Jim Hinsvark Believes:

Words Matter

Words matter. Whether we are teaching our children to share or not to share will impact them for their entire lives. What we learn is how we live.

There are differences from person to person. That is one of the things that makes us such a good country. Our diversity. We use words to define who we are and what we stand for. The way we use those words has created divisions among us. The words we choose to define us can be positive statements about what and how we feel. Or they can be negative statements that attack or degrade others. It is those negative statements that have created our divisions.

The use of negative words has lead us to the greatest divide I have ever witnessed. It is bad for us, Oregon and the USA. We do not have to change the conversations we are having, but in order to Grow Together we do need to change our use of language to a more positive tone.
Words matter. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. While doing that work we can create a positive space to analyze the issues or we can choose to keep the same path we are on. When listening, positive words do not put us on the defensive. Then it is easier to hear and understand what the other person means. I will work to change how we talk to each other. I have already realized how difficult it can be. It is easy blame and put others down for their beliefs. It is really hard to take the time to think about what needs to be said and use words that are not confrontational. Words that can actually heal our divide.

We have so much in common, we need to focus on that as we move forward. Let us work on the things we have in common with positive non-blaming statements. Over time this will make the harder conversations easier.

Seniors - Infrastructure

I’m turning 66 this month. Our generation and the ones right above and below us - let’s say 50-80 years old - have not done our part. While we were working and raising our children we put our trust in the government to do the right thing. We were raised by parents that believed the government worked for them. They taught us that the government would work for us too.

Why wouldn’t they teach us that? Government worked for them. During their lives the government pulled the Country out of a depression, fought two world wars, built an amazing Interstate Highway system, built electric dams, schools and so much more. We took it for granted that it would always be that way. We never really knew the sacrifices they made for us. The taxes they paid. The taxes they made corporations pay.

But just like our bodies, the infrastructure is worn down. We failed to maintain it. We allowed our government to lower taxes on us. We did not complain because we had more money to make our lives better. The trouble is that people with a lot of money and large corporations had their taxes lowered even more. The corporate tax rate dropped way down as did taxes for rich people. We were happy because our taxes were lower.

By allowing the taxes on the rich and large corporations to drop so low we cut off funding to the government. The result was the upkeep of the infrastructure went undone. Now the bills are coming due. Bridges are failing, roads are full of potholes, city services are aging and over stressed. You and I can not afford the taxes to fix everything. Yet it all needs fixing.

We old people need to stand together and with the power and with the votes we have left to do at least two things;

  1. Keep our taxes level and raise taxes on high income people. The high income they enjoy is from a combination of hard work, low taxes and by using every aspect of the infrastructure I’ve been talking about to their benefit. It is time they paid their fair share to rebuild the infrastructure they so freely use.
  2. Keep our taxes level and raise the corporate tax rate. While our wages were restrained corporate income grew by leaps and bounds. Corporations use every bit of the infrastructure that now needs repair. Roads, sewers, water, electric grids and schools. They use the people that were educated by our school property taxes. And then often fail to pay them a living wage.

I have stepped up to take our combined voices to the State Senate and make the changes that are so needed. I can only do that if you trust that it can be done. And then trust that I will work to get it done.

I believe I am worth your trust. Please give me your Vote.

Climate Change

We need to face Climate Change head on! People seem to think that Climate Change is something to believe or not to believe in. That is such a crazy way to go about looking at Climate Change. The scientists who know more about this than you and I ever will have been working on understanding this for decades.

Scientists have been collecting data from around the world for a long time. When that data (facts) is analyzed it follows a curve that leads to disaster for life around us. Science cannot lead the way. It can show us what needs to be adjusted in our lives to create a better future for all of us. We are the ones who can take that information and make the choices that lead us to a better future. You can believe it or not believe in it, but it is real. Climate Change does not care what you believe. It is only our combined actions that will change our future.

Changes are all around us and across the world. Within decades the Glaciers in Glacier Nat. Park will be gone. Animals are already moving into new areas as their habitat changes. Ocean levels are rising as the ice on Greenland and Antarctica melts. Take time to understand what what is happening to the planet, please, for the sake of your children and grandchildren.

Climate Change is like a freight train in slow motion barreling down us.

