I’m dismayed at your coverage — or lack thereof — of our current political moment and how it affects the Hood River community. President-elect Trump made many campaign promises, among them the deportation of undocumented immigrants. Right from the outset of his campaign, he specifically targeted Mexican immigrants, branding them criminals.
Now that he has been elected, how would those promises, if implemented, affect our community? Nearly a third of the population of Hood River County is Hispanic. How would Trump’s proposals affect our county? How would they affect the local economy? How would they affect my friends and neighbors, my boyfriend and his family?
You have an obligation to be asking these questions. I haven’t seen any interviews with Hispanic community leaders since the election. I haven’t read any pieces talking to local families or business owners or students or parents about how they feel now that Trump has been elected. And for a paper that serves a city that is almost one quarter Hispanic and a county that is nearly a third, I’ve only seen one piece — a letter from Mayor Blackburn — written in Spanish. In a community such as ours, surely you have people on staff who are bilingual. Why aren’t you covering the issues that directly affect so much of our community?
Hood River has an ugly history of mistreating minorities during times of political upheaval. Perhaps this would be a prudent time to remind the public about how Japanese members of our community were treated during World War II? Maybe you could ask them for their impressions of current events. What can our community learn from the past?
As riveting as accounts of privileged local women traveling to other cities to cheer for their favorite sports teams may or may not be, your journalistic obligation to this community takes precedent. Please, as tempting as it might be for many of us — myself included — to ignore what’s going on, Trump’s election has dangerous implications for our community, and we need to remain focused.
You are an essential partner in our vigilance.
Why, Rep. Walden?
Since the U.S. House of Representatives just passed a bill allowing the U.S. government to do business with companies that discriminate against employees based not on their work but on their sexual orientation, and since it was our own U.S. Representative Greg Walden who cast the deciding vote in this close (213-212) vote, I would like to respectfully ask Walden to explain in this paper why he feels it is okay to discriminate against people on this basis.
Furthermore, since he originally voted against the passage of this bill and then changed his vote, what favors did he get in return for this?
As part of the Hood River business community, I feel that we are owed an explanation for this cruel and shocking vote which is counter to the beliefs of the vast majority of Hood River and Oregon businesses.
Trout Lake, Wash.
Give them shelter
It is hard to miss the irony of the Hood River Warming Shelter losing their location less than a week before Thanksgiving.
At the very moment we celebrate our gratitude for the beautiful bounty of our community, some of our most vulnerable citizens have had basic needs torn away from them.
It has been a struggle for Hood River Shelter Services to find a location to shield our friends from the elements this season — not for lack of money or empty buildings, but because local businesses have refused to rent their spaces. We had thought at long last a location had been found, but Not in My Back Yard (NIMBY) protesters pressured the owner of the space into withdrawing his support.
These people are, no doubt, concerned about safety around their homes and businesses. This is understandable, and just as we desire others to give us a measure of grace in their judgments, I wish to assume the best intentions of those who have refused or protested renting space to this local organization.
Respectfully, however, this position is taken in ignorance. Many stigmatize people struggling with homelessness and assume they are dangerous, addicted, and/or mentally ill. The reality is, people who are homeless are less likely to commit violent crime than housed people, and many people without a home are neither addicted nor mentally ill. That said, those who are addicted or mentally ill deserve human kindness and decency, and need treatment, not hate.
As we enter the holiday season, I ask you to look within your hearts and find a measure of compassion for your fellow man. I personally live a stone’s throw from the previously planned shelter location, and I would have been proud to have it in my back yard.
Our small town has such a strong sense of community and I look forward to raising my children here. However, this ignorance and bigotry is not something I can stay silent about, and I believe many of my fellow citizens feel the same way. We are better than this, and it’s not okay; Not In My Back Yard.
Can you foster?
In my work as a CASA (Court appointed special advocate), I end up in foster homes. Today, Nov. 20, you’ll find an article in the Oregonian in regards to DHS, and it points out the lack of resources this agency has and the problems it causes. One of the largest is the lack of homes for foster children. This is a state — actually, nationwide — problem and needs to be addressed by the agency, the legislature and citizens putting pressure on both. We have blended homes (natural born and foster children) with as many as nine children in them, and this isn’t acceptable. I’m writing this to ask if any of our citizens are able to foster a child; please remember these children will soon be or are in our schools and lives already, and they need help and guidance. Can you provide it?
“Stand with your Community.” That was Sarah van Gelder’s recent advice in the Yes! Magazine promoting powerful ideas and practical actions. Regardless of who you voted for, it undeniable that the 2016 Presidential election set a precedent of division, hate and fear with clear undertones of racism, misogyny, and homophobia.
This is not a way for a community to live and I truly believe that most of us who might have different political opinions can agree on that. I hope that Hood River and its surroundings becomes a model on how to be a hate and fear free community for all.
I hope that as individuals and in our roles as residents, students, teachers, business owners, law enforcement officials, elected officials and add-your-identity, we can ensure that our private and public spaces are safe for everyone regardless of his/her race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender-identity, or political preference.
I will work for a Hood River community built around principles of inclusivity, non-discrimination, dialog, respect and celebration. I will work for a Hood River where children do not pack their suitcases out of fear of being deported.
Clues for media
Suggestions to help the media figure out why Clinton lost:
It has been two weeks since the election and the media is still trying to determine why their candidate lost. Hmm.
Perhaps the American people wanted a government that promoted self-reliance instead of government reliance? Perhaps they were tired of an over-reaching government with an endless desire for more power and regulation? Perhaps they wanted a more fiscally responsible government?
Perhaps they wanted a government that wasn’t offending our allies and giving away billions of dollars to our terrorist enemies? Perhaps they didn’t want a leader who consistently lied to the people and padded her bank accounts through politics?
Perhaps they wanted to see a government that saw successful businesses as part of the solution instead of the enemy? Perhaps they were tired of a government that chose which laws they wanted to enforce?
Perhaps they were tired of a government that would smear all people that opposed their agenda? Perhaps they were just tired of the arrogance of the federal government?
And perhaps they saw through the state-run, corrupt media that we politely call our “news.”
No, the media has simply decided that 50 percent of all American voters are racist, women haters. They are so smart, aren’t they?