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Local readers react to local races and measures on the November general election ballot, and on national politics.

Everyone vote, and everyone stay peaceful despite outcomes

This election is in our hands. Let's focus on how we can get there peacefully. After all, the American people have the right to choose a president without intimidation and interference.

First and foremost we must vote, everyone! The media needs to educate the public of the probability that the results of this election will not be known on election night. In addition, we need to urge our members of Congress to assemble a bipartisan committee to oversee the integrity of our election.

Democracy Now!

Beth Kerwin, Southeast Portland

Columnist wrong about Measure 110

I write to correct some erroneous information in Jim O'Rourke's opinion piece regarding Measure 110 (Oct. 21 edition).

It's false to say that a child arrested with multiple drugs would only pay $100 fine and the child's parents would not be notified. In truth, the fine would be $100 per substance and parents would be notified, just as they are now.

It's also false to say that the current law gives state-funded treatment to arrested persons. In fact, on a misdemeanor possession offense, the arrestee loses access to the Oregon Health Plan.

And lastly, M110 has no effect on other existing diversion programs.

Leland R. Berger, Attorney at Law, Northeast Portland

Gudman has what it takes to be treasurer

Jeff Gudman will be an outstanding treasurer for the state of Oregon. He has the experience to do it well. Professionally, he has been treasurer for subsidiaries of NW Natural Gas; and treasurer as volunteer for significant non-profits. Government experience: Eight years as a city councilor for Lake Oswego.

I have sat with Jeff in many meetings as a member of the budget committee for Lake Oswego and came to trust him completely.

Dave Beckett, Lake Oswego

Trump has been best president of my lifetime

So, you dislike Trump? He is difficult at times but he's been a superb president. In fact, he's the best president we've had in my lifetime. I'm 90.

Truman was good, JFK was very good, Nixon was smart and Reagan was excellent. I still think Trump is the best.

Why? Because he is totally transparent, gives you his decisions upfront and then produces. He has leveled the playing field for most Americans. He's working every day for all of us.

Bob Gray, Tigard

Glad football is back, but is it safe?

I, like many football fans, am excited that the PAC-12 will be playing football this year but am holding out hope that it can be done safely.

The administration likes to take credit for "bringing back football" but their failure on the coronavirus may well kill it. Games are being postponed in the NFL due to COVID-19 and there was even talk about the Tennessee Titans having to cancel their season due to a team outbreak. Twenty-seven college football games have already been postponed or canceled because of the virus (as of the author's writing).

While the Pac-12 has not started play yet, Arizona's coach recently tested positive for the coronavirus and cases continue to surge in Eugene where the Ducks are practicing. Rather than yelling at college conferences to play football, maybe develop a plan to beat this disease? Maybe actually support the biopharmaceutical companies working tirelessly on a vaccine instead politicizing the pandemic and creating policies that could harm innovation. Oh, and the New Orleans Saints and LA Chargers were this close to moving their Monday game from New Orleans because of Hurricane Delta. Maybe do something to address climate change, too, if you really care at all.

Mick Harris, Southeast Portland

Measure 110 would fix our broken addiction system

There's a lot of misinformation about Measure 110, which would shift Oregon to a health-based approach to drug addiction so people get treatment instead of criminal punishments. As a chief petition who helped write the measure, I'd like to clear a few things up.

Measure 110 will expand access to drug addiction treatment, with more than $100 million of marijuana taxes and law enforcement savings going to treatment services. That's about four times as much as Oregon currently spends in non-Medicaid state resources for substance use disorders. Section 2 of the measure requires this funding to go to treatment, recovery services like peer support, sober housing and harm reduction.

Measure 110 does not legalize drugs. It also makes no change to drug testing, drug courts, parental notification, and crimes associated with drug use. Measure 110 simply decriminalizes misdemeanor drug possession, so people addicted to drugs get citations and access to treatment.

Measure 110 is supported by medical professionals, including the Oregon chapter of the American College of Physicians, the Oregon Nurses Association, the Oregon School Psychologists' Association, the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians — more than 125 organizations in all.

