Web Letters Election Edition 3


I am writing to encourage you to vote for Joel Iboa for South Lane County commissioner in this upcoming election. As a long-term community activist, electoral politics is not usually my cup of tea, but as a social worker I have come to see how important it is to have true progressives in county positions.

We need swift action if we are to dig ourselves out of the holes of increasing poverty and houselessness, unjust policing and climate inaction. I believe Iboa is the only candidate on the ballot who will drive these issues out of the status quo and towards meaningful change.

As a social worker, it is clear that the county has real impact on how much money and resources go to both emergency and long-term housing. Iboa has a history of standing in solidarity with vulnerable community members, standing up for immigrant rights with his work in the Latinx community and with CAUSA, as well as advocating for the rights of the houseless and the poor by pushing the city for police accountability and reform on numerous civilian panels.

I have always known Iboa to be visionary, brilliant and have many more ideas than one life can hold. I have also always known him to be engaged and available for the community members without political influence — always able to answer the phone and help out the little guy. And this is who we need to be making change in this county. 

Erin Grady



As a retired school administrator who received an associates degree before attending the University of Oregon, I encourage the citizens of Lane County to vote “yes” on the Lane Community College Bond 20-306

By supporting LCC Bond 20-306, the citizens of Lane County can help ensure that high school graduates have the opportunity to complete the first 2 years of a 4 year degree or complete a rigorous 2-year technical education program that will lead to living wage careers in high-demand health, manufacturing and technical fields such as nursing, dental hygiene, physical therapy, surgical technology and advanced wood manufacturing, to name a few.

Supporting the LCC bond will help insure that students, regardless of income, have the opportunity to support themselves and their families and provide essential services right here in Lane County for many years to come

During these challenging and uncertain times, passage of the LCC Bond will help shine a light on Lane County’s commitment to equity and educational excellence for all.

Please join me in supporting the LCC Bond 20-306

Tom Maloney



I’m urging my friends and neighbors in south Eugene to join me in voting for Laurie Treiger for County Commissioner. I have seen Treiger in her roles with nonprofits in our community. I know she is qualified after seeing her tackle big issues like predatory payday lending, paid sick time, and family & medical leave, issues that affect working people and families the most. She has experience working collaboratively, managing budgets, leading campaigns and accomplishing shared goals which we need and deserve here in Lane County. Treiger  will work tirelessly for her constituents and for all of Lane County, and that is why I encourage you to cast your ballot for Laurie on May 19th.

Anne E. O’Brien



During these uncertain and unsettling times, I am very grateful to have a mayor who understands and values communication and transparency. Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis and other local officials have been holding regular press briefings, and Mayor Vinis, in specific, has been providing weekly video updates on Eugene’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the current COVID-19 crisis, Mayor Vinis was publishing a weekly blog to keep the community updated on policies and issues being considered by the Eugene City Council.  

None of us know exactly what the future holds for our community as a result of the current public health crisis, but Mayor Vinis understands and is committed to a key role of the job of mayor, that is, communicating effectively and regularly with the public.

I, for one, feel reassured knowing that Mayor Vinis is leading the city operations and that her values, beliefs, ethics and experience will guide her decision making.  

I hope you will vote to re-elect Mayor Vinis on May 19.  

Mary Walston 



Peter DeFazio is the real progressive in the Democratic primary election. DeFazio has long been an effective member of the Progressive Caucus in Congress, working with his friends Bernie Sanders, John Lewis, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others. 

As a longtime labor activist, I’ve always been able to count on DeFazio to side with working families.  He has the endorsement of the Oregon Working Families Party. 

Sadly, I see a lot of Canning signs paired with Bernie signs on lawns around town. But have you noticed that Bernie Sanders has not endorsed her? Nor have the Justice Democrats, the organization that backed Ocasio-Cortez, or other progressives who challenged conservative, corporate Democratic incumbents.

As the powerful chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, DeFazio is in a position to pass Green New Deal legislation. Why replace him with someone who has no political experience and doesn’t have a clue about how Congress works?  

Please join me in voting for DeFazio, who has a solid progressive record. He can hold the 4th District, the closest swing Congressional District in the nation, and do a lot of good for all of us who live here.    

Stefan Ostrach



I fully support and vote “yes” for the Lane Community College bond, and I encourage you to do the same. Due to the uncertain nature of where we are because of COVID-19, the choices we make today will set the trajectory of what our city will look like years down the road.

LCC stands as a pillar of our community and has guided thousands of people into the careers that they want. LCC has supported Eugene many times with accessible college courses, invested faculty that care about students’ futures and an engaging environment so that not only do people earn degrees, but they do so with their passion and tenacity intact. 

When LCC asks for help I am happy to answer that call. Join me in voting ‘yes’ for the Lane Community College bond. 

Tim Morris

Candidate for Eugene City Council


I am a longtime Ward 1 renter, and I unequivocally endorse Emily Semple for re-election to City Council. 

