Home Archives July 2007 VIP: Conversation with Eastern Oregon activist Laura Pryor

VIP: Conversation with Eastern Oregon activist Laura Pryor

| Print |  Email
Sunday, July 01, 2007

LauraPryor0707ViP

LAURA PRYOR

Eastern Oregon activist

Tall and regal with deep blue eyes and abundant silver hair, Laura Pryor is a commanding presence used to commanding jobs. For almost two decades she was the elected judge for Gilliam County, spending those years and many more fighting and working for Eastern Oregon.

On this day several months after her retirement as the top county administrator, she sits in a Salem restaurant, having just found out the Office of Rural Policy, which she helped birth three years ago, is once again threatened. Pryor is deeply stung by this, doubly so because it comes at a time when rural counties are struggling with the impact of losing millions of dollars in federal timber payments.

“No one starts out to say, ‘Let’s murder rural Oregon,’” she says, looking long and hard out the window at the torrential rain, “It’s just unintended consequences.”

But this is a woman who doesn’t lose hope, so there’s no looking back, only turning to face new challenges. Pryor is helping set up a study with Oregon State University that will chart the impact of the timber-money loss, continuing to prod and nurture the Eastern Oregon Rural Alliance, and keeping her presence felt in Salem as she battles for her beloved eastern home. Even though she feels as if she’s starting from scratch again, she’s not willing to concede the fight.

If this doesn’t sound like retirement, then you’ve got it right. The 69-year-old Pryor laughs and says she retired from the county, but not from life.

“The urban-rural divide is real,” she says, and it’s her mission to try to bridge that. “How do we keep rural society alive and vital? I’m going to try to figure out how to do that.”

There are more meetings and many more hours to put in, so she heads out, braving the rain, face forward into the storm she sees gathering over rural Oregon.

— Robin Doussard


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Video: Kickstarting Oregon business

News
Thursday, March 27, 2014
02.04.14 Thumbnail VideoBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.


Read more...

Buy the book

News
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
2 03.25.14 thumb bookshopBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Oregon is home not only to many fine writers but also several accomplished small publishers.


Read more...

Rapid ascent

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
IMG 4255-2BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Kelly Dachtler, president of The Clymb, redefines outdoor retail.


Read more...

The future of money

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JAKE THOMAS

An ancient institution moves slowly into the digital age. 


Read more...

How to boost web traffic

News
Thursday, April 10, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY  | OB WEB EDITOR

04.10.14 thumb seo-trafficSEMpdx hosted a workshop this week for entrepreneurs, website developers and others interested in search engine optimization (SEO).  Here are a few tips and tricks aimed at bumping up your search engine rankings.


Read more...

Banishing oil burners reaps benefits for schools

News
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
04.02.14 thumb co2schoolsBY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.


Read more...

100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon [VIDEO]

News
Monday, March 03, 2014

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 11.26.47 AM

Check out interviews with employees from some of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon winners and find out what makes their company a great place to work.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS