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this begs the question, "what do you suggest we do?"

I think the only real option is to put another measure on the ballot. I don't have a lot of faith in the legislature to come up with a compromise.


I am very disappointed by the efforts of No On 37 and 1000 friends leading up to last Novembers election. I donated money to the No on 37 campaign and felt that I threw my money away. I didnt see my first No on 37 bumpersticker until 6 months AFTER the election and I have yet to see another one. I think I saw one really crappy No on 37 TV commercial showing a farmer driving his tractor. The polls showed well ahead of the election that 37 would pass but the No on 37 campaign should have tried to win over the large group of undecided voters and try to lower the predicted 60-40 percent approval to 55-45 because now the pro-37 people think they have a mandate by getting such a large margin of victory. 37 was all about getting the word out about what this measure was truely about. Opponents of Oregons land use laws have tried for 35 years to dismantle them through ballot measures yet none of them before passed. There was a close land use law recall election in the early 80s where it looked like the land use laws would be recalled but in the end after aggressive campaigning by land use supporters including Tom McCall from on his deathbed, the recall measure failed.
The people who put 37 on the ballot worded the measure very specifically so that it would sound really appealing to uninformed voters. If they put a measure on the ballot like they had in the past calling for an repeal of "Oregon's land use laws" it would not have passed. The idea was to make sound like something else yet destroy the land use laws that they have tried to do for the last 3 decades. The No on 37 campaign even brought in at least twice as much money as the opposition yet what did they do with the money? They should have been out there with effective ads telling voters of the terrible effects that are beginning to happen with the passage of this destructive measure. They should have made gloomy ads about power plants being constructed next door your house and poisoning your drinking water and lower your land values while citizens have no say or ability to stop their construction.

Mike Thelin

Streetcar is right. Voters were uniformed. I think a lot of voters thought of Measure 37 as an eminent domain issue--not an attempt to erase years of smart planning. Plus a lot of folks, myself included, were too absorbed in the presidential election and Measure 36 to devote our time and money fighting it. Most people don't even know what they voted for. And, we still have no idea what the repercussions of this law will be.


Regarding the question from the first comment ("What do you suggest we do?"), to be completely honest I'm not sure. Maybe it's ballot measure that repeals 37, but I doubt that could happen. Maybe it's some tweak of 37 that makes it harder to sidestep the zoning. I think we could all start by emailing or calling our representatives in the Oregon Legislature to let them know that saving our historic land use laws is very important to us. The elected officials are timid right now about going after 37, but they would be bolstered by people like us making noise.

Mike Thelin

If the legislature were to overturn Measure 37, it would have no legitimacy given this measure is seen as a triumph of individual rights. This needs to be a citizens effort, and it needs start with reeducating the public. Most people believe Measure 37 is all about property rights. In reality, it's about quality of life. We need to fight this, but we must do it through an initiative, and we'll need to raise lots of money to do it right.


Interesting idea. What if through the AIA, 1000 Friends of Oregon or some other nonprofit entity we raised money and sent out some kind of direct mail to every Oregon citizen? Or purchased some kind of advertising? I agree we need to get the word out. But also it would be a challenge beyond finding the money to pay for it, because the implicit (if not explicit) message is, "You voters were wrong!"

Mike Thelin

Advertising is power. I would never tell the voters they were wrong--not in those exact words. In a society that touts individualism (and against a measure that was supposed to champion individual rights), it would be the wrong message to send, a bad way to frame the arguemtment, and just plain wouldn't go over well. This is why Democrats are losing elections.

Oregonians like to feel empowered. Instead of telling them how wrong they were, we ought to tell them how misinformed and misled they were by interests that represent a very small minority that will actually benefit from this measure. The message stays in tact, but the blame is shifted toward the framers of the measure and the ultra conservative groups that funded it.

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