Semple is also backed by dozens of dedicated community leaders — from former Ward 1 and other city councilors to neighborhood association chairs, sustainability and human rights activists, plus homeless advocates such as myself. This widespread support is based on her clarity in representing our ward as well as the whole city, along with her ability to work respectfully and effectively with others.  

I have witnessed Councilor Semple deal successfully with complicated issues like balancing the needs of local downtown businesses at the same time as those of the unhoused, and she has kept her promise to ensure the council refrains from giving tax breaks to big developers. I know Semple spends extra time to thoroughly research subjects and then efficiently translate them into policy, one of the main responsibilities of the city council. I value her careful attention to both economic and human-centered detail. 

I want to acknowledge Semple’s work in expanding cost-effective public safety services and pushing to increase science-based COVID-19 testing. Amidst this unprecedented transition, please vote to extend a sure thing by re-electing Emily Semple.

Finn Po



I endorse Kate Davidson for Eugene City Council from Ward 2 for two reasons.

  1. I find her respectful, responsive, reliable and resourceful. We may not agree on all the issues but she’ll listen to my point of view.
  2. I had an unfortunate experience with Matt Keating and his campaign. At the turn of the year I discovered that the Keating campaign was using my photograph on its door-hangers and website. Flattering, but no one asked me for permission to use my photo. I contacted the campaign and asked them to remove my picture.

Approximately three and a half months and two contacts with acquaintances involved in the Democratic Party of Lane County later, my picture was finally removed from the website.

To date not one word of acknowledgment or apology from Keating or his campaign.

This is not my idea of respectful or responsible. It makes me doubt that he would be 

interested in my concerns or represent them on the City Council.

This makes the choice for City Council easy for me.

Barbara Hazen



The suggestion by a letter-writer in a recent edition of EW (Letters, 5/7) that Rep. Peter DeFazio has been “mailing it in” for years shows a real lack of facts.

What DeFazio has done for our 4th District is to represent the diverse and often conflicting partisan views of its citizens. In many parts of the district jobs are more important than homelessness, for example. DeFazio has consistently voted for infrastructure projects for Oregon, transportation improvements, environmental concerns and social justice issues. As a minority representative for most of his tenure many of those issues were not passed by the Republican majority.

DeFazio almost single handedly got a Veterans’ Hospital in Eugene and brought out the corruption issues in the Veterans Administration. He’s fought for workers, veterans and tried to pass legislation to tax the wealthiest citizens more to reduce our deficit. He has also voted against Labor Agreements like NAFTA that shipped jobs out of our country. He voted against the Iraq War in 2002 and all later hostilities in Iraq. He has come home to the district almost every weekend and held hundreds of Town Hall meetings throughout the 4th District.

If that’s “mailing it in,” I hope he continues to do that. 

Hal Huestis



On March 3, I attended the Southeast Neighbors Candidate Forum. There the two candidates for City Council Ward 2, Kate Davidson and Matt Keating, made presentations about their respective candidacy. I was much impressed by Davidson’s command of facts and statistics, her knowledge of the ward, and her ability to answer questions in an informed and direct manner. I came away from that meeting with a strong feeling that Davidson was the better candidate.

I am bothered by the fact that all the “big players” have endorsed Keating, who only recently moved into Ward 2 (“Looking for Just the Right Ward,” EW 10/17/2019). It seems that Keating is more interested in climbing the political ladder than in dedicating himself wholly to Ward 2 issues. Davidson, on the other hand, has lived in Ward 2 for 18 years and has raised her children here. She has chaired important civic committees, including the Human Services Commission Budget and Planning Committee and the City of Eugene Community Development Block Grant Committee. Most importantly, she served as chair of the Southeast Neighborhood Association, contributing to her in depth knowledge of Ward 2 issues. Davidson is one of our own and we deserve to be represented by someone with a longstanding and sincere commitment to Ward 2.

Ron Shaheen



I’m confident Kate Davidson will represent Ward 2 with distinction when elected to the Eugene City Council.

Davidson is a proactive leader. As a block captain for preparedness issues, she recognizes that the time to plan for a crisis is before it hits. During her 18 years in Ward 2, she’s played an active role in the ward, including her service as chair of the Southeast Neighborhood Association. She’s consistently shown her commitment to the wellbeing of our community.

These past weeks showed us the importance of being proactive as we suffer through the Covid-19 crisis. Oregon’s lower rate of Covid-19 is a testament to its comprehensive action by the state government. Organizing on the local level is just as vital during any crisis we face.

If we were to experience a massive earthquake in western Oregon, it would wreak havoc and have devastating effects. Issues such as food and water distribution and temporary housing would mean life or death for many. We would need someone who could efficiently and thoroughly assist in the needed local response. Davidson has those abilities. Her knowledge of city infrastructures and services would serve us well. 

Odds are we won’t see this calamity in the near future but we didn’t foresee COVID-19, either. It’s good to know that when our backs are to the wall, Davidson will be there to help us through.

A vote for Davidson helps protect our community.

Jeanne Ransome