Letters to the Editor

Richard Vetrone of Estacada appreciates Anna Wiliams' stance on environmental issues.

As an Oregonian who has spent 30 years appreciating, exploring and working to protect the beauty of the Mount Hood Wilderness, I want to elect leaders who I can trust to keep our natural resources in the care of all the people of Oregon.

Anna Williams has worked to stand up to corporate polluters, joining with our community to stop them from putting their profits ahead of the well-being of Oregonians and the natural resources that we share.

On the other hand, her opponent, Jeff Helfrich, has taken thousands of dollars in contributions from the Oregon Business Industry coalition, JPMorgan Chase and Anheuser-Busch groups that have opposed paying their fair share of tax on their profits.

How can we trust Helfrich to fight for the people when he's taking the money of big business?

We need a leader who will stand up to corporations and Anna Williams is the leader to do it. As an advocate for small businesses, who has helped bring sustainable jobs to our community, Anna is committed to fostering a stronger economy that works for the people. I trust her to fight for these same principles in Salem.

Richard Vetrone, Estacada

For Williams

Something Democratic State Representative candidate Anna Williams said, the first time I heard her talk, really impressed me.

Someone asked her about working with the other side of the aisle or with people of differing views.

Anna indicated how, as a social worker, she would go to the homes of all kinds of people from every part of the political spectrum. She would talk with them, listen to whatever their problems or struggles were, and help them navigate the system to try and get healthcare, affordable housing, transportation, or whatever they needed.

She found that oftentimes the roadblocks she encountered while trying to help people were policies that needed to be changed at the state level and that was a big part of why she decided to run.

Her clearly-stated intention and personal history is to listen to and help every Oregonian, regardless of political affiliation. This is one reason why I wholeheartedly support Anna Williams for State Representative, House District 52.

Tracy Triplett

Sandy

Better with Williams

Normally, local politics is about the issues. This year, however, the coarseness of national politics (and the new freedom to lob truth-free attacks) seems to have infected our local community.

We recently noticed some attack ads targeting Anna Williams — the Democratic candidate for State Representative in District 52. Ms. Williams is an educator who stands for stronger schools, sustainable high-paying jobs for rural communities, health care for all, and support for seniors, veterans and DREAMers.

A discussion of the issues would be nice — but the attack ads focus on slogans and rely on a false premise (a hidden lie) to attack and smear Ms. Williams’ character. Both ads we’ve seen rely on her attendance at the Community Advisory Council (CAC), where she was an Extended Member (this is different from the core membership). Both ads complain that she only attended 25 percent of the meetings, conveniently ignoring the fact that, as an Extended Member working with a partner (“Subject Matter Experts”), her joint role with her partner was limited to meetings covering aging, transportation and housing, and all of these were covered except for one missed due to illness. Furthermore, after her formal commitment was over, she continued to attend as a volunteer on behalf of the aging and the Gorge Alliance. This is just the opposite of the impression left by the attack ads.

Ms. Williams is a person who shows up, and she cares deeply about people who are struggling.

We may not all agree on every issue, but let’s all agree to focus on the issues and the truth, and resist the temptation to use falsehoods (overt or hidden) in our political discourse.

The Washington Post’s new motto is based on an opinion written by Judge Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit:

“Democracy dies in darkness.” Truer words have rarely been written.

Let’s all try to be honest with ourselves, and each other, and try to live in the light. We’ll all be better for it.

Mary Jane Heppe

Hood River

Vote Williams

I am a supporter of Anna Williams for the House District 52 seat. She is the right choice and at the right time. Education and caring for our children are at the top of Anna’s priorities. She will support asking very large corporations to pay just a little more in taxes, so they pay their fair share just like the rest of us. Anna Williams stands for affordable housing for hard working Oregon families. She supports common sense gun control laws that will help keep guns out of the hands of domestic violence perpetrators. She supports a woman’s right to choose.

Anna Williams has a grassroots campaign that is mostly funded by the people she will serve.

Her opponent does not inspire me. He is timid on gun control, seemingly lacking a concern for the public safety. He appears to favor subsidizing large corporations at the expense of hard-working Oregon families.

