Environmental advocate joins race for Senate District 19 seat
All of the candidates for Oregon Senate District 19 attended last week's meeting of the Willamette Women Democrats in Lake Oswego, including a new entrant: Daphne Wysham, who announced her candidacy last week.
Wysham lives in West Linn and has a long career as a researcher and environmental advocate. She currently serves as the director of the Climate Justice Program at the Center for Sustainable Economy, an environmental think tank, as well as an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, where she co-directs the group's Sustainability Energy and Economy Network.
"I'm running because all my life I've fought for environmental, social and economic justice," she said this week. "And I know how to win. I've won major battles against some of the worst corporate polluters on the planet."
Wysham joins Lake Oswego School Board member Rob Wagner, former state Rep. Greg MacPherson and Tualatin City Council President Joelle Davis in the race to succeed Sen. Richard Devlin, who was recently appointed to the Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Council and is expected to resign his Senate seat before joining the council in January 2018.
Wysham said she will put climate issues at the forefront of her campaign.
"Fossil fuels are not just destabilizing our climate with disastrous consequences right now — from record flooding in Houston to utter devastation in Puerto Rico — they are also polluting our air, our water and our politics," she told The Review. "And they are costing taxpayers record sums, sums that threaten to squeeze out public spending for things like education and transportation."
Though much of her work has focused on climate change at the national and global levels, Wysham has also been a prominent voice in debates about local environmental issues in Portland. She has voiced strong opposition to shipping oil by rail through the Pacific Northwest, and to a proposed terminal at Vancouver, Wash.
Wysham is a member of the West Linn Alliance for Inclusive Community, which works to "ensure that racism and bigotry are not tolerated in (the) community or schools." She has also declared support for a Medicare-for-all program, and called for investments in transportation and education in Oregon.
— Anthony Macuk