Immigration rights, campaign finance reform advocates to speak at April 4 Linn Dems meeting
ALBANY – Juan Navarro, an immigration rights activist, and Patrick Starnes, a campaign finance reform advocate, will be the guest speakers at the Linn County Democrats’ monthly general meeting Thursday, April 4, at Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Ave. S.E. A social time with light refreshments begins at 6 p.m. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Navarro, a local, statewide, national organizer for immigration rights. is a graduate student in the College Student Services Administration Masters Program at Oregon State University. He is from Guadalajara, Mexico, and grew up in the Salem area. Navarro received a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) deferment. Navarro was 3 when he was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by his parents, who were desperate to find help after a doctor told them he would never walk. A Shriner’s hospital was willing to take him as a research case. After 12 years of physical therapy and six surgeries, he was able to walk. At OSU, he has joined forces with a student organization called Here To Stay at Oregon State University that’s pushing for a Dreamers Resource Center at the university. Starnes was the Independent Party nominee for governor in 2018. Knowing he would not win, Starnes withdrew from the race the week before Election Day and endorsed Kate Brown after getting a commitment from her to pass a constitutional amendment for campaign finance reform. Since the election, Starnes has worked with the governor to have the Legislature refer the issue to voters in 2020. Starnes served more than 10 years on different school boards in Oregon. He is a graduate of Umpqua Community College and the University of Oregon, where he earned a degree in history. He and his wife are restoring a vintage house in Brownsville.