Of the 21 new laws listed in a report Jan. 1, 2022, in The Oregonian, 16 were approved by an overwhelming majority in both the state Senate and the state House of Representatives. The new laws address everything from public meetings law to affordable housing, racial equity to police reform and more. It is encouraging to see that our legislators in Salem could put aside partisan differences for the benefit of the people they serve.
With at least one glaring exception. While there are thirty state senators, the vote tally for that legislative body never reached that number. As we in Douglas County are well aware, the person who was elected to represent us in the state Senate, Dallas Heard, refused to vote. Consequently, our voice was never heard.
In Douglas County, in round numbers, there are 32,000 registered Republicans, 16,000 registered Democrats, and 29,000 non-affiliated voters. One must conclude that our lack of representation in the Oregon senate lies squarely at the feet of the local Republican Party. It is also clear that only the local Republican Party has the means to call for Mr. Heard’s resignation, and to find a person to replace him who will show up and vote.