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The Times publishes readers' thoughts in our last mailbag before the Tuesday, May 18, election.

Tigard-Tualatin teacher backs Jaimes for school board

As we strive for a better community and world for all children, elevating the voices of the marginalized is crucial. David Jaimes will do just that. Mr. Jaimes is relentless in his efforts to empower others, give voice to the voiceless, and make sure decisions are made that reflect multiple perspectives and the community at large.

I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Mr. Jaimes over the past five years. During this time, he has taken on the roles of community liaison, bilingual teacher, building equity co-coordinator and now assistant principal at Edwards Elementary School. I have watched as he developed a Latinx parent group to empower parents as partners in their students' education. I have watched as he took personal time to visit each and every one of his students in their homes to listen to and make connections with their families. I have watched as he has taught his students by listening to them, guiding them through difficult conversations, and always ending with a good laugh.

David Jaimes has shown that he will bring a perspective, a voice, and listening ear that will enhance the Tigard-Tualatin School Board and create a brighter future for all students.

Julie Schmidt

Vancouver, Washington

Recommendations for school board in Sherwood

Krista Thorne for Sherwood School Board! I didn't know Krista before her campaign, but after seeing how she's interacting with our community, she's won my vote.

Krista is a hardworking professional mom who cares deeply for our kids. She's spent countless hours studying curriculum and the role of what a school board member plays. She's responded to everyone one of my questions with a thoughtful and real response. I have found her to be an active listener who seeks to understand the perspectives of our community and work towards unity.

I encourage you to reach out to her, then vote Krista Thorne for school board.

I was thrilled to see a new candidate and someone I didn't know running for school board. After talking with Duncan Nyong'oro, I have found his voice and perspectives to be really rich and something our Sherwood schools could benefit from.

He brings a new perspective based on his life experiences and a depth of analytical thinking that is truly needed. He has a huge heart for all Sherwood students and truly wants to continue the "good" in our community. His professional background as an auditor affords him a keen eye for details in assessing best how to spend money and resources towards projects and curriculum in our district.

Duncan is approachable and ready to serve as a board member. It's my honor to vote for Duncan Nyang'oro.

Dana Crocker, Sherwood

Reject urban renewal tax diversion

Under U.S. federal regulations, before instituting "urban renewal" (UR), a neighborhood, block, or property must first be determined to be "blighted."

"Blighted" means this: "in a badly damaged or deteriorated condition." Therefore, to qualify for "urban renewal" and "tax increment financing," the proposed project's area must be visibly "deteriorating,""compared with the rest of the city.

This distinction is important; perpetuating urban renewal in any block which isn't "deteriorating" anymore is a fraud.

Tax increment financing (TIF) is basically a scam: a tax revenue diversion of substantial funds (to unnecessary projects) that would otherwise go to the general fund and necessary services. Over time, both the duration and proliferation of TIFs represent a hidden tax increase for property owners citywide. Urban renewal districts created for economic development (handouts to businesses, developers) or TIF-funded eye-candy projects siphon finances from citizens (especially residential property owners).

TIFs confer special rights upon commercial entities that directly benefit from subsidies (selective handouts) and in improvements increasing property values. The urban renewal district's tax base is "frozen;" any "revenue in excess" for the UR's duration is directed back to benefit the UR district, thereby harming the general fund and other tax districts.

Research done on the long-term impact demonstrates that increased urban renewal and tax-increment financing weaken the general funding for public necessities. (The State School Fund can help offset lost school revenue.)

With inflation and increased costs, tax agencies need increased funding, via rising property taxes. When any commercial areas don't contribute to rising costs for services, it creates an imbalance. Public agencies then petition for levies, raising property taxes.

As multiple urban renewal projects approach the 20th year of subsidies, the cumulative effect is damaging to the general fund tax base and necessary public services.

Based upon extensive data, TIFs don't generate more economic development or tax revenue overall, than if there hadn't been any urban renewal. Economic development happens anyway. Research further confirms that TIFs drain public revenues away from the most necessary services and areas.

Increasing "maximum indebtedness" by 20% is financially risky; the UR district has failed to produce projected valuations and revenue.

Over years, TIFs typically lead to higher property taxes — to cover shortages in general funds.

Reject endless urban renewal — handouts to favored commercial developers!

Shame on local officials for diverting tax revenue to publish misleading propaganda and partisan pamphlets — before and during elections!

Michael Brewin, Tigard

Support for Pérez-Da Silva, comprehensive sex ed

As a Beaverton resident, I want to make sure the next generation is empowered with the resources and skills they need to lead their healthiest lives. That's why I'll be voting for school board members who support established community values.

Karen Pérez-Da Silva should be elected to the Beaverton School Board because she supports sexual health education that's accurate, inclusive and effective. Comprehensive sex ed provides young people with the knowledge they need for a lifetime of good health: the ability to love themselves for who they are, make informed decisions about relationships and think critically about the world around them. Sex ed should be representative of all students so everyone has an equal opportunity to experience safe, respectful and nurturing relationships.

This is especially critical at a time when rates of unintended pregnancy among teens have reached a historic low. We need to build on that success. Students deserve better than ineffective "abstinence-only" programs that withhold important facts and provide medically inaccurate, stigmatizing information. Restricting valuable learning material only increases confusion, anxiety and uninformed decision-making.

Please join me in voting for Karen Pérez-Da Silva. And spread the word to your neighbors to return their ballots by May 18.

Lucy Swenson, Beaverton

Teacher supports Irvin, Jaimes, Lynn

As a teacher in the Tigard-Tualatin School District and parent of two TTSD students, I am asking you to carefully consider my endorsements and vote for Tristan Irvin, David Jaimes and Marvin Lynn for the TTSD School Board.

First, all three candidates have vital experiences in school systems with large groups of students with diverse abilities, backgrounds, and needs. In other words, classroom experience: a perspective that has historically been missing from our school board. Tristan, David and Marvin understand the depth of difficulty in educating all children.

Second, it is imperative to vote for candidates who will seek out efficient, strategic and successful ways to educate all children. We need board members who are connected to our community, understand TTSD schools, and who will seek out student and family perspectives to ensure all classroom materials are inclusive, representative of our student body, and engaging to students.

Finally, we are living through unprecedented times and we need to vote for candidates who will help us navigate this moment with care and compassion for our students, in partnership with the entire TTSD community. Anything less is an injustice to our school district and our students.

Thanks for your consideration!

Anne Matthews, Tigard


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