On August 3rd, (Allen’s 55th birthday) Allen “Merryweather” Alley will begin a walking tour across Oregon. This journey will start in Baker and should in end Portland on September 9th.
This strategy has left people scratching their head. Over a month out on the road? Walking? Really?
You see … too often … campaigns (Republicans and Democrats equally) in Oregon walk the same. They talk the same. They ALL operate the SAME as every other campaign that has been run in this state before it. You see … too often … candidates get trapped in an isolated bubble of consultants and talking heads that explain with cold calculating data how Oregonians think and feel. I don’t mean that as a complete critique on political consultants. Many of them are my best friends. But sometime you learn best by experiencing. Sometimes it’s best to get a little dirty!
Oregon has a lot to be depressed about right now. We’re second in the nation in unemployment. We just closed the books on one of the most anti-growth legislative sessions EVERY in this state’s history. I think our Governor has been kidnapped because I haven’t seen him in months. And worst of all, the evil empire New York Yankees are still in the running for a wild card slot! Grrr.
But sitting back and complaining about our present situation has never been part of the Oregonian spirit. We’re a people that do “¦ and it’s time we came together.
As Allen has said,
I really want to gain a better understanding of this amazing place; of our people, terrain, economy and ecology. I thought about it and decided what better way to do this than to do what our spiritual founders Lewis and Clark did? Walk across the state from Baker City to Portland.
You know what I’ve always loved about journeys like this? Isn’t never about the planned stops. Never about the prefabricated town halls in all the traditional stops. You see “¦ journeys like this are always about the unexpected steps along the way.
You see … it’s when you meet with the local business owners and concerned citizens that you SEE the problem and HEAR the solutions. To often politicians read the charts and talk “¦ rarely do they LISTEN. Allen might not like what he hears while he’s out on the road but he’ll be forced to listen. And I am excited to listen too. Because I am completely convinced that Oregon knows what to do .. if someone will just listen.
To join Allen and me on the walk, to learn more about the journey, see the map, or video updates “¦ visit the campaign website. (URL)
And while politics is important, I hope everyone will also take a moment to help those who are struggling through this challenging time by dropping off a can of food for the local food bank at Allen’s headquarters in Portland or at his roving campsite. And for those that are more ambitious than I, join the Nike+ Challenge! Get a team of fellow runners and walkers to go the distance with him for a great charity.
Join us on the road, around the campfire, or online. There are ways for everybody to participate. What better way to spend August than meeting and listening to your fellow Oregonians and discovering the great potential and spirit of our state.