A group called the Oregon Border Relocation is taking the initiative to separate Oregon’s rural counties from the rest of the state and join Idaho.
Mike McCarter, a 72-year-old retired nursery and lifelong worker from Oregon, has led the effort for nearly two years. He said he and many others were eager to “come out from under the Northwest Oregon Hall.”
“We have seen a change in Oregon policy, where the main concern of the legislature is Northwest Oregon. 78% of the state’s population is located there. “They tend to forget that every law you pass in the state affects us in rural economies,” McCarter told Fox News.
BLACK ACTIVITIES IN PORTLAND DISTINGUISHED BY VIOLENT ANARCHIST PROTESTERS
He highlighted a number of benefits that come from being an Idaho citizen, including lower taxes and more freedom in general. Idaho is ranked No. 3 in regulatory freedom, while Oregon is ranked No. 43, according to the Cato Institute.
Oregon’s government policy has taken a sharp left turn over the past 20 years, something that has not gone unnoticed by more conservative residents in the state’s rural communities. McCarter cited a recently passed law that made Oregon the first state to decriminalize hard drug possession.
“Now you look and say, ‘Well, if you’re homeless, if you’re a drug addict, if you’re a rebel, if you’re illegal, come to Oregon – we’re a shrine and you won’t have any problems. And that’s not how the Oregon Conservatives feel. “
After the death of George Floyd in May in Minneapolis, Portland has seen months of violent protests and riots with little government intervention.
“Idaho is not a sanctuary at all and they want to protect their citizens. It is comforting to live in a country like the one that enforces the law and not to let violators go free. “
A measure requiring local officials to meet on the issue of changing the border was put to a vote in four constituencies in the last election. It went to Jefferson and Union counties and was voted down with small margins in Douglas and Valois counties.
However, McCarter’s goal is to get as much attention as possible, as the final decision will be made by the Oregon and Idaho legislatures. The group hopes that 19 of southern and eastern Oregon counties will secede and become part of what they call “Greater Idaho.”
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If it succeeds, changing the borders will no longer make Idaho a landlocked state by giving it two coastal counties, something McCarter said could be a key moment to sell to the neighboring state.
Moving the Oregon border will continue to collect signatures for the May 2021 local elections in 11 other counties.