Education is our key to the future. Our future depends on kids who not only like, but love to read, expanding their understanding and encouraging critical thinking.
Although the school system is separate from county government, we need to work together in providing all our students with the best possible educational experience attainable. This may include recasting the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) focus as STEAM, including “Arts” in our core focus areas. We also need to include outreach to students about government.
Here in Tillamook County we are fortunate to have dedicated staff and community advisory working with Tillamook Bay Community College to offer higher education to both regular students and the community.
I have been involved with TBCC’s Agriculture & Natural Resources program, including co-instructing one of the courses.
Having spent nearly half of my life living outside the United States, I surely have a different perspective on the role we play in the world. The U.S. is a role model for much of the world, and we need to conduct ourselves accordingly.
American foreign policy should not only be viewed through the sights of a rifle. A proportionately high number of former Peace Corps volunteers live in Tillamook County. We should recognize their service to our county, and value their contributions to both the nation and our local community.
A strong military is necessary not only to protect our country, but also to protect the values we hold dear, like access to free elections and the right to elect representative government through an open democratic process without foreign influence.
Those veterans who willingly chose to serve their country in conflicts deserve our attention when they come home. We owe them that commitment. I will continue to support the County’s efforts to assist veterans, both through the County office and through social organizations.
Human Dignity & Basic Rights
Every person arrives in this world bare, but some are immediately provided with much more support than others. Regardless how much money we have in the bank, we should be entitled to certain basic support, like access to education, health care, food, and shelter. Access to such basic services means we will all have a better chance at getting ahead, and building our communities.
Through the process of growing up, we gather different experiences. Some of those experiences eventually become part of our culture, others form our societal norms and sense of morality and ethics. We should not discriminate against anyone because they are different, but rather embrace diversity. It is thanks to that diverse set of backgrounds that this melting pot we call America was formed, and the combination of these diverse experiences and insights has resulted in innovation, as well as cultural and economic progress.
Immigration & Justice
The American Dream is shared by us all, and is revered throughout the world.
Our actions speak louder than words, and our actions are often unjust.
We must always keep our broader, long-term goals and values in mind, and act accordingly on a daily basis. The ends do not justify the means.
Everyone should be eligible for fair and just treatment, both by the law and in society. Just as we value other aspects of life, we should embrace diversity in immigration as well, and welcome newcomers among us.
Many are not aware just how difficult it is to navigate our legal immigration process. Most people are shocked to hear that after being married for nearly twenty years, it still took my foreign-born wife two years to obtain a green card. Imagine what it is like for others less fortunate than I!
These days we are exposed to the DACA saga on a daily basis. The fact that Dreamers often have no recollection of any other home than the United States shows us that they are as American as you and I. The fact that they are being threatened with deportation is a reflection of just how long Congress has been unable to provide a means for them to obtain citizenship, and how flawed our system is.