Letters: Paper wrong about homeless measure
Your endorsement refusal and editorial urging a "no" vote on the Metro homeless ballot measure No. 26-210 is factually inaccurate with logical inconsistencies ("Vote 'no' on Metro homeless measure,' PortlandTribune.com).
Homelessness was the No. 1 concern of your readers going into the pandemic. If we don't do anything about our homelessness crisis now, we will lose the community we love when coming out it.
A few factual corrections worth noting:
The ballot measure was not written "hurriedly" by Metro: It was created over two years by a coalition of well-informed organizations and individuals, aided by expert reports.
As your paper stated: "The Metro homeless services measure may be supported by the largest coalition ever put together for a funding request. Ballot Measure 26-210 is endorsed by a who's who of hundreds of regional community leaders, nonprofit organizations, business groups, labor unions and activists."
The measure does not impede the recovery of the economy. In fact, it will be an economic stimulus by providing systemic relief for those experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness. More than 94% of all businesses and 90% of individuals will pay zero taxes under this measure.
Meanwhile, the proceeds of the revenue will be used in our local economy to ensure case managers, mental and physical health providers, alcohol and drug treatment counselors, job trainers and other frontline service providers have the resources they need to support the 30,000 people in our community experiencing homelessness.
We do not want our area to continue to be recognized as No. 1 in the country for child homelessness, nor do we want to see people's misery every day while they are sleeping on the streets. Rather than your sentiment of nice but not now, the correct response is now more than ever, we can — and must — do better here together, and with Measure No. 26-210, we will.
HereTogether board chair
Stephenson best choice for District 33
Now more than ever, we need partners at the state level who will give the people of Washington County the voice they deserve in the Capitol. That's why I'm elated to endorse Christina Stephenson for House District 33.
As the only small business owner seeking election in District 33, Stephenson brings real-world perspective to many of the issues important to rebuilding our economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stephenson firmly believes businesses that don't play by the rules shouldn't have a competitive advantage in this state, which is why she works not only to level the playing field for responsible businesses, but to also fight for tax code fairness.
In her position as a civil rights lawyer, Stephenson has made advocating for others her life's work. She shares my longtime goal of improving access to government for all citizens of Washington County, particularly people of color. She'll fight for fairness and demand inclusion.
As both a caretaker to a dying parent and a mother forced to return to work much too soon after the birth of her son, she has fought to ensure that Oregonians have access to sufficient bereavement and family leave.
Her work helped to get paid family medical leave passed last session, the most progressive bill of its kind in the country. The current pandemic dramatically underscores the importance of paid family medical leave to provide economic stability and I know Stephenson will work to expand vital programs for working Oregonians.
Experiencing unstable economic conditions while growing up in Washington County inspired her passion for representing her neighbors in need. By volunteering for organizations that promote environmental, immigration, housing and reproductive justice issues, Stephenson has proven her dedication to making her community a better place time and again.
We can depend on Stephenson to help move Washington County forward! For all of us.
Washington County Commission chair
Vote for William Miller in HD50 primary
Across the Portland metro region, and across the state, Oregonians lack access to the range of services needed to help them. One example I like to highlight: If someone decides they want to get clean and sober — stop using drugs and alcohol — the science shows that if a person acts, they do so within 48 hours to be successful.
Oregon has zero beds — none — that someone can check into within 48 hours. This is a fundamental misalignment between what our community needs. What it has is nothing short of tragic.
Now, more than ever, due to the COVID-19 crisis, folks are hurting. Ensuring that folks have resources, and have access to those resources regardless of wealth, race and identity is critical.
That's why I urge you to vote for William Miller for state representative in District 50, by May 19.
William has been a friend for a number of years, and his connection to making sure Oregonians have access to mental health and addiction services is real.
Through his friends, family and community, William has seen how these issues impact nearly every aspect of someone's life, and how they hold back so many Oregonians from being successful.
Because of his deep connection to these issues, he has fought and pushed for change. William has spent years working at the county, state and federal levels to enact laws categorizing substance-use disorder as a chronic illness, which is now law in Oregon.
William has real experience, a real connection and real skills needed to address Oregon's mental health and addiction issues needed to build a better Oregon for everyone.
Vote for Saultz or House District 33
Democratic candidate Andy Saultz is the right person to represent House District 33 and will move Oregon forward in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saultz is a college professor who researches the intersections between education, health and economic policy. Now more than ever, we need legislators with expertise in these areas and his skill set will be instrumental in rebuilding Oregon's economy, supporting workers and small businesses, giving students the tools to succeed and making health care affordable and accessible for all Oregonians.
