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News update from Senator Whitsett 2/16/05

Busy Week for Senator Whitsett Includes

Two District Visits

Salem –With four committee assignments, Senator Whitsett has plenty of work to keep him busy in Salem, but that doesn’t kept him from making time to visit his district to meet with voters and community leaders. Senator Whitsett visited his district twice this week, holding a joint town hall meeting with Representative George Gillman on Saturday and visiting Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) and Klamath Community College (KCC) with Governor Kulongoski on Tuesday.

“It is important to me that the people who sent me to Salem understand that I represent them,” says Senator Whitsett.  “I am not a citizen of Salem.  My life and all the things I care about and have spent a lifetime fighting for are in Southern and Central Oregon.”

The town hall meeting on Saturday was well attended by both community leaders and citizens.  The two legislators fielded questions on the state’s meth epidemic, Oregon’s K-12 funding constraints, rural transportation and the critical importance of Oregon’s natural resource industry.

While in Prineville, the Senator also visited to the Crook County Head Start Center where he delivered a number of children’s backpacks and toured the facilities with the Director Betty Schuler and her staff.  The Senator also traded ideas regarding the difficult K-12 funding issues facing Oregon with Lori Woehl of the OEA.

“Discussion with the people who are actually on the ground confronting the issues that face this state is an absolutely essential part of my job,” says Senator Whitsett.

The Senator’s Tuesday visit to Klamath with Governor Kulongoski and Representative Garrard highlighted the importance of Community Colleges to South and Central Oregon.  The visit included meetings with President Fred Smith of KCC and President Martha Ann Dow of OIT.  The group discussed plans for cooperation between the two schools and providing a seamless transition into post-secondary education. 

“Our Community Colleges are easily our most efficient educational institutions as far as responding to regional needs,” says Senator Whitsett.  “The OIT engineering program is an integral part of the economy of Southern Oregon and Klamath Community College is becoming a real success by incorporating business principles into their operation.  Our entire state education system has a good deal to learn from our community colleges.”





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