Our current approach to drug addiction in Oregon is failing. The criminal records people get for addiction break apart families and stop people from getting treatment, housing, jobs, professional licenses and more. Measure 110 is a more humane and effective approach.

Anthony Johnson, North Portland

Tax proposals good investments for everyone

For decades now, Oregon has cut funding to our public programs and institutions and instead prioritized tax cuts. It's finally time for us to begin to reverse course and start making major investments in our community. There are many measures on the ballot that will reinvest in our public spaces and vital programs.

I support Measure 26-211 (library bond), Measure 26-213 (parks levy), Measure 26-214 (preschool for all), and Measure 26-215 (PPS school bond) because our parks, libraries, and schools are the lifeblood of our communities. They are the places kids learn, swim, play, and develop into healthy and happy adults.

Voting yes for our community centers, yes for libraries, yes for school and preschool is social justice and racial justice in action. If we want our communities to be safe we have to take care of them. And that means investing in all of the programs that nurture and support our communities. Please join me on finally putting our money where our mouth is: investing in the commons and putting working families first.

Jamie Partridge, Northeast Portland

Smith is good match for Metro Council

In a world where our climate crisis continues to be inadequately addressed (and even outright denied), Chris Smith has stood out as a dedicated climate leader in our community.

A few weeks ago, I watched hazardous smoke fill my beautiful Oregon skies as my home state of Alabama was devastated by yet another hurricane. I am beyond ready, desperate even, to have a climate justice advocate in public office where awareness, dedication and expertise can be transmuted into policy.

Chris Smith has given decades of his time to serving Portland in too many ways to possibly keep track of. Chris started off in public service as his neighborhood transportation chair many years ago, and has taken on mind-boggling amounts of roles and work as a community advocate since then. He devotes an immense amount of time to work to make our community better, particularly in areas such as transportation, sustainability and housing. All of this experience, which includes two decades of volunteering with Metro, has perfectly prepared him to serve on Metro.

Chris Smith is ideally matched for this job. Let's elect Chris to Metro so he can put his vast knowledge and passion to good use for our community.

Kristen Sartor, North Portland

Congress must take action to save businesses

As Congress stalls on a new stimulus package, small-business owners across the country are facing incredibly difficult decisions about keeping our doors open. Time is running out for thousands of small businesses, and if we don't see action on Capitol Hill soon, those decisions will become even more necessary.

Between the devastating pandemic, raging wildfires and civil unrest, small businesses are facing more obstacles than ever before. Even as shutdowns lift, many of us aren't seeing a return in profits to pre-pandemic levels. The Paycheck Protection Program has been an undeniable lifesaver for small businesses, but with loan forgiveness looming and overhead costs remaining high, we are finding that we need a longer-term solution if we are going to stay afloat.

We're not talking about politics here, we're talking about people's livelihood and the viability of the "American Dream." Yet, in the month Congress has been back in session, there hasn't been any kind of bi-partisan agreement that small businesses are worth saving.

Election Day is fast approaching, and I hope to see our elected officials step up and make a second-round of PPP loans available with loan forgiveness parameters that actually make sense for small businesses before Congress leaves Washington this October.

Mike Roach, Southwest Portland

City needs to change the way it governs agencies

Ted Wheeler says he wishes to keep the police bureau if reelected, even though he seems unable to control it. Jo Ann Hardesty wants the Police Bureau under her, although she doesn't have a background in policing.

And Sarah Iannarone says she'll give the police bureau to Hardesty if she is elected.

What appears to be missing here is some realistic discussion about what is really required to improve policing and accountability in light of the city's police union contract. And then, as Commissioner Hardesty proposes, initiate a strong public oversight committee.

Mingus Mapps hits the nail on the head when he suggests the current commission form of government needs to be modified. Elected politicians in charge of city bureaus is ludicrous and not done by any other large city in America because it simply hasn't worked well. And with city commissioners spending so much time focusing on their bureau assignments, they forget about the need to deal with citywide issues as a team. The City Club's recommendations are a good start to be looked at by the Charter Commission. Hire a city manager for the day-to-day administration and make the City Council be the policy and budgetary authority needed in order to get the city out of its current state of dysfunction.

