Albertson: Passing the baton to Ben Bowmen
The Tigard-Tualatin School Board got a huge boost and a "shot in the arm" about a year ago when district voters elected one of their own high school alums, Ben Bowman, as their newest director. I enthusiastically supported Ben's candidacy and attended his TTSD swearing in last July.
But now as a Sherwood resident, I admittedly only get to a handful of TTSD board meetings. However, the ones I have attended have been remarkable, specifically in terms of Ben's governmental/educational policy insight, his overall knowledge base, and what I know is on his "K-12 to do list." The issues and questions he brings to the board and to the Oregon public ed table, and simply his general remarks and comments, are both insightful and frankly "spot on."
Ben is shaking things up, which is a good thing. And that's not much of a surprise for this 28-year-old.
Now the last time I checked, the Oregon State Senate seems to be enriched with members way closer to my age than Ben's. Perhaps the Oregon Senate could use a similar jolt of energy and sharpness. Ben Bowman has that energy, sharpness and political acumen.
I have no idea how many incumbents are planning to run in the primary election on May 19. Having been a Tigard-Tualatin School Board member for 16 years, I was honored and privileged to get to speak with and know lots of our state legislators. Among them is Sen. Ginny Burdick, who currently represents District 18. Ginny and I have been friends for nearly all of her tenure as an Oregon state senator, over 20 years now.
But, here's the thing: I realized, nearly three years ago, that conditions and personal fluctuations in one's life sometime force hard choices and changes — geez, time alone can do it.
Ben Bowman is uniquely suited, right now, to represent District 18 as our state senator in Salem. He certainly has the political and policy knowledge base, from working in the Legislature and earning his master's degree at Stanford University. He has also amassed a
corral of established local and state
government leaders, and elected
officials that he knows very well, who have already and will continue to give him counsel and support. Most if not all of them will be endorsing him.
And Ben has youth on his side, plus the energy and spunk that youth brings. As I near the middle of my seventh decade on this planet, I'm both personally and professionally ready to step aside for a new generation to take the helm, and then run with the baton of leadership and decision-making in and for Oregon. Ben Bowman will do just that.
I was a high school freshman in January 1961. On the 20th of that same month, I heard Jack Kennedy give one of the most stirring and inspirational presidential inaugural addresses ever, that included this passage: "Let the word go forth, from this time and place, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans ... born in this century ... tempered by war, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed."
I have enormous faith in the new generation of the 21st century. I spent over a decade and a half as a member of the TTSD School Board, and during that time got to know the district's students quite well. Ben Bowman was one of them. Ben is a leader of that new generation, who will make Oregon a better and more prosperous place in which to work and live — not just for District 18, but for all Oregonians.
Please join me in voting for Ben Bowman as your next state senator from Oregon Senate District 18.
Barry D. Albertson is a past member of the Tigard-Tualatin School Board. He lives in Sherwood.
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