Trip to Vietnam for Governor’s Trade Mission

Trade Mission: There seems to be nothing but terrible news lately. As a remedy, this month’s trade mission that Oregon Governor Kate Brown is leading is powerful medicine. Oregon and Vietnam have reconciled their differences and become diplomatic, economic, and even security partners.

Trip to Vietnam for Governor’s Trade Mission

Over a billion dollars worth of goods were shipped from Oregon to Vietnam last year, making it the state’s eighth-largest export market.

Brown celebrated the tenth anniversary of cooperation between the Oregon National Guard and the National Committee for Incident, Disaster Response, and Search and Rescue of Vietnam on top of attending a number of commercial engagements.

Notably, next year there will be five Vietnamese Americans serving in the Oregon House.

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To be an Oregonian

Even with all of the problems that have been highlighted in the media and echoed in the aforementioned political advertisements, Oregon is still a fantastic location to call home. Our state is full of decent people who share more interests than disagreements. Can we, for the sake of Oregon and our own sanity, give greater thought to the things we have in common?

One of these things is our shared appreciation for nature. Besides, could someone kindly take Damian Lillard, point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers, on his first trip to the Oregon coast?

Trip to Vietnam for Governor's Trade Mission
Trip to Vietnam for Governor’s Trade Mission

Salem, Oregon

Advertised as “the most Oregon section of Oregon” by Travel Salem, the city is a must-see for anybody visiting the Beaver State. Politically, demographically, and socially, I think it’s a very accurate description, too.

Even though it has the state’s second-highest population at 179,642, Salem has a more suburban vibe than its larger counterparts. You can join state-level elected officials in line at a coffee shop and meet legislators working out at the local YMCA. A mutual acquaintance of mine and Governor Brown took a yoga session together.

Salem’s city council has a liberal lean, but Marion County’s commissioners are all Republicans. Polk County commissioners, of which West Salem is a member, are ostensibly nonpartisan but lean Republican.

From the first female state representative, Norma Paulus, who went on to become secretary of state and then state schools head, to several mayors, city council members, county commissioners, legislators, and corporate executives, Salem has long been led by women of both sexes.

Salem-nationally Keizer’s acclaimed school superintendent, Christy Perry, and Salem Health’s chief executive officer, Cheryl Nester Wolfe, are just two of the many powerful women in positions of authority today.

Salem is no longer simply a government town, and this transformation has occurred over the past many decades. This area is well-known for its abundance of parks (including the grounds of the Capitol building), its variety of eateries and brewpubs, its proximity to wineries, and the quality of its visual and performing arts offerings (including one of the best public school music programs in the country).

To this day, Salem is a symbol of the gap between the wealthy and the poor. The hills are scattered with mansions and estates costing many millions of dollars. In the vicinity of the Capitol building, there is a large population of homeless people. The average income in Salem is 11% lower than the state average.

White people make up 67% of Salem’s population, while Hispanic people account for 22%. As a comparison, just 42% of students in Salem-Keizer Public Schools are white, while Hispanic kids make up 45% of the student body. The majority of pupils here speak English at home, but 29% speak a language other than English at school.

Econometricians Who Are Easy to Understand

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis’s State Economist, Mark McMullen, and senior economist, Josh Lehner, offer updated economic and revenue estimates every three months to assist the governor and legislature in allocating funds.

Their job is challenging at best, and downright impossible in light of Oregon’s peculiar income tax “kicker” statute. In his recent prognosis, McMullen admitted that “economic analysts aren’t very effective at forecasting.”

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Legislators and others may indicate, depending on their political leanings, that the forecasts are either too political or not political enough. Despite the pressures of being high-ranking state officials in a political setting, McMullen and Lehner always maintain an air of graciousness and consideration.

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