Category: Guest Opinion

Standing Up for Social Change & Climate Policies in Oregon

I study social change and how it happens. I’ve done research on how people transition to greener lifestyles and why people become members of environmental movements. If you’re wondering in these uncertain times, “what’s the one thing I can do to support social change?” It’s joining an organization that engages in civic and political action to reduce emissions and transition us to a clean energy economy. Because the reality is that there are comparatively few sources responsible for the vast majority of pollution and it will take new laws and regulations to make sure big business is doing their...

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The Values of Service and Transparency

by Matt Ausec Growing up in a home with two teachers as parents, one of the core values I developed was to serve the public. All of my life I have paid attention to the quality of life that I have experienced compared to the quality of life others experience. The injustices that I witnessed drove me to study political science, public administration, and to focus my career on working public service jobs. The reason that I worked hard to get elected to a second job with no pay and long hours was to expand the impact I make...

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Urging civility

A week ago last Monday at the West Salem Neighborhood Association, there were a series of totally inappropriate vocal and physical disturbances instigated by folks who support a new bridge, based primarily on emotions without much critical analysis. It was very disturbing, especially in light of what is happening nationally. I commented on it at length at Monday’s council meeting. I spoke from written notes which are reproduced below. Sorry for the length (especially without pictures!) but this issue is important. One of the functions of Salem neighborhood associations is to receive and discuss information concerning city projects and...

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What it’s like to serve on Salem city council?

by Cara Kaser This 4th of July will mark exactly six months since I was sworn in as the Ward 1 Salem City Councilor. Serving as a councilor during these last few months has been an enlightening, challenging, and rewarding experience. It has also been eye-opening in that I’ve learned that many Salem residents are unaware of what serving on a volunteer city council is really like. To that end, I want to help demystify the council experience for you a bit. First off, I am not a career politician, nor do I have aspirations to be one. My...

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LET’S BUILD A COMMUNITY FRIENDLY POLICE FACILiTY, NOT A FORTRESS

by Geoffrey James, AIA The new police facility that Salem citizens approved in the May election will be the first public building built in Salem since 2005 when we cut the ribbon on our new convention center. The project has been controversial. I know. I served on the first Blue Ribbon Task Force appointed by Mayor Anna Peterson that came up with a plan that the city council rewrote and submitted to voters — that failed. The new plan for a smaller facility that voters approved is an improvement. But it is only that; a plan. It is not...

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