In addition to Andy's impressive policy background, he has deep roots in our community and an impressive track record of consensus building. He and his wife both grew up in House District 33, attended Sunset High School, and are now raising their sons in the community that they grew up in. Andy's willingness to listen, include community voices in policymaking and consider other perspectives will make him an incredible representative for the people of HD 33.
I urge everyone in House District 33 to vote for Andy Saultz. He will be an outstanding partner and truly represent the needs of House District 33 and Senate District 17.
Elizabeth Steiner Hayward
Senate District 17
Rose Quarter project won't ease traffic woes
I found Brian Libby's insight, in, "Learning From Portland's Harbor Drive," to be sadly true.
The proposed expansion of I-5 at the Rose Quarter may not bring the relief it promises.
Robert Moses, the city official and "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City promised to ease congestion in NYC's bridges and parkways time and again by his building more bridges and highways: The Triborough Bridge in 1936; The Wantagh State Parkway Extension in 1938; the Bronx-Whitestone bridge, for examples ("The Power Broker, Robert Moses and the Fall of New York," by Robert A. Caro).
With each new addition, instead of a reduction of New York City traffic from the increase in options for getting around, traffic only got worse, much worse. Why? Because the promise of easier, faster driving conditions brought additional drivers into the stream.
Lesson learned? Even smart transportation planners may not be able to predict with certainty what the result of expanding I-5 will be. If our goal for the city is less congestion, let's not invite more driving.
Bussell would serve House District 33 well
My name is Anu Sawkar, and I live in Washington County within House District 33. I am an environmental attorney and I am supporting Serin Bussell for our next state representative.
In addition to the new normal of coronavirus, Oregon is facing climate, education and health care crises.
We need to act now and make sure we are better prepared for what is to come. Bussell is the best candidate to help Oregon navigate these challenges and work for a more equitable future.
Bussell believes we must invest in public transportation, renewable energy projects and a just transition for workers. She believes we need to hold polluters accountable and work alongside impacted communities to fight for environmental justice.
Bussell is a geologist, former chief of staff to state Sen. Jeff Golden, and the board chair of Crag Law Center (an environmental nonprofit). She knows that we have to be ready for the next "Big One," she understands how our state government works, and she has been supporting the fight against fossil fuel infrastructure expansion in Oregon.
I am voting for Serin Bussell on May 19, and I encourage you to do the same.
Those opting to keep Oregon closed causing hardship
For the people crying for the country to remain shut down, answer these questions:
How many children should starve in order to make you feel safe?
How many families must go bankrupt in order to make you feel safe?
How many wives and children must be stuck at home with an abusive partner/parent in order to make you feel safe?
How many business owners should lose everything they've worked for in order to make you feel safe?
How many people are you comfortable with committing suicide from hopelessness and financial ruin in order to make you feel safe?
How many people have to lose their jobs, their health insurance, their life savings and most important precious time with their family and loved ones they will never get back to make you feel safe?
Come up with an actual number, don't just dismiss the questions. Come up with the number of people that you think should surrender their lives for your feelings and your safety.
Does it make you feel safer knowing that your unwarranted fear and panic are costing others their livelihoods and even their own lives?
Each time you whine and complain about keeping the country shut down, remember what it's costing other people for you to sit in your house watching TV, swallowing the panic narrative and hoarding toilet paper.
Also, remember this — If the TV news had never told you to be afraid of this virus, you wouldn't have. You'd have never given it a thought, you'd have gone about your life as usual along with everyone else. You'd likely have never known there was a virus at all, you'd have thought that this was just another type of flu.
So, remember that all your fear and panic exists because you were told to live in fear and panic. Regardless of whether things reopen or not, you still have the choice to stay home and not go places if you feel that is what is best for you and your family.
Governor subverting wishes of electorate
With the extension of her executive order requiring Oregonians to shelter-in-place until July 6, Gov. Kate Brown has, in my opinion, demonstrated her complete and utter disregard for the economic damage her orders have caused the citizens of this state.
Her earlier executive order making the "cap-and-trade" bill into state law was another demonstration of her utter disregard for the wishes of the electorate of this state.
The fact that the Republicans twice used the same technique first demonstrated by the Democrats several years ago to subvert her wishes for the cap-and-trade bill so incensed the governor's sense of decorum that she apparently decided she could be a dictator and do what she wishes by fiat.
When those who govern are subject to the same laws as the citizens at whom the laws are directed, we are governed. When those who govern are not subject to those same laws, we are ruled. I believe we are being ruled by an arbitrary executive. I would direct your attention to the second paragraph of the U.S. Declaration of Independence for a primer on what our forefathers thought our actions should be when faced with a ruler instead of a fellow citizen who happens to be governor.
Brown should arrest those who ignore quarantine
Apparently, we are not in this together.
