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Other readers make their case for Senate District 15 hopefuls in the News-Times' weekly mailbag.

Editor's note: Have a letter to share? Email your thoughts to Editor-in-Chief Mark Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Letters should be no more than 400 words. All submissions must include the name and hometown of the author. Commercial solicitations and campaign announcements will not be accepted as letters to the editor. Submissions should not include profane or defamatory language. We may lightly edit submissions for style and clarity.

County commissioners should make historic choice for Senate

On a Tuesday summer evening — June 2, 2020, to be exact —downtown Portland was drowned by the chanting of the names of Black people whose lives were taken at the hands of police.

"Breonna Taylor."

"Philando Castile."

"George Floyd."

As I took a seat on the bricked hearth of Portland's living room, I saw protest organizers starting a program where Black-identifying people could share their pain, anger, and hopes for the future over a microphone and speaker. Among the organizers setting up, I see a familiar face — Lamar Wise.

I know Lamar from our high school days at Century High School. He was the upperclassman whom I, for two years, admired in student government. I witnessed the growth of his passion for handing people the microphone and providing a platform to be heard.

Lamar has always fought for racial, gender, and economic justice. His passion and experience fighting for housing access and affordability and advocacy for labor rights more than qualifies him to serve as our senator for District 15. If elected, he would be the first Black man to serve as senator for District 15. I say it's about time we change that and vote Wise for Senate District 15.

Omar Rivera, Hillsboro

Appoint state rep to vacant Senate seat

We are writing in support of Janeen Sollman to fill the Senate District 15 vacancy left by Sen. Chuck Riley. No one is more qualified or able to hit the ground running on day one than Janeen.

Rep. Sollman has done incredible work in Salem to keep our residents safe and provide a better future for our community:

• Gun violence prevention — Rep. Sollman has sponsored and testified for common-sense safety legislation to protect our community members including preventing domestic abusers from purchasing guns, allowing school districts to prohibit guns on school grounds, and requiring gun owners to responsibly store their firearms securely.

• Rep. Sollman has been an environmental champion in many ways — most recently leading the charge as a chief sponsor on the Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act in 2021 to update Oregon's outdated recycling system. The new law takes effect this year and will build on local community programs and leverage the resources of producers to create an innovative system that works for everyone.

• Education — Rep. Sollman was a key champion in the efforts to successfully pass the 2019 Student Success Act, finally reversing years of education funding reduction in Oregon and paving the way for increased student success at every level.

Most of all we appreciate that Rep. Sollman embodies her motto, "Listen, Learn, Act." She has been active in this community for decades and truly listens to her constituents. She asks questions to understand issues and always works towards solutions with the best interest of our community in mind.

With her many years of community involvement and her extensive experience as an elected official, we strongly encourage the Washington County commissioners to appoint Janeen Sollman to the SD 15 seat.

Elizabeth Case, Debby Garman and Hilary Uhlig

Members, Indivisible Hillsboro

Let voters decide on Kristof's qualifications

As an unaffiliated voter, I read with interest, disappointment, and concern regarding Secretary of State Shemia Fagan's ruling against Nicholas Kristof's application seeking to become Oregon's next governor.

Fagan, to her credit, is following procedures. Yet, I am rooting for the Oregon Supreme Court to decide in favor of the prospective candidate based on the law and past precedent.

Kristof is a progressive Democrat by his own admission. His writings and actions are refreshing and portray an individual possessing an altruistic philosophy, vision, and advocacy.

I value the opportunity to consider "outsider" candidates, those who have not followed the traditional path of succession from service as an elected member of the executive or legislative branch of government.

Oregonian voters are competent to rate those running for office based on their personal and professional merits and qualifications. Further, we are benefited when we can evaluate candidates representing more than the status quo of a particular political party and its predictable financial backers.

I envision a 2022 election featuring a Democrat with strong rural roots (Kristof), an accomplished independent with business, rural and urban ties (former Sen. Betsy Johnson), and a Republican from the Metro area.

David Nardone, Hillsboro

Getting rid of Ridwell is bad for county

Washington County has disallowed Ridwell operating in the unincorporated areas, denying my family a service we valued, and were willing to pay for.

I was fortunate to get one pickup from Ridwell so far, and recycled several pounds of batteries, light bulbs of all types, and many pieces of plastic film. Waste Management offers no such service: recycling of this type is difficult if not impossible to find otherwise. And the recovery rate for the supposed recyclables that we so carefully clean and sort before commingling in our bin? Dismal.

Waste Management's exclusive franchise agreement in my area essentially locks up any possibility of not only the pick up of important recyclables, but also the efficient and effective recycling of them.

Other Oregon municipalities have supported Ridwell. But Washington County? It appears they don't care. 

Pam Kessinger, Aloha


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