David Krogh, Southeast Portland

Mapps offers a better vision for city's future

We need Mingus Mapps on the Portland City Council.

Mingus is a team player that will work collaboratively with City Council members and people in our community. His website, mingusmapps.com, describes his well-thought out views on priority issues facing Portland today. His opponent, Commissioner Eudaly, is dismantling the neighborhood and coalition systems that have served our community well over more than 40 years.

We need people like Mingus Mapps to build relationships and bring people together from all corners of Portland to make Portland more livable.

Marianne Fitzgerald, Southwest Portland

Vote for Thatcher as our secretary of state

In late 2018 I was a legislative aide for Kim Thatcher, I often relay that I simply, "wouldn't be where I am today" if it weren't for her and her grace as a public servant and a leader.

Kim and many voters understand that there are huge gaps we need to fulfill after Secretary Richardson's passing; knowing Kim on a personal level I can assure you that the scathing reviews of the foster care system — along with their extreme lack of resources both financially and for social workers — will be met with solutions under a Secretary Thatcher.

Kim has for years respected the audits process via her experience on the audits committee, she knows that the office itself is sacrosanct — unlike her opponent, who has spent much of her campaign tweeting about the president, attacking Kim and doing everything in her power to make one of the most non-partisan offices in Oregon into a political spectacle. Do not forget that Oregon's first ever public records advocate, Ginger McCall, had resigned quickly after realizing that our governor's staff had pressured her to align with Gov. Brown on matters of public records, an event that Kim Thatcher was first to point out in session.

I ask that you, the voter, take caution before voting in this race; as every state government in this country deserves at minimum, some decent checks and balances.

Andrew Yoxall, Lake Oswego

Chris Smith has right perspective for Metro role

In a world where our climate crisis continues to be inadequately addressed (and even outright denied), Chris Smith has stood out as a dedicated climate leader in our community. Several weeks ago, I watched hazardous smoke fill my beautiful Oregon skies as my home state of Alabama was devastated by yet another hurricane. I am beyond ready, desperate even, to have a climate justice advocate in public office where awareness, dedication and expertise can be transmuted into policy.

Chris Smith has given decades of his time to serving Portland in too many ways to possibly keep track of. Chris started off in public service as his neighborhood transportation chair many years ago, and has taken on mind-boggling amounts of roles and work as a community advocate since then. He devotes an immense amount of time to work to make our community better, particularly in areas such as transportation, sustainability and housing. All of this experience, which includes two decades of volunteering with Metro, has perfectly prepared him to serve on Metro.

Chris Smith is ideally matched for this job. Let's elect Chris to Metro so he can put his vast knowledge and passion to good use for our community.

Kristen Sartor, North Portland

Preschool for All helps solve some problems

Since May, Multnomah County has been alive with demonstrations supporting racial equality. Black lives undoubtedly matter; however, we must look beyond police brutality and into policies that support BIPOC communities, which is why residents should vote yes on Preschool for All (Measure 26-214) this November.

Measure 26-214 ensures that all 3- and 4-year-olds will be able to attend free, high-quality, culturally relevant, preschool. It also ensures a living wage to those who work in these settings.

Right now, women of color and immigrant women comprise 94% of the child care workforce, typically earning $9.62 per hour. The poverty rate for children of color in Multnomah County (31%) is almost three times that of white children (11%). Measure 26-214 would address this.

Universal preschool programs are uniquely equipped to increase skills and help prepare all children for school, but especially the most vulnerable ones, and create a second generation of higher-wage earners.

Lauren Goldberg, Southeast Portland

Avoid disappointment, vote for Mapps

I voted for Jo Ann Hardesty and she became a self-aggrandizing disappointment.

I also voted for Chloe Eudaly to get rid of Steve Novick and she became an even bigger disappointment.

Mingus Mapps is far and away the best candidate for City Council Seat No. 4 for Portland's future and a more even-minded City Council.

Frank DiMarco, Portland

Measure 110 would improve addiction treatment here

This November, Oregonians are being asked to vote for a more humane, effective approach to substance use disorder. Instead of addressing addiction as a health issue, we continue to arrest and punish people for drugs. It's time for this to change.

