Governor Kate Brown visited the University of Oregon campus yesterday with senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Representative Peter DeFazio to rally students and encourage them to vote by today’s deadline.
Dozens of people filled the EMU Amphitheater with campaign signs and the cutouts of Brown’s face, chanting “Kate, Kate, Kate” before the gubernatorial candidate took the microphone.
Former Independent candidate for governor Patrick Starnes also took the stage to endorse and introduce Brown.
Brown reminded the audience of some of the things she’s accomplished in her term as governor, saying, “We passed an increase in the minimum wage, we passed the nation’s first automatic voter registration, we’ve also been able to move forward on trans equality.”
She also emphasized that rejecting measure 105 and ensuring Oregon have a leader who is willing to stand up to the Trump administration should be voters’ priorities this election.
“Let’s leave no ballot unreturned,” Brown said to cheers. “I know that every votes makes a difference, I literally won my first race for the state house by seven votes. Your vote is your voice and every voice matters.”
After Brown spoke, she made her way into the crowd for selfies with supporters and a llama.
Brown said not only does she love visiting Eugene, that her mission in visiting campus was to “energize the student body,” which she said she sees as a key group that shares her passions.
“Student voices matter,” she told the Emerald. “Students care about climate change. We need to elect pro-climate change candidates. We need to elect candidates that are absolutely committed and have a track record of bringing people together to ensure that we have affordable access to higher education and we need to have candidates who are willing to step up to the plate and tackle common sense firearm safety.”
ASUO Internal Vice President, Imani Dorsey, also spoke after Brown and lead a chant of “Ballot in the box.”
UO senior Lindsey Carmen said she was inspired to come show her support for Wyden and Brown after they attended a memorial for the Pittsburg shooting victims at the Beth Israel synagogue in Portland. Carmen, who is Jewish, said that Brown’s appearance meant a lot to her.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Carmen said. “I didn’t think the government would show up like that. It’s close to my heart.”
As far as voting, Carmen said she’s been carrying her ballot around in her backpack and only has a very more issues and candidates to research before she submits it.
With Election Day here, Brown said they will continue to push for last minute ballots and knocking on a few more doors.
“Honestly I’m going to be spending a lot of time writing thank you notes and calling people to say thank you,” Brown said. “ I’m extremely grateful, win or lose, I’m really grateful for all of the incredible support I’ve received in this campaign.”