Voters should support Parrish for House
As Mayor of Tualatin, I've worked with State Rep. Julie Parrish longer than any other local elected official in House District 37. I've found her to be a thoughtful leader who rolls up her sleeves to solves problems. She studies the details of proposed laws to really understand the long-term consequences of how her votes will impact voters' lives, and their checkbooks.
I was surprised to read an opinion piece from West Linn Councilwoman Brenda Perry in The West Linn Tidings (a sister publication of The Times). Based on her commentary, it's clear she hasn't paid attention to what an effective representative Julie has been for our community, particularly in the area of transportation solutions, which seemed to be Councilor Perry's main objection.
As a freshman lawmaker in 2011, Julie successfully passed legislation to help the Tualatin side of the district move forward on the 124th interchange project on Tualatin-Sherwood Road. This key piece of South Metro infrastructure will reduce traffic when Sherwood drivers can eventually connect to I-5. It will also open up shovel-ready land for more jobs and affordable housing.
Julie has always been adamantly opposed to tolling our freeways. From her opposition to tolling the I-5 Columbia River Crossing to her "no" vote on tolling our existing South Metro freeways, Julie's stood her ground for years. She supports expanding freeway lanes, increasing bus rapid transit with cross-suburban transportation, and opposes a costly $3 billion light rail project that limits transit options.
I also have to wonder if Councilor Perry understands how skyrocketing health care costs are negatively impacting the state's budget, which also impacts city budgets. Julie has been a strong supporter of access to health care, particularly for low-income families. When President Obama's Affordable Care Act was wildly unpopular with Republicans, Rep. Parrish voted "yes" to adopt the Medicaid expansion.
The Oregonian recently endorsed Julie, in part, because she had the forethought, insight and experience to know the Medicaid system in Oregon is failing and proposed an alternate solution. Her concepts to fix Medicaid are now part of Gov. Brown's plan for 2019.
In Salem, Julie doesn't caucus by political party. That independence means she's free to vote for her community. She uses data, does her homework, and comes up with bipartisan solutions that work. Julie's successfully passed some 130 pieces of legislation to help Oregon families, and she's done it as a Republican lawmaker in the political minority in Salem. That's rare.
Serving for eight years, never missing a day in Salem, with all the negative and unwarranted attacks, is a thankless job. Voters in this district should reward Julie's hard work and re-elect her to keep serving us.
Lou Ogden has been mayor of Tualatin for 24 years. Tualatin lies within House District 37.