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'I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve Oregon and its people. Together, let's work to make positive changes and deliver results for all Oregonians.'
Taylor elected to third term as Linn Dems chair
Susan Heath. previously third vice chair, was elected first vice chair. Newcomer Bill McCoy, an Air Force veteran and retired aeronautic engineer and computer programmer, was elected third vice chair. McCoy described himself as "110 percent Democrat." (Update: McCoy resigned Feb. 9, and the Linn County Democrats Executive Committee on Feb. 10 selected Krystal Overvig as 3rd Vice Chair until an election can be held during the next central committee meeting on March 2.)
In addition to Taylor, officers reelected were 2nd Vice Chair Chris Smith, Treasurer Jackie Montague. Ambassador Paula Connaghan and Secretary Renee Windsor-White, who is also starting her third two-year term.
Also elected were State Central Committee delegates and alternates, and Congressional District 4 and 5 Committee delegates and alternates, all of whom are listed below.
Chair: Jerred Taylor
1st Vice Chair: Susan Heath
2nd Vice Chair: Chris Smith
3rd Vice Chair: Krystal Overvig*
Treasurer: Jackie Montague
Secretary: Renee Windsor-White
Ambassador: Paula Connaghan
State Central Committee Delegates:
Susan Heath, Chris Smith, Carolyn Wagner
State Central Committee Alternates:
Nathan Burroughs, Krystal Overvig, Ben Watts
Congressional District 4 Committee Delegate:
Congressional District 4 Committee Alternates:
Congressional District 5 Committee Delegates:
Stacey Bartholomew, Steve Harbert, Scottie McKee
Congressional District 5 Committee Alternates:
Scott Bruslind, Sheree Speaks-Mahi, Wendy Nilsen
* Overvig was selected Feb. 10 by the Linn County Democrats' Executive Committee to replace Bill McCoy, who resigned as third vice chair on Feb. 9. Overvig will serve until an election is held during the next Linn Dems Central Committee meeting on March 2.
Albany’s three new city councilors offer
their new year’s resolutions and hopes for 2023
“It’s good to go in with two other women who have similar ideals,” Newton said in a recent interview with the Linn County Democrats. “We all have different life experiences, but we all really like each other.”
All three offered their new year’s resolutions and hopes for the council in 2023.
Ramycia McGee, an English and literature professor at Linn Benton-Community College, says her year doesn’t start on Jan. 1, but on her birthday, Jan. 26 (It’s a birthday she shares with Newton. McGhee will turn 38 that day, Newton 33.)
“Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 26 is a trial time,” said McGee, noting that she is resolved to work toward getting the starting time of city Budget Committee meetings changed from 4 to 6 p.m. to make it easier for working people to attend. She also wants to push for more affordable housing in Albany.
“I’m the only renter on the City Council,” she said. “I’m concerned about the skyrocketing rental prices in this area. My rent just increased $150 a month.” She would like to see some form of rental control or rent security, “so people have a decent place to live.”
McGee, who succeeds longtime City Councilor Bessie Johnson, will be the first Black woman to serve on the council. “Women have always been in leadership roles, even in unofficial ways,” she said. “Black women have always been in the forefront.”
As a city councilor, McGhee vows that she will “always be working, always be listening and approachable."
Jackie Montague, 47, is a senior process leader at ATI Speciality Alloys and Components in Millersburg. She defeated Josiah Blaisdell in the Ward 2 Council race and will succeed Stacey Bartholomew, who opted not to run. Her resolution is to learn as much as possible “so I can serve the community well.”
Montague, who served for a year on the city Planning Commission, is concerned about growth impacting the environment. “We need to be smart about how we grow,” she said. “We need to look at density first as we expand the urban growth boundary.”
Affordable housing is also high on her list of priorities. “Twenty percent of our population needs some sort of accommodation in their housing,” particularly for an aging population. There is a great need for low-barrier housing shelter and for creating more affordable housing, she said.
Montague is treasurer of the Linn County Democrats and plans to continue in that role if re-elected Jan. 5 during the Linn Dems’ reorganization meeting.
Steph Newton, who owns Multnomah Marketing, defeated Greg Hamman, longtime Councilor Dick Olsen and Matthew Prudell in the Ward 1 City Council race.
Newton, who is believed to be first Jewish woman elected to the council, serves on the board of the Beit Am Mid-Valley Jewish Community, and is in charge of membership and events. She plans to remain on the Beit Am board, but is stepping down as chair of the Albany Human Relations Committee and as 1st Vice Chair of the Linn County Democrats.
As she starts her council term, her new year’s resolution “is to learn as much as I can.”
Newton wants to see a boost in the city’s collection of Transit Lodging Taxes that, she said, it’s missing out on now. She also will push for a Latinx-themed plaza in a city park. A mid-valley Latinx resident suggested the creation of such a plaza in Timber-Linn Memorial Park in the early 2000s, She was rebuffed by the council and received some ugly comments from people in the community. Appalled by the reaction to that proposal, a number of people urged the creation of what would become the city’s Human Relations Commission in 2007.
Newton and her husband, Scott, have two children, 7-year-old Isla and 19-month-year-old Woodrow. She wants to bring the perspective of a parent with young kids to the council. She also hopes to make the council and the city “more accessible, more equitable and a voice for people who haven’t been represented and make Albany more progressive.”
The new city councilors join returning Councilors Ray Kopczynski, Matilda Novak and Marilyn Smith; and Alex Johnson, Albany's first Black mayor, who was re-elected Nov. 8 and sworn in for his second term during the Jan. 4 meeting. Smith was elected Council President at the meeting. Outgoing City Councilors Bessie Johnson, Stacey Bartholomew and Dick Olsen, who was not in attendance, were honored for their service and presented with framed keys to the city.
— Graham Kislingbury
MLK's legacy lives on at his alma mater
"Martin Luther King Jr. is incredibly important to Morehouse. ... He has a statue on campus that you can’t help but admire every time you drive down Westview Drive as he points to that shining star on a hill. I think that MLK would be the first to acknowledge that we have a lot more work to do, especially when it comes to social justice,
racial justice and economic justice."
— Jonathan Bradley, Sacramento Kings social media manager and a Morehouse College graduate
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