Letters, Sept. 25
Betsy Johnson ads
I am watching the political ads for the governor’s race intently.
I have noticed that despite Betsy Johnson’s assertions that she will bring the “two sides” together, her ads blatantly demonize the other candidates, calling them extremists and misrepresenting their stands on issues. She also equivocated on some issues early on and now takes a different position on them, perhaps thinking they make her more electable?
I find it hard to believe that someone who runs extreme negative ads and flip-flops would suddenly turn peace-keeper and bridge-builder of integrity when in office. She does not have my vote, and I hope you will think very carefully about yours.
Rent increase for 2023
Social and other media have recently covered news of the current Oregon rent increase cap of 14.6% for 2023. This first-in-the-nation, statewide residential rent control (with some exceptions) was part of 2019 Oregon Senate Bill 608. Monday night (Sept 19), on KOBI news, a Eugene landlord was talking about how this law will price people out of their homes and said it should be repealed. People are reacting with panicked comments on several Facebook sites.
Please understand that this cap is not a mandated rent increase; it is only the amount that rent can be increased once per year if the landlord chooses (7% plus the annual CPI, which is 7.6 this year). Most landlords and property managers I speak with do not plan on raising the full amount. It would be a bad business decision to price tenants out of affording their rent and forcing them to move (turnover has its own costs), and very short-sighted for the well-being of our neighbors and communities, especially with the increased price of everything now straining most budgets.
Southern Oregon Property Management, Medford
Peace Corps bill passes House
This Monday, Sept. 19, the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act passed in a 290-125 vote through the House, a strong show of bipartisan support. This act updates the Peace Corps for the first time in 20 years and renews this great program. Unfortunately, Rep. Cliff Bentz did not join the rest of Oregon’s delegation in supporting the bill, citing insufficiently explained pay increases for some Peace Corps staffers.
Several members of the Southern Oregon Returned Peace Corps Volunteers have spent years advocating for this legislation. We know that the Peace Corps impact is real. When I served in Namibia I saw my students go from uncertain English speakers to confidently making fun of me in a variety of English phrases.
The Peace Corps Reauthorization Act will update the Peace Corps for a modern society. The act will codify virtual service opportunities and create a program for volunteers to help advance the technological skills in partner communities. The bill also has several updates to support volunteer health.
The bill still needs to pass through the Senate. I call on Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to support this great program and pass the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act.