OP/ED: Life after the election


By Constance Shimek, candidate for North County Recreation District Board
Thank you again for joining in the tough conversations we all had during this NCRD Position #5 election. Special thanks go to the nearly 40% who voted for me and joined my appeal for inclusion. Regardless of the outcome, we will continue these conversations throughout the community.
For now, I’m taking a breather and I am stepping back, not stepping away. I will always be a passionate supporter ofthe NCRD becoming the best version of itself. I will always be an industrious supporter of Friends of NCRD. Remember, we are the ones who have raised more than $100,000.00 in the last 14 years supporting NCRD’S programs and projects.

At the same time, I am choosing to not seek re-election as President of Friends of NCRD. Regardless of whomever should be elected next month, I will fully endorse and support that person as well as continue to participate fully. We are a great and effective organization.
My election campaign focused on inclusion and accessibility for all. It is as big as Tillamook County. This important question is larger than the NCRD community. Regarding accessibility: How does someone who gets around in a wheelchair, with canes or crutches, with bad or replaced hips or knees—how does that neighbor of ours manage getting into our community gathering points. Or does she or he think they are stuck at home because of a steep ramp, no ramp at all, or stairs which defeat any access at all?
I will be thinking about how we all can address Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, popularly referred to as DEIA. I want to see all my neighbors at Board and Council meetings, concerts, plays, and in the new pool. I am taking some time to think this out and figure out best steps so we can create seamless accessibility throughout North County.
There’ve been some some great strides in our area. The late Carol Povey campaigned for an accessible beach path and for beach wheel chairs in Manzanita. Just recently a walker with huge beach tires was donated to the Manzanita Visitors Center. A few years ago, the Pine Grove added an entry ramp. Rockaway Beach created a raised wooden walkway to the Big Tree. Kilchis Point in Bay City prides itself with accessible paths to the Bay as well as an enormous, ramped gazebo.
We can build on these efforts. I want to hear from people who need advocates and from people who want to be advocates. This will be a task we all need to work on. Please consider my words. Please choose to join me inthis movement.
Contact me at constanceforncrd@gmail.com. Thank you.