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Bill Bradbury is a former secretary of state; Marcus Mundy runs Building Power for Communities of Color.

Former lawmaker backs Kurt Schrader's opponent

As a former Oregon secretary of state, I take our elections seriously. A remarkable and very, very unusual event has occurred in the 5th Congressional District.BRADBURY

Four county parties, representing 90% of the voters in the district, changed their rules to endorse in a primary — and then overwhelmingly voted to endorse Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

Rep. Kurt Schrader dismissed this extraordinary effort saying that county party volunteers are not in "lock step" with mainstream democratic voters.

Well, I couldn't disagree more.

The role of county parties is to represent the voices of their community to the state and national party. By their very definition the voices they represent are those of ordinary Oregonians.

County parties help get the word out about when ballots are due and where they can be dropped off. And traditionally, county parties support the efforts of all Democratic candidates in the general election.

And that's why it was such a big deal when these four county Democratic parties took the unprecedented step to weigh in on a primary campaign and endorse Jamie Mcleod-Skinner.

That's why I am so concerned about the outsized role the national Democratic machine is playing in the race for the newly drawn 5th Congressional District.

As the D.C. insiders try to tip the scales for Schrader, what is even more concerning is his disconnection with what is happening on the ground. In recent statements he has tried to dismiss the fact that four county parties overwhelmingly voted to endorse Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

Kurt: you are out of touch with Oregon voters and Oregon values. You have invited the D.C. political machine to influence a decision that rightfully belongs to Democratic primary voters in the newly drawn 5th district. You are wrong to dismiss the role county parties can and should play in organizing their own primary election efforts.

I believe that Oregon voters are thoughtful and well informed. I have heard countless stories of Oregonians who get their voters pamphlets, gather candidate literature and take an evening to read, review and make a decision about who will best represent them in office.

I also trust Oregon voters. I trust them to decide for themselves who is the right candidate. Having run for office here multiple times I have always left a campaign knowing that the folks on the ground — the Oregon voters — did what they thought was best for themselves and their families.

If you are a voter in Oregon's 5th Congressional District I encourage you to do your own research — don't let D.C. insiders tell you what's best for you and your community. I proudly endorse Jamie Mcleod-Skinner and hope you will join me in supporting her on May 17.

(Bill Bradbury served in the Oregon State House and Senate from 1981-95, and served as Senate majority leader and president. He was appointed secretary of state in 1999 and went on to win two consecutive elections to that seat, serving until 2009.)

Bill Bradbury. Bandon

Diversity at Metro is important goal

We at Building Power for Communities of Color applaud the Tribune's recent endorsement of Metro Councilor Duncan Hwang and recognition that elected office should be open to folks from all backgrounds, including those who must work for a living. MUNDY

Two candidates for Metro have now attacked leadership that centers racial equity, and the leaders who are doing this work, claiming that BIPOC communities are a "special interest" with undue influence over Metro. Treating communities of color as a special interest group and suggesting their influence is analogous to developers and big business is an absurd proposition and a disingenuous attack on the progress Metro has made for racial justice.

Councilors Juan Carlos Gonzalez and Duncan Hwang represent the diversity of their districts, and Metro President Lynn Peterson has led the regional government in establishing partnerships that genuinely incorporate the perspectives of BIPOC communities in Metro's decision-making.

Representation at Metro is more important than ever as many of our communities of grow. Addressing the challenges our region faces requires diverse voices in elected office encompassing a range of backgrounds and experiences, including folks of color who have to work for a living. Our region will be stronger with their continued leadership.

Marcus Mundy, Northwest Portland

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