Oregonians will celebrate the first annual Tom McCall day on March 22, which would have been the former Governor’s 103rd birthday. The Tom McCall Legacy Project, an educational non-profit group, is encouraging all Oregonians to take this opportunity to learn more about how McCall shaped the Oregon we live in today.
The Legacy Project wrote and advocated for the bill the Oregon Legislature approved and Gov. Kate Brown signed last year, establishing the yearly observance of McCall’s birthday. McCall’s eight years as governor (1967 to 1975) were marked by a number of innovative ideas, including a law preserving public access to beaches, the first Bottle Bill in the nation, and the first statewide land use planning system.
McCall accomplished all of these things, and many more, with a trademark wit and candor. In his single most famous statement, he urged people to come and visit Oregon again and again, “but for heaven’s sake, don’t move here to live.”
“More than half of all Oregonians now here didn’t live in Oregon when Tom McCall was governor,” said Lisa Nowak, Legacy Project founder. “They’re too young, or have moved here since then. If we’re going to hold onto the things that make Oregon special, it’s vital that people learn about what McCall called the Oregon Story.”
More information about McCall, his era, and the Legacy Project can be found at: http://www.tommccall.org/ Nowak urges Oregonians to visit the website, which includes the history of McCall and his era and links to SOLVE and 1000 Friends of Oregon, the environmental organizations McCall helped to launch.