The Tillamook Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) unanimously affirms that Black Lives Matter in Tillamook County and pledge to do everything in our power to protect the rights of people of color in our community.
“We are fortunate that we have not had any terrible incidents of racial violence in our county like the tragic deaths of black citizens in other parts of the country,” said board chair Bill Baertlein. “I like to think that is because we have a culture of kindness and decency in Tillamook County, and those are the values I want to uphold. However, we are all aware that racism exists, sometimes hidden and sometimes right out in the open. As a commissioner, I want to say ‘Not here,’ we will not tolerate racism in our community.”
Commissioner David Yamamoto, the liaison to law enforcement stated, “My biggest issues as a commissioner are the life, health and safety of every citizen in Tillamook County, by definition that includes black lives. Moreover, I am committed to the life, health and safety of all people of color in our community and otherwise vulnerable populations.”
“Our Sheriff’s Office does a great job protecting all of the citizens of Tillamook County,” said Yamamoto. “They strive to operate from the values of Duty, Honor and Service in everything they do. We can and should be proud of law enforcement in Tillamook County. But racism is insidous, and we all have to be vigilant to root it out when it crops up.”
“One of the things that I love about Tillamook County is that we are community-minded,” said Commissioner Mary Faith Bell. “We come together in extraordinary ways to help one another and to be of service. I believe that those values shine through these dark times and will serve us in becoming more aware of the experience of black people and other minorities living in our community.”
She continued, “The racial tension and social upheaval happening in our nation is an excellent opportunity for all of us to grow in empathy and awareness and think about the experience we want for our neighbors and their children. As an elected leader, I want everyone who lives here to feel safe and to be safe. I want all of our children, collectively, of every race, to feel loved and embraced and supported by the community. I want mothers and fathers and grandparents of color to feel valued and included. I want Tillamook County to be a safe place where love prevails, and the golden rule is our guiding principle: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office and Tillamook County Community Health Centers also issued statements today June 25, 2020 affirming their commitment to compassion and equity.