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10/23 Newsletter

Domestic Violence in Oregon

On Oct. 6, Bud and I ran in the Center for Hope and Safety’s 12th Annual Steps to Safety 5K, held at the Oregon Public Safety Academy, home of Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). This footrace, as well as October being designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, is to spotlight domestic violence. Raising awareness can help those in need.

 

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic and/or emotional abuse of one person by an intimate partner. The abuser’s goal is to have power and control over another person. It may happen between married couples people who are living together, people who are dating—teens to seniors, same sex partners, or people who share children. It can happen to anyone, in all socioeconomic and racial groups. Most typically, the abuser is male, and the victim is female. But, this is not always the case.

 

Some of the Victims

Some of the victims can be anyone from among the people that you know.

Sarah (name changed), a co-worker in an office that I worked in, came to work one day with a severely bruised black eye. Sarah told us that her husband had gotten mad at her and accidentally punched her. He was very sorry and promised not to do this again. Unfortunately, it did happened again. Sarah was afraid to leave because they had a child together, and Sarah was afraid of what might happen to her son.

Maggie (name changed), a professional woman with a prestigious career, had a husband who also was a professional with a prestigious career. He was known to have physically abused Maggie over a long period of time. Maggie finally left her husband, but suffered from the consequences of domestic violence for many years.

In cases of domestic violence, we must be aware that it is not the fault of the victim, rather it is because of the abuser’s actions. It is not the victim’s fault.

 

More Common Than You Think

Domestic violence is another of society’s issues that we don’t talk about much. For many, home is a place of love and safety. But for many, it can be a violent place. On average, there are over 20,000 calls a day to domestic violence hotlines nationwide. The Center for Hope and Safety in Salem recorded 26,526 contacts to their office in the last year. These numbers suggest that domestic abuse is not a rare thing.

 

What to Look For

The abusers do exhibit certain signs. Initially, the abuser can be very charming. As the relationship progresses, the abusers isolate their victims by controlling when and where the victim can interact with family and friends. Jealousy appears with accusations of the victim having affairs. Emotional abuse occurs to reduce the victim’s self-esteem. The victim thinks that it’s all her/his fault. Abusers become very controlling, working to control all aspects of the victim’s life. The abuser is not expressing anger, but is trying to control the other person.

 

Making Progress

Safe places where domestic violence victims can get support, information and access to safe shelters have been set up. To help with the problems of domestic violence, both men and women can change the way we view and treat each other in daily life. As women and men move to more equal roles in the home, in the workplace, and in society, ideas of men being more powerful than women will change to one of equality. This is will change how we interact with, respect, and treat one another. Despite this, domestic violence can still happen. It is not the fault of the victim, but it is because of the abuser’s actions. As a society, we should not be afraid of talking about social issues that make us uncomfortable. By shining light on issues of behavior, we—both men and women, can bring about change.

 

In the meantime…

For those who are suffering from domestic violence or who have questions and seek advice, there are local resources that you may connect with.

 

In Marion County, you can contact the Center for Hope and Safety for information, support, or for emergency shelter. They may be reached at their hotline number: 503-399-7722, which is staffed by trained personnel (English and Spanish) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

(Center for Hope and Safety)

 

In Polk County, you may contact Sable House at 503-623-4033 or 1-800-518-0284, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for information, support for victims, and emergency shelter.

(Sable House)
(Note: If you are not from the local areas, either facility can still help you.)

 

More information may also be found at
Polk County Clerk

Community Resource Guide (pg. 17)

 

 

In an emergency, you may also contact your local law enforcement agency by calling 911.

 

2018-10-24T02:27:22+00:00 October 24th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Helping Our Children

As parents, we want the best for our children. Year after year, Oregon schools have one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the nation. Something needs to change. Oregon schools should be among the top in graduation rate. Other states have turned their schools around, and so can Oregonians. Our students deserve better. Oregon deserves better.

