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Readers write in about foster care, protests, and election reform in Oregon.

Local teen highlights foster care woes

As it may surprise, the Oregon foster care is under high stress because of the coronavirus.

The Oregon foster care system is hurriedly placing children in homes using the temporary emergency certifications to increase the numbers of foster providers. They are taking precautions if foster facilities would shut down, causing a shortage of places for children to stay. There need to be more foster parents in the world right now so that children don't have to worry if their home will be OK or if they are even getting one. Further advertising would increase the chances of more foster parents.

Currently, there are so many people stuck in their homes waiting for something to reach out to. They often feel like they don't have a purpose in the world right now. This is their time to get up from their couches, put down that greasy bag of potato chips and make a difference in the world.

We should all help change the lives of the children in the Oregon foster care system and make it a little less stressful for them all.

Jaina Kim Canlas, Beaverton

Protest movement is about saving black lives

On Friday, May 29, I joined a little group of women standing outside the library, all masked against the virus and standing 6 feet apart. We held our homemade signs up to the traffic: "Black Lives Matter." "No Justice No Peace." "Do Better."

On Saturday, the group had grown to 40 or so. Enough to populate both sides of the road, while still standing 6 feet apart.

Many honked their support. A couple of drivers shouted back, "All Lives Matter," or "Blue Lives Matter." Both those slogans, from my point of view, are entirely true. But they are also utterly beside the point.

When folks are expressing grief and outrage over the wanton and unnecessary killings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor — and so very many more Black lives — shouting those other slogans seems to me to be like being changing the subject to the point of being rude and insensitive at a funeral.

Why?

If this much racist violence was captured on video in just a few weeks, how much more is happening that never gets filmed?

I know that it is far easier for people who care to nevertheless keep silent about racism, and violence. We want to protect our own, in the hope that our quiet modeling of good behavior will be enough to bring bad actors to heed their own consciences. And we each belong to communities who will exact a real cost — name-calling, ostracism, and worse — if we speak out.

But, sadly, our silence allows the bullies to continue to swagger and to escalate their violence.

I do not condone racial intolerance, bullying or violence. If you believe the same, won't you join me in speaking out for justice?

Beth Genly, Forest Grove

We should care even when we're not bored

One has to wonder why people have chosen this particular time in history, when we're in the midst of a deadly pandemic, to protest against institutional brutality toward black people. Why would so many individuals, at a time when we are urged to stay home and socially distance, choose to take to the streets and stand shoulder to shoulder to support a worthy cause? Why didn't this happen at a safer time?

Yes, there were protests after the beating of Rodney King and the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and countless similar incidents in between, but not on the national scale that we're witnessing now.

I can only speculate, but I think it may be the pandemic itself that is contributing to this unprecedented response. When other outrageous incidents occurred, people were simply too busy. They were busy going to work, taking their children to activities, planning events, visiting family. They were busy attempting to relieve the stress of all those worthy pursuits by going out to entertain themselves in various ways and to run to the stores in response to a constant barrage of advertisements to buy things they didn't need and couldn't afford.

They saw the incidents on television and were briefly saddened and angered, but they didn't have time to care enough to take any action. Now that we're not distracted by so much else going on, we've discovered that we do care. Many, many people across the country have discovered that they do truly care. They care enough to risk their health and their very lives and to suffer the consequences of the terrible violence and destruction that so often occurs when a subversive element takes advantage of peaceful demonstrations to wreak havoc.

We do care. Perhaps when the busyness sets in again, and another outrageous incident of whatever type or category occurs, we'll remember that we care. Perhaps we'll even forego a trip to the store or a night out to show that we care.

Elaine Bohlmeyer, Forest Grove

For real reform, Oregon should open primaries

In your opinion piece in the Washington County Times on May 28 titled "Primary is prologue in many local races," you spoke about Oregon's efforts to pursue a policy of maximizing voter participation, but you failed to address one of the major obstacles to that objective.

Read our May 28, 2020, editorial on the primary election.

Oregon's? closed ?primary? election is in serious need of overhaul.?? Our system?locked out more than? 1? million registered voters in May. Voters who are unaffiliated with a party or?members of? a minor party were once again prevented from? voting for? the? candidates? of their choice? in partisan races.?This system? also stifles broad candidate competition and gives voters fewer choices.??

The objective of the primary election is to determine the will of all voters, and without? the ?opportunity? to participate, this? objective is not achieved.?

Further, the? system? is? poor public policy.? It? puts the state in the role of running the candidate nominating process for the benefit of the two major parties — and? then passing the costs on to all ?taxpayers.??

?We ?must move our great state to?a fair, equitable, non-preferential primary system that is? fully? open to all voters and all candidates.

Oregon Open Primaries is a nonpartisan, volunteer group. For more information, email? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.?? or go to Oregonopenprimaries.org.?

Ed Doyle, Hillsboro


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