Letters to the editor
Gov. Roberts endorses Adrian Brown for judgeship
The events of the last weeks have, I believe, underscored for all of us the importance of a strong, fair and independent judiciary — all the way from the Supreme Court to right here in Multnomah County. When I was governor, I considered the appointment of judges to be one of the most important responsibilities that I had, and, as a voter, I still take that responsibility very seriously: that's why I have endorsed Adrian Brown for judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Adrian has devoted her career to fighting for Civil Rights and has shown an abiding commitment to equal access to justice and fair treatment for all. As the National Civil Rights Coordinator for President Obama's Justice Department, she created new civil rights positions nationwide, having a lasting impact across the country. Local civil rights leaders in our community have watched her tireless work over the years and that's why she has won their overwhelming endorsements in this campaign.
These are difficult times. And we have some hard work ahead of us here in Multnomah County as we move toward making our home a more just and equal place. Adrian has the qualities and the experience that make her uniquely suited for this task. She is smart and tough, but also compassionate and fair. She is exactly the kind of Judge that Multnomah County needs now.
Gov. Barbara Roberts, Northwest Portland
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
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
Vote now to address climate change
The covid-19 pandemic is a dress rehearsal for the next world disaster. The next world disaster will be much more severe. There will not be a vaccine or treatment available. It could last decades. It will be much worse than any shelter-in-place yet experienced. The disappointing point is that we can see it coming well in advance. The next world disaster is going to be climate change. All too often disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires etc. are described as: deadly, life-threatening, historical, record setting, devastating, unprecedented, horrific, or catastrophic. How many 100- to 500-year events can we have every few years?
One of the largest contributors to climate change is CO2. The lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere is decades. We are approaching the highest CO2 level in the atmosphere ever achieved.
To quote a recent Oregonian article "These trends are all consistent with rapid global warming driven by human emission of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels."
It all seems very daunting. There are still choices available. First, reduce your carbon footprint. There are web sites like www.globalstewards.org/reduce-carbon-footprint.htm . Read books like "Drawdown." Second, for personal fossil fueled vehicles use checkout www.iturnitoff.com . Third, vote for candidates who believe in science. Vote for your children and grand children's future.
Our climate is not better off now than it was four years ago. Our climate is changing faster than we are.
Stephen Kingsbury, Beaverton
Physician: Vote yes on Measure 110
I have been a preventive medicine physician for more than 25 years and I have seen the whole range of patients struggling with substance use problems. One thing is clear, they need treatment, not punishment.
Besides the personal need for treatment is our need as a society to spend money in productive ways and there is no question that helping someone get treatment is a much more effective and less expensive solution to this situation. We can get better health care outcomes, improve people's lives, help people become more productive members of society, save money, and be more caring all at the same time.
Please vote yes on Measure 110.
Ken Goldberg, Northwest Portland
Co-signers back Adrian Brown for judgeship
We, as individuals and leaders in our diverse communities, write to affirm our support of Adrian L. Brown for judge. Adrian has courage. She was the singular trial attorney in the Portland U.S. Attorney office to champion the request to open the first ever federal investigation concerning policing practices. Adrian has vision for community.
She was a voice for change in policing practices, and she advocated for independent community oversight to continue long past her involvement. Adrian didn't stop there. She reached out to Black and brown communities to bridge the trust gap with law enforcement. Adrian is a compassionate leader . She seeks opportunities to push for change from within, and she has continued to champion civil rights for vulnerable communities, despite the Administration's considerable internal barriers. We have developed relationships with Adrian because of these qualities. She has shown up when others have not. We publicly shared our support at the beginning of this competitive judicial election, and we continue to strongly support her. Adrian is exactly what our community needs in a judge.
Daniel Capuia, Co-Founder and President, The Capuia Foundation
Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia
Ernesto Fonseca, CEO, Hacienda CDC
Jo Ann Hardesty, Portland City Commissioner
Musse Olol, chairman, Somali American Council of Oregon
Ernie Warren, managing partner, Warren & Sugarman, and Former primary opponent
Fight addiction with treatment, not jail
Overdose deaths in Oregon were up by 70% this spring compared to spring 2019, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Overdose deaths have been on the rise for years now, but this spike is alarmingly high. Now, more than ever, is the time for Oregonians to have access to more treatment.
My dad died of an accidental drug overdose last November, just days before he was to begin medically assisted treatment. I'm voting yes on Measure 110 so that other families don't have to experience what we did.
It is hard to watch someone that you love struggle with addiction. It was incredibly hard for us to find him affordable treatment. Once we did, he had to wait weeks to access it. Weeks may not seem long, but when it comes to addiction, an extra day can mean life or death.
Measure 110 will expand access to affordable treatment so no one will have to spend months searching for it, or waiting to access it. We do not have months — or weeks, or days — to wait when someone is ready for treatment.