Room to Improve

The teachers work hard to teach our students. Often students do not even show up for classes. Oregon schools have an average graduation rate of 76%. Absenteeism runs anywhere from 30-50%, depending on the high school. With our short school year of only 165 days, Oregon students, by the end of their K-12 education, have a full school year of instruction less than students in neighboring Washington. This puts Oregon students at a disadvantage compared to students from other areas. In many cases, students do not lack talent, but lack interest in attending school.

Real-Life Skills

Career technical education (CTE) classes is being re-examined as a way to get our students engaged in school. These classes give students opportunities to learn hands-on skills. Concepts are taught and then immediately used. Students are starting to be excited about what they are learning. To them, this is real and useful. Taking an intensive course in a real life skill is a way forward for students who are not interested in going to college directly from high school. They can be on their way to preparing for a meaningful career.

Salem-Keizer Public Schools (SKPS) offer many CTE courses in each of their regular high schools. The courses range from business to cabinetmaking to computer-aided drafting to early childhood education to graphic design. SKPS has 33 state-approved CTE programs and 13 startup programs. 5 programs offer industry certification, giving students a jump on a career. SKPS has the good fortune to collaborate with a private entity to have a CTE school (CTEC), where students are enrolled half time at their original high school and half time at CTEC for intensive real world instruction.

Central High School also has CTE classes, ranging from horticultural science, to welding, drafting, veterinary science, computer applications, account, and multi-media technology. In Central School District Middle Schools, STEM courses, robotics and career exploration courses are taught, giving students insight into the real world.

Students who take CTE classes are starting to be excited about learning. Students who take even one CTE class are graduating at a much higher rate.

 

Students Value CTE

A student that I know left school early and got his GED. He says that if he had had the opportunity to take CTE classes, he would have stayed in school. When asked what he wanted to learn, he said carpentry skills, culinary classes, cosmetology, auto tech, music production, and video production. He could have taken residential construction, culinary classes, cosmetology, automotive technology, or media production, classes that are now all offered in the SKPS career technical programs.

Ellie Starr, a graduate of the SKPS cosmetology program says, “CTEC was an awesome opportunity. They were able to set up career fairs and interviews for us. I was able to get my hair license right after I graduated, and I am now doing the associate program at Salon 554. CTEC has given me the opportunity to get free education and a career. I will always be thankful for what CTEC has done for me!”

Making a Difference for Our Kids

Education is the way forward to a bright future for all of our kids. It is of utmost importance that our educational system is improved. We need to help families with early childhood education, so kids are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten. Children should get help so they are reading by the third grade.

A longer school year and longer school days mean more classroom time. Even teachers want more time with their students. We need to improve high school graduation rates and reduce school absenteeism.

Career technical education opportunities should be available to more students. Our students need to be engaged, excited and eager to learn, so they can move forward confidently in a competitive world.

Full funding of Measure 98 should be implemented so that all students can be helped with career technical classes, improved college-level classes in high schools, and help getting their diplomas.

Every child is our child. Our children are our future. Oregon should do better for each and every one of our children.

2018-10-03T18:52:45+00:00 October 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Oregon Small Businesses

Small businesses are the backbone of Oregon. Private enterprise is essential to having a healthy state and local economy. When you look around, it is the privately owned businesses and farms that give our cities and towns their character and personalities. They are your local doctors and dentists; attorneys, accountants and insurance agents; farms; shops; barbers and beauticians; eateries, brewpubs and coffee shops.

The value of private enterprises is irreplaceable. 80% of local jobs are with the private sector, and 50% of those with small businesses (less than 20 employees). Small businesses hire us and provide us with the opportunity of contributing to society as well as earning a living. This is where our kids and grandkids get their first jobs. Businesses are customers too when they hire and use local supporting services. Small business owners live in the communities that they work in, are our neighbors, and care about the same things that we care about. They are our friends and neighbors.

By shopping at local businesses, we leave our money where we live. Business owners use their earnings to keep hiring us. They are responsive to a changing society and bring in innovation with new ideas, solutions and people. Most of small business earnings stay in the communities they are in, boosting the qualities of our lives. They pay taxes supporting local services including police, fire, and schools. More businesses and growing businesses leads to more jobs, a demand for employees, more tax revenues, more opportunities for our citizens, better programs and services, stronger and happier communities.

