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Oregon State Fair
Friday, August 26, 2022 at 10:00 am
Which part of the Oregon State Fair are you most excited for? We'll keep adding to the fun all summer long!
Salem, Or



Washington County Candidate Meet and Greet
Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at 6:30 pm
Join our Washington County State House and Senate Candidates and Oregon State and National Candidates to discuss issues that are important to you, your family, and your community. Refreshments provided.
King City Clubhouse 15245 SW 116th Ave. King City, Oregon 97224



Linn County GOP Gala and Auction
Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Keynote Speaker Dave Sanderson, 2009 "Miracle on the Hudson" survivor.

linngop.com/galatickets
Linn County Expo Center



Washington County GOP Reagan Dinner
Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 6:00 pm
Tickets for Reagan Dinner 2022 in Hillsboro September 17th, now on sale at www.washco.gop, featuring former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.



Oregon General Election
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at 8:00 pm
Statewide


View All Calendar Events


Redistricting Maps Proposed
“We’ve committed to an inclusive and accessible process”

House and Senate Redistricting Committees Release Proposed Maps for Public Review and Testimony The House and Senate Committees on Redistricting released proposed congressional and legislative maps delineating new district boundaries for Oregon’s congressional and legislative districts. The presented maps are not final and will be used by community members to provide input during the 12 virtual public hearings held September 8 through September 13.

“There has been an impressive amount of public engagement throughout the redistricting process thus far,” said Senator Kathleen Taylor (D-Portland) who chairs the Senate Committee on Redistricting. “We remain committed to fairness, transparency and following the law as we continue to hear from members of the community and finalize electoral maps.”

The proposed maps were created in alignment with statutory criteria. The public is invited to testify and give the committees’ members feedback on the electoral lines.

“We’ve committed to an inclusive and accessible process,” said Representative Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego), co-chair of the House Committee on Redistricting. “Already we’ve heard a record amount of testimony at the beginning of the year following 10 public hearings and we look forward to hearing from the public again next week to ensure fair, representative maps.”

The Legislative website on redistricting has more information on redistricting, to sign up to testify, or to access to previous public hearings held by the committees, visit www.oregonlegislature.gov/redistricting.

Once a decade, based on U.S. Census Data, states redraw electoral lines to reflect population shifts, and take into account changes in demographics to ensure fair representation in government. Due to a delay in Census data caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon Supreme Court extended the deadline for completing the new maps to September 27.

As Oregon’s population growth outpaced other states, the state will receive an additional sixth Congressional seat in the U.S House of Representatives. Thus, the committees will draw new lines for six Congressional Districts in addition to drawing lines for Oregon’s 30 State Senate and 60 State House Districts. District lines will be informed by 2020 Census Data and public testimony. Those lines are required to be aligned with Oregon’s statutory criteria.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-02 19:17:51Last Update: 2021-09-05 10:59:19



Undernosing and Chin-Riding at the State Fair
So much for the 2021 State Fair slogan "Fun Make a Comeback"

The big news story from the Salem Statesman Journal was that over twelve people complained about masks. Over twelve people complained. That’s their breaking news story. It was such great news that it was picked up over 1,700 miles away in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Breathlessly, the story read,

Upwards of a dozen complaints were filed to Oregon's workplace safety agency this past weekend over concerns that the state's outdoor mask mandate was not being observed at the Oregon State Fair.

Reporters seem not to go out anymore in person to get the story, so they make a report like this with photos making it look like the fair is sparsely attended when in fact thousands are going. Maybe 350,000 if the media has not scared attendees away. The media reported that Governor Kate Brown said that the Oregon State Patrol would enforce masking. No, OSP did not. A memo from OSHA to vendors at the fair sent a ripple of compliance, but otherwise had little effect. Everyone was having fun. No one was being harassed or arrested.

