Saturday afternoon Joe Berney kicked off his campaign for County Commissioner. Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290’s hall was filled to capacity by more than 100 attendees. Springfield City Councilor Leonard Stoehr introduced Joe with strong words of endorsement:
“Joe couldn’t have chosen a better venue to highlight his differences from Sid Leiken. By kicking off his campaign in this house of Labor, Joe is sending a strong signal to the community.”
State Sen. Lee Beyer and County Commissioner Pete Sorenson were among a host of elected officials and Springfield’s whose-who that attended the gathering. Members of AFSCME, a public employee union that represents Lane County workers, wore their union colors and helped pack the house.
Partway through his kickoff speech, Berney challenged Leiken to a debate, declaring: “You’ve got an eight-year record to defend. The people deserve a choice. Debate and democracy will be good for the County.”
Berney outlined his campaign’s agenda to bring renewable energy jobs to Springfield, and building more affordable housing. He shared his vision of a people-powered grassroots campaign - where volunteers are spreading the word through yard signs and door to door canvassing. Energy was high in the union hall, where Joe’s remarks were met with a standing ovation and chants of “BERNEY! BERNEY! BERNEY!”
Campaign staffers were working hard signing up new volunteers and handing out donation envelopes. “People are excited to make a difference in local politics, and I think that’s what’s driving our supporters to really go the extra mile in supporting Joe” - said Henry Harding, a campaign intern.
The vote is May 15.