Upon entering office, one of my primary concerns is to foster an atmosphere that encourages entrepreneurial risk, business innovation, competitive businesses and support for those enterprises that add to vibrant and thriving communities in the places we call home.

With a healthy and business-friendly economy, Oregon and especially House District 20 will better be able to grow and thrive.

Government and Business Relationship

The Oregon public sector can and should be a partner who comes beside Oregon businesses to help them grow and thrive. The public sector need not be an overbearing entity that stifles and constrains our businesses. The Legislature should seek ways to encourage entrepreneurs and incentivize businesses to start up and to grow. When businesses have the freedom to develop and grow, more jobs and revenue are created. When more people are needed and hired, more families prosper, and the quality of life improves.

In today’s world of the 21st century, Oregon’s economy is not only competing with others down the street, with other Oregon counties, but also with other states and other nations across the globe. Oregon’s businesses need room for flexibility and the support that will allow their potentials to be fulfilled, leading Oregon to fulfill her promise.

We have many great hard-working people in this state, in cities and towns, in urban and rural areas. Let us release Oregon’s potential that will lead to greater innovation and prosperity. Think of what we can achieve if we free up Oregonians. Remember how China went from a drab listless poor country in the 1960’s and 1970’s to where it is today. Her people were freed up.

Oregon has a similar potential for moving ahead if we free up our citizens. Oregon can achieve much more if the public sector and Oregon businesses and their employees are working together as a team, not as adversaries. Let us work together to fulfill Oregon’s promise!

2018-08-22T16:25:22+00:00 August 22nd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Independence Day Recap

Words from Selma

On July 4th, I had the pleasure of participating in the annual Monmouth-Independence Parade! The streets from Western Oregon all the way to the Riverfront Park in Independence were lined with men, women and children, all celebrating one thing; our love for the United States!

Two days before on July 2nd, I was walking in Independence going door to door when when I saw that chairs were already lined up along main street in Independence. I have been told by many that Independence and Monmouth are two of the most patriotic towns in Oregon, and I can say now that it is not a lie!

During the parade I was accompanied by Senator Jackie Winters, a group of young, energetic volunteers, and the parade princess; Maggie the Golden Retriever! Before the parade started, I got to a chance to walk around and see all of the amazing floats people put together!

This parade showed me many things; first, next year, we are going to need a lot more candy (60 lbs was not enough). Second, people love dogs, so bring more! And lastly, Independence and Monmouth are hotbeds of patriotism! I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July as much as I did!

Sincerely,

Selma

All-star volunteer  

This week we want to recognize Ted Ferry! Ted accompanied us on the July 4th Parade as the official chauffeur for Senator Winters. Not only did he go above and beyond with his willingness to spend 4 hours on his day off with us, but he did all he could to assist us in making our float great! His red State Farm Jeep Wrangler was not only a great addition to our red, white and blue, but many of the people watching made sure we knew they loved State Farm!

Throughout the parade, many onlookers cheered out, yelling “Go Ted!” He was definitely a star of his own! On behalf of ours and Senator Jackie Winters Campaigns, we wanted to thank Ted Ferry again for his helpfulness and gratitude!

Campaign Update

June was a great month for the campaign!

We hit over 1,000 doors, bringing our total to nearly 5,500 doors since March, we have raised over $125,000 and have made almost 4,000 phone calls! We have also brought on two interns, Luke and Keyshawn who will be a big asset to our team! Keyshawn has been walking with Selma door to door since May and expects to hit 3,500 doors from now until the end of the summer.

Luke is a recent graduate from Corban University with a degree in Political Science and hit thousands of doors and made hundreds of phone calls for Bud on his race for Governor!

The month of July will be a busy month, with many fundraisers and community events to attend, and a goal of hitting 1,500 more doors, we forge ahead towards election day and seek to utilize all remaining 119 days we have left!

2018-07-11T15:33:32+00:00 July 11th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Pierces are Proud Members of the Military Family

As July 4th approaches, let us celebrate those who are serving and who have served our country. It is common for our active duty service women and men and our veterans to not talk much about their service to our country. All of them deserve to be recognized for their service and sacrifice to our nation.

