Why am I running for this office?

I’m running for East Lane County Commissioner because we need an honest, transparent, and accountable government that’s responsive to the people. The deck is stacked against our rural areas, creating a sense of powerlessness. We need to empower our communities. We need jobs with living wages. We need affordable housing and healthcare. We need money in our local economies to support local businesses. We need education so our children can participate in the emerging economy. Bottom line, people are struggling and I want to help.

I want to utilize my problem solving skills and ability to work with people of all backgrounds to ensure a sustainable economy, a healthful environment, a fully funded Sheriff’s Office, expanded public transportation, healthcare for all (including mental and dental care),  living wages and better working conditions with job security for labor, dignity and security for our seniors, increased internet access and speeds,  a “housing first” approach for our homeless, and a community that’s knowledgeable of and engaged in the political process.

These are the goals. Lofty, to be sure, but we have to aim high if we hope to make the kind of progress we need. I’m still young and idealistic enough to think we can actually accomplish these if we work together, in a determined fashion, and keep fighting for the greater good.  

-James Barber for Lane County

James Barber - Candidate for East Lane County Commissioner


James Barber 

Thank you so much for your interest in our campaign. This campaign is about we, “the People.” Your involvement is critical to our success. You can help by volunteering your time, showing your support by displaying a bumper sticker and yard sign, or donating. As a firm believer in campaign finance reform, I have pledged to only accept donations from individuals like you. No money from corporations, super PACs, or unions will be accepted. 

Our Mission

This campaign is about bringing positive change to Lane County, Oregon. By engaging the community and getting people involved, we can work together to build a strong, vibrant county governed with integrity and transparency. 

East Lane County, District 5, commissioner position is up for election in 2018. This is a non-partisan race in a huge district. There are nearly 50,000 voters to contact by May 2018. With your help we can reach these people and activate them for these mid term elections in which turnout will be critical.

My Pledge to You

• I will only accept donations to my campaign from individuals. No donations from corporations, super PACs, or unions.

•I will dedicate $24k/yr of my commissioner salary to employ a paid staff person to assist with community outreach, to ensure your voice is heard.

• I will not run for a different position while serving as your commissioner. My focus will be on Lane County and what’s best for us, not personal or political ambitions.

• I will not vote to raise my own salary!

About James

James is a 24 year resident of Lane County. He attended Churchill High School and LCC where he studied business management and accounting. James was a small business owner for 13 years and is now a principal broker with Sixel Real Estate. James enjoys playing Boggle and reading. He lives in Walterville with Kristin, his wife of 16 years, their 3 children, and their dog. James is deeply involved with local and statewide organizing with such groups as Our Revolution Lane County and Progressive Oregon, where he organizes events across the state to help groups and individuals get active and engage with their community.

James, Kristin, Cole, Alivia, & Alexia

“People are struggling, 

I want to help!”

James Barber for Lane County: Live Facebook Feed

The Friends of Marcola Schools Media Center and the Marcola School District are sponsoring this forum for candidates in the East Lane County Commissioner race. Come join the candidates for County Commissioner and hear them answer audience questions about issues facing Lane County. Refreshments provided between 8 and 8:30. ...

Candidate Forum: East Lane County Commissioner

March 21, 2018, 6:30pm - March 21, 2018, 10:30pm

The Friends of Marcola Schools Media Center and the Marcola School District are sponsoring this forum for candidates in the East Lane County Commissioner race. Come join the candidates for County Commissioner and hear them answer audience questions about issues facing Lane County. Refreshments provided between 8 and 8:30.

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This is beautiful. See the good in people. ✌️ ...

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The Issues

This campaign is about bringing positive change to Lane County, Oregon. James believes in an honest, transparent, and accountable government that’s responsive to the people..

We, the people, will stand together and make our voices heard. By rejecting corporate contributions and relying on small dollar donors, we will show that ordinary people can make a difference and win against big money and career politicians!

Economic Development


We must strengthen and multiply our small businesses. Focus on efforts that give each dollar more opportunity to cycle repeatedly through our community. Focus on promoting and assisting local businesses rather than courting out of state corporations.

Engage with businesses and community interests to coordinate effective economic efforts to boost local businesses and their workers.

Transportation Infrastructure

Freedom of movement is one of the greatest benefits of our society. We must maintain roads, bridges, and tunnels to allow businesses to transport goods efficiently and to allow us to get to work, to the lake or mountain, and to pursue personal interests. Proper infrastructure is critical to operating freely and efficiently.

Poverty & Homelessness

Poverty is a serious issue. Those of us at the bottom are struggling. We need opportunities to succeed. We need good jobs and living wages to support our families. We need to come together as a community if we hope to tackle this epidemic of poverty. No longer can we blame the poor for being poor. We have to understand that there are structural deficiencies that stunt upward mobility.

To combat the homelessness epidemic we must develop a multipronged approach that entails finding semi permanent housing, expands temporary housing, and identifies other factors to address immediate needs, while locating and exploring solutions for root factors of this epidemic.

Public Safety

We have a $9-10 million dollar shortfall, by some estimates, to be able to provide decent public safety patrols to our rural areas. We owe it to our rural neighbors to find the funds to allow better coverage and faster response times, so people can feel safe in their own homes and communities.

Access to Vital Services

Whether it’s hi-speed internet, public transportation, health clinics and doctors, or county services, our rural areas need better access to vital services, in order to compete and thrive. Limited services lead to youth exodus, sometimes fatal consequences for seniors, and a failure to care for our most vulnerable, putting a greater burden on those communities.


We understand the need for good jobs, with living wages. This will be a focus for this campaign. Our rural communities are struggling. We need new ideas and fresh strategies to combat poverty and provide for our families.

Climate Change

We understand that climate change is an urgent environmental problem and intend to act accordingly. We will fight to combat climate change and work to transition us to clean, renewable energy.


We understand that health care should be a fundamental right for all people. In the absence of, and as we work towards, a single payer system, it is our duty to do everything we can to provide affordable, convenient health care to every person, young and old, veteran and student, mother and father. 


We understand education is the foundation of our nation. It is the best investment we can make for our youth. 

We must be dedicated to strengthening early education in order to provide our nation’s youth with the schooling they deserve. College must be more affordable for everyone. Rising tuition rates and excessive student loan rates make college nearly impossible to pay for these days. 

We must recognize that community colleges, trade schools, and universities can transform lives. A college degree opens up doors that would otherwise remain closed. Higher education lifts up communities and helps end the cycle of poverty.

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