The sense of urgency that was created by the Wall Street crash and the resulting Great Recession is still very much present in the legislature this year. While there have been signs of a continued, slow recovery, the impacts on Oregonians have been so significant that there is still an air of emergency in much of the work being done in the Capitol.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve met with a number of people working at more than full speed on the health care transformation and the Coordinated Care Organizations that are breaking down the silos between physical health, mental health, dental health, etc. Their work is on the ground right now, with three CCOs in our region, and tens of thousand of Oregonians poised to gain access to health care coverage over the next year. It is a challenging but very exciting time for health care in our state.
That same kind of sense of urgency exists in education as well, including the notable efforts going into coordinating services for kids from age 0 to 5. It’s beyond just educational offerings, even though programs like Head Start are central and vital. It includes excellent work being done by relief nurseries and organizations such as CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and numerous others committed to giving every kid a chance at a good life.
Meeting the people working so hard, and doing such remarkable work, is nothing short of inspiring.