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Denyse McGriff quotes MLK in saying 'time is right' for Clackamas County commissioner to step down

All four Oregon City commissioners are calling on embattled Clackamas County Commissioner Mark Shull to resign immediately in light of his racist and bigoted statements.Denyse McGriff

City Commissioner Denyse McGriff quoted Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous statement that "the time is always right to do what is right" in calling out Shull's "non-apology" to groups he had harmed with his statements.

McGriff hopes Shull will "do the right thing" by resigning immediately, and the other commissioners agreed during their Jan. 20 meeting to sign a statement endorsed by the vast majority of other elected officials throughout the metro area.

"It is clear that Mr. Shull is not interested in doing what is right, nor is he interested in trying to understand the hurt, fear and anger he's caused," McGriff said.

Oregon City commissioner and mayoral candidate Rachel Lyles Smith is among those who added their names to the list of more than 100 elected officials across the metro area calling for Shull to resign. Lyles Smith, as a fellow Republican and commission president at the time, also was a key figure in the recall of Dan Holladay.

"Shull does not reflect the kind of leadership we need in Clackamas County," Lyles Smith wrote in a post to her public Facebook page. "His comments do not unite our community or create a welcoming environment for all individuals."

Lyles Smith provided these additional comments in announcing her name had been added to the letter to Shull from the region's elected officials. Here's the text of the letter signed by about 100 elected officials, including Lyles Smith and other members of the OC Commission:

"Together as elected leaders we represent the region and the people of the Portland metropolitan area, and we stand united in utter horror over the comments written, shared, and endorsed by Clackamas County Commissioner Mark Shull on social media.

His hateful, inflammatory rhetoric cast dangerous bigotry and intolerance on many historically marginalized groups, including Muslims, immigrants, and transgender people. The volume and breadth of the comments demonstrate a severe disconnect with the shared values of Clackamas County, and we have lost any trust in his ability to serve our shared constituents of the county equitably and justly. ?We call on Commissioner Shull to resign immediately.

"To those targeted by Commissioner Shull, we stand with you and take seriously our job to provide equitable representation, protection and service to every member of our communities. We uphold our commitment to protect all of the people we represent and to speak out against racism, hate, bigotry and other forms of intolerance that have no place in our society.

"As elected leaders we know our words matter and carry force. The signatories to this letter represent a wide continuum of perspectives and beliefs, and we respect that diverse ideas generate the sound policy that in turn moves our communities forward. What is not open for debate is the worth of all people regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender identity, or otherwise. We cannot work with a County Commissioner who has clearly demonstrated a belief quite to the contrary and that puts our residents and communities at risk."


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