Group Proposes, Then Withdraws, Petition for Oregon to Secede
By Lizzy Acker
And just like that, it was over. The two Oregonians who proposed a ballot measure asking Oregon to secede from the union have submitted paperwork to withdraw their petition.
Christian Trejbal, one of the petitioners, said over the phone Friday that the response to the proposed measure was not what he had hoped.
"We have received death threats," said Trejbal, though he adds it wasn't just the negative feedback that made him and his co-petitioner Jennifer Rollins decided to withdraw. It was also some of the supporters.
On Thursday night, he said, "we watched violence unfold on the streets."
"That's not the kind of conversation we were trying have," he added, "so we're pulling it."
Trejbal said the goal of the petition was to engage in a "high-minded conversation."
"The political landscape right now is not amenable to the sort of conversation we were trying to have," he said.
When asked if the people trying to intimidate and harass him win with the withdrawal of the petition, he said, "In some regard yeah, they win."
But Trejbal also said that "once things settle down," he and Rollins plan to reassess the situation and see how else they can begin a civil civic conversation.
Does this mean a dream of an independent west is dead? Maybe not.
"We did hear from a lot of people that were interested in the idea," Trejbal said. "If one of them takes up the mantle, I wish them luck."
"If we learned one thing in this," he added, "it was just how easy it is to file an initiative petition and get the ball rolling."
(c)2016 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)