The memo read, in part,

Under the Oregon Safe Employment Act and Oregon OSHA's rules related to penalty calculation, the minimum penalty for a serious violation is $100 and the maximum penalty is $12,675. Penalties are typically determined based on the severity and probability of the violation cited, as well as upon the size of the employer.

However, a willful violation -- including situations where the employer is aware of the requirement and chooses to continue to operate in violation of it -- carries a minimum penalty of $8,900 and a maximum penalty of $126,749.

Vendors, exhibitors, and other similar employers should therefore be aware that violations will be characterized as "willful" violat ions if Oregon OSHA concludes that the employer was made aware of the facial covering requirements -- including direction received from the operator of the venue -- and continued to disregard the violation. This is distinct from whatever sanction or enforcement mechanisms may be available to the venue operator as part of the contractual relationship.

So much for the 2021 State Fair slogan "Fun Make a Comeback." OSHA made sure that didn't happen.

In attendance for eight hours at the fair on August 30th an estimated 75-80% were mask free. Two days later it seemed like many more than that were mask free. It seems that many Washingtonians and Oregonians both seem tired of the world that Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Oregon Governor Kate Brown put us in a year and a half ago.

Citizens, themselves, while the local media holed up in their homes, citizens went out since March 2020 and photo documented that no emergency was going on...not then and not now. With time at home citizens started doing their own independent research. Some have been on the trail of how many on social media posted they took the jab, posting memes to that effect, then how soon after there was an obituary about their "sudden” deaths. Many of them were young.

We will know after September 6, 2021, if the media fearmongering worked or citizens flocked to the Oregon State Fair, 350,000 strong, and had a fabulous time.


--Margo Logan

Post Date: 2021-09-02 18:10:32Last Update: 2021-09-02 19:17:51



Oregon BIPOC Caucus Slams High Court
“Roe vs Wade enshrined reproductive health care as a constitutionally protected right”

BIPOC Slams Court for Standing Against Abortion The Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a bid to stop Texas from banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. That sparked comments by the Oregon Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus blasting Texas Governor for signing into law Senate Bill 8 to ban abortions after six weeks, as well as -- in their words -- encouraging private citizens to act as bounty hunters.

The BIPOC Caucus includes: Senators Lew Frederick (D-Portland), Kayse Jama (D-Portland), James Manning (D-Eugene) and Representatives Teresa Alonso Leon (D-Woodburn), Wlnsvey Campos (D-Aloha), Andrea Valderrama (D-Portland), Mark Meek (D-Oregon City), Khanh Pham (D-Portland), Ricki Ruiz (D-Portland), Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego), Tawna Sanchez (D-Portland). They release a confusing statement about reproductive health that means the opposite of abortion:

“Roe vs Wade enshrined reproductive health care as a constitutionally protected right. In Oregon, we have a long history of protecting reproductive rights and removing barriers to accessing abortion because we know abortion is healthcare.

"BIPOC communities are most often forced to resort to unsafe abortions due to reproductive healthcare restrictions, a symptom of institutionalized white supremacy and patriarchy. Senate Bill 8 once again disproportionately takes away our constitutional right to make decisions about our own bodies as a worst case scenario, and forces those with the resources to travel across state lines for healthcare access as a best case scenario. This bounty hunting draconian abortion ban is an assault on our fundamental right to choose, and we condemn the passage of this bill.

Science has discovered that at the time of conception there is a flash of light that they can’t explain. The flash, sparked by zinc in the egg meeting the sperm, starts embryogenesis, at which time DNA identifies the personhood. But, apparently as seen from past legislation counting an unborn child as a person in the case of killing the mother, it isn’t about the fetus but what happens to the mother. Otherwise, killing the fetus would be a crime any time.

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Do these legislators truly represent Blacks and people of color? Do they enjoy their minority status so much that they aim to keep it by reducing their race through abortions? They cry white supremacy for not letting them destroy themselves. But as Black people made up 12 percent of the U.S., they account for 38 percent of reported abortions. For ages 15-44, Black abortions are 3.8 times higher than white abortions and 2.15 times higher than Hispanic abortions. Black women average 1.6 more pregnancies than White women but are five times more likely to have a pregnancy that ends in abortion.

