“I was gonna do something.”
Two years ago, Jeanne Atkins had thought she was retired and done with public service. Then Kate Brown became Governor, and she appointed Jeanne to fill the remaining two years of her term as Secretary of State. Now Jeanne’s the new Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon, the DPO. In the era of 45, she heads a party that is looking to maintain electoral dominance in Oregon, being pushed by grassroots activists to be more progressive, and seeking to be an integral part of the resistance.
I spoke with Jeanne about her past work in politics, which included working for Jeff Merkley when he was in the Oregon Legislature and then as his state director after he became a Senator. We spoke about the role of the DPO in candidate selection, the resistance, and helping to bridge the urban-rural divide.