Attorney and activist Jefferson Smith comes to Astoria Saturday as part of "Engage Oregon: The Listening Project," a statewide dialogue about the challenges facing the Oregon sponsored by the New Progressive Network.

Smith will appear from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Patriot Hall at Clatsop Community College.

Smith will listen to citizens talk about the state of the state and their ideas about how to cope with a depressed economy, a threatened environment and a struggling educational system. Community members will then be asked to engage in a dialogue about the state of the state and their community, specifically focusing on education, equal rights and social justice, economic strength and fairness, the environment, health care, and election reform.

The Astoria event is one of several around the state that will culminate in the Engage Oregon Conference in Hood River Nov. 13 to 16.

Messages and ideas from these engagements will be compiled in a written report, which the network will offer to neighborhood associations, political candidates, nonprofits and others.

The New Progressive Network is a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to bridging the Oregon urban/rural divide with dialogue.

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