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Turtle Awards, Pete DeFazio and Resistance

• The combination of Jane VanBoskirk, Eleanor Roosevelt and Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon filled every seat in the Wildish Theater on April 20. In a performance sponsored by Eugene Weekly, VanBoskirk did her amazing one-woman hour as Eleanor Roosevelt, and Planned Parenthood received about $4,800 to put toward their important work. A former resident of Eugene now living in Portland, VanBoskirk is playing Eleanor all over the country. She and the Wildish are planning a June 4 reprise for all those fans who were turned away.

This week in kudos: Local writer Eliot Treichel won the Oregon Book Awards readers’ choice award for his A Series of Small Maneuvers (Ooligan Press). And Tracy Daugherty of Corvallis won the Frances Fuller victor award for general nonfiction for The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion (St. Martin’s Press). You can read our reviews of both in our Winter Reading issue online. Meanwhile, here at EW, owner and publisher Anita Johnson will receive one of the City Club of Eugene’s 2017 Turtle Awards to Outstanding Citizens on April 28 for “sticking one’s neck out for the good of the community.” We’re honored, but believe we can always do more. Readers, what else should we stick our necks out for in our solutions journalism? Contact editor@eugeneweekly.com.

Where do you want your taxes to go? A coalition of activists From Taxes for Peace Not War, CALC, WAND, ESSN, Indivisible Eugene and Take Action Eugene gathered April 18 at the federal building to “challenge militarism and oppose Donald Trump’s egregious policies,” Michael Carrigan of CALC tells EW. Participants in a penny poll were handed 10 pennies, which they deposited in jars representing a six-category breakdown of the federal budget. The categories and how people voted were: human services 43.3 percent; environmental services 33 percent; general government 7.8 percent, military (present and past wars) 3 percent; Veteran’s Services 8.6 percent; and paying down the national debt 4.3 percent.

Resistance is not futile. Remember the pink pussyhats and the huge Women’s Marches across America the day after Trump’s inauguration? The smaller gatherings and action that stopped his Obamacare repeal, fought his Muslim ban and turned out Democrats in red districts in Kansas and Georgia? Last week the March for Science, including 2,000 protesters in Eugene, caught the world’s attention. Next is the Climate March, Saturday, April 29. See our What’s Happening Calendar for details.

Our Representative Democracy — Can It Survive?” was Congressman Peter DeFazio’s topic April 21 when he spoke on the University of Oregon campus sponsored by the City Club of Eugene and the Morse Center. His answer: “I haven’t given up and neither should you.” That was powerful advice from a congressman first elected in 1986, now the ranking member of the transportation committee. DeFazio laid out a long list of profound problems from Citizens United to dark money to gerrymandered districts, superpacs, the electoral college and on and on. But the good news is that the “American people are awakened from their slumber,” and  newcomers are taking political action, DeFazio said. We’re with Pete. We haven’t given up either.