Community health and safety, integrity and communication

Safer schools, safer communities, public health, public communications, and integrity are my priorities in this election. I won’t state the number of school and community mass shootings we’ve had, because that number would be out of date by the time you read this. It is time to get serious about gun violence. States with strong purchaser permit laws saw 54% lower rates of fatal mass shooting incidents, and Connecticut saw a drop of 28% in gun homicides and a 33% drop in gun suicides. Laws banning large-capacity magazines were associated with 38% fewer mass shooting fatalities. Measure 114 includes a strong purchaser permit requirement, with background checks (eliminates the 3-day loophole), hands-on safety class requirements, and limits future large-capacity magazine sales. Gun safety is a public safety issue. It’s a public health issue. On this issue alone, Betsy Johnson and Christine Drazan, with their 100% NRA ratings disqualify themselves. For Betsy Johnson, it’s also a public integrity issue. She ignored a large part of her constituency in her 20+ years as a state legislator, but now that she’s running for Governor, she suddenly has seen the light, and now will represent all of Oregon, not just the ones with whom she agrees. Too little, too late, too many dead and wounded, Betsy. You abandoned your district last December, and in a way so as to hinder the Democrats as much as possible, and tried to pick your own replacement. That’s not integrity.

We still must be vigilant about keeping our communities safer from Covid’s threat. As of this writing, Tillamook County has lost 75 souls to Covid. Dr. Cyrus Javadi says he’s running out of frustration as a small business owner. I can relate, having owned a veterinary practice. But he chose to ignore Covid regulations that he felt were unfair. Dentists, along with a few medical specialties, are in a unique position in a pandemic, due to the fact that their patients are forced to remove their masks in order to be treated. This leaves the patients vulnerable to exposure to infection by the virus. I believe Dr. Javadi put the health of his patients, his staff, and this community below the health of his business. Politicians must be transparent and inform their constituents about what they are doing and need to be honest and answer questions and concerns from them in a timely manner. Suzanne Weber admits that she needs to improve her communication with her constituents. She didn’t follow up on the email I sent her asking about the Second Amendment Ordinance last May, and when asked in 2 forums about it, she pleaded the need to look into it more and promised to decide before the election, but I never heard or read about her decision. The Ordinance was defeated by Tillamook County voters, 2-1. At the AAUW forum a week ago, Suzanne Weber said she had been against the Ordinance. No more chances for you, Rep. Weber. I’m voting for Logan Laity, Melissa Busch, Tina Kotek, and Measure 114 because they best represent what is important to me: Community health and safety, integrity, and communication.

Kathleen C. Blevins

Tillamook, OR