During these uncertain times we cannot have access to more treatment be one of those uncertainties. Please join me in voting yes on 110.
Amelia Fowler, Southwest Portland
We need Wheeler's experience now more than ever
After seeing the debate between Mayor Wheeler and his opponent it's clear that Portland needs Ted Wheeler to be re-elected to focus on homelessness, the economic impacts of the pandemic, and to begin downtown's cleanup after misguided destruction and violence by some who hijacked legitimate protests following George Floyd's and other's tragic deaths.
The vast majority of Portlanders know it is time for the protests to stop; their point has been made. Their continuation only distracts police from dealing with many public safety issues, especially spiking homicides that affect all Portlanders, particularly communities of color. Now it's time to sit down and begin the hard work of making systemic change.
We also want the mayor as police commissioner, working with a properly functioning and not de-funded police force, to take meaningful steps to rein in those engaged in violence and destruction.
We need a mayor with Wheeler's background and experience in governmental finance and operations to be running our city. We do not need a person untested in so many ways required to lead this city. At this point in time we do not need a mayor on training wheels.
Portland needs Mayor Ted Wheeler.
Bill Stevenson, North Portland
Candidates, stop all the name calling
Has Trump infected all politicians?
Candidates are calling others devious, self-centered, financially crooked. None seem to tell us why they themselves are fit for office, only that their opponents are deplorable liars.
Politicians belittling others need to rethink their own qualifications. We need hard working, positive individuals guiding us and encouraging us to a better, more promising tomorrow.
Most of those running for office now should be ashamed of their disgraceful, impudent, disparaging advertisements and attitudes.
Barbara Gagnon, Northeast Portland
We need a real progressive city leader
We need a change in the mayor's office, and I believe Sarah Iannarone is the right person for the job.
Under Ted Wheeler's watch, the houseless situation in Portland has become progressively worse, as has our affordable housing shortfall. Ted has had four years to try to make an impact and has had no success.
Sarah's plan for more affordable housing and support services to house the houseless is compassionate, collaborative and community-based. She will address this issue with urgency, with better coordinating city programs and putting consumer protections at the fore.
She has a deep background in urban planning and has brought this skill set to her clearly articulated "Housing For All" policy.
Sarah is a fierce advocate for racial and social justice and she lives those values, quietly showing up at protest after protest, whether in the city center or at a small neighborhood school march on a Saturday afternoon. I have seen her there, with no fanfare or attention, showing up.
It is time for a change Portland. We need a truly progressive leader to take Portland into the future. Count me as a vote for Sarah Iannarone.
Patricia Raicht, Northeast Portland
Senate candidates must address pandemic
Regardless of who wins the upcoming election, the next president and Congress will need to address the current global pandemic and be prepared to stop the next one.
According to a recent poll by The ONE Campaign, 72% of Americans believe the U.S. should be doing more to prevent future pandemics globally. And more than two-thirds of voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who has a global plan to defeat COVID-19 and work with other countries to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
This global pandemic has shown the world how a global health crisis can have catastrophic and far-reaching consequences: halting the global economy and threatening the health and security of Americans and people around the world.
In order to end this pandemic and help stop the next one, America needs leaders who prioritize a global plan to fight COVID-19 and help fund proven global health programs like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund and CEPI.
As I prepare to cast my vote, as a ONE member, I'll be paying close attention to how Incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley and Republican challenger Jo Rae Perkins address these important issues.
Craig Rottman, Northwest Portland
Writer incorrect on Measure 110 criticism
I write to correct some erroneous information in Jim O'Rourke's Oct. 22 opinion piece regarding Measure 110.
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, Measure 110 has no effect on other existing diversion programs.
Leland Berger, Northeast Portland
Here's a peaceful way to 46
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 need 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.
Beth Kerwin, Southeast Portland
Measure 110 would help Oregon youth
I have been working for six years as a qualified mental health professional; first as a care coordinator for youth in foster care, and currently as a juvenile court counselor in Oregon, providing services to children and youth who are exiting detention. I have studied Measure 110 closely, and so have many of the organizations I trust, such as the Oregon School Psychologists Association, the Oregon School Social Work Association, the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians, the Oregon chapter of the American College of Physicians, the Oregon chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and the Oregon Nurses Association. We all agree that Measure 110 is a better approach to drug addiction for Oregonians — and for Oregon juveniles especially.
At the heart of our misguided approach is a mentality to criminalize low-level drug possession, most painfully youth, like those with whom I work daily. I help minors who are on their way out of detention. Each and every one has experienced trauma, and disproportionately are youth of color. I see daily how our current system of criminalizing drug possession tears youth from their families for extended periods of time, and for youth in foster care makes them a challenge to place in home.
