Students give inspiration, hope
What inspires you?
As an officer in state and national education associations, I appreciate the commitment of so many who pull together to support public education and kids.
On several recent occasions I've encountered students who have shown this collective commitment is well placed, and have provided inspiration and hope for the future.
For example, as a judge at the Science Fair, I was amazed at the quality of the projects of the young scientists from West Linn and Wilsonville, and their ingenuity toward improving the quality of life for all.
Members of the West Linn High School United Club are planning their second Unity Day, with 50 student-led workshops in the works on such themes as diversity and inclusion. Members of the school's Interact Club are proceeding with plans for a Peace Pole at City Hall. Throughout the country, students respectfully advocated for school safety.
And every single day students from all walks of life and some facing significant learning challenges find the courage to show up, work hard and grow in their learning.
There are countless other examples of student engagement in service, altruism, kindness and bravery.
Thank you to educators, administrators, families, community leaders and community members for your commitment to assuring that all students achieve and thrive. Most importantly, thank you to students for giving us all a reason to hope!
No-cause evictions hurt everyone (but landlords)
In 2017, the City of Portland passed an ordinance to protect renters against no-cause evictions.
The ordinance requires landlords who raise rent by 10 percent in a 12-month period to pay tenants a relocation fee.
Although far from perfect, it helps renters amid an unprecedented housing crisis.In West Linn, no such protections exist, although the housing crisis has found its way here. Right now tenants at the Robinwood Village apartments have all received no-cause evictions.
The new owner is making upgrades to the facilities, but not for the benefit of tenants with existing leases. Current tenants, which included elderly, disabled and families, are not only being evicted, but are having to endure intrusive construction procedures in the process.
What tenants are saying: "I have been forced to leave my apartment between 8:30-5 for many days during the construction.
"They removed our balcony without any notice and left debris on the stairs outside our apartment. They have been replacing windows in our bedrooms, but without blinds, so we have no privacy.
"I just signed my lease 2 months ago. I found out through word of mouth we were all being evicted and I had three months to find a new place to live."
No-cause evictions are not only unfair—they are also part of a system that neglects our most vulnerable residents.
Having spent 20 years as a nurse, I can attest to the impact of social factors on physical and mental health.
Tenants who are evicted from their homes are often forced to relocate farther away from their jobs, outside of their children's current school districts.
No-cause evictions have a long-reaching, negative impact on the health of the community.As a state we must stop putting profits before people.
Everyone likes a 'Great Deal'
I'm sure most of you have heard that the City of West Linn is putting forth a vote on a General Obligation Bond on May 15? I'd like to share with you why I feel Measure 3-527 is a "Great Deal."
We are seeking approval to receive $17-$20 million for various capital improvements throughout the city.
Without these funds the City would not be able to implement such a large number of valuable projects within our normal budgeting process and our City's assets will suffer and continue to deteriorate.
These projects have been vetted throughout the City with input received through surveys, residents, City staff and City Council.
Let me explain the "Great Deal." Previous general obligation bonds used for park and library improvements will begin to expire in 2019.
Because of the upcoming retirement of these previous bonds, this measure is expected to result in no increase to the City's existing overall bonded tax rate of about $0.42 per $1,000 of Clackamas County assessed value, not real market value (RMV).
That's where the "Great Deal" comes in. The City will be able to start and complete a number of important projects to improve the quality of living for all in West Linn. So... we need to strike while the iron is hot....so to speak.
The majority of the proposed projects focus on improving transportation and safety. Approximately 68 percent of the input we received focused on these improvements.
The remaining feedback stated that the Parks and City facility improvements were equally important at 16 percent each. We are focused on all of these projects and with your help residents of the City will be able to use and appreciate these improvements for many years to come.
Please join me in voting YES on Measure 3-527 so we can all enjoy that "Great Deal"!
West Linn city councilor