Last night I had the chance to attend the Oregon League of Conservation Voters 14th annual celebration. The league is Oregon's independent voice for the environment. Activists and supporters exist across the political spectrum to protect our rich natural legacy and build an economy in Oregon that uses clean renewable energy.
The event was well attended at the Oregon Convention Center. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkely started the evening with a video message from Washington D.C. praising OLCV for their efforts in the past year during the 2010 campaign. Governor John Kitzhaber, the evening keynote speaker, also credited the help of the league with helping him defeat Chris Dudley in the close fall campaign.
Governor Kitzhaber stressed the importance of all the good work the league had helped accomplish since the last time he held office. He also took the opportunity to plug his "Cool Schools" plan, which seeks to modernize our existing schools by making them more energy efficient. The plan will hopefully supply jobs to Oregonians in this difficult time and also lessen the burden on local school districts by helping them save money with energy savings. The idea is that the more money schools save from energy savings means more money going directly to classrooms to help students. Towards the end of his remarks he unveiled the "Cool Schools" flag that will fly over every Oregon school that goes through the program to enable communities to show pride in the work they accomplished for the environment, education, and the economy.
They presented the Katy Daily Volunteer of the Year Award last night that awards one of the many dedicated volunteers that makes up the backbone of the OLCV. I was proud to see my friend Bill Don Robinson was one of the three finalists for the award. While he didn't win, it was great to see him nominated for all this hard work he's done. It was a great night for him and the Native Plant Society of Oregon that he actively volunteers for on a regular basis.
After all the official speakers were done they made a pitch for funding. All organization do this, but the OLCV does it with class. Representative Val Hoyle and Multnomah Chair Jeff Cogan were out in force gathering donations from the audience.
The rest of the night was pretty much chatting and seeing old friends and making new ones. OLCV hosted a great event and I look forward to next year.