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Letters, Jan. 3

DeBoer’s high bar

Alan DeBoer’s farewell column as our state senator (Dec. 21) showed his customary class, which I experienced in person a few days earlier, the day Alan formally ended his term. He invited me to sit with him on the Senate floor to introduce me as his successor.

Nobody could think of a precedent for that courtesy; the Senate president commented that the fact that Alan and I belong to opposing parties made it additionally powerful, and struck a tone that’s become far too rare.

Then a cluster of senators from both parties stood, one by one, to honor him. They spoke of a man of integrity and who unfailingly sustained respect for others through tough political struggles. It was easy to tell that their admiration and affection for Alan was genuine.

Like those senators, I’m clear that Alan DeBoer’s legislative tenure was fueled by the calling to make life better for people in our community — the same reason he served for so many years before in so many volunteer positions. When it comes to some big issues, he and I differ on the best way to do that. What’s true, though, is that Alan’s set a high bar for dedication to public service and civic generosity. I’ll retire down the road with a lot of pride if I can come close to clearing it. Thank you, Alan.

Jeff Golden

Oregon state senator-elect, District 3

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