Larry

My father, Larry, was drafted into the US Army as an infantryman during World War II. Until my niece had a school project to interview a veteran, we did not ever hear about what he did.

He was stationed in Missouri and worked as a telephone lineman. One of his assignments was to be the company photographer from which he developed a lifelong passion. He served with a great group of guys from Hawaii with whom he developed lifelong friendships. Most of his friends left the service after the war, but one, Big Tom, made a career out of the Army and retired as a Colonel.

After the war, Daddy was a beneficiary of the GI Bill. Without the GI Bill, he could not have attended college. Later on, while applying for State jobs, he was able to indicate that he had served in the military and his veterans points helped to secure the job.

Arnold

Arnold, Bud’s dad, served in the US Army during World War II. Arnold’s tenure was not as easy as my dad’s. While serving in the Pacific theater, Arnold was captured and spent the remainder of WWII in a Japanese POW camp.

Later, Arnold joined the Air Force as a career enlisted man and participated in the Berlin Airlift when food supplies were dropped to the citizens of Berlin while they were being starved into submission by the Russian military.

After the blockade ended, Bud’s dad met Bud’s mom at a dental office—some visits to the dentist aren’t all bad. Back in the US, Arnold passed away on a trip home from the local base. As his death was service-related, his widow, Erika, receives a widow’s pension and health benefits.

Pat

A close family friend, Pat, known as “Da” by my kids, was a Marine who served bravely at Iwo Jima.

Upon storming the beach, Pat survived a severe head wound that left him not knowing his own name for two years and with a metal plate in his head.

He always said that he wished that he could shake the hand of the unknown military surgeon who saved his life.

Pat went on to be a paramedic and a police officer. Though making a miraculous recovery from the head injury, Pat suffered from recurring epileptic episodes and mood swings. Fortunately, he had the VA medical system to help him with his medical issues.

Bud

Since his dad’s death was service-related, Bud received GI Bill benefits that helped pay for three years of undergraduate college education and two years of medical school.

During the 80’s when the military was not popular or respected in this country, Bud, after completing his second year of medical school, decided it was his duty to serve his country. He joined the US Marines as an enlisted man.

Our first date was canceled because Bud was called up to go on his annual mobilization. Future training sent Bud to Panama, Puerto Rico and other training sites. He served for six years in the Marine Enlisted Reserves, and seven years as a Navy Reserve doctor. Upon moving to Oregon, Bud taught doctors-in-training at the VA Portland facility for more than 20 years.

Families

Let us also honor the families of service members. They are the ones who carry the torch at home.

I remember the time of Desert Storm. Bud received a call that he was on stand-by, to be ready to be called up for active duty at any time. For months, every time the phone rang, my mind was unsettled with thoughts of Bud leaving for an indeterminate length of time, serving who knows where.

Our two kids were not even five, I was working full-time; we were worried about the coming “Mother of all Battles.” I was lucky. The Iraq War was over in 48 hours.

I feel for Larry’s, Arnold’s, Pat’s and other unselfish families who carried on at home amid worries for their loved ones. War is lengthy and brutally dangerous. When a family member is serving, there can be lengthy separations.

Responsibility to Those that Served

Throughout the year, let us honor those who are serving and have served by remembering what they go and went through, in all branches of service—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, Coast Guard, and National Guard.

To those and their families that are now serving: thank you for your sacrifice. To those who came back, we honor and respect you for what you did for us. We must remember to help you transition back into civilian life, whether to help you find employment, help with education and training and with healthcare.

To those who came back harmed either physically or mentally, you gave more of yourselves. We should always honor and assist you with kindliness, whether there is a need for extra assistance with housing, homelessness, mental health services, medical services, training and jobs.

To those who did not come back and their families: your sacrifice can never be repaid. We owe you an extra measure of gratitude, including financial assistance and support for the family members who must carry on. You are forever in our hearts.

We honor and celebrate those who serve in our military, our veterans and all their families. Thank you for your service to our country.