Women’s health issues do not seem to be important to him. He appears to be very well funded by out-of-state money interests that likely are not in line with the values shared by regular Oregonians.

Please join me in voting for Anna Williams because she is our voice, the voice of regular Oregon folks just like you and me.

Cal Bertram

Welches

Vote out Helfrich, Thomsen

Wake up, voters. It’s time to get rid of Chuck Thomsen, Senator for SD 26, and the newly, appointed Jeff Helfrich, House Representative for HD 52.

Here’s just one example of why from their recent voting record:

Both these legislators voted against a piece of common sense gun safety legislation that relates to domestic violence. It is called the “Boyfriend Loophole” (HB 4145) and it simply means that not only married partners, but also unmarried partners, will be prohibited from owning or purchasing a firearm if they have a court-ordered restraining order against them. This is not a radical idea. It is pretty basic common sense — yet these two legislators voted against it.

I think individuals who have shown aggressive behavior toward their spouse or unmarried partner to the point of having a restraining order issued against them should not have access to a gun that they could use when their emotions or aggressions flare up again.

Both legislators were asked at the Candidates Forum on May 5 at The Mount Hood Resort why they did not support HB 4145. Chuck Thomsen stated that he voted against the bill because he didn’t like the name “Boyfriend Loophole.” Jeff Helfrich said he voted against it because it was an unfunded mandate — yet he supported other bills that were unfunded.

The good news is that two outstanding individuals, Chrissy Reitz, candidate for State Senate District 26, and Anna Williams, candidate for State House District 52, have stated their strong support for closing the “Boyfriend Loophole.” This is just one more common sense reason to vote for Chrissy Reitz and Anna Williams this November.

Dennis Ghelfi

Welches

 For Williams

Taxes are complicated. No one likes them, but we all recognize that there needs to be a balance. Taxes pay for things that we need, and that we agree need to be funded together (collaboratively) as a civilized community. These things include schools, some form of health care, some form of housing, roads and infrastructure, and other things. Simple slogans do not address these complex issues.

Ms. Anna Williams, the Democratic candidate for State Representative in District 52, supports a common-sense review of Measures 5 and 50 to see if they have had their intended impact — and if not, how our policies could be adjusted to increase flexibility and more properly meet local needs (such as better support for our schools).

Rational problem-solving, not slogans. A refreshing change.

Dr. Stephen Heppe

Hood River

Campaign ills

I saw a nasty Jeff Helfrich campaign mailing last week calling candidate Anna Williams “absent Anna” and accusing her falsely of missing “75 percent of the workdays” of her “job” at the Columbia Gorge Health Council’s CAC (Community Advisory Council). I saw another Helfrich mailing yesterday accusing her falsely of wanting to raise property taxes, working against affordable housing, and wanting to “not sweat the small stuff.”

I’m writing to set the facts straight, and to plug both respectfulness and respectability among our campaigners.

Fact 1: The CAC invites “extended members” who are community volunteers to offer content expertise at meetings where relevant content is on the agenda. Ms. Williams’ employer asked her to attend the CAC in this role when items related to aging, transportation and affordable housing were on the agenda. She did that, and consistently. Her participation was sufficiently valued by the CAC and CGHC that she was later asked to chair the CAC.

Fact 2: When Ms. Williams changed employment, she continued to attend the CAC as a volunteer on behalf of the Aging in the Gorge Alliance, contributing in the same areas. This is exactly the opposite of “not showing up” or “not sweating the small stuff.”

Fact 3: Ms. Williams is not pushing to raise taxes. Her concern with Measures 5 and 50, referred to in the mailing, is in empowering local rather than state control when local voters want to implement local bond measures, such as our recent school bond.

Fact 4: Ms. Williams has long been an advocate for affordable housing in the Gorge. She and I have worked together for several years advocating for affordable housing at the city, county and state levels.

Mr. Helfrich responded to Facebook inquiries about his nasty campaign mailings by saying he didn’t send them, the Republic Party of Oregon sent them. How childish. We’re all big boys and girls, and need to take responsibility for things we do or that we have others do.

