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Editor's note: The following letters are related to the May 19 primary election but did not make into our last print edition.

(Clackamas County Chairman Jim) Bernard and his colleagues have advocated tirelessly for the residents of Clackamas County at Metro government, the state level and even the federal level. He's brought new funding to the county to help us build the desperately needed courthouse (before the old one falls off the cliff in Oregon City). He has advocated for highway funding and secured funds to improve county roads.

On Chair Bernard's watch, Clackamas County is in good financial shape, even going into this unforeseen economic crisis brought on by the global pandemic. With a well-designed and implemented fiscal processes in place, our county has earned the high AAA bond rating. This is the highest possible rating and translates into low interest when our county needs to go out for needed bonds.

Chair Bernard provides much-needed leadership during the current pandemic, provided desperately needed support to the most vulnerable in our community — particularly seniors, veterans, homeless. Clackamas County was early to declare a county state of emergency, saving countless lives.

We need him to continue advocating for us at every other level of government, so let's re-elect Chair Bernard to the Clackamas County Commission!

Cornelia Gibson

Wilsonville

Kroll best choice for circuit court judge

We are jointing writing to endorse Edward Kroll as Circuit Court judge in Washington County.

Through the years, we have had the pleasure of getting to know Edward Kroll. Sarah has known Edward Kroll since 2012 while she was working in public defense in Washington County and Scott got to know Ed through Sarah. Although Washington County is large, the legal community is small. Sarah witnessed Ed present to the courts, advocate for his clients and lead the legal community through his work with various legal organizations. Even when Sarah transferred her practice to civil litigation, she still had the opportunity to work with Ed, sharing a mutual client in a different context.

Ed's time in practice has been marked with integrity, professionalism and a dedication to the law. Similarly, if you spoke to him about his family life, you would hear a similar devotion, a quality that will serve him well as he has to evaluate cases that impact the lives of Washington County residents. The need for quality people in these important positions cannot be underestimated. Ed's varied experience, commitment to justice and demeanor are some of the many reasons he will be an excellent Washington County Judge.

Vote for Edward Kroll. He is not only the best candidate, but the Judge Washington County needs.

Scott and Sarah Kveton

Northwest Portland

Vote Bussell for House District 33 seat

My first session in the Oregon Senate in 2019 was more effective and enjoyable because I had the good sense to hire Serin Bussell to be my chief of staff. She responded to constituents with consistent compassion and diligence, leaving no stone unturned en route to solutions.

Serin's collaborative style and knowledge of the Oregon Constitution and good governance practices were especially valuable through the complex process of moving campaign finance reform through the Legislature. Her skilled work is one of the reasons we'll get to vote on SJR18 this November to clearly establish our right to regulate campaign finances in the public interest.

Until SJR18 passes, Oregon remains one of only five states with no campaign contribution limits. Serin decided to limit contributions to her current campaign nonetheless. Her commitment to constituents, collaborative style and integrity make her exactly the type of person I'd like to keep working with, this time as a colleague, to effectively meet the challenges Oregon is facing.

I hope House District 33 voters will make that happen.

Sen. Jeff Golden, Ashland

Oregon District 3

Kroll has experience to serve as county judge

I am writing to share my perspective on why Edward Kroll will make an excellent Washington County Circuit Court Judge.

I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Edward for the last decade, and I can unequivocally say that he has what it takes to be a great judge. I write this with conviction, because I have observed Edward countless times demonstrating the traits that I think are imperative to being a fair jurist.

Edward is thoughtful, empathetic, intelligent and principled. Edward has repeatedly demonstrated that he has the spine to hold true to his principles, and that he will not be swayed by outside pressure. Edward firmly believes that the rule of law is imperative to society, and that a judge holds a special position in the community as not only the arbiter of law, but also as a force behind societal progress.

Edward Kroll has the experience that is essential to being a good judge. A large portion of Edward's practice is trial work. He is the rare lawyer who routinely sees the inside of a courtroom. Consequently, his experience is tailor made for the role of an Oregon trial court judge.

It is with great pleasure that I have endorsed Edward Kroll for Washington County Circuit Court Judge. Please vote to elect Edward Kroll on May 19.

Justin Johnson

Southwest Portland

Support Reynolds campaign in House District 36

I am writing in support of Dr. Lisa Reynolds to represent my family and community as House representative for District 36 in Portland. Lisa is endorsed by the Portland Tribune, Willamette Week and the Oregonian. As a health care worker, parent and community volunteer, I strongly believe Dr. Reynolds will represent the best interests of all members of our community.

