Tigard-area voters should decide in the Nov. 7 general election to have Larry Galizio continue to represent them in the Oregon Legislature.
As a first-term state representative in the 2005 session, Galizio grew in his understanding of state government and the many issues facing House District 35 and the community he represents. Early on, it was very clear that Galizio - a Democrat and a faculty member at Portland Community College - understood the educational issues facing Tigard-area schools and the state of Oregon. But we were glad to see that in his first session, Galizio also grew in his understanding and his involvement in other important public policy matters: tax and state revenue policies; health care costs and medical insurance premiums; high interest rates on loans made against pending income tax returns; and sexual predators who use the Internet.
As a member of the minority party and as a first-term legislator, Galizio was not a legislative standout. However, he was among many legislative 'doers.' And if returned to office, we expect that he should do more, learn more, and be a louder and more prominent voice in the Oregon Legislature about issues that local residents care about: greater government efficiency; improved public safety; transportation programs and projects that reduce congestion; quality schools; stable K-12 education funding; and an improved investment in local community colleges and the state universities to better provide for Oregon's future economy.
Galizio is opposed by long-time Tigard-area resident, Republican Shirley Parsons. Parsons retired recently from the Portland Police Bureau after working for 26 years, including time as a detective investigating homicides, sex crimes and child abuse.
Parsons favors all the right things: better schools, a vital Oregon economy, improved public safety and effective transportation - specifically better major highways. Parson is a quality person who has volunteered in the community over the years, oftentimes through her own children's school activities. But Parsons slips in our comparison with Galizio because she has had a very limited presence and less involvement with the Tigard City Council, the Tigard-Tualatin School Board or the Oregon Legislature. Her ideas about solving major state issues, such as expanding the Oregon Crime Lab or more funds for transportation are way too general: better utilize the state general-fund savings or tap more into more federal or state highway dollars.
In the 2007 legislative session, being general won't work. Instead, we think that Tigard and Oregon are best served by a specific legislative solutions and leadership that immediately helps improve what Oregonians receive from the tax investments they already make.
Tigard-area voters have already invested in Galizio's first two years and a first-session learning curve that we expect will produce far greater results in the next legislature. Voters should return Larry Galizio to Salem in the Nov. 7 general election.