If we fail to make changes now, the world we leave our grandkids will be one unrecognizable to what we know today. All other issues pale in comparison to the fact that our planet is in danger of not being able to sustain life as we know it.

The fight against Climate Change has to be the focus in the legislature. Whatever else we have been fighting about will mean nothing unless we join together - Grow Together - in strength as a community to do what needs to be done.

We need to address Climate Change in ways that do not harm rural Oregonians. We can create good jobs by employing local fabrication shops to design and build easy to assemble racks. Hiring local electricians to hook up these systems. The installation of PV systems will be paid as the homeowners redirect their utility bill payments to the installing agency. After the system is paid for the owners will, for years, have no or low electric bills.

Covid-19 is demonstrating how important it is we put our current issues aside and follow the science . Covid-19 came and we can’t even get together enough to help each other through this pandemic. Covid-19 has torn through America exposing a lot of our faults. Covid-19 won’t be ignored. Neither will Climate Change.

Facts are something that do not require belief. Facts can be used in different ways. Isolated facts have been used to distort the science. Skeptical Science is a website that delves into the science of Climate Change and how information about Climate Change is used. Check it out.

Seniors - Climate Change

Hey fellow old people. I’ve never been good at being a senior citizen. I’m an old guy. I’m a retired organic farmer. At least as much retired as a farmer can be. I have been lucky enough to have one of my sons come back to the farm and want to take it over. Our farm has fought the changing market, well, since day one. He knows this and wants to diversify the farm so it will be able to withstand the market changes and adapt to the future. I am with him all the way.

The future. What will that hold for him and the future generations — our grandchildren? Climate Change and all that it continues bringing us is changing the world we knew. As a farmer I have watched the shift in seasons, when we train and harvest berries, shrinking snowpack, lower well water levels and the list goes on.

Climate Change is a beast we help let loose on the world. It was identified as a issue decades ago and we failed to act appropriately. While we were busy raising our kids we allowed Climate Change to get to the point where it will be hard to slow down. The science had it right. The way we voted, or didn’t vote, allowed the Climate Change to worsen. Our lifestyle choices allowed it to worsen.

Our generations chose big vehicles over more efficient ones. We allowed our legislators to lessen fuel milage standard - increasing pollution. We allowed continued subsidies to fossil fuels while not supporting renewable sources of power.

It was our collective voting patterns that allowed more deregulation of polluters. We cut funding to scientific research in areas that could have helped find the solutions we are in need of now. It was our generations who cut school funding. Science cannot be taught without labs and supplies.

So, now is our time to stand up and vote to protect our children and grandchildren. Like we always wanted too. Vote to work on Climate Change. We protected our kids as they grew up. Let us now move to protect them as they raise their children.

All of our future lives depend on us doing the right thing now. Things have changed around us. It is time for us to change too. Please stand with me and VOTE for a better world.

Party Aside

Often, it is the voters who have a better understanding of what is happening on the streets and farms in their areas. We choose a Political Party to align with and each Party creates a platform, something that states their values. Sometimes people focus on one part of the platform - maybe the one thing that drew them to that Party and ignore the others or give them less attention.

The following chart has items that are consistent across at least three party platforms. Some stances are more clearly addressed on the Party websites than others and I tried to present them honestly.

I believe that when we get past the Party label there is much that we, as individual voters, have in common. Here is a list of actionable items, common ground, that we can work on:

  1. Support local economies
  2. Living wages
  3. Support Public Education
    1. Get more resources to schools
    2. Create different paths for students such as vocational training
  4. Affordable housing
  5. Protect the environment
  6. Healthcare- either a buy-in option to Medicare or Single Payer
  7. Equality for All
  8. Campaign Finance Reform, get big money out of OUR elections
  9. Create a Non-partisan redistricting committee

These are issues we agree on. Let’s work together and get these done and then we can tackle more issues when we have built a little trust. Trust is the thing that is lacking in politics. We seem to have forgotten that we need to honor each other, our community, Oregon and the United States as much as the individual.
We are all in this together. And no person can stand alone for long. Community is what sustains us. In this day in age it is support from the larger community that allows us the freedom to live as individuals.

Party aside, I am reaching out to you as individuals and asking for your Vote so we can Grow Together this Nov 3rd.

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