Two members of our Amnesty International Southern Oregon Chapter had a productive and upbeat visit with Traci Dow, Field Representative for Sen. Ron Wyden on October 20, 2011. We discussed our Prisoner of Conscience (POC), Mao Hengfeng, and the DREAM Act.
Stephen Jensen and Regina Ayers provided information on our POC campaign and received a commitment that Sen. Wyden would be informed of our efforts to seek basic human rights from the Chinese government for Mao Hengfeng. Unfortunately, Sen. Wyden is currently not a favorite of the Chinese government due to his red-flagging their recent attempts to “dump” solar panels in the USA market. Ms. Dow did strongly suggest that we contact both our local representatives to the Oregon legislature, Peter Buckley and Dennis Richardson. They continue to have steady and cordial relations with commercial and cultural representatives from the Shanghai area as they foster exchanges in southern Oregon.
On the matter of support for the DREAM Act, Sen. Wyden is in full support of this important human rights legislation. Ms. Dow did mention that we are entering the infamous “silly season” of a major presidential campaign and how and when the DREAM Act is even brought up for a congressional vote is inevitably steeped in political maneuverings far beyond anything specific to the act itself.
All in all, it was a very positive visit with an excellent local contact established between our southern Oregon chapter and the national stage. Now on to Rep. Buckley, Rep. Richardson and, for sure, Sen. Merkeley.