We are at a turning point in our city and our country. We need leaders who will bring us together for our common humanity, not divide us because of our differences. We need leaders who will be public servants, not political pawns. We need leaders who have the courage to take a stand and say, not on my watch. Like many of you, I have grown weary of the fear mongering and hatred that has been espoused from our highest levels of government.
I think back to my six years on the Gresham City Council before being elected to Multnomah County. It seemed as if we were in a deep slumber, where downtown Gresham was this quaint, family gathering place with bed races, parades, and art festivals. Where our mantra was "we're not Portland". Where we fought to keep our "Mayberry" alive and well. As if by being a suburb of Portland we could distance ourselves from the racial, social, and criminal injustices that have come home to roost in our city and nation.
It is time for us to wake up. We are no longer a bedroom community that can afford to isolate ourselves from our neighbors, our jurisdictional partners, and our region. We need people who truly represent our diversity whether you live in Rockwood or Persimmon. We need people who are willing and able to have an honest conversation about where our city has failed and how we can move forward.
And so I am excited to share my political endorsements for the city of Gresham, measures that profoundly affect our city and a few other races that I believe are important. These are the leaders that represent my values who I proudly support:
• Joe Biden/Kamala Harris, President/VP
• Eddy Morales, Gresham Mayor
• Dave Dyke, Vincent Jones-Dixon, Dina DiNucci, Gresham City Council
• Jairo Rios Campos, Wood Village City Council
• Chris Gorsek, State Senator, 25th District
• Ashton Simpson, State Rep, 47th District
• Zach Hudson, State Rep, 49th District
• Ricki Ruiz, State Rep, 50th District
We are well aware of the lack of investments in East County and we have an opportunity to change this trajectory by supporting the Library bond. Forty percent of the county's population lives east of I-205, and yet we only have 20% of library space. This measure will build a flagship library in Gresham to serve as a regional center for learning and information resources that will rival the Central Library in downtown Portland. It's good for our economy, it's good for businesses, and it's good for our families, our students and our seniors.
We must invest in our children and make childcare more affordable. Too many people struggle just to make rent each month, much less pay for daycare. And our youth are suffering from the lack of high quality preschool teachers who are unable to earn a family wage. The Preschool For All measure will give our kids and families the start they need to be successful.
I urge you to make a plan to vote and sign up for Track Your Ballot to receive alerts to know when your ballot was mailed to you and when your ballot has been accepted for counting.
Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann is a Gresham resident and former member of the Gresham City Council.
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