Oregon House District 38 candidate wants to help state politics move to the middle
Full text of article from Pamplin Media (https://pamplinmedia.com/lor/48-news/540842-433011-lake-oswego-house-candidate-wants-to-help-state-politics-move-to-the-middle):
Alistair Firmin describes himself as a centrist who wants to find solutions through consensus and balance.
Though he is a registered Republican, Lake Oswego resident Alistair Firmin describes himself as a centrist who wants to restore balance to Salem.
The former Oregon Museum of Science and Industry board chair and current small business owner is running to represent House District 38, which includes the Lake Oswego area. The seat is currently held by Andrea Salinas, who is a candidate for U.S. Congress. Other HD 38 candidates include Lake Oswego City Councilor Daniel Nguyen and Lake Oswego School Board member Neelan Gupta — both Democrats.
For his part, Firmin believes the supermajority held by Democrats is not working for Oregonians.
"I believe I bring a very different mentality. I don't start from the premise that elected officials from a different party are wrong. We all have the common goal of getting to a better Oregon. Because of the lopsidedness, we're far from it," he said.
Firmin owns a consulting firm focusing on leadership and management and has volunteered for the OMSI board as well as a previous equity committee at the Lake Oswego School District.
"I can bring this ability I have through many years of working in organizations, public and private, to help come up with solutions that are long term — not short-term, politician, knee jerk reactions," Firmin said.
He said he's lived in the district for 12 years and believes the state government has continuously devolved during that time. Firmin added that he's dissatisfied with how the state is handling the homelessness crisis and crime, and he does not believe students and businesses in the state are being well served either. Rather than offering solutions off the bat, Firmin said he would focus on coming together with others to deliberate and find answers.
"We need independent voices in government to bring folks together. Do I know the solution? No, I don't. I don't think anyone truly does and that's why we need to crowdsource the solutions," he said.
Firmin said he was proud to be voted to serve as the chair of boards for both OMSI and Youth Villages — which strives to help behaviorally challenged kids succeed — and hoped these experiences would help him as an elected official.
"The primary skill I bring into this is curiosity. I do want to understand people's perspective, and want to understand how they got to it," he said.
Firmin said he has been a Republican his whole life but said he was not asked by the Republican Party to run. And he said he felt that he had a lot in common with many independents and Democratic voters as well.
"I want to see children thrive, families thrive, neighbors thrive. I want to see solutions that work," he said.