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The Times' reader mailbag concerns the Oregon gubernatorial election and plastic pollution this week.

Editor's note: Have a letter to share? Email your thoughts to Editor-in-Chief Mark Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Letters should be no more than 400 words. All submissions must include the name and hometown of the author. Submissions should not include profane or defamatory language. We may lightly edit submissions for style and clarity. We encourage writers to suggest their own headline when submitting a letter; otherwise, a headline may be generated based on the contents of the letter.

Johnson is all hat, no cattle on solving Oregon's problems

Oregonians have been bombarded by Betsy Johnson's ads, who is running as an independent to be our next governor.

If you watch television, you've probably seen these. If not, the gist is Republicans and Democrats say, "We're voting for Betsy because she will unite all of us to solve problems."

However, she doesn't put forward solutions, only fantastical words.

My mom always said, "Actions speak louder than words." So, let's look at Johnson's record and her votes as a state senator.

In 2015, she opposed background checks on all gun sales. In 2017, Johnson voted against a bipartisan red flag law. In 2018 and 2019, she said no to legislation to keep guns away from domestic abusers. It's no wonder Johnson received a 100% rating from the NRA and Oregon Firearms Federation.

Moms Demand Action, of which I am a member, is advocating for solutions that decrease gun violence. A recent Fox News poll found over 80% of Americans back such policies. Oregonians deserve a governor who has a proven record for these needed reforms. That's why I urge you to join me in supporting Tina Kotek. Kotek's reality-based actions actually back up her words.

Teri Mills, Tualatin

Single-use plastics harming environment

Growing up in the state of Alaska, I've been able to witness all the beauty nature has to offer. From the glaciers to mountains to waterways, Alaska is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Unfortunately, it is also one of the places where the effects of climate change and other human impacts on the environment are most obvious. As the water warms, salmon migration patterns change and the coastline erodes. It doesn't start snowing well into the winter season and the summers have become blisteringly hot. Trash builds up on the coastlines and in the ocean.

After moving to Portland to attend Lewis & Clark last year, I have continued to see and learn about the toll that human activity is taking on the natural environment. Plastic pollution has shown to be especially hazardous to our environment, with plastic pieces killing over 1 million marine animals each year. In order to prevent the accumulation of waste in our environment, we must limit the amount of single-use plastic handed to people every single day. These plastics are impacting the environment and those inhabit it by polluting parks and beaches and endangering wildlife.

The beauty of our natural environment and the safety of animals will continue to be harmed if we don't find a way to reduce our frequent use of single-use plastic. We need to phase out the use of some of the most harmful plastics, like foam take-out containers and cups, in Oregon and across the country to help maintain the health of our environment and those who call it home.

Erika Andersen, South Portland

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