Writings and observations

ridenbaugh Northwest
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From Kate Brown’s inaugural speech on February 18, after her swearing in as governor of Oregon.

It’s been a tough few months. The people of Oregon have had reason to question their trust in state government. Oregon has been in the national news for all the wrong reasons.

That changes starting today. It’s time for us to get back to work. It’s time to move Oregon forward.

This great state is blessed with so many amazing qualities: breath-taking natural wonders, a resilient people and an unmatched quality of life. People born here want to stay here, and people are drawn here from all over the country. We are all fiercely proud to be Oregonians.

Before I sought public office, I worked as a family law advocate. There, I witnessed first-hand the problems of people whose lives were dramatically impacted by the law, but who seldom had an impact on shaping it – the child who needs a more stable home; the survivor of domestic violence;’ the family struggling to make ends meet.

I carry with me their faces and stories every day when I come to work.
And throughout my 24 years in public service, I have also sought to promote transparency and trust in government, working to build confidence that our public dollars are spent wisely.

As Governor, this will not change.

I will be a Governor who wants to hear the concerns of everyday Oregonians – children and working parents, small business owners and senior citizens.

In the public dialogue about resources and priorities, they will be my central focus.

It is with everyday Oregonians in mind that I take office today with enthusiasm and purpose. The legislature is in session; the budget has been submitted and more than 1,700 bills have been filed. Speaker Kotek, President Courtney, members of the legislature, on behalf of all Oregonians, thank you for your dedication and perseverance throughout this recent ordeal.

There is a great deal of work ahead of us, and I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to it.

We are all keenly aware of the difficult circumstances that brought us to this moment – circumstances that none of us would have predicted only a short time ago.

Governor Kitzhaber dedicated most of his life to serving the people of Oregon. His contributions to our state are well woven into the fabric of our public life.

But now, we must restore the public’s trust.

I know that every Representative and Senator in this chamber loves Oregon as much as I do. And as I am sure you agree, in order for us to move forward, the first order of business is to regain the confidence of the people.

There are several things we can do, and one of them starts right now.

I pledge to you today that for as long as I am your Governor, I will not seek or accept any outside compensation, from any source. And I pledge further that while I am Governor, the members of my household and the members of my staff will not seek or accept any outside compensation, from any source, for any work related to the business of the State of Oregon. That simply will not happen.

Beyond that, we must seize this moment to work across party lines to restore the public’s trust. That means passing meaningful legislation that strengthens the capacity and independence of the Government Ethics Commission. We also must strengthen laws to ensure timely release of public documents.

We should not leave here without getting this done.

We must work together to address these and other real problems in real time; to strengthen Oregon’s recovery from the recession; to improve access to quality education and health care, and create more living-wage jobs in every single corner of the state.

Although as individuals we may have our differences, one thing connects us – we are all Oregonians. We are innovators, seekers, doers. Even our state motto, “She flies with her own wings,” underscores the extraordinary Oregon spirit that unites us and characterizes us as a people.

It is time once again to set our sights on Oregon’s future, to stretch our wings towards new horizons. Today is nearly half gone; tomorrow awaits, full of promise. Now it’s time to get to work.

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Oregon Reading

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Ada County upgrades election system (Boise Statesman)
Air Force secretary arrives in Idaho (Boise Statesman)
New Oregon governor sworn in (Boise Statesman)
What about the old Nampa library building? (Nampa Press Tribune)
Schools preparing to go broadband-dark (Nampa Press Tribune)
Invasion of wild turkeys in Pocatello (Pocatello Journal)

Brown sworn in as governor (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, KF Herald & News, Pendleton E Oregonian)
More Kitzhaber emails released (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard)
Eugene stadium buyers have week to pay (Eugene Register Guard)
Klamath college president finalist at Florida (KF Herald & News)
Jackson Co opposes expanding gun checks (Medford Tribune)
Upgrades planned for Power City road area (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Per-mile road tax tried by volunteers (Pendleton E Oregonian)

West coast port slowdowns have impact (Bremerton Sun)
Legislation in House would end executions (Yakima Herald Republic, Bremerton Sun)
New Oregon governor sworn in (Vancouver Columbian, Longview News, Bremerton Sun)
Snohomish Co holds off on motocross decision (Everett Herald)
Judge says Richland flower shop discriminated (Yakima Herald Republic, Kennewick Herald)
Cowlitz health care nonprofits will merge (Longview News)
Arts theatre bemoans lack of area parking (Olympian)
High emotions at fireworks ban meeting (Port Angeles News)
Port Townsend paper president retires (Port Angeles News)
Bertha moves 6 feet to repair pit (Seattle Times)
Facebook expanding to 2000 employees at Seattle (Seattle Times)
Spokane city, county battle on tax rule (Spokane Spokesman)
Toll raise on Narrow bridges nears (Tacoma News Tribune)
Wyoming might fund northwest coal port (Vancouver Columbian)
Another hearing set on ‘In Gof we trust’ (Vancouver Columbian)

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