UO professor's book "assigned" to Oregon lawmakers

Mike Hibbard, a professor emeritus in the UO's Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management, will have the ear – and eye – of this year's Oregon Legislature in a most unusual way.

"Toward One Oregon: Rural-Urban Interdependence and the Evolution of a State" – a book edited by Hibbard and three others – was assigned to all members of the Oregon House of Representatives as "book club" reading by House Speaker Tina Kotek, a Portland Democrat.

Mike Hibbard“I think it’s detrimental that we don’t often take the time to explore where we want to go, instead getting caught up in the path to get there without a clear destination,” Kotek told lawmakers, according to the Salem Statesman-Journal. “By giving you some first-day reading, I hope you’ll be inclined to join me in a ‘book club’ of sorts to try to undo some of that.”

"Toward One Oregon" looks at the so-called "rural-urban divide" that has shaped the state's history, and prospects for uniting such a geographically diverse state. The book's contributors – historians, urban planners, economists, geographers and political scientists – explore Oregon's urban and rural history through political, economic and demographic lenses.

The book was published by Oregon State University Press in 2011. It was edited by Hibbard, along with Bruce Weber of OSU, Beth Emshoff of the OSU Extension Service and Ethan Seltzer from Portland State University.