Blue Mountain Chapter’s Position Statement

As a community-based grassroots organization, the Blue Mountain Chapter of Oregon Rural Action believes in working together to build thriving rural communities. In recent years, members have come together to expand local markets for local food, develop school and community gardens, and lead local campaigns like Solarize Union County that make renewable energy more affordable for individual residents while making this an even better place to live.

We believe that public services like the library, the literacy center, and the pool are vital to a strong community and a sustainable La Grande. Many of us chose to live in Union County to raise our kids, run farms, teach in area schools, start local businesses, and engage with other community-minded people. We strongly support city programs like the Teen Zone, swim lessons, and after-school tutoring–whether they benefit us individually or not.

Children are the primary users of La Grande’s pool and library. In a community in which there are already few extracurricular opportunities for kids–and in which too many of our young people already struggle to succeed in school–we can not afford to cut the very services that keep kids engaged and learning.

The Blue Mountain Chapter of Oregon Rural Action urges La Grande’s City Council to work together with us to find alternative strategies to address the city’s current budget shortfall. Cutting programs that serve our young people may save money in the short term, but it will not sustain our kids or our community over the long term. There are better ways to go.

The Blue Mountain Chapter of Oregon Rural Action is a community-based, grassroots organization dedicated to challenging injustice and to bringing about social change. Our mission is to organize people to increase their collective power over decisions that affect their lives. We work together to create healthy, sustainable communities, environmental stewardship, and a truly democratic society.