It's been a week of numerous demonstrations in Bend and Redmond.
On Saturday, around 30 people gathered at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes in support of the 45th president and his policies.
One of the supporters was Ginger, who introduced herself as the president of Central Oregon Federated Republican Women.
“Well Trump is doing a lot in seven weeks. He surpassed every president in the time he has had," Ginger said. "He’s not so much political but a man of action. He doesn’t get dragged down by bureaucracy or politics as much as getting things done. Because he’s a business man and he knows what’s good for our country, and I voted for him because all politicians I am disappointed in, they sit on their hands, they talk more than they get things done and I always felt he was a business man and a business man has to get things done for their share holders.
I think for this reason I was always for him and I felt despite what some people might think our reputation around the world has diminished, I always said we need a bully in the White House, I’ve been overseas... I know how leaders in other countries view leaders and they say 'if I feel that person is weak I know that person is weak and I can take advantage of them.' With a strong leader like Trump I think the rest of the world will respect us more and then we will become again leaders of the free world.”
Meanwhile, dozens of people gathered in front of Rep. Greg Walden's office Tuesday, both in support of the Oregon Congressman, and against. Tuesdays have become demonstration day at Walden's Bend office, where some constituents continue to press Walden to hold a town hall in Bend.
“I would say I am very disappointed he refused to have a town hall here in Bend," said local activist Melissa Adams, who attended Tuesday's rally."He cherry-picks his constituency and I’m very disappointed in the guidance of the (replacement of the) Affordable Care Act. As a mental health therapist I know that many of my clients are heavily affected by this... either their mental heath coverage or physical health coverage. A lot of clients that I see have debilitating chronic illnesses and losing their health care will make their mental and emotional health worse.
I love this country and I love the values were founded on, and I’m worried these values are being eroded by the current admininstration. Values of separation of church and state and freedom of religion, and representation by the people for the people... and right now we have a profit president who won't release his tax returns. I see this as a real conflict for our patriotic values,” Adams said.
Meanwhile, Patty Adair, who says she was Trump's eastern Oregon director for the campaign, said the current health care debate really comes down to one thing: "People really need jobs. One in five workers are part time now. We just had our house appraised. Our assistant was working three jobs. I used to work three jobs, you never know where you’re going, you’re always just going to a job.” When we asked her how to solve this problem locally, Adair said: "“We need to take care of the forest, they’re a mess. They burn up and release all the carbon dioxide. We need to get rural Oregon back to work again."
Alexandra Sweet, who works with homeless people in Central Oregon, had this to say at Tuesday's rally: “Well I believe the health are systems now are going to hurt the elderly with the tax credits, the poor people will be hurt more and the CEOs are making more money off that $500 million tax credit to the CEOs on health care. We all lost, the rich people won.” When we asked Sweet what she would like to say to Greg Walden, were he at the rally, she said: “To support everyone, the majority support ACA so he can’t look away. He has to address the majority.”
The Source Weekly spoke with Walden's deputy chief of staff Andrew Malcolm Tuesday regarding the Congressman's town hall schedule. As we've reported in the past, Malcolm said Walden plans to hold at least one town hall in Bend this year.