The Blue Mountain Chapter (BMC) of ORA has a Homegrown Prosperity and Healthcare focus.  The Energy team, also strategically situated at the parent level, has a majority of Blue Mountain Chapter members.  We are also exploring interest in forming an Investment Group to reinvigorate the local economy.

Our Homegrown Prosperity (HGP) committee is working toward sustainable agriculture in the local economy and food safety and security issues.  It also sponsors the community garden which benefits the Food Bank and the Headstart kids and provides gardening space for local farmers that don’t have space of their own. We have also been su

BMC was instrumental is passing legislation on the Poultry and Pickle bills, which enable local producers to sell chickens from their farms without USDA approval and allows local folks to sell dried fruits and herbs and canned products at the farmers markets. We also helped to get La Grande’s City Council to keep funding for our pool and library in the budget.

Currently, the HGP is working on a proposal for the community to sponsor meals at local venues promoting local farms and ranches.  These meals will have an education component highlighting the benefits to the local economy of eating local, the nutritional aspects of eating healthy, and promotes our local farms and ranches.

Our Healthcare committee promotes healthcare as a human right by collecting photo petitions to be sent off to our legislators.  They are working toward a single payor system.  The goal is to develop statewide support for Health Care as a Human Right as the first step in creating a comprehensive, equitable, publicly funded, high quality, universal health care system serving everyone in Oregon and the United States.

Our Energy team has successfully launched Solarize Union County in order to install solar water heaters in homes at an affordable cost using local labor.  They have successfully negotiated with the County Commissioners for funds to invest in renewable energy, Union Wallowa Baker Federal Credit Union for low interest loans, and a local contractor for installation.  They have a series of workshops covering the logistics of a site visit, nuts and bolts of solar energy, and financing options. Currently, discussion is underway on exploring the impact of coal trains from the Powder River Basin.

In addition to our three main teams, we monitor current and potential legislation and how it may affect our community.  This may involve developing new campaigns, calling for action, or planning projects or events for awareness.  Our members are concerned citizens that have a hope for a vibrant local economy.  How we get there and how we do it is a membership decision.

Are you interested in leading the Blue Mountain Chapter? If so, please consider joining the Executive Committee. We would love to have you on our team!

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