You get the picture. If it is white supremacy to protect the extinction of the Black race by protecting their unborn defenseless babies, what does that make them?


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-09-02 15:57:01Last Update: 2021-09-02 18:10:32



Portland Sees Nine Shootings in 16 hours
Elected leaders seem incompetent

The Portland Police Bureau's Enhanced Community Safety Team (ECST) has reported there were nine shootings over the course of 16 hours, beginning just after noon on August 31, 2021, through the early morning hours of September 1, 2021.

Two of the shootings resulted in people being seriously injured and one shooting involved a service animal being killed.

On August 31, 2021, at 12:12 p.m., officers responded to the Springwater Trail near the 9400 Block of Southeast Cooper after shots were heard. Officers located multiple cartridge casings in the area of a homeless encampment at this location. (Case #2021-242431)

On August 31, 2021, at 5:49 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 5000 Block of NE 101st Ave on a report of a shooting. (Case #2021-242647)

On August 31, 2021 at 7:40 p.m., officers were dispatched to a shooting in the 1700 Block of Southeast 122nd Avenue, involving an injured dog. Officers located crime scene which consisted of multiple cartridge casings. Officers located an intended victim and a service dog, which succumbed to gunfire related injuries. This investigation has been assigned to ECST. (Case #2021-242798)

On August 31, 2021, at 9:07 p.m. Officers were dispatched to a report of a male shot in the area of Northeast 13th Avenue and Northeast Multnomah Street. Officers located a victim suffering from a gunshot wound and provided immediate trauma care. The victim was transported to an area hospital with a serious injury. This investigation has been assigned to ECST. (Case #2021-242875)

On August 31, 2021 at 9:10 p.m., officers responded to the report of a shooting in the 2000 Block North Lombard Street. Officers located a victim with damage to vehicle caused by gunfire. Witnesses report that the victim and suspect in this case had no interaction and that suspect discharged firearm into the victim's vehicle and fled the area. (Case #2021-242880)

On August 31, 2021, at 9:40 p.m., there was a report of a disturbance which ended with a shooting in the area of the 1900 Block SE 122nd Avenue. (Case #2021-242906)

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On August 31, 2021, at 11:08 p.m., officers were dispatched to a shots fired call in the area of North Portsmouth Avenue and North Willis Blvd. Officers contacted several individuals, one who reported being in physical confrontation with a group. A firearm was displayed during the confrontation and the victim ran off when shots were fired. (Case #2021-242960)

On September 1, 2021, at 1:05 a.m., officers were dispatched to a report of a shooting with a victim injured in the 6200 Block of Northeast Columbia Blvd. Officers arrived and found a male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Officers provided immediate trauma care and the victim was transported to an area hospital with critical injuries. This investigation has also been assigned to ECST. (Case #2021-243035)

On September 1, 2021, at 4:25 a.m., officers were called to Southeast 74th Ave/ Southeast Reedway Street on a report of shots in the area. Officers located a crime scene consisting of more than 20 cartridge casings, an unoccupied vehicle, and an area residence which had been stuck by gunfire.(Case #2021-243106)

The Portland Police Bureau has stated that these incidents required significant numbers of officers, sergeants, detectives, and criminalists to investigate, and drained resources on East and North Precincts.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-09-02 12:35:51Last Update: 2021-09-02 15:49:59



The Deep State Strikes Back
But things took an interesting turn in the Newberg School District

When the Newberg School Board voted to remove controversial political symbols from their classrooms they probably expected some resistance. They almost surely got more than they planned for.

The school board voted to remove political symbols like BLM and “gay pride” flags so that teachers and students could concentrate on school subjects. But the school board voted to remove all political flags and symbols -- although there have been no reports of any “Proud Boy” or “III%” flags ever making an appearance in Newberg schools.

