Sawnee Services, LLC  


Please also see 2011 Legislative Successes

“I am impressed by the innovative contributions you have made that will continue our efforts to keep what makes Oregon most special…Your hard work has added tremendous value to our great state, and I am proud to offer my congratulations for your success.”
      -Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
Jonathan Manton with President Obama ORS 352.655: Domestic Violence Clinical Legal Education in Oregon

The Stop Violence Against Women Project is a nationally recognized model program featuring collaboration between the University of Oregon School of Law, Lane County Legal Aide, Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS), and Womenspace. Under the supervision an attorney, second and third year law students receive specialized training, law school credit, and direct courtroom experience assisting survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. The survivors receive civil legal services and other assistance free of charge. Studies show providing access to legal services is one of very few effective strategies to stop the cycle of domestic violence. And as the moving testimony from graduates of the program revealed, law students who learn to use the power of their education to serve others go on to be dynamic and effective attorneys for those in need throughout Oregon.

When federal funding for the program became scarce in 2006, Sawnee Services Principal Jonathan Manton used his position as State Senator Floyd Prozanski’s Senior Legislative Aide to craft legislation to keep the program afloat. He took his idea for a unique and dedicating funding mechanism to members of the 2007 Legislative Assembly and built a bipartisan coalition of legislative sponsors and supporters in both the State Senate and House. Due in no small part to the tremendous work and testimony of the Stop Violence Against Women Project faculty, staff, administrators, students, and graduates, HB 2961 survived three different legislative hearings before passing the House of Representatives 52-3 and the State Senate 28-1.

When Governor Kulongoski signed the bill into law at a media ceremony on June 27, 2007, he turned to Senator Prozanski to say a few words about the bill. Senator Prozanski then gave the lectern to Manton calling him “the real person who pushed this through.”

ORS 197.416 The Metolius Protection Act

Governor Tom McCall signed SB 100 into law in 1973, establishing Oregon’s unique and controversial statewide land use system. The foundational element of the system requires local governments to create comprehensive plans that comply with statewide goals. These plans must be approved by the state Department of Land Conservation and Development. Also well known are requirements for cities to constrain their growth to within Urban Growth Boundaries and for counties to map lands as eligible for Destination Resorts. Less well-known provisions, until 2009, allowed for the creation of Areas of Critical State Concern (“ACSC”). In fact, prior to 2009 no Oregon legislature had ever created an Area of Critical State Concern, despite Governor McCall’s passionate plea in 1973 for the area surrounding the majestic Metolius River in Central Oregon to receive just exactly that protective designation.

In 2009 Jefferson County approved lands as eligible for large-scale destination resorts that would have pumped 2.5 million gallons of groundwater per day from the spring-fed Metolius Basin. One of the developments alone would have provided for enough residential homes to be the third largest city in Central Oregon. As the lead legislative advocate and campaign manager, Manton joined forces with Central Oregon LandWatch, Friends of the Metolius, The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, and literally thousands of citizen activists from across Oregon and the nation, to urge the legislature to save the Metolius by designating it Oregon’s first Area of Critical State Concern. For months, this dedicated coalition wrote targeted letters, carried out a strategic media plan, recruited additional member organizations, and lobbied nearly every member of the 2009 Legislative Assembly.

Before arriving on the Governor’s desk, The Metolius Protection Act passed its first legislative committee with a one-vote margin, was sent to another committee to die, was resurrected by a seldom used and highly risky legislative maneuver known as a ‘gut and stuff’, passed the state Senate with a one-vote margin, failed to pass the state House by a one-vote margin, was resurrected by a successful motion to reconsider, and ultimately passed the state House with another one-vote margin. The landmark legislation protects one of Oregon’s true treasures for generations of fly-fishers, hunters, hikers, campers, bird watchers, tourists and others to enjoy in its pristine state.

Obama for America

Along with hundreds of Americans from all walks of life, Sawnee Services Founder Jonathan Manton put his ‘life on hold’ in the fall of 2007 to lead organizing efforts on behalf of Barack Obama’s candidacy for President of the United States. What started as three weeks of volunteer caucus and canvass training in Winnemucca, Nevada led to 16 months of professional organizing of diverse communities throughout the West. Along the way, Manton trained literally thousands of volunteers on grassroots and community organizing methods such as door to door canvassing, phone banking, event planning, community marches, on-line networking, campaign office set-up, message effectiveness, merchandise sales and accounting, voter registration, federal policy, and public speaking.

In Winnemucca, Nevada, organizing efforts included identifying and turning out one to three supporters per rural caucus site and led to the pick-up of an extra statewide delegate. In Riverside, California, communities with long standing mistrust of one another came together and united around a common purpose, dedication and true care for one another and our common struggles. In Jackson, Wyoming, hundreds of young people waited outdoors in blizzard conditions for hours in order to register and participate in that state’s caucus. After weeks of organizing, Teton County led the state with the highest turnout and highest margin of victory for Obama. And in Central Oregon, months of activism grew into over a thousand volunteers and the empowerment of a traditionally conservative community. Central Oregon for Obama helped to pick up a state House seat, a US Senate seat, and even garnered a personal visit from then Senator Obama.