If campaigning can’t be done with honesty and integrity, neither the campaign nor the candidate deserves support.

Bonnie New

Hood River

Williams for 52

One signal coming through loud and clear this election year is the importance to voters of transparency and integrity in the political process. Voters are supporting candidates who demonstrate integrity and honesty in their methods and message.

Fortunately, we have someone who possesses those qualities. Anna Williams is running to represent Hood River, Sandy, East Gresham, Corbett and the Mountain in the Oregon legislature. With Anna, we have the opportunity to elect someone whose priorities are honesty, integrity and improving lives in House District 52.

In a time when our politics is often about campaign contributions rather than policy, and when lying is an accepted “pivot” to avoid taking a position, Anna will put children, our future, and making Oregon a better reflection of our values as policy priorities.

Anna knows the difficulty that Oregonians are having in an economy that favors corporate profits over schools and the privileged over the struggling. She understands how hard it is to pay rent and how buying a house in this legislative district is a fading dream. Anna will work in Salem to close the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Anna cares about the increasing vulnerability of seniors, youth and veterans, and has worked proactively to support housing, transportation and care initiatives. She has been active in schools and in promoting quality education for all.

It’s time for House District 52 to have someone to represent us who cares for us, the people, and who is committed to serving us, the public. We need Anna Williams in the Oregon Legislature. Please vote Anna Williams, Democrat, for House Dist. 52 representative.

Mark Reynolds

Hood River

Time for women

As of last year, the United States ranks 104th in the world for women’s representation in government. That is not a statistic to be proud of. Females make up more than half the population of the U.S., but we are represented by a Congress that is 80 percent male. Other countries have increased their representation by women through voluntary party quotas, legislation and constitutional amendments. It is hard to imagine these things happening in our country any time soon.

We do have the power to vote, however, and now is the time to support qualified female candidates. I plan to vote for Jamie McLeod-Skinner for U.S. Congress, Anna Williams for State Representative and Chrissy Reitz for State Senate. These hard working women will work for us all, putting people before party. Let’s envision a more balanced representation and then vote to make it happen.

Erica Roulier

Hood River

Vote Williams

I am writing to urge you to vote for Anna Williams.

When we vote, we decide who speaks for us in Salem. Anna is the person I want speaking for me and my neighbors in District 52.

She is honest, smart, hard-working, has standout, top-notched integrity and cares deeply about family, community, education, preserving Oregon‘s natural resources and the growth of our economy.

I have known Anna for many years and I know her as someone who has great leadership qualities. I trust that as our representative, she will engage in open-minded, good-willed dialogue to understand and incorporate conflicting views when representing our diverse residents. Anna is a bridge builder who will do the best job in representing our large diverse communities which circle the base of Mount Hood.

Anna is approachable and reasonable. With her as our representative, many positive things will be achieved.

Robert Wellenstein

Hood River

For Williams

Voters sometimes don’t realize how important our state representatives are or what they can do for us. Anna Williams is a doer who follows her words with detailed proposals for action to benefit the common good.

I am impressed with her record of service to her community while a working mother. She has partnered with environmental organizations, farmers and tourism groups to protect our very wonderful natural resources and beautiful forests and streams, both in Montana and here in Oregon. The Oregon League of Conservation Voters has given her their strong endorsement.

She advocates for reasonable gun regulation that closes dangerous loopholes that allow domestic abusers to keep their firearms, which is important for abuse victims, as well as local police. As a social worker, she’s worked extensively with local police and sheriff’s departments and the Oregon State Police to improve reporting of domestic violence.

There was some misinformation recently about her tax proposals: She is in favor of large, multi-national corporations paying their fair share of taxes in Oregon (which they currently do not) while protecting family farmers and other small businesses from excessive taxation.

She is currently working to support our veterans’ education opportunities and has helped older veterans get to medical appointments and other needed services in her past employment.

Her proposals to improve education include more technical training in high schools and support for community colleges that expand employment opportunities for local residents.

I hope you’ll join me in voting for Anna Williams for House District 52 representative.

Julie Anderson

Sandy