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A personal note about something very important to me

During this Black History Month, I have been reflecting on our country's painful history, and the difficult time we are in now, in 2021.

We are living in the midst of a pandemic, a climate emergency, and economic devastation that all harm Black communities disproportionately. We face a profound threat to our democracy from white supremacists, and we are witnessing an extraordinary multi-racial, multi-generational call for racial justice.

It's clear there is more work to do to make our country a more just and equitable place to live for Black Americans. Through unprecedented challenges, we are fortunate to have the wisdom of Black leaders, past and present, to guide us.

I'm thinking of my friend, the great John Lewis. He passed away last year at the age of 80, but his legacy lives on. His work on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and his years of service in the House have shaped our country and our history forever.

In one of the last speeches of his life, he shared a guiding truth:

"When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something."

That's the same lesson I learned from my mother. In the 1960s, when our church would not take a stand on civil rights, Mom found a new church that would. It's a lesson I hope I've passed on to my children.

Black history is American history. Let's commit ourselves to realizing the dreams of John Lewis and so many Black leaders who saw our troubling history with clear eyes, and who never stopped working for a brighter future, for all of us.


Posted on February 11, 2021.

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Meet Suzanne

Suzanne knows what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet. She worked her way through community college, university, and law school. She started her career at Legal Aid and worked as a consumer rights attorney. Throughout her career she’s been a leading advocate for public education, protecting the environment, and civil rights. She’s fighting for a better future for all Oregonians.

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