Today I Filed for County Commissioner

Truth is… this is a long time coming. I was close to running for office when Claire was up for re-election but I was afraid that might diminish her opportunity to demonstrate that leadership would continue after her natural expression. (You can find out about who is currently running for office on the County’s website – Clerk’s Department – May 17th Primary Election)

And truth is… I was not ready. I needed more time, a pandemic and a wildfire to dig deep and ultimately discover that leadership is about mindset; leadership is about living one’s intention. Leadership is about work ethic. It is about elevating us together as a collective unit.

One thing I love about this photo is that man in the background… County Clerk Dana Jenkins. So many years serving our community! So many stories of how my father and my uncles worked together on their hot rods with Dana. It is surreal. What would my father think of this moment?

We have elections so that we might choose our representation in government. A county commissioner should seek empowerment, wisdom, and guidance from The Community. I will demonstrate new methods of interface – more engagement between elected official and constituent than previously experienced.

We are all busier than ever. I want to respect your time and energy. I believe we can leverage technology to communicate more efficiently. But, I also want you to experience access to me as your representative: In the coming months I will be creating those opportunities and I hope you participate.

I WILL find a way to use cats (and possibly unicorns) in a political campaign! I want to have a little fun where possible! As a county employee (public official) it is IMPORTANT that we refrain from political activism while on the clock. I have shared very little about my political aspirations with my coworkers. We are human beings and it is human to talk about what “I did over the weekend”. It makes working in the Commissioners Office a little unusual in this regard.. Monday is going to be interesting.

My commitment to you – is to help us – explore our problems both real and perceived. Can local government resolve the major issues of our times? How can we have more agency in the policy decisions made by our government? Important questions to ask and investigate. Let’s have these conversations and build more trust and participation.

This is just the beginning of continued relationship. An opportunity for me to demonstrate that democracy is alive and well in Lincoln County. An opportunity to improve the communications landscape around County Government. An opportunity to further prepare my fellow community and internal team in disaster preparation. An opportunity to contribute to how a community might THRIVE : Housing, childcare, broadband, equity, environment, healthcare and MORE… all important and all touchpoints for a County Commissioner to weigh-in regarding our community wellbeing.

I ask for your support and your faith. That we might lead our community as a unified whole.

Aboriginal Oregon: Beginning My Exploration

A little down time is reminding me to have more intentional down time. During these moments it seems consciousness takes the various threads drifting around the brain, reorganizes things and floats previously unrecognized concepts to the surface.  It’s especially exciting when the concepts and ideas reveal their value – unforeseen, begging for integration.

Many hours laying in bed – arm elevated to alleviate the pulsing sensations in my fingers. I found myself leaning toward Prime instead of YouTube where I spend a lot of my TV time these days. What will the recommendation algorithms serve up? The last few days have recommended a degree of paranormal suggestions and Native American themes. Let’s go with that.

I especially like this collaborative approach. When I imagine gatherings of many kinds – couldn’t this be a template for interactivity? For me Bunky Echo-Hawk resonates. I dig his vibe and do want that signature Pendleton blanket. Let’s Talk About Pendleton? (comment section is pretty good here)

Several weeks ago I reached out to the Siletz Tribe for demographic information that would supplement a request for technical assistance to the EPA/FEMA. The result was a conversation that sparked new threads in my mind. Each year our Lincoln County Gov. has a joint meeting with CTSI. On our end we’ve noted this meeting as hallmark of our great relationship. Yet, this is essentially it. Our coordinated effort to understand the aboriginal people of Oregon is… one meeting year – for one hour. Might we strive for something more?

A theme continues to emerge for me:  I know very little about the indigenous culture of Lincoln County and Oregon. Interestingly, I probably know more than many others – still not nearly enough that is meaningful at the moment. I’ve let my mind wander intentionally and unintentionally this weekend.  I’m not at all sure I would qualify “letting the Amazon recommendation engine” guide my inquiry into a subject as “intentional”.

I’ve searched Amazon, IG, YT, Google, etc. for: #oregonnative, #nativeamericanoregon, #oreognindigienous, #aboriginaloregon, etc. These searches have produced some new connections. Yet, surprisingly few. Not that the search engines of our major social media applications tell the whole story… But, they do tell a story.

The Siletz Healthy Traditions project seeks to improve the health of Siletz Tribal Members through educational activities which promote the use of traditional foods through hunting, gathering, gardening, cooking, food preservation. Details at CTSI Health Traditions.

I’m beginning to see the architecture of new inquiry and knowledge that might emerge. Insert thought bubble here: Native Digital Land, Oregon Native American Chamber, Bunky Echo-Hawk, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Native Appropriations… Just a few links here. I have work to do. The post-its are accumulating.

While watching the Mystery of the Chaco Canyon – I took a break and had a more revelations. This sophistication and intuition: “As you walk through any of these sites you are in the midst of a thought process that works simultaneously with the aesthetic, scientific, pragmatic, the mystical in planning the use of space.” And, we are struggling with Short Term Rentals! Might we leverage lunar and solar patterns?! No, really. What can we learn from our aboriginal history? It is concerning how much trouble I sense we are in, currently. Climate change, spiritual disassociation. One of my IG searches for #oregonnative was absolutely not aboriginal content. And, hey… I am drawn to #vanlife. But, jeez.

Also, discovered this weekend: Native Digital Land. “Native Land Digital creates spaces where non-Indigenous people can be invited and challenged to learn more about the lands they inhabit, the history of those lands, and how to actively be part of a better future going forward together.”

“Because of the complexities of history, the kind of mapping we undertake is an important exercise, insofar as it brings an awareness of the real lived history of Indigenous peoples and nations in a long era of colonialism.”

“Thus, while we make a strong effort to teach about colonialism and to bring forth Indigenous narratives, we also strive to integrate what is sometimes called an “Indigenous way of knowing” when it comes to the importance and sacredness of land in our daily lives. We hope to inspire people to gain a better understanding of themselves, their ancestors, and the world they live in, so that we can all move forward into a better future.”

I have a lot to assimilate. No doubt. I would like to see some intentional conversations that really tap the status. If we are going to find some harmony moving forward it might serve us greatly to understand how aboriginal technology is wisdom that has been lost. And where are/how are we really in a community relationship with our local tribe? More to come…