Oregon’s first lady champions prosperity

By Dick Mason, The Observer June 30, 2014 10:12 am

Oregon's First Lady, Cylvia Hayes delivers her keynote address at this weekend's SolWest Fair at the Union County Fairgrounds. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
Oregon's First Lady, Cylvia Hayes delivers her keynote address at this weekend's SolWest Fair at the Union County Fairgrounds. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
 

Cylvia Hayes speaks out against state poverty

Cylvia Hayes, Oregon’s first lady, has an agenda and it is anything but hidden.

Hayes made this point in illuminating and articulate fashion during her keynote address Saturday afternoon at the SolWest Fair at the Union County Fairgrounds. 

Hayes and Gov. John Kitzhaber are champions of the Oregon Prosperity Agenda, an environmentally friendly plan for driving down poverty and promoting economic development.

“It’s about making the transition to a sustainable, clean economy in a way that provides opportunities for people — regardless of income, ethnicity, geography or gender — to live prosperous lives,’’ said Hayes, who lives in Portland.

Hayes has been working on the Oregon Prosperity Agenda since becoming First Lady in 2011 when John Kitzhaber was inaugurated for his third term as governor. She said the possibility of developing the Oregon Prosperity Agenda is one of the biggest reasons Kitzhaber decided to run for third term as governor in 2010 and that she agreed to jump into her position of first lady.

“We both strongly feel that many of our most important systems, from education to energy, need to be fundamentally evolved.”

 Hayes said the Oregon Prosperity Agenda is prompting people to ask  some tough questions. 

“For example, does it really make sense to have an economic system that requires continuous expansion of natural resources on a planet of finite natural resources?’’ Hayes said.

She believes the mindset that we must choose between jobs and the environment needs to change. 

“And we can do better than continuing to believe that we have to choose between either having jobs or having a healthy environment. After all, the most powerful form of renewable energy is human creativity.’’

For the full story, see Monday's issue of The Observer