People of Portland's Inner Eastside Legislative House District 42 have an involved and energetic State Representative, Jules Kopel Bailey. He has chosen to begin a political career living in and representing a neighborhood where residents can often choose a car-free lifestyle Portland is proud of. Here, there are streams of fairly-safe bicycle commuters. It is Hummer Hell. With this, you already know Jules politics.
I have noticed Jules because of his sponsorship of an alternative to regressive handout of Oregon's Public Purpose Fund. We have the common 3% "tax" in electric and gas utility bills "that goes for energy conservation, renewable resource, and low income energy programs." Many people are left out in the distribution of this money, notably renters in a drafty home whose owner is not inspired, or simply awakened, to do right. Anyone, regardless of income, can find difficulty in setting aside cash-up-front to pay that good contractor of weatherization, or even to buy materials for competent DIY. The work not happening as a result, is huge. The continuing waste of energy is shameful. Catastrophic? I think so.
The highly experienced and wannabe, qualified workers are not seeing jobs bragged-of with "recovery" funds already in the hundreds of billions. What is wrong? Why does my rebate organization see a downturn in consumer action following a free energy audit? I think Jules knows.
Jules has regular coffee shop meetings with constituents, unlike most of our representatives. I attended one six months ago, and properly stayed out of the busy conversation.
Here in Jules' own words is the inspiration of legislation that surely is more important to Oregon, than our first-state Bottle Bill. The new bill to be proud of as Oregonians, is HB2626, the Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Technology (EEAST) Act of 2009.
Did you listen to the podcast? If you live in Portland, and "can't afford" that weatherization investment that would be repaid in five years, why wouldn't you now apply to be part of the measly-so-far implementation, Portland's Clean Energy Works? If you live somewhere else, will you do your part to move forward corresponding national law? That law is drafted so far as introduced by my former state representative, and now US Senator, Jeff Merkley.
Oregon needs to act quickly to rescue public investment funds from the sure hazards of Wall Street.All such Oregon Treasury funds should be turned over, as incrementally drawn, to weatherization funding.
All Oregonians, and people everywhere, should do their part to advance up-front weatherization funding, by employing and improving HB2626 programs, and by getting involved with S.1574.
The people of Portland first, and then quickly all of us, should take part in and critique programs as they emerge.