Hi Multnomah County Democratic Party Officials, County Commissioners Et. Al.:

It will certainly be of interest to you to know what candidates for appointment to the vacant state senate district 22 seat consider to be their public policy priorities for the 2011 legislative session. Here are mine:

1. Support A Single Payer Health Care Solution To Oregon's/America's Moral And Economic Health Care Crisis, The Repeal Of The 1% Health Insurance Tax On Individual Oregonians And Public Entities, Inclusion of Abortion And Death With Dignity Funding.

a) The Oregon legislature, including Chip Shields and Gary Hanson, has illegitimately contrived a BILLION dollar health insurance reform plan which denied constituents of senate district 22 and all Oregonians the right to discuss and debate a Single Payer solution to Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis in the legislative assembly and in official public forums held around the state. This illegitimate bill and it's outrageous taxing of Oregonian's health insurance premiums at a time when the objective is to LOWER the costs of health care NOT raise them must be repealed.

b) I would use every resource available to me to make 2011 known as the Single Payer Session by taking advantage of every opportunity to invite groups and individuals that support Single Payer and have been shut out for years (see list below) to discuss, debate, promote, testify, demonstrate etc. in every venue available, in or outside of the state capitol.

c) Abortion is both a legal and moral medical procedure in the United States of America and Oregon. President Obama did a great disservice to Oregon and the nation when he declared that a legal and moral medical procedure for American women would NOT be covered by his health care plan - whatever his plan may turn out to be he was quite specific about rejecting his support for a woman's right to choose. This is George W. Bush talking not the person I voted for. Abortion is a legal and moral medical procedure and MUST be covered by every Single Payer solution and any other health care plan of any kind in Oregon and America.

d) Death with dignity is our cultural, legal and moral medical practice in Oregon. The ignorant, mendacious ranting of Alaska's former governor prompted the gutless Democratic majority in congress to reject even a conversation about end of life choices as part of health care reform. This is an insult to every Oregonian. Death with dignity is our cultural, legal and moral medical practice and MUST be covered by every Single Payer solution and any other health care plan of any kind in Oregon and America.

e) Support Oregon Single Payer Sick Out Day - 12 to 2 PM. Nancy Pelosi has agreed to allow HR 676 (Single Payer) to be offered as an amendment to HR 3200 for a full house debate and vote. It will be a momentous occasion. The first time any member of congress has been allowed/forced to vote on a single payer solution. The event demands action from those of us who support a single payer solution to Oregon's and America's moral and economic health care crisis

Please join me as single payer citizen activist or single payer state senator in late September or early October in demonstrations at congressional offices throughout Oregon. The date will be determined by the scheduled vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on Single Payer HR 676. Demonstrations will be most effective a week or so before the vote. There will be very little notice from the Speaker's office, a week or less, announcing the date of the debate and vote. The best way to be alerted is to sign up here: http://www.majorityleader.gov/email_and_rss/email_updates/ and click on The Weekly Leader check box. Thanks to representative Peter DeFazio's office for this information. Several staffers from representative Earl Blumenauer's office were actually hostile in their refusal to provide any help. Blumenauer has long been opposed to Single Payer so his staff's arrogance is not totally unexpected.

I will alert you as soon as I receive any notice to set a date for an Oregon wide demonstration. Prepare yourself for short notice. Bring a lunch, bring a friend, bring a sign. Every Oregonian that supports a Single Payer health care solution, especially those members of the groups listed below, is invited to take to the streets and take control of the health care debate.

2. Support The Most Competitive Election Redistricting And Open Primaries.

The most important decision to be made by legislators and the governor in the 2011 legislative session is which of two buttons to push/vote for on the computer program that will determine the configuration and competitiveness of every legislative and congressional district in Oregon. Those two buttons are labeled, MOST Competitive and LEAST Competitive.

The foundation of the democratic process of electing public officials begins with the creation of election districts. The outcome of many if not most elections is predetermined by the configuration of these districts before a single vote is cast. Unlike 1981, when I served as senator Bill McCoy's legislative assistant, the 2011 reapportionment process will be based on computer reports which will create districts that are either most competitive or least competitive. The choice/vote confronting each legislator and the governor is very, very, very clear and very, very, very understandable to every voter.