To Gov. Kate Brown: We vulnerable seniors are now trapped in our homes to avoid getting COVID-19 from self-centered people like Glamour Hair in Salem ("Salem salon owner opens despite threat of fines," KOIN News 6). They are defiantly disobeying your ruling ... and doing it publicly. They will continue to threaten other people's safety until you
arrest them! Your inaction suggests that you are not on the side of safety.
Governor, I am alone and I need to get food and medicine. But as long as there are selfish people wandering the streets flouting your rules, I and other vulnerable people are at risk. Is this fair? I think not. This defiance would not happen in New York. Why? Because they have a strong governor!
Just because the White House gives people permission to do whatever they want, please remember this: You are in charge in Oregon! Listen to those who listen to science and safety; send out a clear signal to those who do not and arrest them. My health care leader is Dr. Anthony Fauci (director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases). Who is yours?
Lisa Reynolds deserves vote for District 36
As a retired certified nurse-midwife, I applaud all the doctors, nurses and other frontline health care workers risking their lives to save ours from the ravages of COVID-19.
Some of my physician and nurse friends, including Dr. Lisa Reynolds, were instrumental in influencing Gov. Kate Brown to issue the stay-at-home orders that have helped flatten our curve.
We know the economic distress in Oregon will be severe. Medical expertise will be absolutely vital in guiding our recovery to avoid a resurgence. That's why I strongly endorse the candidacy of pediatrician Dr. Lisa Reynolds for House District 36. She already has a plan for this on her website.
Reynolds' care of Oregon families has honed her skills in assessing and solving problems, which will translate to legislative work. Over a quarter of Oregon's budget involves health care now, and that is likely to increase because of the pandemic.
We need a doctor in the Oregon House who thinks deeply about human needs, brings broad understanding of public health, and compassion for all Oregonians. The Portland Tribune was the first to endorse Reynolds, followed by Willamette Week and The Oregonian. She's the consensus candidate to lead in HD 36.
Judith A. Fardig
Too many are cowering in face of coronavirus
I have lived through the assassination of two Kennedys, one King, a bunch of kids at Columbine and Las Vegas, and 9/11, Katrina, the 2008 crash, a number of other plagues and more wars than fit in a history book. And none of them ever brought American life to an absolute halt.
In fact, often the reverse occurred — people rose to the occasion, marshaled skills and resources, donated time and money, and took on the societal challenger head to head. And every time we have prevailed. That is the dream the dreamers dreamed when they invented America.
So I have to ask:
Have we forgotten those who crossed the line in the sand at the Alamo? Those few who took on hijackers over Pennsylvania on 9/11?
Does the prospect of contracting a flu — 0.8% in Oregon — even dying from it — 0.0023% in Oregon — demand the gutting of our economy and putting to risk the lives of hundreds of thousands of Oregonians?
A hundred people die every day in Oregon in a normal year. Oregon is barely at that number after three months! In the United States, 15,000 to 80,000 have died each year of the past decade from the regular flu. The one we scoffed at and for which we rarely get shots.
Imagine! Trump having the best idea: America has to return to normal life even if it means more cases and deaths. His most vocal adversary recently, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, agrees: "The faster we reopen, the lower the economic cost, but the higher the human cost because the more lives lost," he said. "That, my friends, is the decision we are really making. What is that tradeoff?"
I remember Mr. Spock constantly reminding us that the fate of the many always overrides the fate of the individual.
Miller would be best pick for House District 50
As a teacher, I watch as Oregon works to improve our education system, from updating and supporting curriculum to make it more culturally competent and relevant, to increasing funding to schools across the state to $2 billion per biennium.
William Miller has consistently been a part of this state level change, and he deserves your vote as the next state representative of House District 50.
Through his work at Native American Youth and Family Centers, William has worked to uplift low-income students and students of color. As a graduate of an east-county school, Miller is acutely aware of issues faced in our schools, and has spent time in Salem working with legislators, school districts and partners from across the state enacting real change for our community.
I first met Miller as a student over 10 years ago, and he has been a tireless champion for education ever since. He exhibits a passionate and dedicated spirit to learning and leadership, and I have watched proudly as he used these skills to support educators and students.
When I think of how education will have to change in response to the COVID-19 crisis, it is apparent we need leaders who know our state education system, and who can work collaboratively and effectively to serve Gresham students. Distance education is difficult, and ensuring all children have the proper technology, including basic Wi-Fi, is a struggle throughout House District 50. Miller has experience working on comprehensive state education policy; experience that will be invaluable as the state continues to adapt our education system.
This is why the American Federation Teachers Oregon, Gresham Barlow School board chair and state Rep. Carla Piluso, myself and many other education experts and advocates steadfastly support Miller.
Please join your community in voting for William Miller on May 19.
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