|Since we last talked, what has changed in terms of your priorities for the County … or if its the same will you please give a brief recap on your goals?
I’d still say that my top goals are containing COVID and thoughtful growth for Deschutes County. Mental health services have also become a big focus. By investing in mental health specialists we can reform our criminal justice system (having mental health specialists respond to mental health public safety calls as opposed to law enforcement officers with guns) and we can also help our youth resist suicidal idealization and improve social environments in schools. The County has a huge role to play in all three of these things – COVID response, guiding growth, and improving mental health services.I am also very troubled that the County is pursuing yet another appeal to the Land Use Board of Appeals on the cannabis permit applications for the Waveseer and Nemzhow projects. I am working with people who have put in a public information request to understand how much staff time and taxpayer dollars the County has wasted trying to rewrite the law so they can restrict farmers from using Exclusive Farm Use zoned land for agriculture.What are your thoughts on the state of cannabis in Deschutes County in terms of the potential opt out in the elections in November?
I believe that if a high percentage of Deschutes County voters cast ballots in November they will choose to continue to opt in. But if we have the same three commissioners after an opt in vote those commissioners will continue to try to question the will of the voters by making the permitting process unreasonable, costly, and time consuming. My opinion is that owners of Exclusive Farm Use zoned land should be able to make decisions about what crops to grow based on market conditions and their own preferences and not have to worry about unnecessary regulations that are rooted in ideological biases.What can people do to support your campaign?
- Help install lawn signs in visible places
- Volunteering to phone bank or write postcards
- Tell your friends! Word of mouth endorsement to voters you know is so important for local elections.
- Make a contribution to the campaign. I’m trying to counter Phil Henderson’s small number of very large special interest checks with a large number of individual donations from real Deschutes County voters.
There are links to get signs, volunteer, or donate at my website: votephilchang.com. Thank you all for your support!