|State Representative Jules Kopel-Bailey (District 42) meeting with constituents|
Yesterday, I attended a meet-and-greet with Jules Kopel-Bailey, state representative for my district. The venue was Oui Presse, an elegant coffee house (with a great reading rack) on Hawthorne and SE 18th. The event was SRO, attracting some three or four dozen people; a couple dozen more than Oui Presse could seat. (But the staff kept up with coffee demands admirably.)
District 42 runs from the Willamette River eastward to about SE 50th, and north-to-south from Interstate 84 down to Reed College. In terms of the red-blue dichotomy by which political parlance categorizes such things, this district is as blue as grape hyacinths.
I found folks at the event to be a bit stand-offish and my ever-active snob detector was picking up a lot of activity, but I suppose that's to be expected. Judging by the questions and comments, there were some very smart people in attendance.
Jules himself was amiable and accessible. (He's a politician, after all.) He informed us about the happenings in Salem around budgeting and revenue, displaying an impressive command of details and minutiae. Further, he was very good at relating all this mind-numbing, wonky information in a way that I found comprehensible. Not an easy feat!
I found his report encouraging. He portrayed a state capitol that is getting things done with bipartisan cooperation. This is most hopeful. Our state is facing some big, immediate challenges. And with our legislature split right down the middle between parties in both houses, bipartisan cooperation is the only way we're going to be able to address them. If only the two national parties could manage it!