The response from liberals was swift, organized and personal. Not only were marches organized, and large signs posted against the decision but such liberal icons as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez joined in condemnation of the school board.

The ACLU threatened a lawsuit and the Newberg City Council voted to censure them.

But the opponents of the school board’s decision didn’t stop there. They set out to personally destroy the people who voted to remove political propaganda from the classroom. They demanded that the offending school board members be fired from their day jobs. A Facebook group called “Equity ForNewberg” (sic) pushed to have the artwork of one school board member removed from a local business. Then they placed school board member Dave Brown in their sights.

Dave Brown serves on the Newberg School Board, but works as a coach in the Canby Schools. The “Equity ForNewberg” page asked people to contact the Canby School District and complain about Brown saying in a post, “Canby School District has strong pro-equity polices that Dave Brown is undermining in the Newberg School District.”

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But things took an interesting turn when it was learned that one of the people involved in the Facebook group attacking the Newberg School Board members was Autumn Foster. Foster is the “communications director” for… the Canby School District.

Dave Brown’s working relationship with the Canby Schools has nothing to do with his role as school board member in Newberg and there have been no reports that we could find that he has ever acted in any way that would call into question his professionalism or commitment to his job as a coach. So Foster’s involvement in this attack on another Canby employee because she disagrees with his decision to remove extremist political symbols from classrooms is startling. It must also cause the Canby School Board members to wonder how she would use her job to undermine decisions they might make.

But Foster’s politics are not a secret in Canby. During the Trump Administration Foster placed a post on a Facebook page referring to Trump with the following: “F. This. Racist. Piece. Of. Sh.” For some, the battle over control of public schools has crossed not only geographical lines, but the lines of decency.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-01 20:49:34Last Update: 2021-09-02 15:57:01



Kate Brown Submits Appointments for Confirmation
Oregon State Senate will consider on September 22

Governor Kate Brown has now submitted a list of state board and commission appointments to the Oregon Senate for confirmation.

“State board and commission members bring a diversity of backgrounds and life experiences to provide valuable insight into a wide range of issues facing state government," said Governor Brown. "Our policies, programs, and initiatives are stronger when diverse perspectives have been at the table helping to craft them. I appreciate the willingness of all these nominees to help us build a safer, stronger, and more just and equitable Oregon for all."

Included on the list are nominees for positions such as Public Employees Retirement Board, Board of Trustees for Oregon State University, State Marine Board, Teacher Standards and Practices Commission and more.

The Senate Rules Committee is scheduled to consider the nominations on September 22.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-09-01 17:19:38Last Update: 2021-09-01 17:37:04



Barbara Smith Warner Condemns Texas Abortion Ban
“It is clear the Republican Party cares little about the rule of law”

Oregon House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner (D-Portland) made a strongly-worded statement following last night’s passage of SB 8, a Texas law that bans abortion after six weeks.

Smith Warner said, “Oregon is the only state with no limits whatsoever on abortion, because abortion is health care. What is happening in Texas with SB 8 is critical to every Oregonian, because an assault on reproductive rights anywhere is an assault on reproductive rights everywhere.

“Across the country, we are seeing attacks on basic human rights and our democracy. From banning books in schools to Jim Crow era voting laws and attempts to overthrow democratically elected governments here in Oregon and in D.C., we are up against anti-democratic forces who will stop at nothing to implement their radical, white nationalist, misogynist agenda.

As the science confirms more and more about the early stages of life, some insiders see the US Supreme Court possibly preparing to overturn the landmark case which legalized abortion. Smith Warner continued, “Despite Roe v. Wade being settled law for almost 50 years, we continue to see ongoing attacks by the Republican Party to end abortion care. These bans disproportionately harm low-income, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities and other marginalized groups who lack the resources to seek care outside the state.