It's time we make big moves and big investments to correct these gaps.

The Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act, or Measure 110, is a statewide initiative appearing on this November's ballot. The idea is straightforward: instead of arresting and jailing people for possession of drugs, we would use a portion of existing marijuana tax money to pay for expanded addiction and recovery services.

Our drug laws are deeply inequitable, disproportionately targeting and impacting people of color and in poverty. Regardless of the color of their skin, Oregonians use drugs at similar rates. However, people of color are much more likely to be arrested, charged and convicted of drug crimes. People of color are also sentenced more harshly and pay higher fines.

Addiction is a treatable medical illness. We need to stop punishing people for low-level drug crimes and instead invest to improve access to proven and effective healthcare and human services approaches. Treatment paired with supportive housing and peer support is the most effective, clinically proven approach for long-term health and life stability. Measure 110 will increase investments in recovery services, advancing both health equity and social justice by helping more people enter sustained and successful recovery.

Please join me in voting yes on Measure 110.

(Editor's note: Andrew Mendenhall MD, specializes in addiction medicine and family medicine, and chief medical officer for a nonprofit provider in Multnomah County.)

Andrew Mendenhall, Portland

Thatcher would serve well as secretary of state

I write this letter in support of Kim Thatcher for Secretary of State. Although I am a registered Libertarian, I am crossing party lines and will vote for Kim Thatcher enthusiastically.

Throughout her political career, I have seen Kim Thatcher cross party lines to listen to different ideas, work with the people who hold them, and frequently accommodate their priorities (even when she does not share them) in the interests of good civics. These qualities are hallmarks of a great secretary of state, and are especially important now because of the divisive nature of today's politics.

As the late Dennis Richardson proved, a Republican can serve constructively in a Democratic state like Oregon for the good of us all. Party labels notwithstanding, Kim Thatcher's brand of non-partisan governance is what will bring Oregonians closer together, making it possible to resume building on the best of what we are. For these reasons, I urge everyone across all party lines to vote Kim Thatcher for Secretary of State.

Richard P. Burke

Former Commissioner and Chair, Oregon Government Ethics Commission, Tigard

Vote no to stop Metro's largest-ever tax hike

We're writing to ask you to vote against Metro's largest-ever tax increase.

During the pandemic, our local, family-owned business has watched every penny to keep as many employees on payroll as we possibly can.

That's why Metro's tax proposal is so baffling. It creates a permanent tax on every single one of our employees at the toughest time in the history of our business. Why on earth would Metro slap us with yet another tax that makes it harder to do business?

Not only that, Metro has the power to do whatever it wants with this money. It can change the tax rate at any time, change what the money is funding, and keep the tax on the books so long that today's preschoolers will still be paying for it in a couple of decades.

Please vote against this massive power and money grab.

Drake Snodgrass, Drake's 7 Dees Inc., Portland

Iannarone brings no real experience to mayorship

I would much prefer to write a letter in favor rather than in opposition in the context of the Portland mayoral race. But like many others I am concerned that we are at risk of electing Ms. Iannarone, a pretender.

Mayor Wheeler's halting communication and at times misplaced focus are certainly of concern — not least in his support of the misguided Residential Infill Project. However, his extensive and untarnished if uninspiring administrative experience in government is not. This stands in strong contrast to Ms. Iannarone who wears her opportunism and inexperience wrapped in a great deal of hot air.

Ms Iannarone's baloney is exemplified in the All But Dissertation Ph.D.(ABD) that Willamette Week recently highlighted. While an oleaginous claim, the almost-degree is arguably an accomplishment even if never completed. On the other hand, her claims to be an internationally renowned expert and consultant in "urban policy and best practices" advising "global leaders" (not to mention ardent anti-fascist) certainly bear equal scrutiny. The qualifying experience Ms. Iannarone cites in her Voter's Pamphlet statement and on the web point to her some-time-ago role as an assistant to Nancy Hales's developer-funded PSU First Stop Portland office. There she guided tours of Portland's urban rejuvenation policies and its sustainable building efforts. The program was intended to highlight the work of sponsoring Portland developers and their architects and to enhance Portland's gilded, if now tarnished, reputation.