Hundreds of Oregon minors like these are criminalized every year for low level drug possession. There's a good chance nearly all of these kids go to detention for a brief period, or some even 90 days. Our current system makes it feel impossible for youth to then move past this, and what we see are youth who become stuck in the juvenile system, coming in and out as they try to cope with the trauma of being labeled as a juvenile delinquent among other adverse childhood experiences.
We can make deep changes for these and countless other Oregonians by voting for Measure 110, which would decriminalize low-level drug possession and provide minors, as well as adults, a direct path to drug treatment.
With the resources Measure 110 would put in place, juveniles caught with low level drug possession would be ticketed, told to dial a number on the ticket and would have a warm handoff to people who specialize in treating substance use disorder. These professionals will schedule them to receive an assessment prior to potentially entering drug treatment and rehabilitation. Following the assessment, a fine attached to the ticket would be waived and parents would be notified. A mechanism already exists for notifying parents of juveniles who receive an infraction; this measure would not impact that.
Right now, Oregon is near the bottom of all states for accessibility of addiction treatment and recovery for adults and juveniles. One in 10 Oregonians is addicted to drugs and it's hard to not see the connection between the lack of available care, and the fact that one to two Oregonians die every day from drug overdoses.
I see this as evidence of a problem that is getting worse and certainly not one that is going away. I know that this measure will truly be life-changing, and will take steps towards ending the policing of families and addiction stemming from trauma. That's why I ask you to join me, and other advocates who work with young people in voting yes on Measure 110.
Erin McConaghy, MSW, works in the Portland-metro area with children and youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
Erin McConaghy, Southwest Portland
Letters from the suburbs
Support Clackamas County's children's levy
As business leaders, we understand the costs of overcoming unforeseen obstacles, especially if they could have been avoided in the first place. The same logic applies to violence, abuse and neglect. Data shows that dealing with the aftermath of trauma is much more costly than preventing it in the first place. We also know that short-term investments are really only a band-aid for long term problems.
That's why even in an economic downturn, that has come about in the wake of a crippling global pandemic and devastating wildfires, we support the Clackamas Children's Safety Levy (Measure 3-564) — a measure that will double the amount of trauma services provided to the county's children and youth. This includes medical assessments and services for children experiencing abuse, emergency shelter, legal advocacy, parenting support, truancy prevention, residential treatment for traumatized youth, and a whole host of other essential programs to support and protect children and families.
They often say that small businesses are the backbone of a community's economy. This is true because the dollars that are spent at those businesses, more often than not, stay in that community — helping everyone prosper. The Clackamas Children's Safety Levy aims to do the same by making sure that your tax dollars stay in Clackamas County and go directly to trusted and proven local nonprofits that are built to serve the most vulnerable children and youth in our communities. While a slight increase in property taxes — less than $48 per year for the average homeowner — may cause hesitation for some, it truly is the smartest choice and will produce the best results for your money.
Ask yourself: would you rather your hard-earned tax dollars go to short-term Band-Aid programs like prisons and emergency room bills or to long-term support programs that help children dealing with domestic violence, sexual exploitation and housing instability? The fact is, children are the future of our society and voting yes on the Clackamas Children's Safety Levy is a vote to end cycles of violence, abuse and neglect that darken their futures. As a county, we can all step up to support the future business leaders, entrepreneurs, employees, and consumers that will eventually give back to the community that supported their safe and healthy childhoods.
Finally, we know that a successful business is a transparent business. We support the Clackamas Children's Safety Levy because it is built to be accountable to voters and taxpayers. Organizations that receive funding from the levy will undergo annual performance and financial audits that will be reviewed by a county-appointed citizen advisory board. That means that citizens, non-profit organizations, and government officials will work together to ensure children and youth in Clackamas County are safe from violence, abuse, and neglect so they can thrive into adulthood.
Please join us in investing in our children and investing in our future. Vote yes on Measure 3-564 — the Clackamas Children's Safety Levy by Nov. 3.
Nina Carlson is the president of the Clackamas County Business Alliance and Nellie deVries is the executive director of the Clackamas County Business Alliance.
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
Rep. Neron should win reelection
The open secret is that everyone wants to live in a community where they feel safe; one in which they feel that their families are protected and valued by the institutions that we've been taught to trust since we were children. The problem is that for a long time many of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones haven't felt that safety. They have been targets of harassment and prejudice, victims of an invisible apparatus of oppression.
But these patterns do not have to continue. It is a false choice to believe that in order to support our community, we have to be blind to the need for reform. And it is the same false choice that requires us to demonize all police officers in an effort to create more equitable communities. Police who are better trained and better paid will help give every citizen, regardless of background, the sense of institutional support needed to thrive.
Rep. Courtney Neron is a public servant who knows to reject false choices. Since taking office in 2018, she has worked tirelessly to advance legislation that helps communities, not special interests. Let's re-elect Courtney Neron, so she can keep working for all of us.
Patrick Briggs, Sherwood
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