Richardson says thanks

Four million people call Oregon home, and we all have much for which to be thankful this holiday season. Our state holds a pioneering history, breathtaking natural beauty and an engaged citizenry from diverse cultures and identities. It’s the citizens of Oregon for whom I’m especially thankful this year. I began my campaign for Secretary of State with one goal: Restore accountability to government in order to help Oregon families. I’m honored that you believe in my vision and leadership. I say with a humble heart: Thank you.

As your secretary of state I’ll be a servant of the citizens. Authority rests not with officeholders, but with the voters of Oregon. You’ve bestowed me with great trust and responsibility, and I intend to strengthen that trust and fulfill those duties in a nonpartisan manner.

In 1864 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving, urging peace, harmony and union — seems relevant today as it was 152 years ago. President Lincoln also wrote: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

I urge anyone who wishes to realize a prosperous future for yourself and your community: Please join me to create the future where all succeed and none are left behind.

Dennis Richardson

Secretary of state-elect

Disregarding the voters

On Nov. 16, Josephine County Commissioners Cherryl Walker and Keith Heck hurriedly passed a resolution to implement a process to expand the authority of a hearings officer.

These two presented a similar idea as a “junk ordinance” on Nov. 5, 2013, and it was resoundingly defeated by over 80 percent of the electorate!

But Walker and Heck once again disregarded the will of the people they supposedly represent. They justified such betrayal saying the public will have three opportunities to speak on this, once during a Rural Planning Commission meeting and twice before the commissioners during public hearings.

What they neglected to include in the whole process was allowing the people to vote on this issue at an election. They want commissioners to simply listen to the public during a couple of meetings as they yawn, doodle and look at the ceiling and then implement it by a stroke of the pen.

Walker and Heck disregarded our objections, railroaded it through the weekly business session and imposed their will on a future board.

Gee, I wonder why? With Walker's background, could it be that they wanted to create a job that Cherryl might fill after her term as commissioner is up?

Sandi Cassanelli

Merlin

Family is threatened

In 1676, one of my ancestors signed the Charter of West New Jersey, revolutionary for its time because it guaranteed individual rights and religious liberty. In 1776, another ancestor fought under George Washington. In the Civil War, my family supported the Union. During World War II, my grandfather fought the Nazis.

Mine is also an immigrant family. My grandmother was born in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, where she grew up in a concentration camp. Surviving hell, she fled and became a proud American citizen.

Now her liberty, and my entire family’s liberty, is threatened.

There are reports Trump plans to create a “national registry” of all families from Muslim countries. That would include my own. Last December, Trump said he could have supported interning Japanese-Americans in World War II, saying, “I would have had to be there at the time to tell you, to give you a proper answer.” His advisers argue those evil camps create legal precedent.

We are terrified. We helped build the land of the free but now face persecution. Have our sacrifices, and those of millions of Americans like us, become so forgotten that we are considered unworthy of liberty?

Garrett West

Medford