Office of US Senator Jeff Merkley

Manton joined the office of US Senator Jeff Merkley in the summer of 2009 just as the populist movement known as the “Tea Party” was beginning to take shape. He served as Senator Merkley’s representative in Jefferson, Crook, Deschutes, Hood River, Wasco, Wheeler, Sherman, and Gilliam Counties. Manton organized town halls and frequently met with local elected officials, business owners, constituents, non-profit service providers, and other community leaders throughout this rural, geographically diverse portion of Oregon.

After learning a great deal with regard to the area’s needs and people, Manton:

• Authored a pending Appropriation Request on behalf of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon to connect tribal youth through classroom technology
• Advocated for pending amendments to the Workforce Investment Act proposed by Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council
• Advocated for a pending proposal by the Oregon Natural Desert Association to significantly increase public lands designated as Wilderness
• Advocated for the introduction of legislation to repeal the fraudulent Treaty of 1865 at the request of The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation

With a great deal of appreciation and admiration for Senator Merkley and his tremendous staff, Manton left the Senator’s office to found Sawnee Services, LLC.

Campaigns for State Senator Floyd Prozanski

In 2003, then State Representative Floyd Prozanski charged Manton with coordinating his campaign to represent District 4 in the State Senate. The district encompasses a diverse mix of urban, rural and campus locales in southern Lane and Northern Douglas counties. It is home to many of Oregon’s most progressive and most conservative voters. Devising and implementing a three-pronged campaign plan, the campaign team highlighted Prozanski’s accomplishments as a legislator, introduced him to the rural portions of the district, and motivated young people at the University of Oregon to get involved. Manton also hired now Rep. Val Hoyle to coordinate the campaign’s activities with the Democratic Party of Lane County.

NCEC data predicted the first race in 2003 to be very close, with a likely outcome of a 3.5% win for a Democrat. Then Rep. Prozanski carried the district by a margin exceeding 20%. Two years later, Manton joined with Senator Prozanski to again manage the campaign’s field, media, mail, and campus plans and they won re-election by over 22%. Manton went on to serve as Senator Prozanski’s senior legislative aid and chief of staff for both the 2005 and 2007 legislative sessions.

Oregon Public Interest Professional Loan Repayment Program

The cost of an Oregon undergraduate or post-graduate degree has more than tripled in the last decade. As more and more young people finance their education with student loans, more and more young professionals begin their careers saddled by enormous debt. Today’s graduates have a difficult time pursuing a career in public service simply because the salaries offered won’t allow them to pay off their student loans. Meanwhile our schools, courtrooms, and medical facilities need Oregon’s best and brightest more than ever.

As the Senior Legislative Assistant to State Senator Floyd Prozanski in 2007, Manton co-authored SB 928 to create an Oregon Public Interest Professional Loan Repayment Program. The bill allowed Oregon graduates who pursue careers in Oregon as social workers, teachers, nurses and public interest lawyers to qualify for state assistance to repay their student loans. The testimony before the Senate Education and General Government Committee was so compelling that the bill passed out of that body with bipartisan, unanimous support. However, one Senator then prevented the bill from advancing to a floor vote. This idea, or a better version of it, should be pursued again.

Oregon Bus Project-Lane County

In 2003, a Springfield high school educator named James Mattiace convinced Manton and several other politically active young people to found a Lane County Chapter of the Oregon Bus Project. The Bus Project is an organization started by now State Representative Jefferson Smith to mobilize and energize young people through the practice of ‘hands-on’ democracy. The Bus organizes candidate forums, door to door canvassing trips, policy conferences, registration drives and countless other zany events as it drives change, drives leaders, and drives votes. Under the guidance of Mattiace, Manton and many others, the Lane County Bus played a significant role in the successful campaigns of many area leaders, including now State Senator Chris Edwards and Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy.

Childcare Access Means Parents in Schools (CAMPIS PROGRAM)

On average, the cost of childcare is more expensive than the cost of college tuition. For low-income parents wanting to pursue a college education, childcare costs are often the most significant barrier. Too often the cycle of poverty is perpetuated as young parents can afford either to pay for quality childcare OR their own education.

Sawnee Services founder Jonathan Manton began his professional career as a Grants Officer for the Childcare Access Means Parents in School Program within the U.S. Department of Education in Washington DC. He oversaw distribution of $5 million in federal funds to 87 institutions of higher education throughout America for the purposes of creating or improving on-campus childcare facilities for low-income student parents. He was also in charge of ensuring that over 40 of the grantees remained in compliance with EDGAR, the US Dept. of Education’s agency regulations.

Public Interest Environmental Law Conference

Each year the students of Land Air Water, the University of Oregon School of Law Environmental Law Society organize the largest and now oldest Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (“PIELC”) in the world. The PIELC features over 100 panels of lawyers, journalists, elected officials, scientists, and activists as well thousands of attendees and students from all over the world. Manton was chosen by his fellow law students to serve as one of four Conference Co-Directors for the 2002 event. In that capacity he led efforts to recruit keynote speakers, provided the opening address to the Conference and oversaw a team of student volunteers handling an array of logistics.

phone: (541) 729-2923
476 SW Forest Grove Dr.  
Bend, OR 97702