During this unprecedented public health crisis, the fragility and disparities of our health care system have been laid bare. In-depth medical knowledge and first-hand connections to health care systems and how they serve the public is paramount. Unfortunately, this experience is minimal in our current legislature. Dr. Reynolds embodies these skills and would bring a new perspective to issues that have become divisive and partisan.

Through this devastating epidemic can come opportunity. That opportunity for Oregon should be Dr. Lisa Reynolds.

Deedra Weill

Southwest Portland

Rosenthall would serve Metro Council well

I enthusiastically recommend a vote for Gerritt Rosenthal for Metro Council Position 3 in the May 19 election.

I have worked with Gerritt for a number of years in shared civic volunteer activities, and he is passionate about making regional government work for everyone. He has lived in rural Tualatin for more than 25 years, so has a firm grasp of regional key issues, and is deeply committed to solving our common regional problems fairly and wisely.

His background in environmental and solid waste assessments and land use planning, plus past experience working for both regional government and for municipal and county governments, provides him with a broad regional perspective that will serve all of us well in the Metro decision-making that impacts our region.

The Metro Council needs skilled passionate Gerritt Rosenthal on board; please cast your vote for him in this election!

Debby Garman

Hillsboro

Metro's tax plan will lead to higher prices

Two new taxes now? Will the timing of the new financial burden of Metro's Measure 26-210 create more homeless? They claim these new taxes will help the homeless. It just might create more instead.

Asking for thousands of dollars in new taxes from families and businesses that already are struggling to pay their mortgage and car payments and trying to keep employees is unacceptable.

The costs of implementing more taxes always finds its way to the prices of things we buy. More taxes, higher prices. And right now is not the time for higher prices. Please join me in voting "no" on Metro's new taxes Measure 26-210. We can't afford it, especially right now.

Jared Tjaden

Gresham

Mapps is best choice to serve in City Hall

Portlanders have a steep array of choices to make come May 19. One issue that I'm focused on as I make my decision is how we're going to rebuild our economy. COVID-19 has ravaged small businesses and upended employment numbers and Portlanders are feeling the effects. Soon we will be turning to our local officials and community leaders to guide Portland into a place of economic normalcy.

After reading OPB's landscape of the Portland City Council Position 4 race, I'm convinced that we need the strong redevelopment-based leadership of Mingus Mapps.

Mapps has a wealth of experience in what we'll be struggling with on the tail end of this pandemic. Whether it be working with the city of Portland's Neighborhood Association to strengthen community ties or serving as a leader among small businesses in historic Parkrose, Mingus's strengths are aligned with our needs.

His emphasis on evidence and listening-based policies indicate that he will be a passionate voice for Portlanders in the journey to rebuild — a dramatic departure from the current tenure of (Incumbent Chloe) Eudaly.

I hope that my fellow neighbors will do their part to learn about Mapps, check out his website or Zoom call, and vote for him in the upcoming primary.

Nicholas Gothard

Portland

Tax to help homeless deserves 'yes' vote

In April, the board of directors of the Portland Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) decided to endorse the May homelessness ballot Measure 26-210.

Our association represents over 700 people from Portland's downtown. Because our members have stated emphatically that homelessness is their No. 1 priority, the DNA held a forum last November, involving over 200 downtowners, which set in motion a plan to mitigate homelessness in downtown Portland.

The DNA board believes that the urgency of the homelessness crisis makes delay unacceptable, even at a time of economic uncertainty. Taxpayers already have stepped forward to fund two initiatives to expand housing, but this takes time.

In the meantime, mental health and addiction services and renter relief are essential to address the current crisis and respond to the possibility of thousands more metro-area residents losing their livelihood and housing.

When the homelessness ballot initiative was announced, we provided DNA members with facts and information from HereTogether, the measure's sponsor, and asked downtowners to send us tough questions about the ballot measure.

From the responses, we put together 16 challenging questions. The questions and HereTogether's answers (available on website: PortlandDowntownNA.com) were then sent out to our members. We asked them to respond with a "yes" or "no" on whether the DNA should endorse the ballot measure. In all, 86.6% responded to the poll with a "yes."

Oregonians have a history of courageous and bold decisions that have defined who we are as a people. We urge you to join us in continuing this tradition and supporting the homelessness ballot initiative.