Anyone, of course, can claim to be a consultant. Checking her web presence including LinkedIn, there appears to be no evidence to support claims that Iannarone has had a consultancy and no evidence of clients. While the city tours hosted international visitors, it is a step beyond puffery to claim international recognition as a consultant. Presumably Iannarone learned a good deal from the tour guide experience. She is not bashful and evidences a knack for jargon. However, her style of misleading self-presentation is resonant with the braggart who is running our country into a ditch. Just the kind of leadership we don't need in the mayor of our city. Mayor Wheeler deserves another term.

Rod Merrick, Portland

Tired of violence in city but still voting for Wheeler

We are dissatisfied with the City's response to ongoing violence and destruction in our downtown neighborhood.

It would be understandable for us to support Mayor Wheeler's challenger in this election.

We do not.

Sarah Iannarone has never won elected office. She has no elected political experience.

She has hopes for Portland that may be worthy.

Perhaps in 2022 she will run for a seat on the commission and, if elected, give voters a chance to see if her vision translates into reality.

In the meantime we choose to support Mayor Ted Wheeler with our votes.

Chris and Tom Neilsen, Southwest Portland

Smith sees big picture, would serve well at Metro

The 2020 climate fires were not a surprise — they were the tragic but utterly predictable result of choices we've been making for decades. The question is, will we make better decisions now that we're reaping what we've sown? We often think of these choices in terms of national politics, but local elections also have large climate implications.

Nowhere is this clearer than in our Metro council election. Metro governs the transportation infrastructure of the busiest part of Oregon, and decisions made by Metro therefore have a disproportionately large effect on the entire state's carbon footprint. We need people who will reduce that footprint, not enlarge it.

Chris Smith was an early opponent of the proposed Rose Quarter highway expansion, rightly noting that it would enlarge our carbon footprint, degrade local air quality and only temporarily relieve traffic congestion. Why spend public monies on a temporary fix that invites a repeat of the 2020 climate fires when we could invest in green transportation infrastructure that fixes our problems at their source?

To her credit, Mary Nolan eventually joined her opponent in opposing the freeway expansion; it is refreshing to know that whoever wins, we will likely be better off. However, this is just one of many climate choices facing the winner of this race. Mr. Smith has consistently demonstrated his commitment to climate stability and can be relied on to make the right decisions.

Colin Duncan, Northwest Portland

Students work to elect Beaverton's next mayor

We are the students for Lacey Beaty. We wanted to share a few of the reasons we support her for Beaverton mayor.

When Lacey launched her campaign 11 months ago, she made an effort to encourage, involve and extend leadership opportunities to students. Since the beginning she has made each of us feel like an important member of the team. Together we have been making hundreds of hours of phone calls, walked miles helping with literature dropping and participated in policy discussions on affordable housing, public safety and more.

Lacey has made us feel like our voices matter and that even though most of us can't vote (this time around) that we deserve to be included in the process. All of us have learned so much during these past few months — from leadership skills, to time management, project management and communication styles. We've all grown in our ways. We are proud to be part of the change in Beaverton. And we are proud to continue supporting the only candidate who listens, supports and involves the next generation, Lacey Beaty.

Olivia Ross Daniel Hadi Alexander Lim Asha Mohan Jhanvi Venkitesh Naveena Venkitesh Elizabeth Holm Maida Tahirkelli Lucas Chua, Beaverton

League supports children's safety levy measure

The League of Women Voters of Clackamas County strongly supports Measure 3-564, the Children's Safety Levy. We clearly understand the urgent need to increase services for children impacted by violence, abuse or neglect within our county. Too many children have already fallen through the cracks due to lack of coordinated funding, and the time is now to remedy the situation.

We believe the proposal is well-designed to expand the array of services and get funds quickly to established community-based organizations, so many more vulnerable children can be helped. We proudly join the broad coalition of supporters for this measure and urge a "yes" vote on Measure 3-564.

Marge Easley

League of Women Voters of Clackamas County, Wilsonville


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