See page A1 for details on the wealth of opportunities for local residents to get involved in local decision-making. The key fact is that the deadline is approaching: March 21. Our local Hood River County special districts election (May 21) comes at a time when what is going on nationally and globally seems inapproachable or fraught with futility and despair.
Congress is caught in decades-long partisan gridlock, albeit with hopeful signs of genuine across-the-aisle cooperation on a few primary issues, including non-funding of President Trump’s wall and marginal agreement over executive department investigations.
Oregon’s Legislature feels like a more enlightened place these days, with settlement of complaints by staffers over what appeared to be a continued culture of sexual discrimination and harassment. As a place of policy-making, Salem is far from inaccessible, but serving in elected office in Salem is not for the faint-hearted, and our thanks to fourth-term Sen. Chuck Thomsen of Pine Grove for his continued service, and to Hood River Rep. Anna Williams for stepping up to the challenge last year.
So where does a citizen policy- and decision-maker have the chance to make a difference?
Answer: On school boards, port commissions; fire, water or sanitary district boards; education, parks and transportation commissions. Positions are up for votes on all these local special district boards and commissions, in Parkdale, Odell, Cascade Locks and greater Hood River County.
Hood River County is a place where many people — well, more than most areas — pay attention, get involved and speak up on public concerns. Local positions matter, meaning the votes that determine who serve also matter, a great deal. The opportunity is at hand for anyone who has ever cared to step into an elected role to act on that idea.