Lawmakers organize Clackamas Caucus
Legislators from Clackamas County have banded together to form a group that will focus on the interests of their constituents.
The recently formed Clackamas Caucus is a bipartisan group of 17 lawmakers from both chambers at the state Capitol working together to identify legislative priorities and issues that directly impact Clackamas County residents. Those hot buttons include transportation and infrastructure economic growth throughout the region. The caucus will be led by Rep. Christine Drazan, R-Canby, and Rep. Jeff Reardon, D-Happy Valley, for the 2019 legislative session.
"There are many regional issues that will impact all of our constituents," Drazan said. "I am pleased that we are coming together with a spirit of cooperation to work for the people of Clackamas County."
Sen. Alan Olsen, R-Canby, added that there is value in the group's size.
"We get a real power base by doing that," he said. "It helps move legislation forward."
Rep. Anna Williams, D-Hood River, also sees value in collaboration.
"With seventeen legislators working together, widely varying in their ideological outlooks, a caucus with such specific issue focus is ideally suited to identify Clackamas County's most pressing issues, then negotiate and compromise across party lines to address them," she said.
Though there are a variety of issues facing Clackamas County, legislators plan to serve the entire region.
"Many of the county's most pressing issues are outside of my legislative district: transportation issues concerning interstates, infrastructure upgrades in Oregon City and West Linn, and challenges around urban economic growth in towns and cities along the I-5 corridor," Williams noted. "That said, I think the outlying portions of Clackamas County that I represent face similar issues. Sandy, for example, has a pressing need for wastewater treatment upgrades and infrastructure improvements, and the caucus has assured me that it also plans to help me address these and other concerns in my district."
Additional members of the Clackamas Caucus include Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River; Rep. Janelle Bynum, D-Happy Valley; Sen. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario; Sen. Shemia Fagan, D-Clackamas; Sen. Kathleen Taylor, D-Milwaukie; Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Wilsonville; Sen. Rob Wagner, D-Lake Oswego; Rep. Rick Lewis, R-Silverton; Rep. Mark Meek, D-Gladstone; Rep. Courtney Neron, D-Wilsonville; Rep. Karin Power, D-Milwaukie; Rep. Rachel Prusak, D-West Linn; and Rep. Andrea Salinas, D-Lake Oswego.