“It is clear the Republican Party cares little about the rule of law, having pushed through three illegitimate Supreme Court Justices who share their radical beliefs. The Court’s failure to uphold Constitutional precedent is a clear, present and dangerous sign of what is to come. We must act now or face even more dire consequences.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-01 16:52:23Last Update: 2021-09-01 17:02:03



Kate Brown Announces Court Appointments
Two judges to the Multnomah County Circuit Court

Governor Kate Brown has announced that she will appoint two judges to positions on the Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Governor Brown will appoint Jenna Plank to a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Leslie Roberts and will appoint Chanpone Sinlapasai to a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Angel Lopez. Both appointments are effective immediately.

“Judges on the Multnomah County Circuit Court handle a wide variety of cases, many of them complex, and serve an increasingly diverse population,” said Governor Brown. “Jenna Plank and Chanpone Sinlapasai have the experience, work ethic, and compassion to hit the ground running, and to help the court work through its caseload fairly and efficiently."

Jenna Plank earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Portland in 2001 and obtained her law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2005. After graduating from law school, Plank started serving as a prosecutor in the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office, where she has served her entire legal career. She currently supervises the misdemeanor unit. Plank also served on the Oregon State Bar Uniform Criminal Jury Instructions Committee and works with mock trial instruction and moot court competitions.

Chanpone Sinlapasai emigrated from Laos to the United States as a refugee at the age of four. She went to college in California. After law school, she worked at the Immigrant Refugee Community Organization and then as an anti-trafficking and domestic violence attorney. She later became a partner at Marandas Sinlapasai Garcia, and currently practices federal immigration law. Sinlapasai has served on several anti-trafficking task forces, the Mexican Consulate Protection Team, the Immigrant Refugee Community Organization Advisory Board, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Citizens Academy. She also is the past chairwoman of the Oregon Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-08-31 17:54:38Last Update: 2021-08-31 18:04:06



Will House Speaker Tina Kotek Run?
Will she run for governor? Or Congress?

Editor's note: This is the first of a multipart series on Tina Kotek – her past and her future – as well as where her political ambitions might take her.

Democrat candidates are keeping their declarations under wraps. One person we are sure to see run for a major office is Tina Kotek. She has made several distinct moves to position a run. The most significant is her compromise with state unions on benefits to maintain her close alliance with union leadership.

Raised in Pennsylvania, Tina Kotek forged her political career while working on her Masters in International Studies at the University of Washington in the mid-1990s. She began work to win domestic partnership benefits for faculty and students. Upon graduation, Kotek began her public service career as a policy advocate for the Oregon Food Bank, and went on to serve as the policy director for Children First for Oregon before running for office.

Tina Kotek's first run for office in 2004 was unsuccessful in the 43rd House District. Switching to the 44th House District in 2006, she won with little opposition. In 2011, Kotek was chosen as the House Democrat Caucus leader, and when Democrats won the majority in 2012, she made national news as the first out Lesbian Speaker of the House in the nation, which she has retained ever since.

As Speaker, she has played a key role in Governor Brown's "equity" agenda to not just further her own agenda, but to lower the standards making it easier for minorities. In a press release January 4, 2021, she claims "Oregon was founded as an anti-Black "white utopia" -- from red-lining to forced displacement for "economic development" Black families were literally robbed of wealth." To tear down this "white utopia" she helped to sponsor SJM 4, urging Congress to enact legislation to begin process of implementing reparations for African Americans based on slavery and discrimination.

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In that same statement, as Speaker for the leadership of House Democrats, she set out steps to confront Oregons racist past by following the lead of BIPOC leaders. She proposes giving them dedicated space to launch a special legislative committee to propose reforms to the overall legislative structure that will encourage more diverse representation in prioritizing their needs with an equity lens applied to both policy and budget decisions

After Governor John Kitzhaber resigned in February 2015, elevating Kate Brown to the governorship, Kotek was named by The Oregonian as a possible successor to Brown as Oregon Secretary of State. Through a spokeswoman, Kotek denied interest in the job. But, she is now at that crossroads. Will she run for governor? Or will she run for Congress?


