Oregon for Matt Keating

Who am I?

"Matt Keating may not be the best soccer player," my fútbol coach once wrote my parents,
"But he has the biggest heart."

Leading with my heart and organizing with my smarts, I advocate, from coast to coast, for
progressive causes and candidates. (Most recently I spearheaded CREDO's ground effort to
defeat right-wing tea party Congressman Allen West.)

Though I have organized, nationally, on some rather high profile campaigns, my grassroots
political activism was forged at Lane Community College, Eugene, OR.

In 2008 I registered thousands of LCC voters, founded the nationally recognized Lane
Students for Barack Obama chapter, and was elected delegate to the Democratic National
Convention. Prior to Obama-mania, I served as president of Lane's Student Productions
Association, 2006-07. (The SPA is LCC's student-governed theater company with which I
have performed a dozen theatrical productions.) The community coalition we built helped
broaden the SPA's base, save a theater department, and permanently fund the
student-driven association.

Student empowerment and building key community partners were central to my success
as a student organizer at LCC. I bring that same energy to Lane's budget committee and
to our grassroots campaign for Board of Education.

Entering my third year as an appointed member of the Lane Community College budget
committee, I continue to advocate for affordable education, fair and equitable state funding,
and nontraditional avenues of raising revenue.

My rapport with Lane's student community, faculty, administration, and staff are vital to my
role as a prospective board member. As our campaign team is fond of saying: Matt Keating
knows Lane Community College, and Lane Community College knows Matt Keating!

Thirty-some years after my fútbol coach's astute review, I still may not the best soccer
player, but I know how to roll up my sleeves and build broad coalitions of
community support to work toward a common goal.

Why am I running?

1. At $92 per credit hour, tuition is too damn high.
2. Students, faculty, and staff are systematically getting screwed.
3. The state, responsible for the screwing, is woefully underfunding Higher Education.

Let's talk numbers:

Oregon's biennial budget, once again, looks bleak for Oregon's 17 community colleges.
Though there are a few legislative proposals that could help equitably fund Oregon's
community colleges, the proposed budget of $428 million for the Community College
Support Fund (CCSF) woefully falls short of what is needed to operate our state's
community college system.

LCC President, Dr. Mary Spilde recently underscored the underfunding crisis: "For Lane
Community College to maintain programs and services, avoid layoffs and mitigate tuition
increases," Dr Spilde noted, "The CCSF must be funded at a minimum of $510 million."

That's where we're at: either raise tuition or cut services and programs. As a prospective
Board of Education Director, I am fundamentally opposed to either short-sided proposal.

We must build a broad coalition of fair funding support. From students to staff to faculty
to seniors and every education enthusiast in between, the stakes are high and the state
needs to act.

Our goal: leverage our relationships with Salem legislators to get lawmakers to fairly and
equitably invest not just in LCC, but all of Oregon's 17 community colleges -- economic
engines that are vital to the survival of our local economy.

My Goals

As a prospective Board Member, my top priorities are to save Lane Community College
money and generate additional revenue without implementing skyrocketing tuition hikes or
cutting programs and staff.

Though the traditional, antiquated approach is to either raise tuition or cut programs,
practices I am fundamentally opposed to, there are far more creative ways we can get
Lane Community College to better generate revenue and get the state to pay its fair share:

1. Build broad coalitions of support for fair and equitable state funding
2. Examine creative ways to progressively generate general fund revenue while promoting
clean energy transportation (implementing a tiered parking fee that exempts students
who ride-share, bike, or bus is one such idea)
3. Promote tax incentives for small/medium-sized local businesses that actually hire local
Lane Community College or University of Oregon graduates.
4. Offer students an opportunity to "give back" a small portion of their state or federal grant
money if a Lane student wants to highlight or thank a particular community college program
that helped him/her excel
5. Institute an academic incentive reward programs that reinvests in students upon
completion of their respective program/certificate with an exemplary 3.25 GPA or higher.
(Upon competition of a student's program, one could apply to receive this nominal amount
at a time when it is needed most: either enrolling into 4-year university or
entering/re-entering the workforce)
6. Continue to examine and suggest public-private partnerships that celebrate community
collaboration and promote Lane Community College's investment in the downtown
revitalization of Eugene, OR

If we institute just a pair of these half-dozen goals, LCC will be better off. Further, if our
Board keeps tuition affordable while preventing cuts to Lane Community College's
programs, faculty, and staff, we will be most successful.

My DFA Values

Community - Lane Community College is the economic engine that drives Lane County.
Feeding into the University of Oregon, LCC is the most affordable and accessible local
pathway to a four-year degree (68% if UO graduates have taken a course at LCC). Beyond
the obvious economic benefits of an educated community, LCC offers world-class training
and certificate programs in areas such as nursing, aviation, and sustainability.

Our campaign focuses squarely on LCC's success in training for the 21st century jobs of
today, tomorrow, and beyond. However, LCC is woefully underfunded at a 20th century
level. We must build a broad coalition of community support (from students to LCC staff to
seniors and everyone in between) to advocate for fair and equitable state funding for LCC
and Oregon's 17 community colleges.

Considering every dollar of state or local tax money invested in Lane returns $2.40 to the
local economy, an investment in higher education is the best investment Oregon lawmakers
can make.

Security - I was recently asked about my opinion regarding guns on campus. As a Board
Member I will uphold the Board's ban on weapons at campus - legally concealed or not.

Liberty - At the heart of the American Dream ideal is the notion that with hard work and
perseverance we can earn a living-wage in a career of our choice, we can live in a safe and
secure environment, and our next generation will be better off than ours. Those ideals,
coupled with a serious lack of investment in education, are crumbling. My candidacy, my
campaign, my commitment to service on our local Lane Community College Board of
Education is centered around the fact that we are strapped: Oregon's community colleges
are woefully underfunded.

Leveraging my relationships with our state legislators, I will help build broad coalitions of
community support to better organizing, advocate, and educate the public (and our
lawmakers) about the critical importance of investing in Oregon's community colleges.

My Campaign is People Powered!

Our people-powered campaign is fueled by over 100 unique donors, and the average
individual contribution is $72.00. Shattering local records for a Board of Education,
campaign, in just one month of grassroots fundraising we have raised over $11,000!

Though the filing deadline for this particular position is this Thursday, we have already built
a team that consists of a campaign manager, finance director, volunteer coordinator, a dozen
active volunteers and three interns earning co-operative credit at Lane Community College.

We are renting space at our local Democratic Party field office, 228 E. 11th Ave., Eugene, OR.
We have earned the support of 6 of 7 Board of Education Directors, as well as the
endorsements of the Lane Community College Employee Federation (LCCEF Local 2417)
and the Lane Community College Education Association (LCCEA LPAC).

Our diverse coalition of support includes students, LCC staff, elected LCC Board Members,
former LCC Board Members, and local education enthusiasts. When the occupations of our
local grassroots donors range from "student" to "educator" to "retired", it is a healthy sign
that we are truly building an unique people-powered coalition.

Voice support


  • Evan Peck
  • Thomas De luca, IN
  • Jeree Anderson
  • Dennis Hughes, IL
  • Janet Barker, OR

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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