Our current system is designed to keep the same groups in power year after year, decade after decade. That would be the least completive choice. It is based on a divvying up of the political territory by the elected Democratic and Republican legislators to protect their turf. This is necessary to maintain the flow of economic benefits to those that provide significant funding to those elected to the legislature regardless of their R or D party designation. Those outside this cabal of beneficiaries are most definitely not welcome to share the booty and upset the status quo.

The success of this rigged system is based on the fact that most voters most of the time will vote for whomever has the label of their party on the ballot. Very simple. Very effective. Also, by fiercely guarding a closed primary system which disenfranchises up to a third of registered voters the gates of opportunity are shut down even more.

3. Support Equitable Distribution Of Public Housing. 

a) Senate district 22 has the highest total and the highest concentration of Public Housing clients in the state of Oregon. This intentional overloading by the state of Oregon, Multnomah county, the Portland Development Commission and most egregiously by the mayor and the Portland city council has serious consequences on public safety, public schools, property values, local businesses' ability to survive with diminishing disposable incomes in their potential customer base, the ability to attract and hold middle class families when their children reach school age and the quality of life of everyone in senate district 22.

b) I would submit legislation requiring state agencies that provide funding or staff support to organizations that administer public housing programs anywhere in the state of Oregon to annually acquire comprehensive public housing statistical data from those organizations that will show at least the number of public housing clients in every neighborhood, median family income, gender and age within their jurisdictions before sending any state funds or services are provided to those organizations. 

c) I would submit legislation requiring state agencies to deny funding and staff support to any public housing project in a neighborhood that has 15% or more public housing clients.

d) I would submit legislation requiring state agencies to use the term, "public housing" in all official documents whenever this formula/definition, Public Housing = Means Test + Government Subsidy + Rental Agreement, defines the circumstance of the text.

e) Public housing is a regional issue that should be managed by the Metro Regional Government. I would submit legislation giving the Metro Regional Government authority over all housing authorities in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties and a statutory mandate to be guided by the principle of Equitable Distribution of Public Housing. Guidelines would set 15% public housing clients per neighborhood as a cap and 5% as a minimum target. 

To the best of my knowledge and an examination of the available evidence Chip Shields, Jo Ann Bowman and Gary Hanson take the opposite views and oppose all of these public policy positions. Gary Hanson sponsored an Oregon Sales Tax in 2003.

Other Useful Information For You To Consider

In the early 1980s I was a Democratic Precinct Committeperson and a District Leader.

I ran Democratic state senator Bill McCoy's senate campaign in 1980 and served as his legislative assistant in the 1981 "reapportionment" session.

I ran Multnomah County Commissioner, Democrat Gladys McCoy's campaign and served on her staff from 1981-84.

I ran for Multnomah County Commissioner in November 1984.

I have been a home owner in the district since 1975 and a business owner in the district since 1984.

I am 63 years old, seriously practice organic gardening, require time with my spouse and have no interest in pursuing a legislative career. What I do have is 34 years of experience as a political activist which includes successfully leading two campaigns to stop neighborhood destroying outdoor amphitheaters at the Portland International Raceway and the Expo Center in 1999 and 2000. I have no fear of corporate lobbyists and elected officials, a demonstrated passion for democratic due process, government transparency and accountability and a Single Payer health care solution to Oregon's/America's moral and economic health care crisis.

The Oregon legislature MUST have at least one champion for Single Payer. That champion is Richard Ellmyer.

Richard Ellmyer


The following groups support a Single Payer Solution to America's/Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis. They are expected to announce to their members and constituents along with Oregon Health Watchers the date of Single Payer Sick Out Day.

