Hold more town halls

If the noisy crowd at Friday’s early morning town hall meeting was considered disrespectful, and if that crowd was indeed frustrated by Greg Walden’s answers, there’s a single simple solution to both problems: hold more town halls. Let more people have actual contact with our Congress members and senators, so they can practice reasonable civil discourse, and also get a clearer understanding of how our government works.

Having more open forum town halls would also give representatives like Walden the opportunity to practice giving answers that people want to hear, maybe answers based on the actual experience of working Americans.

There were two great learning moments from Friday’s session that I witnessed: the first, when Walden explained that Congress members really are required to buy their health care policies from the public exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Walden even told us how much he pays and the amount of the deductibles.

The other moment came when the congressman asked how many there favored a single-payer health care system. The thunderous response reflected national polling that says a majority of Americans do. We citizens and those we elect need to focus on what we’ve learned.

Richard Strahm

Medford

Has Walden no shame?

Greg Walden thinks exercising a citizens constitutional responsibility is only venting? We would never hear Senators Merkley or Wyden blow off Oregon citizens that way. Have you no shame, Rep. Walden?

Jim Fritz

Ashland

4-H says thanks

Thank you to all the businesses, volunteers and distinguished guests who supported the annual 4-H Leader’s Association Benefit Auction Dinner held March 10 at the Jackson County Expo.

We cannot individually convey our heartfelt gratitude to all who make this a successful auction event each year as the list is long. We deeply appreciate all coming together to support this event and ensure it will be fun for all with great items to bid, tasty food and beverage and of course, the desserts by our very own Anne!

Thank you all and until next year, stay well.

4-H Leaders Association and 4-H community

Children's trust

How do we (re)gain our children's trust in this anthropocene epoch when many of our young people are wondering — indeed disillusioned — about their future on this planet?

As adults we know trust is critical to nurturing relationships. Is there a relationship that's more important than that with our children? What do our political, economic, and lifestyle choices and actions tell our children about a future they can count on?

Some of our children seem to be saying they can't count on us — at least not entirely. Hence, Our Children's Trust — a constitutional climate change lawsuit filed against the federal government in 2015 by youth plaintiffs ages 9-20, one of whom is Jacob Lebel from Roseburg. Their claim asserts that the government's actions in causing climate change have "violated the youngest generation's constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources."

But, whoa, we the citizens are the most important office of government. What's the message for us? This lawsuit is moving forward. Information is readily available online. Now is a good time to pitch in, help educate, advocate, be financially supportive, and restore our children's trust in us.

Pat Gordon

Jacksonville