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OPINION: Tigard and Southwest Portland's state representative reflects on 11 years in the Oregon House.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Rep. Margaret DohertyAs my time as your state representative for House District 35 winds down, I want to express my sincere thanks to all of the citizens who sent me back to Salem for the past 11 years. It has been an honor to represent you.

When I was appointed in August of 2009, I felt that I could make a difference for the citizens in Tigard and Southwest Portland.

I was raised in Southwest Portland. Went to grade school in Multnomah and graduated from Wilson High School, so I knew the area. I have lived in Tigard since 1989 and been involved in the community for the past 20 years. Little did I know that what I did in Salem would make what I coin as "a quiet difference."

I have always been concerned with student nutrition ever since a former student of mine got kind of sheepish at a reunion and felt he needed to apologize because when I had him as a sophomore, I loaned him lunch money and he had not paid it back. Ever since then, I worked so students would not feel that way.

Since then, Oregon has become one of the leaders in school nutrition programs. A few years back, we picked up the cost for reduced lunch because families were having trouble even picking up that cost. I am so proud that one of the biggest budget items in the Student Success Act was for school nutrition, with the goal of universal breakfast and lunch.

I am also proud of an action that at the time just seemed right, but drew national attention, when I shut down the horrific testimony of a Holocaust denier at a hearing when I was chair of the House Education Committee. I went to school with friends whose parents were Holocaust survivors, and I could not let this happen. I was quiet but to the point with this gentleman.

During this time of political turmoil and hurtful words, please remember that most of the legislators are trying their best to represent the people who elected them. There are good people in Salem. Sometimes we just disagree, but doesn't mean I can't call them friend.

Thank you for the privilege of serving you. It is one of the greatest honors of my life.

Margaret Doherty is state representative from House District 35, including parts of Tigard, Metzger, Garden Home and Southwest Portland, serving since 2009. A Democrat, she lives in Tigard.


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