STOP THE WALL STREET RIPOFF OF OREGON!
Chris grew up in the Mojave Desert (In Palmdale, Ca. 50 miles north of Los Angeles) near the dry lake beds of Edwards AirForce Base, where the Space Shuttle landed and test pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier. Back then, in the California high desert, Chris was a registered Republican in the 80’s, then, switched to the Democratic Party in the 90’s, then, matriculated after the turn of the century into Pacific Green Party of Oregon not long after the 2000 race, which lead Chris to the Oregon Progressive Party in 2010, and, finally, migrated Chris to changing his registration in 2018 to the Independent Party of Oregon.
Born 9th to a large working class family of 12 children, Chris quips that it was “more like living in a small community, it was “A Double Brady Bunch” of 6 boys and 6 girls. Being “one of many” helped shape his world view, in that his upbringing hardwired him to seek the greatest good for the greatest number. Chris quips, “I agree with Spock – The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. Utilitarianism isn't a software upgrade or a patch in my code, I come preprogrammed that way out-of-the-box.”
Chris' father and grandfather were truck drivers, who originated from a rough Irish Roman Catholic borough in the heart of Chicago (on 43rd & Wentworth, his dad would always say...) where his grandfather helped to form the AFL and his father shoveled coal as a steam locomotive fireman on the Illinois Central Railroad. Growing up, Chris wanted to become a pilot, an astronomer and an astronaut, however, he followed in his father's and grandfather's footsteps driving for a living, after working as an aircraft electrician on the B-1 bomber for Rockwell and a structural mechanic for McDonnell Douglas.
Chris' mother was born in Appleton, Wisconsin to German Ashkenazim Jewish immigrants and she attended Defiance College, where her first husband (who died of leukemia) taught and his father, Kevin McCann, (Chris's grandfather) was Defiance College president. Chris's mother was a state worker, who served as an adjudicator for the California State Employment Development for 20 years and retired to Oregon to live near Chris's older sisters. Soon after, Chris followed his mother to Oregon in 1998 to help his sisters care for his mother, after she was diagnosed with ovarian, then, breast cancer.
Chris has only one child (His daughter, Madison) visited 3 to 4 times a year, and Chris began attending school to follow in his mother, brother and sister's footsteps. Chris studied Speech Communication and went to state, regionals and nationals in speech and debate through Clackamas Community College and soon transferred to Portland State University (on September 25, two weeks after 9/11) to pursue a minor in civic leadership and a major in communication studies. Chris placed his study emphasis in conflict resolution and fast became politically engaged in myriad of social and economic justice issues.
Not long after Chris' transfer to PSU, one of his older sisters (who was attending college along side him at Marylhurst University in West Linn) became diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of 2001 and lost her battle at the end of 2003. To stay busy, Chris was co-chairing the Willamette Neighborhood Association (A historic community in West Linn, Or.) and dropped out of college to help others organize unions at two local concrete ready-mix companies. Chris re-entered PSU and soon dropped out again to take a job hauling LTL freight and to co-chair the Oregon state Green Party in 2004.
In 2008, Chris stepped down as Green Party state chair to run against Representative David Wu and complete a “Peace Slate” of candidates that helped fill all five Oregon US Congressional races – an Oregon Green Party first. During that race, Chris' mother handed him a book (Man From Abilene) and said, “Here, read this… Your grandfather wrote this and he was also involved in politics,” she said. Chris’ mother noting that, “Your grandfather (Kevin McCann) was Eisenhower's speech writer and personal assistant.... he would be pleased to see you running for office, if he were alive today,” his mother concluded.
After that, Chris ran a second time for David Wu's seat in 2010 (Wu resigning only months after), then, in 2012 for Attorney General, then, in 2014 for Governor (With Kitzhauber also resigning only months after), then, most recently, in 2016, for Oregon State Treasurer; each time to secure ballot access for the Oregon Progressive Party and call attention to progressive issues. Most currently, Chris has returned to school, once again to hopefully finish his long-awaited degrees in communication at Clackamas Community College and Portland State University; projecting that he will be finished by the end of Summer term 2018.
As a Teamster truck driver, Chris says that he is running "to be a voice in Salem for the working-class people in Oregon’s Representative District 40.