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Plus, one of our readers believes that trashing newspapers is a way to be heard

The Aug. 1 My View by state Sen. Betsy Johnson is revealing for several reasons.

One, is that Johnson makes it clear she does not trust her peers in Salem to exercise any fiscal responsibility or direction. Next, she confirms the obvious: that being the will of the people (voters) exists in name only in Salem.

Johnson says she reluctantly voted for House Bill 3427; and did so with great reservations, as she didn't believe the promises of other legislators in the chamber. Once this was done, Johnson was stabbed in the back by legislators who hurriedly rammed HB 1049 down her throat.

She then goes on to point out the folly and deception attached to HB 2020 (cap-and-trade) and acknowledges the facade of the flawed idea. After that, Johnson cynically points out the constitutional blunder of SB 870 and the desire to ruin our time-honored and tested national election system (eliminating the electoral college and replacing representative democracy with direct democracy, thus creating the nightmare our founders warned against).

She was not finished. Johnson concluded by pointing out several egregious acts that fly in the face of the voter. From death penalty considerations to Measure 11 cancellations, Johnson makes it clear the idea of casting a vote in Oregon is now a moot issue. The will of the people is not a consideration.

Lastly, HB 2015 gives driver's licenses to illegals. Voters decidedly voted against this by an overwhelming margin five years ago. (Oddly enough, it now seems like citizens who want to uphold the law and retain a civic code of conduct are in direct contradiction to their elected officials. The betrayal of laws is actually promoted from within the Salem Capitol.)

In this and other issues, the legislators have told voters to go pound sand, your vote does not count.

Betsy Johnson is in trouble. She points out the folly of her peers and exposes their egregious disrespect for laws, voters and oaths of office. This cannot make her a friend of others in Salem, but it does provide a glimmer of hope for some Oregonians.

Jim Speirs

North Portland

Trashing newspaper is way to be heard

Tonight I went for a late evening walk. I hadn't gotten a block before I encountered what looked like the aftermath of someone's rage — dozens of Portland Tribunes scattered and blowing up and down both sides of the entire block on Southwest 12th Avenue between Main and Salmon streets, many of them crumpled and torn as if an angry cat had been at work.

Out of respect for First Unitarian Church — whose street front they were trashing — I picked up at least half of them as others walked on by.

At first I was angry at whoever did this thoughtless act. Then I got to thinking. It was one of the only ways that a person knew how to express their rage at a society that otherwise has left them without a voice.

Hmm! I see parallels to my own situation. My downtown neighborhood association has been taken over by wealthy white homeowners, most of them from one building, most of them over 70.

Even though those of us who live on Southwest 12th shield them from the worst of the dirty diesel air coming from Interstate 405 (not to mention the noise), they never give us a second thought. They never supported the Southwest 12th Greenway when the Portland Bureau of Transportation proposed it. There's no good way to even get their attention to end treeless asphalt deserts downtown as the two of us who applied for the Land Use and Transportation Committee from Southwest 12th were told we did not provide enough geographic diversity. Instead, it's all wealthy white homeowners despite the fact that our neighborhood is one of the most diverse in the city re: age, income, tenure, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc.

One of the few ways for me to have my voice heard used to be the Portland Tribune. Now, that seems to be gone. Seeing the 900-word My View the Tribune printed from Vanessa Sturgeon/Portland Business Alliance on Tuesday, after you failed to print my Vision piece, gave me great empathy for that Tribune trasher. Next time, it won't be me who picks them up.

Mary Vogel

Portland


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