US Education Secretary Is Flunking and Endangering Our Public Schools

By Diane Jukofsky, Beavercreek

Kathleen Jeskey, co-founder of Oregon Save Our Schools

School safety is a prime concern always, but especially since the horrific shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, last month. The issue also underlines another striking difference in principles between the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, and the nation’s leading teachers’ organizations. DeVos, who is heading a newly formed commission on school safety, has expressed her support for arming well trained school staff, including teachers.

But the National Education Association’s President, Lily Eskelsen García, roundly rejects the Trump-endorsed idea of arming teachers. “Bringing more guns into our schools does nothing to protect our students and educators from gun violence,” she said. “Our students need more books, art and music programs, nurses and school counselors; they do not need more guns in their classrooms.” Continue reading

L.A. County Learns a Lesson from Clackamas County: ICE Warrants Can Get You Sued

By William Street, HD 40 Co-Leader

Clackamas County shows up in curious places. There we were on page 39 of 48 of CV 12-09012-AB (FFMx) Date February 7, 2018 DUNCAN ROY ET AL. V. COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES ET AL. This time it was L.A. County learning what we know: ICE warrants are voluntary and to honor them exposes the Sheriff’s Department to wrongful imprisonment lawsuits.

Clackamas County was one of the first counties nationally to learn this lesson. It cost us county taxpayers more than $100,000. Now L.A. County knows what we know. Continue reading

2018 Clackamas Races Bring Surprises, Challenges

By Peter Toll, Chair, Clackamas Democrats Campaign Committee

Sonya Fischer

Clackamas County’s May primary election will show some non-races, some surprisingly challenging races and lots of campaigning as local Democrats do their best to create their own version of The Blue Wave sweeping west from Washington, D.C.

Appointed County Commissioner Sonya Fischer, a solid Democrat doing a solid job, failed to draw an opponent. Partially attributed, no doubt, to the fact she raised $100,000 by the filing deadline. That’s an intimidating number.

Continue reading

Reflections on Being a Woman, a Minority, a Legislator from Rep. Andrea Salinas

By Diane Jukofsky, Beaver Creek

Members of the Oregon State Legislature, which convened for a short session on February 5, make up one of the most diverse and female-dominant body ever to convene in Salem. In addition, an unusual number of legislators — seven in total — are new, having been appointed to vacated seats. One legislator who fits all these categories is District 38 Representative Andrea Salinas, D-Lake Oswego, who was appointed to the seat formerly held by Ann Lininger, named a Clackamas County judge.

Shortly before the legislature adjourned on March 3, Rep. Salinas shared with Clackamas County Democrats her thoughts on her role in the legislature, her legislative priorities, and offered advice to women and minorities thinking of running for public office. Continue reading

Positive Economy Has Missed 1 in 3 Clackamas Kids

Approximately 29 percent of the poor in Clackamas County are under the age of 18. There are urban neighborhoods and rural communities where the poverty rate for children exceeds 50 percent.

The good news is that, at least based on SNAP data, there is a gradual decline in these numbers as the economy continues to improve. The trend line is for overall gradual reduction of children in poverty not only in Clackamas County but nationally as well since the disastrous 2008 economic crisis. Continue reading