Letters, Nov. 25
Walden’s last chance
Our retiring U.S. congressman, Republican Greg Walden, has one last chance to redefine his legacy before riding off into the sunset to receive a hefty government retirement and guaranteed health care for life on the back of U.S. taxpayers.
Will Walden be remembered as the Oregon congressman who wrote and championed the ill-fated Trump health care plan, which would have decimated the Affordable Care Act and denied health care access for thousands of Oregonians? Will Walden be in the history books as the U.S. representative who hid from his constituents for over a year and a half, refusing to hold public town halls because he was ashamed to face his fellow Oregonians who had tough questions about his support of President Trump’s policies?
Over the course of four tough years, Walden has failed to speak out against President Trump’s lies, putting his allegiances to Trump over the needs of his own constituents. Now is the time for Walden to finally speak out against Trump’s efforts to undermine our democracy and urge Donald Trump to concede the election and cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team. Better late than never, Mr. Walden.
Life-changing events can’t be predicted, nor can they be forgotten, but how they’re remembered is up to how we respond. In my 17 years with the Phoenix-Talent School District, I can say that I’ve never seen a response like the Almeda fire recovery, and everyone involved deserves a lifetime of thanks.
Some of us may not be surprised at how we look out for each other: those who have taught for decades in our schools, raised children and grandchildren in our towns, or supported our students through local businesses and organizations all have many examples of the unique bond in our community.
We also welcomed many new faces in the recovery efforts after the Almeda Fire, from neighboring towns, all corners of Oregon, and beyond. In addition, all local school districts have reached out and provided resources, from building space to gift card donations to fundraising efforts for our students and families. To those who have and continue to play a role in the recovery — donating, cleaning, building, or even just asking, “How are you?” and lending a compassionate, listening ear — thank you for your support. You’ve invested part of yourself in how our school district and families move forward.
There’s no “finish line” to this work, and we’ve still got a lot to do. But during this holiday of gratitude, I am humbled by the way our school district has been supported by neighbors and distant friends, the young and old, with labor, goods, money, and most of all — love. We sincerely thank you.
Brent Barry, superintendent