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History from Below workshop in town May 5

The Rural Organizing Project’s History from Below workshop stops at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center classroom Sunday, May 5, from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

Who owns the water? The wind? Who should manage the gorge’s natural resources? Will privatization of these resources and their distribution lead to greater efficiency? Higher costs? Lower rates? More environmental destruction? How much power is too much power?

With the potential privatization of water at Cascade Locks and the US Postal Service, and the ongoing debates over wind power and coal trains, these questions are relevant for gorge residents today.

They are also precisely the questions the Wasco County Grange members, farmers and small business owners who established the Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District were asking themselves and their community in the late 1930s and 1940s. The effort to form the PUD lasted more than 10 years and led to one of the more contentious elections in Wasco County

history.

History from Below: Power to the People! is an interactive workshop that invites participants to explore those moments when people from rural Oregon (and Wasco County, in particular) have banded together in hopes of changing the course of history at the local, state or national level.

Former PUD employee and local historian Linda Wilson will share the story of the fight to establish the PUD. Breakout sessions will offer participants the opportunity to dig deeper into this history by exploring historical archives of the movement for public power and analyzing what they reveal about the values, demands and strategies of this movement and its opponents.

Complimentary tea and coffee will be provided. A sliding scale donation of $3 to $10 is suggested, although no one will be turned away for lack of funds. RSVPs are requested to sarah@rop.org.

For more information, contact Sarah Loose at 503-367-0157 or sarah@rop.org, or visit oregonhistoryfrombelow.word

press.com.

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