Last week State Treasurer Tobias Read joined with Secretary of State Dennis Richardson to advance the sale of the Elliott State Forest to a private timber company.
To say that we were shocked is an understatement. Treasurer Read’s actions on February 14th – Oregon’s Birthday – are in stark contrast to his record as a legislator, as well as how he presented himself to the OLCV PAC Board during our endorsement process, where we asked each candidate about their position on the Elliott State Forest. The principal reasons we endorsed Tobias Read for Treasurer were his 2015 efforts to protect the Elliott and other public lands with his trust land transfer bill – which helped earn him OLCV’s Innovator of the Year Award – and his commitment to protecting Oregon’s public lands and heritage for future generations.
Our mission at OLCV is to turn environmental values into state and local priorities by building political power for the environmental community. We do this by advocating for sound environmental laws and policies, holding elected officials accountable for their votes and actions, and electing pro-environment candidates who will champion our issues.
We take our mission seriously, and when an OLCV-endorsed candidate changes their position on such an important issue so dramatically in such a short time – less than six weeks since taking office – we have an increased responsibility to hold them accountable. In the coming days, weeks, months, and, if necessary, years, we will continue to hold Treasurer Read accountable for his vote on the Elliott, and we will continue our efforts to find a solution that keeps the forest in public hands – hopefully with Treasurer Read’s support.
So today, we’re asking Treasurer Read to be an innovator again. We’re asking him to be the kind of hard-working public servant who does the tough work and who doesn’t take the easy way out, someone who brings people together to solve problems. We know Treasurer Read can do this. We know because we’ve been there as he’s done it before.
Since last week, over 1,200 people have shared our post on Facebook holding Treasurer Read accountable and it reached over 75,000 Oregonians. We know that it’s having an impact. Today, we’re asking for your help again. Help send a message that Read’s vote to sell the Elliott State Forest was unacceptable, and yes, a betrayal of our votes. Tell him that we need him to be the person who earned our Innovator of the Year Award in 2015, who earned OLCV’s endorsement in 2016, and who will work with Governor Kate Brown to find a solution that keeps the Elliott in public hands. Tell him that he can earn your vote back by making the right decision on the Elliott.
All hope is not lost in the effort to protect the Elliott State Forest. Governor Kate Brown has shown tremendous leadership in the effort to keep the forest in public hands. Leading up to the next Land Board meeting, OLCV will stand with our Governor, our partners, and with you, our members, to protect our Elliott State Forest.
The OLCV PAC Board