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-08-31 17:40:57Last Update: 2021-09-03 16:12:13



Columbia County Sheriff Pens Letter to Governor Brown
“The people of Columbia County have had enough!”

The Columbia County Sheriff has released a statement in response to Governor Kate Brown's recent demands that everyone, everywhere in the State of Oregon must wear a mask both inside and outside of buildings, regardless of Covid-19 vaccination status, and mandatory vaccination requirements for employment:

Governor Kate Brown,

I write to you today on behalf of the citizens of Columbia County in hopes of opening a dialogue. As Sheriff, it is my responsibility to provide for the peace and safety of those in Columbia County. I believe it is in the best interest of Columbia County, and all other counties throughout Oregon, to retain local control over decisions affecting the public health and safety and to protect the individual choice of those we represent.

The people of Columbia County want our county back. The citizens have endured "two weeks to flatten the curve", unemployment and the loss of several of our small businesses over the last year and a half and we have had enough!

You have once again initiated what many consider to be an unconstitutional mandate by requiring our children and citizens to wear masks and by requiring vaccinations for state employees, healthcare workers and teaching staff. We have had enough of your overreaching mandates and bullying threats. In short, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office will not be enforcing vaccination requirements or mask mandates.

The citizens of Columbia County will choose to wear a mask or choose not to wear a mask. We will choose to get vaccinated or choose not to get vaccinated. But we will do so as individuals with free will over our own bodies. And I, as Sheriff, will fight for and support the residents of Columbia County in this endeavor.

As Sheriff of Columbia County, I took an oath to uphold the constitution and to stand up and defend the people of this beautiful county we call home. I, and the other elected leaders in Columbia County, have the right to do what is in the best interest for our community. Let us do so. We demand local control be placed where it works best, in the hands of the individual citizens and the local officials who represent Columbia County.

Respectfully,

Brian Pixley, Sheriff


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-08-30 09:58:49Last Update: 2021-08-30 10:36:01



Another Sheriff Will Not be Enforcing Mask or Vaccine Mandates
Sheriff Travis Ash says he will uphold the Constitution

The Baker County Sheriff's Office has released a statement in response to the recent statewide mandate form Governor Kate Brown that everyone must wear a mask in Oregon, both indoors and outdoors, regardless of Covid-19 vaccination status:

In light of recent questions I have received, I am reaching out to affirm that my stance on mask and vaccine mandates has not changed since the beginning of the pandemic. The Baker County Sheriff's Office has not and will not be enforcing mask or vaccine mandates. We are not responsible for enforcement of Oregon Health Authority rules.

Over the course of the pandemic, lapses in leadership at the state and national level have resulted in a certain level of distrust. I am in favor of local control, science, and common sense. We saw the benefits of local control last year when many of our small school districts were able to return to in person learning and extra-curricular activities (without negative health consequences) much sooner than larger counterparts.

As everyone knows, we are experiencing a surge in Covid-19 related sickness. This spike in cases and hospitalizations is supported by real-time local data. I believe our county health department and county physician have our best interests at heart in making recommendations and providing guidance for our community. These are our own local experts who are a reliable source of information as we make our individual health decisions.

I know that many people in our country have a very strong opinion about vaccinations, masks, the pandemic, and unfortunately, the politics of it all. As sheriff I represent everyone, and I hate to see how residents are being divided over these issues. I believe that in spite of our differing viewpoints we all want what is best for our community. We breathe the same air. We visit the same stores. Our children go to the same schools. We are still in this together. I ask that we don't attack those whose decisions may be different than ours, and to please take responsibility for staying home when you are sick. Real people around the world and in our own community have lost loved ones or are experiencing long-term health effects. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.

I am proud of the Baker County Sheriff's Office staff and their commitment to providing for the peace and safety of those in Baker County during these trying times. As your sheriff, I will uphold my oath to support the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of Oregon. I have and will continue to serve our community with unwavering dedication, honesty, fairness and integrity.