Sincerely,

Selma

2018-07-06T21:58:16+00:00 July 6th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Agriculture in HD 20

Words from Selma

It is no secret that the agricultural industry is not only the backbone of every community. It is a big part of most economies, whether it is growing the food, we eat or harvesting the wood and materials that build our communities.

Over the past month, I met with both the Marion County and Polk County Farm Bureaus and went to the AG tour around the Willamette Valley. Also, I was fortunate to visit the Rickreall Dairy Farm in Rickreall, Oregon. The owner, Louie, walked us through the daily routine of milk processing. One of the fascinating things that he showed us was the food that he feeds the cows themselves. There was a huge open barn, with six bays, that stored tons of feed for the cows.

He also focused on the economic and policy side of running a dairy farm and what kind of policy in Oregon has affected the dairy industry and agricultural industry as a whole. Being able to go around and see firsthand what it is that farmers do on a daily basis is a very eye-opening experience. You learn quickly that these farms are much more than a living for these farmers. It is their whole world, where they grew up, then raised their own families. However, they worry for their future generations’ ability to carry on their family tradition.

Polk County Farm Bureau

On Monday, June 4th, Selma was asked to come back to the Polk County Farm Bureau meeting for the second time. While she was there, board members asked her to give her opinion on the matters being discussed. “These sound like major issues that can and should be addressed. I want to hear more, politicians tend to talk too much and not listen enough. I am here to listen.” She replied.

As she left Selma said, “People do not understand that farms are the backbone of urban areas. Most people in the city do not recognize what it is that these farmers do for us on a day to day basis. We as a community should respect them. Elected officials should do all they can to make the farmer’s jobs easier and not harder.” From the extensive land use regulations that bar them from doing what they need to do to produce food, to the extensive limits and protection of invasive wildlife, the disconnect between rural Oregon and the Capitol is very much a reality.

Agriculture in Marion County

The agricultural industries in Marion County are vast. With annual crop sales of nearly half a billion dollars in Marion County alone, Marion County is Oregon’s largest producer of agricultural goods. The industries range from lumber, wine, floriculture, and crops such as hay, fruits, tree nuts, and berries.

During her meeting with the Marion County Farm Bureau, Selma spoke with several different farmers who each harvested something unique.  The meeting began with a short introduction of who everyone was and what they farm. “The range of goods that are produced in Marion County alone astonished me,” whispered Selma to one of her staffers.

The goods that are produced in Marion County feed not only the local communities, but people halfway around the world. One farmer Selma spoke to told her that some of the blueberries they grow are shipped to China and other parts of Southeast Asia.

Seeing the impact that many of these farmers have on not only their local communities, but the world as a whole is very astonishing. They do their best to make ends meet and continue to be the providers for the communities that need them.

2018-06-27T20:53:03+00:00 June 27th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

You Never Know

As we go about our business here in the Mid-Willamette Valley, we see people huddled in doorways, living under overpasses, shuffling along Wallace Road. These people are the most obvious of those experiencing homelessness. But, there are many more who you would not think of being in the same predicament of being without a home. There are many opportunities to get to know these people and understand a little more of whom they are.

Several times a year, my church works with Family Promise (previously Salem Interfaith Hospitality Network) to house families with children that have nowhere to stay. The families are our Church’s guests for the week. Church members prepare food, activities and wrap the families in friendliness and hospitality. During the day, the families spend time at the West Salem day center where a case manager helps them contact resources that help them with job training and location (if they are not already employed), locate stable housing, and regain their independence.

A Place of Kindness and Support
The Center for Hope and Safety (formerly the Mid-Valley Women’s Crisis Service) is another center that helps women and youth find safety from domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking. Human trafficking here in Salem? Yes, it does happen here. The Center provides a service of immediate safety and shelter for those in need. They work with survivors of all races, colors, creeds, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and gender identity. Their crisis number is (503) 399-7722 or call toll free in Oregon 1 (866) 399-7722.

Last week’s Marion County Community Homeless Connect put on by Salem Leadership Foundation, Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency and Mid-Valley United Way connected those who are homeless with resources that will help them get to a more stable place. Over 500 guests were served by more than 270 volunteers. Who were the volunteers? Just regular folks like you and me and 27 student volunteers from Corban University who wanted to lend a hand.