AFSCME District Council 75 - http://www.afscme.org/directory/181_366.cfm

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 - http://www.atu757.org/welcome.htm

American Federation of Government Employees Local 2157 - http://www.afge2157.org/

American Federation of Teachers Local 5017 - http://www.aftnw.org/

Democratic Party of Lane County - http://www.dplc.org/officials.htm

Freedom Socialist Party - www.socialism.com

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees - http://www.iatse-intl.org/home.html

Lane County Commission - http://www.co.lane.or.us/

Multnomah County Commission - http://www.multco.us/portal/site/MultnomahCounty

Oregon Academy of Family Physicians - http://www.oafp.org/DigestofCongressOAFP2009.htm

Oregon Education Association - http://www.oregoned.org/site/pp.asp?c=9dKKKYMDH&b=123024

Oregon Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals - http://www.ofnhp.com/?view=home

Oregon Nurses Association - http://oregonrn.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=173 

Oregon Teamsters Local 206 - http://unionsforsinglepayerhr676.org/news_releases/2008-11-18

Pacific Green Party of Oregon http://www.pacificgreens.org/cat-get-involved/contact-us/

Painters Local 10 - http://www.unions.org/home/v-20104-37-IUPAT-.htm

State Council of Machinists (IAM) - http://www.iamdl24.org/


February 8, 2009 [Also submitted in March 2007]

Dear House Speaker Hunt and Senate President Courtney Et. Al.:

The current legislative debate over health care reform in our state does not include our view that the profit oriented private health insurance industry must not be the model upon which a solution to Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis should be based and that Oregon elected officials - public employees - voters and taxpayers must have EQUAL ACCESS to the SAME LEVEL of health care NOT a perpetuation of our current multitiered health insurance CLASS system.

We request that you find a place holder bill in each chamber which would substitute in its entirety the language of the Oregon Community Health Care Bill (see attached) so that an alternative choice may be discussed and debated this session. The Oregon Community Health Care Bill is the only current fully formed piece of proposed legislation which supports our vision of health care reform. We would welcome others that also meet our requirements.

Thank you for your attention.


Richard Ellmyer Oregon Community Health Care Bill author 2007

Sam Adams - Portland City Council 2007

Jeff Cogen - Multnomah County Commissioner 2007

Edwars "Chip" Enbody - Hubbard City Council 2007

Darrell Flood - Mayor of Lafayette 2007

Bill Hall - Lincoln County Commissioner 2007

Jim Needham - Mollala City Council 2007

Michelle Ripple - Wilsonville City Council 2007

Mary Schamehorn - Mayor of Bandon 2007

Pete Sorenson - Lane County Commissioner 2007

John Frohnmayer - Former candidate for US Senate 2008

Tim Grimes - Staton City Council 2008

David P. Trott - Mayor City of Umatilla 2008

Bill Dwyer - Lane County Commissioner 2008

Dan K. Cummings - Ontario City Council President 2008

Mark Camra - Toledo City Councilor 2009

Don Porter - Mayor of Long Creek 2009

Thomas Bradley - Long Creek City Council 2009

Fred Drake - Long Creek City Council 2009

Alvin Hunt - Long Creek City Council 2009

[Copies of this letter were sent to all members of the 2009 Oregon Legislature]


The following letter has been endorsed by three groups in senate district 22, The Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area Advisory Committee, the North Portland Business Association and the Portsmouth Residents Action Committee.  

November 7, 2007

Dear Portland Development Commission:

We, the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area Advisory Committee, support a public housing location policy of equitable distribution of public housing (defined as requiring three components: means test + government subsidy + rental agreement). This is consistent with the public housing location policy of the Portland Bureau of Housing and Community Development's published public housing location policy which is:

1. Maximize housing choice, especially for low-income people who have traditionally been limited in the location of housing that they could afford; 

2. Discourage the concentration of low- or no- income households in any one area of the city; 

3. Encourage the creation of additional housing resources for low-income households integrated throughout the community.

Much of the work of the citizen volunteers on the ICURAAC involves advising the PDC on how to spend public funds on public housing. Acknowledging equitable distribution of public housing as a policy gives us the foundation upon which we can make reasonable, justifiable and defensible decisions.

As an operational imperative of a public housing location policy of equitable distribution of public housing, we have set 15% as a cap on the percentage of public housing clients in any of the 10 neighborhoods included in the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area which would allow future PDC funding for public housing projects. The Portsmouth neighborhood, which has more than 30% public housing clients, is indisputably in this category. As a result, we, the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area Advisory Committee, exercise our advisory responsibility by advising you, the Portland Development Commission, to stop all future funding for pubic housing projects in the Portsmouth neighborhood and redirect those funds to other Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area neighborhoods with a population of less than 15% public housing clients.

Thank you for your support of this recommendation by the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area Advisory Committee.


Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area Advisory Committee