Suzanne Bonamici is a worthy successor of Wendell Wyatt and Les AuCoin

It is Suzanne Bonamici’s unfortunate challenge to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives during a period when not much happens. If anyone has come to Congress prepared for action, it was Bonamici. As an Oregon state senator, Bonamici was a standout. She was renowned for reading all of the bills that came before the body.

Our congressional district is fortunate to have Bonamici represent us. In her race for a second term, she is challenged by Jason Yates. The distinction between the two is that Bonamici has considerable experience in the public sector, while Yates has none.

“Despite the challenges, I’ve built relationships and got things done,” says Bonamici. She cites the Workplace Opportunity Act, which she helped move from the House Education and Workforce Committee. It was enacted this year. The law matches training with workforce needs.

Serving in the House is all about relationships, even if there are forces that punish Republican members for speaking to Democrats. When one wins a seat in the House, it is only a ticket into the room. What you do with your opportunity depends upon your level of energy and imagination.

Bonamici has built a working relationship with the Republican Susan Brooks of Indiana. They share a background as courtroom lawyers. The two have pooled their energies to promote legislation to fund public defenders.

As the instigator of what she calls the STEM to STEAM Caucus, Bonamici and 75 colleagues are raising awareness about the value of integrating the arts into the teaching of math and science.

Also in the field of education she is promoting legislation to give college students counseling on the options in taking out student loans.

Suzanne Bonamici is a diligent member of Congress. In time, she could become as influential as her predecessors Les AuCoin and Wendell Wyatt. We urge her re-election.

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