A new campaign postcard that arrived in Gresham mailboxes this week appears to imply that The Outlook endorsed Eddy Morales for Gresham mayor. For the record, it has not.
In the mailer, the Morales campaign used The Outlook's logo (without permission) and a snippet from an Oct. 10 news story, in which we covered the mayoral debate. Here's the line: "Whoever is chosen by voters in November will have to guide the city through a budget crisis; continue to seek ways to recover from the pandemic; find solutions to racial injustice and law enforcement; help bring a new city manager on board; develop more parks and recreation; and so much more."
This much is true, we believe the new mayor of Gresham will, indeed, encounter all of these responsibilities.
And in our endorsement editorial, published in early September, we were clear in our statement that only one candidate on the ballot has the credentials and demeanor to lead this community. That candidate is Travis Stovall.
This is what we said about Stovall:
"Gresham voters will not find a better candidate on the ballot to serve as the city's next mayor than Travis Stovall. As a Black man, he faces the overt and systemic racism that Black men, women and children encounter everyday in the United States. His lived experience as a Black man gives him the perspectives that will shape discussions on equity and unity. Issues of social and racial equity will rank high on his list of priorities.
As the city's next mayor, Stovall's approach to addressing injustices will begin through what he calls "equitable economic development." In his words, "The best way to enhance a community's livability is to ensure we have adequate jobs and opportunity for all."
Though Stovall has never served in elected office, his credentials in leadership are unmatched by his opponents. He lists 18 volunteer appointments to boards and committees, among them serving as vice president of the TriMet Board of Directors that oversees a $1.5 billion budget.
Stovall is an entrepreneur who launched his own tech business, employing nine people at living wages here in Gresham. Managing budgets, supervising professionals and providing leadership are all in a day's work for Stovall.
His talents in running a successful business will be beneficial as the city of Gresham and East Multnomah County work to pull themselves out of the economic disaster created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In today's political climate, no candidate for city government will be able to avoid the conversation of police reform. Stovall is not an advocate for defunding Gresham's police force, which he describes as historically underfunded. Rather, he wants Gresham to reimagine public safety in a way that the entire community — especially Black and Brown members — feel safe and protected. Rather than cutting police funding, Stovall envisions a need for further investment in public safety.
Lastly, voters can be assured that Stovall isn't interested in using this election as a stepping stone to higher office. He's running out of pure commitment to the people and the town he calls home.
Travis Stovall is the right choice for Gresham's next mayor."
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