Running for office was never on my bucket list. The job came to find me. I never considered serving in the legislature until friends, neighbors and colleagues began to call and urged me to run in 2014. At that time, I knew Oregon needed better leadership. And being a military mom to two brave Marines who served in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I wanted Oregon to be a place where all of my children, including my two Marine sons, could find a job, make a living-wage and give their children a quality education. So I jumped in and worked hard alongside all of my faithful volunteers. I got nearly 44% of the vote against one of the most powerful politicians in the state.
I did not win that race, but I could not stop thinking about how our legislation affects our everyday lives. So I spent all last winter at our state Capitol sitting in on committee meetings and House floor sessions. I realized right away that the communities of District 14, Junction City, River Road, Santa Clara, and the Bethel and Churchill areas were not being properly represented. Instead of a state government representative of all Oregonians, I saw a legislature dominated by ideas coming from Portland and Multnomah County. I saw, for all intents and purposes, that no one was watching the backs of the people in our district. No one was concerned about protecting our way of life, only about furthering the ideas that bubble out of Oregon's metro giant.
The people in our district deserve better. As a military mom and educator I understand the value of strong leadership and the importance giving our children and families every possible opportunity to succeed. Our district deserves a representative in Salem who has lived in our district for over 50 years, whose first real job was working at a favorite local hang out, Papa's Pizza, who graduated from one of our own high schools, North Eugene, from our own community college, L.C.C, and from our own Northwest Christian University. We deserve a representative whose family has deep roots in Junction City and whose uncle wrote a book about growing up on J.C.'s Dane Lane. We deserve a legislator who was married in one of our local churches, Bethesda Lutheran, 38 years ago, and who raised her family in our own District 14. We deserve a representative who belongs to us, who knows and cares about our communities.
The 2017 Legislative Session will bring its own unique challenges, but how reassuring will it be to have a genuine District 14 legislator watching out for us when the process of law-making begins? With the right leadership we can fix our education system, create an environment that raises wages, increases job opportunities, and once and for all changes culture in Salem. With your help I know better days are ahead for Oregon. Help me get there! Help elect me, Kathy Lamberg, a people's representative.