Seventy-five thousand commuters a day spend hours in traffic to drive across the Columbia River and give 10 percent of their income to the state of Oregon.
While Washington legislators look for traffic solutions to make the commute more bearable for our residents, Oregon refuses to come to the table. They are only interested in options that impose their massive light rail bill onto Washington residents. But it’s never enough for Oregon politicians. Now they are looking at tolling options that take more out of the pockets of Washingtonians to pay for Oregon’s mismanaged transportation issues, while doing nothing to benefit Washington residents stuck in traffic.
When Oregon crossed this line, Washington's 3rd District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, stood up and said enough. She has been a strong voice for her constituents in this area, and folks here are taking notice and singing her praises about it.
Oregon does not seem to share our appreciation of the strong leadership of our Congresswoman on this issue. When Beutler represents her constituents and stands to Oregon politicians, they send one of their own to challenge her for the people’s seat. Long-time Oregon resident Carolyn Long announced she would be running against Beutler in 2018.
While Long has worked in Washington for several years, she lived in Oregon and only recently added a Washington address and registered to vote here, just prior to announcing. As with the 75,000 Southwest Washington residents who have to drive across the river daily for work, most would never look to run for Congress in Oregon just because they have an office on that side of the river.
Clark County residents seem to take pride in being independent of Oregon and having our values here represented in those we elect. Many local leaders are looking to bring jobs to this side of the river and continue to grow opportunities here. It would seem likely that residents will sharply reject the notion Oregon could seek to push out our representation and replace it with their own.