The best place and the place of meeting where “Us” and “Them” became “We” was the Friendship Café (the best “pop-up” café in Salem!) where over 900 meals were served. The guests were seated and served, (no buffet line here!), a homemade breakfast of sausage and egg frittata, apple spice coffee cake, and peaches. Everyone was friendly and polite, offering many kudos to the chefs who prepared these delicious meals. Conversations were started and we learned who each other are.

It Can Happen to Anyone
Think that these are not people you know? Guess again. A few years ago, one of the clients called out my name, “Selma!” This gentleman had previously done some flooring work in my house. He had gotten addicted, lost his job, lost his truck, lost his home, lost his family. He was so upset by what had happened, that he could not continue talking with me. He just pulled his hat over his eyes, and cried.

The first time I worked at Community Homeless Connect, I worked on the Medical Teams International Dental Van. I expected the patients to be of a certain stereotype. Wrong. The patients looked and dressed like you and me. Acted like you and me. You may think you know who is experiencing homelessness, but you don’t.

Once when I was working on the Dental Van, the van was parked at Rite-Aid in downtown Salem. I was seeing students from the Downtown Learning Center. I treated the students, and chatted with them as I worked. These students were really mature, and to a one, knew exactly what they were going to do next, where they were going. Whoever the school district had to work with these students was doing an excellent job! Later I found out that these students were “couch surfers,” meaning that they did not have a home, but were just crashing at a friend’s house. Good luck, students! You will all go far. You are ready for the world, and will certainly be an asset wherever you wind up!

Neighbors Helping Neighbors
The cornerstone of downtown assistance is the Union Gospel Mission, a facility originally founded by local business leaders to help men who are homeless. Women and children are housed in a separate facility, Simonka Place, in Keizer. When you see that people spilling outside the front door, it is because it is full and there is no more room inside for more guests. Here the guests have facilities and services that hope to start them on a journey to being treated with respect and dignity, restoring the hope that everyone counts.

When I enter UGM, I am greeted warmly and with much friendliness. This Easter Sunday, as I volunteered to serve Easter breakfast again, I was once again struck by the commonality of all of us as people. If you want to help out, UGM has a fun run at Riverfront Park on June 2, 2018 called “Walk for Hope.” Anyone can join in and support this great mission.

Working Together as a Community
Much still needs to be done to help people who are homeless. Private and public entities can come together to get something substantial done. Lately, we’ve heard of McKay High School student, Raul Marquez, who was pivotal in bringing together the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley, Mid-Valley Community Action Agency, and the Legislature in securing funds for a shelter for homeless teens. Another public-private partnership composed of the Housing Authority, City of Salem and Salem Health Foundation is giving an option for some who are chronically homeless to have medical respite beds, an alternative to being discharged back to the streets.

Another area for private-public collaboration is employment for those who were homeless. Look at the Delancey Street Foundation work in San Francisco. People who were addicted, previously incarcerated, homeless or with little education are transforming their lives. They are taking charge of themselves and becoming productive, fully participating members of the community. They then turn around and help others who were in similar situations. Albuquerque, New Mexico (There’s a Better Way) and Austin, Texas (R.I.S.E. ATX) have developed public-private programs to employ citizens who are homeless. These programs give structure, a sense of purpose, accomplishment and dignity to their participants, then they can help themselves.

Though we have a ways to go regarding homelessness, when we come together as a community, we can get to a better place.

Sincerely,

Selma

2018-04-10T19:29:30+00:00 April 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

“In Order for Democracy to Work, You Have to be Involved.”

Friends,

Having worked as a practicing dentist, I know fixing policy is tougher than filling cavities. That is why my extensive experience of community volunteerism over the years helps to improve the lives of those in my community and make things better.

We share big challenges, but we have not achieved the results we need. Being the 3rd worst in the nation for high school graduation rates is not acceptable. Oregonians deserve better. I hope to gain your support and be a part of a new leadership class that focuses on making Oregon the best in the nation, not last. By moving my hard work and dedication from community volunteerism to the state legislature, together we can improve our region and state.

