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Three lawmakers draw huge crowd to Cascade Campus

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Rep. Chip Shields, left, talks to constituents as Rep. Tina Kotek, far right, does the same Saturday, March 14, at PCC’s Cascade Campus. (Dana Haynes)

I often tell inexperienced legislative aides that, if you can draw 30 people to a town hall, you’ve knocked the ball out of the park.

This Saturday, we helped organize a town hall for Sen. Margaret Carter and Reps. Chip Shields and Tina Kotek at PCC’s Cascade Campus. We used the auditorium in Terrell Hall, because I’m ever the optimist. That room can handle 100 people.

They drew an estimated 130.

Wow.

I’ve never seen that good a crowd at a town hall event. And I’m really, really hoping that the fire marshal is not a fan of this blog. Because I think we violated just a whole handful of laws.

The questions were great. They ranged from the busted economy to children in the foster system; from the home mortgage crisis to the Oregon National Guard serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; from the proposed increase in the beer and wine tax to the kicker.

At one point, Sen. Carter asked, "Who in this room would forego their own, personal kicker to save schools?" Almost every hand went up. She shouted, "I love this district!" to the cheers of the crowd.

Dr. Algie Gatewood, Cascade campus president, moderated and read questions from the audience. He got dragooned in for that task at the last minute and did a great job.

If you missed it, Sen. Carter will be back at Cascade at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 28, to take more of your questions.

For more news about PCC and the Legislature, click here.

dana

About Dana Haynes

Dana Haynes, joined PCC in 2007 as the manager of the Office of Public Affairs, directing the college's media and government relations. Haynes spent the previous 20 years as a reporter, columnist and editor for Oregon newspapers, including ... more »

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