Letters from the Chair
Photo courtesy Gary Halvorson Oregon State Archives
Letter from the Chair
Dear Douglas County Democrats,
What a crazy time we are living through. Covid and all its accompanying upheaval, (especially in light of the recent passionate spouting about an individual’s freedom of choice concerning vaccinations and masks),fires, climate crisis, assaults on womens’ rights, Afghanistan, blatant racism and more. This is the time when we show what we are made of. Make every day count, in kindness, with compassion and generosity of spirit … and determination to work toward a better tomorrow.
To that end, I am repeating a LTE that I wrote 27 years ago to the Post Bulletin in Rochester, MN. In 2014 I sent it to the News Miner in Fairbanks, AK. And today I repeat it, as it is still relevant. The original letter is posted here:
"Republicans in this country have me baffled. Claiming to be intent on saving potential lives, they don't seem concerned with that life once it arrives. They spend their time, energy and money in ways that take us backward instead of forward. As long as this world is an imperfect place, there will be abortion. Therefore, I would like to suggest resources are used to work toward a healthier world for those already here.
1. Teach parents to nurture and provide unconditional love.
2. Work against physical, mental, sexual abuse of children (all people).
3. Encourage parents/educators to teach children respect for themselves and others.
4. Protest the violences and unrealistic depiction of sex in media.
5. Increase access to family planning information/supplies.
6. Work toward economic equality.
7. Promote understanding/respect/equity/justice for all people.
8. Support Planned Parenthood. Through education, information, contraception and counseling they are working toward the same goal."
This is not the exact letter I would write today but it reminds me again how much money, time and effort has been wasted throughout the past 27 years. We all want the same thing: healthy, joyous children living in a loving and safe world. We need to work together. Limiting access to contraception and reproductive health care is the path backward.
If Republicans truly wanted to make a difference they would focus on the male gender and the part they play in this scenario. Talk to men about responsibility, nurturing, anger management, kindness. Educate men and boys in what real love and caring looks like. Focus on the part they play in sexual abuse, date rape, family violence. Teach sons about their responsibility before and after a pregnancy occurs and when a child is born.
Then maybe we can believe you really want to make a positive difference. I look forward to it.
And on a more local note! The Democratic Party of Douglas County is virtually hosting our annual fundraiser, Flegel Event and Auction, on Oct. 9. We will have the auction up on or near September 15 so you can check out the available items and make bids on things you just cannot live without! Look for more information forthcoming. We have many outstanding items this year!
Along with this, Joe Yetter is championing a drive to increase our monthly donors so we have a steady income we can count on to keep our office open and do the things that need to be done to make Douglas County a more welcoming place and elect Democrats into leadership positions. We know you don’t like being asked for money, and we don’t like asking. All the people working hard in our local party, including myself, Executive Committee, office persons … we are unpaid volunteers. You are not putting money in our pockets but aiding us in the hard work we are doing in this very conservative county. Thank you so much for your generosity!
Letter from the Chair
When I was a kid, my dad was a Republican and my mom was a Democrat. I lived, played and grew up next to a creek in Minnesota. My dad, though we had our many differences, taught me to love hiking and being outdoors. My mom taught me to love the wild creatures, the magic to be found in nature and she gave me a crazy love of rock and fossil hunting that stays with me to this day. They both taught me to respect the life giving force of water.
Oregon’s very own Senator Ron Wyden has introduced the “River Democracy Act”, co-sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley. They are recognizing the importance of America’s water and waterways, especially in light of the climate changes happening right now. We see the changes in our own rivers - the Umpqua, the Rogue, the Klamath, the McKenzie and others.
The River Democracy Act recognizes the importance of protecting our drinking water and our forests, both threatened by climate change and thoughtless land management/timber harvesting practices. The River Democracy Act recognizes the importance of tourism to our national economy. (The U.S. travel and tourism industry generated over $1.6 trillion in economic output in 2017, supporting 7.8 million U.S. jobs. Travel and tourism exports accounted for 11 percent of all U.S. exports and nearly a third (32 percent) of all U.S. services exports. https://www.selectusa.gov/travel-tourism-and-hospitality-industry-united-states)
My own family has a small Airbnb. People have come from all over the U.S, Canada and Europe to sit on the banks of the Umpqua River, visit Crater Lake and the plethora of waterfalls that decorate our landscape. Our rivers are not only life-giving sources of drinking water but soothers of our souls, playgrounds for those young and young at heart, homes for our fish, respites for our wild creatures and so much more.
Please take some time and look up Senator Wyden’s “River Democracy Act”. Then write, call or email Senator Wyden and thank him for working so hard to make this a reality. Write a letter to the editor supporting this worthwhile effort and let President Biden know that the rivers and wild places matter to you too. As Democrats, we have to let our legislators know we appreciate their efforts and support the ways they are trying to move us in the direction of a better tomorrow!
On another note, there is a lot to be concerned about right now … wild fires, excess heat, political discord, family issues, Covid numbers and more. There is also a lot to be grateful for. Turn off the tv, disconnect the computer, put down the phone. Take a moment to think of all the things you are grateful for in this moment. My grateful list is long. Near the top is clean drinking water, hot and cold running water, the way the temperature drops at night, my amazing husband, my 13 year old canine buddy, great friends and loving family, the deer and turkey that frequent my yard, my opportunity to be an active Democrat in a challenging environment, my sincere interest in the people I meet and the places I visit …. the list goes on and on. I choose not to focus on the negative but to focus on the positive and the changes I can personally make. Please take a moment to reflect on all the goodness in your life also, enjoy the moment and commit to making the world a better place for all.
Thank you for being part of the Democratic Party of Douglas County.