The Weekly Way (2/26/21)

How to move forward together in the Aftertimes, increase access to education, and welcome *new* Oregonians.

Editor’s Note

Another week, another series of challenges to our democratic systems. The headlines suggest a state government struggling to rise to this momentous occasion: a representative resigns, a caucus walks out, and two branches are at odds over redistricting.

Behind the headlines and behind the scenes, there’s reason for hope. As I point out in Chapter 8 of my book, Oregon has seen its fair share of political animosity and dysfunction in the last few decades—yet, we’ve managed to get by.

And, as Rukaiyah Adams expresses in her piece, we’re capable of doing more than just getting by—we can decide to move forward together.

When Oregonians decide to move forward together, Mark Hass shows we’re capable of leading the nation on things like free community college.

Of course, moving forward together is not easy. Peter Laufer describes what it’s like to be frowned upon for being a Californian or, more generally, someone without generations-long ties to Oregon.

The upshot is that we’re capable of doing more than just getting by. When we decide to expand our notion of “us” and when we set our sights on bold visions, we as Oregonians (of all origins and orientations) can lead the nation and solve problems.

To a better Oregon,


Welcome to new contributors

  • Jared Wiener

  • Rich Wandschneider

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Now to the posts!

To read

Rukaiyah Adams offers a vision of collective action, even in “the aftertimes.”

Here’s the bottom line. Despite the visceral and piercing civic context, we are no more divided today than we have been at many points in American history, in Oregon history. Generations before us have pressed on, so will we. We will find ways to care for each other directly in our communities, and we must implore our leaders to help us care for each other indirectly through the ennobling work of governing. As a fourth generation Oregonian, the only Oregon Way I know is forward together.

Mark Hass encourages the nation to follow Oregon’s lead on free community college.

Free community college represents a major policy choice that appeals to people from all political stripes in every region of the US. But it’s more than just popular, it’s also effective and responsive to a critical need in our nation.

Don’t miss Part II of Chapter 8 of Kevin Frazier’s book, Rediscovering the Oregon Way.

The 1990s were a turning point in the Oregon Way. The state could not escape the toxicity being emitted out of Washington, D.C. Increased partisan fervor paired with an influx of money in politics gave specific bad actors numerous chances to damage the tenets of the Way.

Peter Laufer covers what it’s like to come “up” to Oregon.

This Californian is an Oregonian. I’ve learned how to say “spendy” and “sun breaks.” I love riding my bike along the meandering Willamette trails through Eugene and Springfield. I learned about our both romantic and sordid history when I was researching my book The Elusive State of Jefferson. I am a Duck. And I love going home to California. Especially in the middle of another bleak Oregon winter.  

Legislative update from Joseph Jordan, covers:

  • Rep. Hernandez update

  • New legislation from Rep. Nosse regarding rent control

  • Bills pertaining to wildfire recovery and policing reform

  • Redistricting battle beginning early

To look forward to

  • Allen Alley on the state of the GOP in Oregon.

  • Loran Joseph’s next post.

  • Melissa Cribbin penning her first contribution.

  • Sarah White reflecting on the last few weeks in Silverton.

To answer

Tweet at @the_oregon_way to win & tell us who said this:

“I’m not passing on my torch. Get your own torch.”

To a better Oregon!