Walter Weyler, board president

Southwest Portland

Media treats lesser-known candidates unfairly

The print and TV media has not treated all Portland City Council candidates fairly or equally by only presenting coverage on candidates that have insider political connections, raised the most dollars, have deep pockets to fund their own campaigns and/or are beholden to special interest groups or the public employee unions that want to control politics statewide.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, neighborhood associations city-wide and other grass roots organizations were unable to conduct planned candidate events. Numerous other events where planned campaigning could take place were also cancelled. The lesser known and grass roots candidate campaigns have been negatively impacted by local news room non-reporting and the absence of an equal opportunity. Trolling the internet for unreferenced individual candidate information does not replace the silence of the news broadcast and print media.

It is probably too late now, but if I had foreseen this lack of equity, I would have painstakingly picketed with campaign signage outside the various news outlets on a rotational basis.

Terry Parker, candidate, Portland City Commissioner, Position No. 2

It's time to begin reopening Oregon

As of this writing, Gov. Kate Brown's Executive Order 20-12 has been in effect for more than a month, limiting Oregonians' freedom in response to the COVID-19 epidemic.

In early March the executive order was necessary, COVID-19 cases were doubling every three days and we knew that swift, decisive action was the only way to save lives and prevent the virus from overwhelming the medical system.

Today, things are different, and it's time to begin reopening Oregon by executing Phase 1 of the federal government's plan for reopening states.

I've always believed that you should have the freedom to be as reckless as you choose to be as long as your actions don't hurt anyone else. "Your right to swing your fist ends where my face begins," as the saying goes.

The biggest danger we face from COVID-19 is overwhelming the medical system. If you contract the virus and need medical care but aren't able to get it, your chance of dying is many times greater than if you do.

This is the point where the actions of some can get others killed and where the government needs to step in and limit behavior. But thanks to Brown's swift action and Oregonians' willingness to abide by the executive order, we are nowhere near overwhelming the hospitals, and COVID-19 cases have started to decline.

During the reopening, it's important that everyone take personal responsibility for their own health. If you have underlying health conditions that put you at higher risk, you have the freedom to take additional steps to protect yourself, such as wearing a mask, extra social distancing or simply staying home.

Each person should have the freedom to determine for themselves what level of risk they're willing to accept, and as long as the total caseload doesn't exceed the hospitals' capacity, your chance of dying remains at roughly 0.2% or 1 in 500. It's also important to continue ramping up our testing program and to monitor hospitals' status in case the virus makes a resurgence.

But why even take the risk of reopening? Because never in the history of the human race have we eradicated a disease exclusively through quarantine or lockdown. COVID-19 is here to stay and the best we can do is mitigate its damage until a vaccine is discovered, which could take years, if we find one at all.

Unemployment is reaching levels not seen since 1929 and on May 1, millions of Americans had rent due that they aren't able to pay. The COVID-19 lockdown is disproportionately affecting hourly workers, young people and those least able to withstand it. Domestic violence is up, mental health crises are up. This is not about golf and haircuts; this is about peoples' lives and livelihoods.

Everyone should have the freedom to take whatever risks they feel are appropriate as long as those risks don't hurt anyone else. As long as we reopen slowly and in phases, we can reliably stay below the threshold where we would overwhelm the hospitals and avoid causing more deaths.

The time to begin reopening Oregon is now!

James Ball

Portland

(Editor's note: James Ball is a candidate for state representative in District 36)

Candidate: Make sure you know your rights

The global COVID-19 pandemic has Oregonians questioning their health, their income and, more importantly, their rights as Oregonians.

As COVID-19 continues to illuminate glaring inequities in how society functions, it's important to be informed. As a public defense service provider and candidate for Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge, it's important that we understanding our rights.

On a basic level, should you encounter police, the following information is useful:

If arrested, you have the right to know the charges.

You can express that you wish to freely go if there are no charges.

You may advise an officer not to enter your home and you do not consent to any search of your home, car or personal property without a warrant.

You may ask to speak with your attorney prior to a breath, urine or blood test.

You can express that you wish to remain silent.

You can have an attorney present if being questioned.

You can work with an attorney if the police ask for a waiver of your rights under U.S. and Oregon constitutions.

You can clarify if an officer asks a question. "Is this a request or demand?" You may deny to comply with a request but should comply with demands and let your attorney deem later if the demand was lawful.

John Schlosser

Candidate, Multnomah County judge

Southeast Portland


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