Mark Shull and his racist beliefs are an embarrassment to the Board of Commissioners and the people of Clackamas County. His racist views are so offensive the board of commissioners voted to strip him of his official liaison duties and formally called on him to resign.
Let me be very clear, I will always stand against hate and bigotry. As an elected representative of the people of Clackamas County and proud member of our community, I have publicly denounced Commissioner Mark Shull's hate-filled statements and called for his removal from office. Fortunately, I am far from alone.
That's why I find it so puzzling that someone like Les Poole would actually come to Shull's defense. Perhaps Les, like the handful of others who have conducted an organized campaign of harassment against me at public meetings, believes the best way to enable the pursuit of racism is to attack those who feel morally called to uphold our shared community values. Voters may soon get their chance to help defang racism as a group of citizens is actively working to officially recall Mark Shull.
In the meantime, my energy and focus will continue to be on moving forward to address the pressing issues our community faces. As we enter another wildfire season and face a new wave of coronavirus infections, elected leaders need to help our community do more to support our small businesses, which are the lifeblood of our local economy. It also means better supporting struggling families working to make ends meet. Finally, we must immediately strengthen our community response to the public health, safety and homelessness crisis currently unfolding.
We are strongest when we work together, and I believe the vast majority of us are ready to move beyond the politics of hate and division. I don't stand against Les Poole's right to exercise his free speech rights against me, but I'd like to set the record straight so my neighbors and the decent people of this community know where I stand and why I'm being targeted. Thank goodness my mom raised me to believe that sometimes the loudest booing is a special form of applause.
Sonya Fischer is a Clackamas County commissioner.
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