Letters from the Chair Archive
Photo courtesy Gary Halvorson Oregon State Archives
Letter from the Chair
It is with great sadness that I share the loss of one of our own, Christian Avana. Christian was energetic, enthusiastic, a willing volunteer. Christian knew how important community involvement was to life in Douglas County, and he brought his gentle spirit and wonderful smile to each event. He will be greatly missed. We grieve with his partner, family, and friends.
Although April will be viewed through the lens of this loss, we continue to make strides in bringing the Douglas County Democratic Party out of the shadows. Letters to the editors, meeting personally with folks, ever-changing Douglas County Facebook posts (check it out for yourself!), and an Earth Day Event at the office, along with an accompanying quilt raffle. Check your email for more information forthcoming on both events.
We have also reopened our office with some amazing new and previous volunteers. We will be open 5 days a week, from 10-2. Stop in and say hello, get to meet your fellow Democrats, and find out what’s going on. Remember that we are all volunteers, so be patient if you stop by and we aren’t there. Life happens and we sometimes need to adjust our schedule.
The Flegel Committee is hard at work, so put the Flegel Dinner on your calendar for October 9th. We are also hoping to have a picnic in August, but we don’t have a date yet.
If you have a home or land on a busy road/highway where you would like to post a sign or two highlighting the American Rescue Plan, let us know. We have volunteers hard at work on them and will have 20 or so available. And last but far from least, we have ordered more “In My America” signs. They are a great way to let people know what you want your America to look like. Amazingly, I have had one in my yard for approximately 2 years and it has not been stolen! We will be charging $10 per sign.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing to write a letter to the editor but need a
subject to write about or some more information to get started. We can help you.
And, to all of you who make life a little better for those around you—with a visit, a smile, a letter,
volunteering, random kindnesses—THANK YOU!
Letter from the Chair
Along with the arrival of March, I am thrilled to see my daffodils and quince in bloom, the vultures returning to clean up our carrion, and an entertaining assortment of lambs playing in the local fields. Spring is for the young and the young at heart, so don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the magic we get to experience in our beautiful county.
On a more serious note of concern to our area, I have asked a Native American relative of mine to write her thoughts on the Roseburg High School mascot conversation. My relative is still in high school, so I am not sharing her name, but I truly appreciated her thoughts and wanted to share them with you. This young woman has lost an uncle and her grandmother to gun violence. She knows what it is to watch generational trauma affect her indigenous community. Her words come from her heart. I hope the RHS School Board’s decision comes from their heart also. She says:
As a young Alaska Native woman, seeing stereotypes and caricatures of Native Americans is very harmful because they place the assumption that all Indigenous people are “that way.” “Indian” mascots clump together hundreds of tribes into one massive stereotype, ultimately erasing over 574 unique tribal cultures and traditions. Years of social science research has proven that “Indian” sports mascots have real negative effects on the mental health and wellbeing of Native American youth. They perpetuate negative stereotypes, and Indigenous students are forced to face that racist mascot every day. By having an “Indian” mascot in your school, you are harming your own students and teaching non-Native students that this type of misinterpretation and bigotry is okay.
A few common thought processes here are “It’s not racist to name something after someone” and
“Having a sports team named after you is an honor.” I would like any white person reading this to do a
short experiment with me. Ask yourself these questions: How many Native Americans are you close
friends with? How many Native Americans have you spoken to about this topic, and actually
listened? Take a look in the mirror; are you Native American? Take a minute to do these things.
Now ask yourself something else: Why is a group of people who could never understand what it is
like to be Indigenous in America making this decision when Indigenous people have already spoken
up and gave you their opinions? If you really cared about honoring us, you would stop silencing the
thoughts, opinions, and ideas of real Indigenous people, and you would listen to us when we speak up
Letter from the Chair
It’s going to be a full February for Douglas County Democrats! We have local elections coming up in May, and there will be over 200 opportunities for YOU to jump in and make a difference from the ground up! From Fire and Water Districts to School Boards, volunteers are needed to make important decisions for our county institutions.
This is where we build a base for democracy in Douglas County. Be willing and courageous. Step up and run for one of the positions available in your district. We have to be able to step out of our comfort zone to participate in the process or nothing will ever change in our county.
The work of finding candidates for these local positions is of special attention to each Precinct Committee Person. PCPs are the folks who have committed to growing our party, and this is one of the ways they can be of help--being willing to fill one of these positions, asking friends to run for a position, calling neighbors, being part of this process.
On a more personal note: After more than a month as your Chair for the Democratic Party of Douglas County, I realize this is a very time-consuming job if it is to be done right. There are numerous forums and meetings to attend, people to connect with, kudos to be given, apologies to be made, strategizing, fundraising, paperwork . . . so much learning for this novice.
Luckily for me, our incredible Executive Committee Members and Support Volunteers have hit the ground running. They are all doing their jobs with enthusiasm and a willingness to work together as a strong team. But we cannot carry this load alone. We need YOUR PARTICIPATION! Discover what it means to be part of the solution. Run for a county position in your area. A small step, a big difference!
Thank you to all the folks that have been writing Letters to the Editor. The voices being represented in the News Review are diverse and many. Keep it up!
Thank you for all you do,
Chair, The Democratic Party of Douglas County
742 SE Cass Ave
PO Box 931
Roseburg, OR 97470