Bake County Sheriff Travis Ash



A good number of Oregon sheriffs have now issued similar statements on the matter.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-08-29 12:10:48Last Update: 2021-08-30 08:38:59



Aurora Fire District Chief Blasts Kate Brown
“Our State government has been weaponized”

The Fire Chief of Aurora Fire District in Aurora, Oregon has released a statement in response to Governor Kate Brown's recent demands that everyone in Oregon should wear face coverings, both indoors and outdoors, regardless of Covid vaccination status:

Staff, Volunteers and citizens,

I have been in the fire service for 28 years and have been so fortunate over my career that words cannot express. Over the past 28 years, I have experienced outbreaks, fires, storms, death, destruction, perseverance, and resilience. The fire service is a great occupation that has come at great sacrifice to myself and to my family, but the rewards of helping others in need has been the opportunity of a lifetime.

We have all dealt with many challenges over the past few years, whether it be fires, pandemic or ice storms. Luckily, for us in the fire service, we are always up to the challenge and we always come out on top. Today, however, is different.

Governor Kate Brown has announced that first line responders will now be required to receive a “vaccine.” Previously it was announced that those of us who chose not to get the vaccine would have the option to test. This option has now been taken away.

During the pandemic, first responders were hailed as heroes. We were the first ones to deal with patients that were suffering from issues, whether COVID or other illness or injury. We have gone from being heroes to now becoming too dangerous to employ without a “vaccine.”

This mandate is un-American, as our State government has been weaponized to the point where people are afraid to take a stand. I will no longer sit silently on the sideline and watch this happen. I love my job, I love the fire service, and more importantly, I love the people that I work with and serve. I am required to enforce this mandate by October 18th, 2021 or when the “vaccine” receives full authorization.

I will not abide by the Governor's mandate. Additionally, I will not enforce this mandate on any member of this fire district. In the old America, we used to have choices. Frankly, I do not recognize the country that I live in right now.

I recently sent out a survey to the staff and volunteers of our District. You need to be aware that 25% of the members of the Aurora Fire District have informed me that they will quit if forced to receive a “vaccine.” This survey was sent out while we still had the option to test. Now that the option to test is gone, I have reason to believe 25% of our personnel quitting is dramatically underestimated. Within these numbers, we are faced with the potential of nearly half of the career staff leaving. A decrease in membership to our already short handed cadre of staff and volunteers will have devastating results and will negatively impact our ability to respond. These staff and volunteer responders that will quit are the same ones that have been safely responding to emergencies throughout the duration of this pandemic.

Before you begin thinking I am a conspiracy theorist, or an anti vaxxer, please consider the following. I support my vaccinated and unvaccinated members equally. The “vaccine” is not the issue. Please take out the word “vaccination” and insert any other medical procedure or medication. These choices are better left between an individual and their physician.

We have policies and procedures in place that have kept our members and our public safe from COVID for the past 18 months. We have responded to many COVID patients and have never experienced an outbreak among our personnel. We have never had any of our personnel pass COVID throughout the District. We know how to keep ourselves and the public safe, we have been doing it for years. The Governor's new mandate will make our residents less safe. If she is so worried about the lack of responders now, I'll stand by and see what happens with this ridiculous and intrusive requirement.

I have asked the Aurora Fire District Board of Directors to stand up for medical freedom, and to stand up for America. I have asked the Aurora Fire District Board of Directors to support me and my decision. I want to continue working for the Aurora Fire District, but I have had it with the shifting goal posts and government overreach. I will NEVER force a member of this fire district to inject themselves with anything that they do not want.

I will never quit advocating for my people and for what is right. What is happening is wrong, and I will not enforce it. Should the Aurora Board of Directors choose, they would need to terminate me from my employment as your Fire Chief before I would enforce this intrusive requirement.

Sincerely,

Joshua L. Williams

Fire Chief


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-08-28 07:20:42Last Update: 2022-01-01 18:12:45



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