Selma Pierce
Candidate for House District 20

I am committed to tackling the biggest obstacles impeding the quality of life in House District 20. Here are some of the key problems Oregon needs to solve to get our state back on track:

Being Third Worst in Graduation Rates is not Acceptable
Why can’t Oregon be best in the nation in graduation rates rather than near the last? For too many years, our political system has failed our aspiring youth. The system has failed students, parents and teachers. One step in the right direction is vocational education. These programs are perfect for kids who are eager to learn a skill or trade and head towards a career. Students are eager to learn, attentive, and excited. These students graduate at a much higher percentage than students who do not take any vocational classes. These kids like school!

We Must Do Better at Treating and Managing Mental Health Issues
The numbers of homeless people with mental health issues are at an all-time high in Oregon. Our prisons are filled with inmates who have serious mental health issues. There isn’t a broad strategy to help these people. Our system has failed those it aims to serve. We must find new strategies and solutions to get people the help they need, when they need it.

New Strategies for Affordable Housing
In the Salem area, there is less than a 2% vacancy rate for rental housing. Rental rates are climbing faster than people’s paychecks. Families with children are winding up homeless. We need a more coordinated effort to connect the private and public sectors to create new solutions for affordable housing options. We cannot have more people living a life of poverty and facing limited options with no hope.

Small Businesses Provide More Than Half the Jobs in the Mid-Willamette Valley
Owning a small businesses is not easy. It is especially hard when new rules and regulations come along that do not make sense and make it harder to succeed. With so many jobs at stake in our state and region from small business, we need to encourage these businesses to thrive and grow. We need these businesses if Oregon wants vibrant, healthy communities.

2018-04-02T20:35:38+00:00 April 2nd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Pierce Announces Run for Oregon Legislature

For Immediate Release  |  February 19, 2018  |  Contact: Jeanine Stice  |  503-930-2472

Wife of former gubernatorial candidate, Bud Pierce, says more needs to get done in the legislature

(Salem, OR) Selma Pierce, the wife of former gubernatorial candidate, Bud Pierce, is stepping up to serve as a legislative candidate in House District 20 which includes West and South Salem, Independence and Monmouth which is currently represented by Paul Evans-(D).

In order for democracy to work, you have to be involved. I want to see more practical solutions that serve residents coming out of the legislature,” said Selma Pierce.

Pierce, a retired dentist from Salem, and a long time community volunteer and activist, will be facing Paul Evans, a two-term Democrat from Monmouth.

Pierce received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from UC Berkeley and a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from UCLA. She earned a UC Regents’ Scholar designation and Phi Beta Kappa at UC Berkeley.

Selma has a long list of volunteer activities in the Mid-Willamette Valley. These include Medical Teams International Dental Van dentist, Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic dentist, Oregon Community Foundation Leadership Council, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Chemeketa Community College Foundation Board, OHSU Foundation Board of Trustees, Community Homeless Connect, First Christian Church deacon, and many more.

Selma received the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce First Citizen Award in 2010, the City of Salem Willard C. Marshall Special Citizen Award as well as the President’s Award, Blanchet Catholic School.

As far as specific issues Selma wants to focus on as a legislator, she has outlined four key areas she believes need undivided attention: A stronger education system where our students are tops in graduation rates, not 3rd worst in the nation. She supports more focus on vocational training for the thousands of students who are eager to start career training. She believes affordable housing and providing better solutions to the homeless epidemic are key to healthy communities. There is a crisis in our communities and state regarding mental health and addiction issues. Selma wants new strategies developed to address a growing problem that touches many families. And fourth, she wants the legislature to be a stronger supporter of small business development by reducing barriers to business growth and expansion to ensure a stable vibrant economy in communities large and small.

I am excited about this challenge. I believe I can bring a new perspective rooted in community and common sense to this job. Let’s get to work!” Pierce said.

Bud and Selma Pierce have two children, Kristina and Michael.

2018-03-03T18:41:57+00:00 March 3rd, 2018|Press Release|0 Comments