As you might have heard thanks to reporting by the Willamette Week, the Columbia River Crossing project is very much alive. Oregon legislators who once said cooperation from Washington was imperative, have conveniently scuttled that narrative and are preparing to push the project through regardless of any bi-state partnership.
However, as the CRC readies for another starring role in Salem in a few weeks, a coalition of grassroots activists who have been working for years to stymie the project have once again come together in hopes of convincing legislators that it’s a bad idea. Organized by Bike Walk Vote, a political action committee, their new effort is called, “Operation CRC: Commotion & Ruckus Campaign.”
“It’s crunch time! This is a call to action,” reads the group’s Facebook page. The method to their madness is a good, ol’ fashioned citizen phone tree. The campaign encourages everyone who opposes the project to pick up a phone and share their opinion with legislators. “Together, we’ll activate a mighty phone tree of citizens calling for change.” And they’re turning it into a game. Here are the rules:
1. Spread the commotion.
Comment here (on Facebook page) to let us know you’re in. Then invite your friends. Points awarded for participation.
2. Raise a ruckus. Pick an action that’s easy, fun, or meaningful to you.
* Write, fax, and call your legislators. Ask them not to support an “Oregon Only” CRC megaproject.
* Write a little letter to the editor of your neighborhood paper.
* Share your best and worst responses and juiciest stories. Leak state secrets, and craft your most cunning stratagems.
* Explain your opposition in a short article for BlueOregon, BikePortland, Willamette Week, etc and ask the editor to publish it.
* Whatever you decide, call five friends and ask them to do the same.
3. Let us know what you did! Again, participation = points.
And of course there are big prizes for winning. Prizes for winning this fight, say campaign organizers in the game’s tongue-in-cheek fine print: “The state will keep AAA bond raing, will be eligible for funding of schools and sidewalks. Winning residents enjoy reduced atmospheric CO2 (cool, refreshing weather), save money on tolls (savings can be spent on beer, bikes instead). Over $68 million reallocated funds immediately available for better projects, plus billions more saved…”
The most active players will be awarded weekly prizes for making the most calls, publishing the best letter-to-the-editor, coming up with the best ideas to “vanquish the project”, and so on. Check out the Operation CRC: Commotion & Ruckus Campaign page on Facebook for more info and stay tuned for coverage as the deadline for action in Salem approaches.