As people who've had the privilege to represent the residents of Clackamas County, we are committed to taking actions that serve the best interest of the communities in which we live.
While the children and youth of Clackamas County don't have the power to vote, we still have a duty to enact and support policies that make sure their well-being is a priority.
As we work to mitigate the effects of a global pandemic, an economic downturn and now devastating wildfires, we must ensure that the future generation of leaders in our communities are able to thrive into adulthood.
That's why we've joined together to support the Clackamas Children's Safety Levy (Measure 3-564). We are backing this measure not only because it's the right thing to do for our county's vulnerable children and youth, but it's also built to exclusively serve Clackamas County and with a level of accountability that will ensure integrity and transparency.
As community leaders who care about how our tax dollars are spent, we can rest comfortably knowing that when passed, this measure will keep your money right here in Clackamas County.
That's because the measure is specifically designed to fund proven and trusted nonprofit organizations working directly with our county's kids. Also, voters can rest comfortably knowing that if an organization receives these levy funds they will be held accountable for their work through requirements to provide annual progress reports that detail how they are meeting strict performance measures.
Also, to be sure that organizations meet these performance measures, this levy will create a citizen advisory board, appointed by the Board of County Commissioners, that will review all funding decision and determining whether organizations continue to be eligible to receive funds.
The levy also will be audited annually to make sure funds are being properly allocated and that organizations are fulfilling their obligations.
Finally, voters will have a chance to decide if they wish to continue the levy after five years. All of these factors will ensure that voters have all the information they need when it comes to continuing the levy or not. This kind of transparency is what we strive for with every policy we propose or support. That's why we can confidently get behind the Clackamas Children's Safety Levy.
Bottom line: In this time of great uncertainty, we all need to come together to stand up for the children and youth of Clackamas County. We believe that no child should ever have to endure abuse, neglect and assault — but if they do, we believe they should have access to trusted local services that will help them recover and overcome their trauma.
Please join us in voting yes for Clackamas kids by Nov. 3.
Mark Meek is the Democratic state representative for House District 40, which covers parts of northern Clackamas County, including Oregon City, Jennings Lodge, Oatfield, Johnson City and Gladstone. Scott Bruun is a former Republican state representative from West Linn and is currently managing partner of Keynote Group Communications.
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