Having defeated Jim Houser already in a primary — prompting him to change his party affiliation in order to run against me again — the case I’m making for voters in round two is the same: Our leadership must match our changing times.
In just two years, we wrestled with a variety of important issues. We sought a fair wage for working people because our state Legislature refused to act. We worked to curb the opioid epidemic by equipping law enforcement with lifesaving medications and directing our public health department to investigate preventive measures.
We continue to troubleshoot issues with programs that assist individuals with mental illness and intellectual disabilities, all while running the state’s second-largest county government. These problems will not go away, and without dynamic leadership at the helm, they will only grow.
When Houser was first elected, I was just 2 years old. The demolition of the Berlin Wall was getting underway, gas prices were just over a dollar, and the world had yet to hear those famous words, “You’ve Got Mail,” the tagline of a small company called America Online, which would soon bring dial-up internet into homes across the country. The times, they are changing and so must our leadership.
This seat belongs to the people and the candidate that wins enough of their votes on Election Day. However, if the primary election was a harbinger of public sentiment, then the people are eager to have representatives who are proactive, principled and willing to lead with conviction on the issues that matter.
Since coming to office, we’ve helped a lot of people. We’ve laid the groundwork for an ambitious program to interrupt cycles of poverty and reduce youth violence with the publication of the Safe, Equitable, and Thriving Communities Task Force report. We’ve extended collective bargaining contracts, helped small businesses after the flood of 2016, and we became the first county in the state to implement a suite of progressive hiring practices with our “Ban the Box” initiative. Best of all, we are not done.
I am asking for your vote on Nov. 6 for a full term in office because the people deserve the next generation of leaders who are ready and willing to work hard on their behalf.
Together we can begin to heal the heart of democracy and continue the march toward progress.
• Stacey Walker is a Democratic candidate for Linn County Supervisor, District 1
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