets and turns into opposition among those older than 75.

Educational Attainment and Household Income: College graduates and higher-income respondents were slightly more likely to support the status quo of closed-party primaries and single-member districts,

Gender: Men are far more likely than women to support the single-member-district approach to representation by a margin of 36% to 21% and to favor single-winner elections as the better path to effective representation (42% to 29%). But their support for multi-member districts was nearly identical (48% for men, 50% for women). The difference is that a sizable proportion of women (29%) are undecided about supporting the multi-member district approach.

In response to our questions about reforms, BIPOC respondents were slightly less likely to favor ranked-choice voting (31% vs. 36% for white respondents), slightly more likely to favor multi-member districts (53% vs. 48%), and somewhat more likely to feel that such systems do a better job of getting things done for all voters (50% vs. 44%).

Political Party Affiliation: There is near majority support for multi-member districts among respondents in both the major parties and those who are unaffiliated or minor party members, although their reasons for doing so may differ. Both Democrats and Others think that multiple representatives from a single district can better get things done for all voters (45% and 51% respectively), and both groups support moving to multi-member districts by 2-1 margins. But Republicans seem of two minds on these questions. They think candidates who prevail in single-winner elections can better get things done (47% to 38%), but they flip in their choice of multi-member districts over single-member districts, supporting the former 48% to 36%. This may reflect the allure of a multi-winner system to voters whose party has failed to win statewide offices or secure a majority in the state legislature.


Portland Charter Reforms: A Bellwether or a Cautionary Tale

 Our survey looked separately at residents of the City of Portland as a potential bellwether of Oregonians’ receptivity to election reforms, some of which we tested in this survey and were contained in the city’s Measure 26-228, which was approved by a margin of 58% to 42% in November of last year.

Relevant to this survey, Measure 26-228 amended the city’s charter to create multi-member districts for the City Council and adopted two versions of ranked-choice voting for city officials. One version of ranked-choice voting will be used for single-winner elections for mayor and auditor, while another version will be used to determine winners in the city’s new multi-member districts. 

Portland residents, who comprised almost one in every five respondents, showed some differences from their non-Portland counterparts in their opinions of the electoral and governance changes tested in this survey. They were:

  • Slightly more inclined to favor "continual experimentation” over “adherence to tradition” (81% vs. 75% in the rest of the state);
  • Slightly more inclined to be satisfied with their political parties (39% vs. 32%);
  • Less inclined to favor runoff elections (22% vs. 31%); and,
  • More supportive of ranked-choice voting than respondents in the rest of the state (44% vs. 33%).

However, Portlanders’ support for ranked-choice voting is no different than that of Democrats statewide, who support this method of voting in the same proportion (44%).

And, our survey findings suggest that Portlanders’ opinions about representation have not caught up with the changes they approved in the city’s charter amendment. Portland respondents were slightly less likely to favor multi-member districts (47%) than respondents in the rest of the state (50%). They were also slightly less likely to think that the election of multiple candidates from a district would do a better job of getting things done for all voters (43% vs. 46% in the rest of the state). 

It appears that the architects of Portland’s charter amendment did not have a head start over the rest of the state when it came to voter support for the electoral reforms they brought to the ballot. Rather, it is likely that they benefited from voters’ impatience with the city’s failures in governance and its outmoded system of government as the motivators for changing the city’s governance model. 

Whether voters in the rest of the state will now be inclined to follow Portland’s lead in enacting similar electoral and representational changes may depend on how Portland’s new voting system is received when rolled out for this year’s November election and how successful its multi-member governance structure proves to be in overcoming the city’s problems. 


Implications for Reforms in the Current Political Environment

The findings of this survey reveal a citizenry in Oregon dissatisfied with the method of electing its representatives and with the structure of its representative government.

Our Typology study found similar dissatisfactions with the efficiency of government, despite strong support for the role of government in providing services, protecting the environment, and maintaining our land use system.  

But focusing the dissatisfactions of the citizenry on specific reforms remains a work in progress, given the diversity of preferences that survey respondents demonstrated when it comes to understanding and choosing among competing proposals and aligning them with their stated preferences. For example, only 24% of respondents favor keeping our first-past-the-post method of electing candidates who fail to pass the 50% threshold to win elections. But a near majority of the same respondents favor the creation of multi-member districts to give voice to a greater cross-section of Oregonians – which in turn will require the election of candidates with less, often far less, than 50% of the vote. Getting to a clearer understanding of the effects of reforms of this kind can easily upend the first-impression findings of this survey.

Still, in this environment, there is an advantage for first movers and for those who build support for reforms over multiple election cycles and can show success at the local level before seeking statewide adoption. 

The success of the Portland Charter amendment in 2023, which contained both electoral and structural reforms in a single package, is proof of a first-mover advantage, where voters are frustrated by a failure of governance. 

The long-haul strategy of campaign finance reform advocates is another model that can lead to success. Initiative sponsors amended the state constitution to enable limits on contributions to candidates with the passage of Measure 107 in the 2020 election, after failing with a similar amendment in 2006. Contribution limits have since been approved by voters and successfully implemented in Portland and Multnomah County. Advocates are now advancing an initiative (IP 9) to the state ballot in November 2024 to establish campaign contribution limits for all state and local offices in Oregon. They have since been joined by labor union advocates pursuing a competing initiative on the same subject for the same ballot. 

Our Typology study suggests that, if a single measure qualifies for the ballot, it will start with strong support from voters across the state. But, if voters are presented with two alternatives on the same ballot, there is a chance that neither measure will secure majority support. 

Meanwhile, a first test of voters’ support for reforming our election methods statewide is headed to the November 2024 ballot in the form of a legislative referral (HB 2004) enacted in 2023). This measure proposes to establish ranked-choice voting for statewide and Congressional elections and to permit that method of voting to be used for the election of city, county, and school district offices. As with campaign finance reform, a statewide vote on this reform could be complicated by a competing proposal for a system of STAR voting, in which voters award preference votes among a field of candidates and let a tally of their preferences determine the winner. This proposal is currently circulating as an initiative (IP-11) for the same November 2024 ballot. If both proposals end up on the same ballot, it is possible that majority support for moving beyond our current electoral system will splinter into less-than-majority support for alternative solutions.

Further, if only the legislative referral for ranked-choice voting goes forward, confusion over the voting experience in Portland could complicate perceptions of this approach for state voters. Portlanders will be confronted with two forms of ranked-choice voting in the same November 2024 election, one of which will likely entail long lists of candidates vying for three slots in each of four new districts. That experience in Portland may not help and could hurt the receptivity of voters statewide to follow Portland’s lead in enacting ranked-choice voting. 


“Ranked-choice and multi-member districts seem like a good idea, but we really don’t know how that would work out, so we need to review the results after a few (3?) years and be ready to acknowledge any mistakes.”

--Washington County man, 75+, Democrat

In summary, the table is being set this year for a first round of statewide votes to determine the interest of Oregonians in alternative election reforms. Whatever succeeds, as happened with Portland’s charter amendment, will gain a first-mover advantage in the effort of experimentation in government that 76% of Oregonians say they want to see. But disappointment with the Portland experience or the failure of measures on the statewide ballot will underscore other findings that emerged in our survey, namely that voters will need more information and understanding of what reforms will accomplish before providing a majority for their enactment.

Attached Media Files: OVBC Election Reform Verbatims with Media Contacts , OVBC Election Reform Combined Crosstabs , OVBC Nov-Dec Election Reform Annotated Questionnaire , OVBC Typology Election Reform Annotated Questionnaire , OVBC Election Reform Report