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'5 Under 35' lawmakers bring town hall to Sylvania Campus
Photos and Story by James Hill
Five Oregon House members – all age 35 and younger – will embark on a tour of Oregon’s college campuses this month, including Portland Community College’s Sylvania Campus. The lawmakers are seeking input from students on issues of critical importance to them and the future of Oregon.
The five legislators – Reps. Tobias Read (D-Beaverton), Ben Cannon (D-Portland), Sara Gelser (D-Corvallis), Brian Clem (D-Salem) and Chris Edwards (D-Eugene) – started the informal group, called the “5 Under 35,” when all were elected two years ago with the idea of giving new voice to young people in Oregon.
“We serve in the Legislature to build a better Oregon for the long run, and in order to do that we want to hear directly from the future of Oregon,” Read said.
The tour of colleges will kick off on April 8 at the University of Oregon. The group plans to visit Oregon State University on April 15, Portland Community College Sylvania Campus on April 22 and Willamette University in Salem on April 29. A complete listing of the events, times and locations is at the bottom of this release.
“The issues facing Oregon today will be the same issues facing young Oregonians 20 years from now. The decisions we make about education funding, climate change, protecting salmon and ensuring the economic vitality of our state must take into account the needs and the ideas of young people,” Gelser said.
“These will not be events where we preach at students about the needs of Oregon,” Edwards said. “We want to hear from these students about their vision of Oregon’s future – what makes them successful in college, what best prepares them for the future, what needs do they see in our state that we must address today so they will enjoy the promise of opportunity tomorrow.
“As a former student activist and student body president, I know some of the greatest improvements in our society have originated on campuses. I can’t wait to hear what students are working on these days,” Clem added.
The Oregon Student Association is assisting in the planning of the events. “As we gear up for another election, events like this one show just how important it is for students to vote,” said OSA Board Chairwoman Emily McLain. “Last election we worked to turn students out at the polls, and now our young legislators are here to listen to our stories about how Oregonians are struggling to get a college degree. We greatly appreciate their willingness to hear from us what issues are important to today’s students.”
“We’re not a rock band. But we can promise you a good show. We hope students take advantage of this opportunity to come help us shape the future of Oregon,” Cannon said.
Tuesday, April 8th: University of Oregon – 7:00-8:30pm, EMU Rogue Room
Tuesday, April 15th: Oregon State University – 6:30-8:00pm, MU Main Lounge
Tuesday, April 22nd: PCC Sylvania – 6:30-8:00pm, Performing Arts Center Foyer
Tuesday, April 29th: Willamette University – 6:30-8:00pm, Montag Center
To learn more about the 5 Under 35 tour, contact Christy Splitt, (503) 236-3351.