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Letters, Oct.19

Ask the homeless to help

I’ve received several emails about volunteers requested to replant the Bear Creek area that was destroyed by the 2020 fire. This has caused me to wonder why the homeless I see during the day in Alba Park and Hawthorne Park aren’t asked to help by the facilities, especially Rogue Retreat, that provide services to them.

Having worked with people who have a mental illness as well as exposed through that to people who have a substance issue, who tend to be less amiable if that is their primary diagnosis, for over 27 years, having something to do was very helpful regarding getting up each day as well as feeling useful, i.e. work, which is a major issue to mental wellbeing. Seeing especially young people lying around in these areas seems like a crime by these services given that there are many areas of our community that they could be providing a useful service not only for them but our community, which they are a part of.

Judith Burgess


Support Justice for All Act

From being displaced by massive wildfires to living with dangerously poor air quality, Oregonians are feeling the effects of climate change firsthand. I grew up in the mountains outside of Ashland, and I have watched our winters grow shorter as snowpack decreases, leading to summer drought.

I am grateful to say that my family has made it through several years of bad fire seasons without too much difficulty, but not everyone can say the same. Many marginalized communities have relatively little resilience to natural disasters and environmental pollutants. This is why we must ask our elected representatives to address the climate crisis now.

The Environmental Justice for All Act is a bill that allocates funds to various organizations on the front lines of environmental justice issues, requires corporations to conduct community impact reports before placing harmful facilities, allows people who have faced environmental discrimination to seek legal action, and so much more. Please join me in urging Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to support the Environmental Justice for All Act in order to provide crucial resources to those impacted by the climate crisis.

Rainy Miatke