Representative Bonamici Speaks to McMinnville Community

Alex Gogan, Opinion Co-editor


            Last Friday at McMinnville High School, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici delivered some powerful messages. Bringing together the McMinnville community to discuss education, our environment, and other public concerns gave the people a voice.  Representative Bonamici gave residents the opportunity to speak through a raffle format. As the residents arrived they were given a yellow comments form with a blue ticket attached. Through a selection of numbers, she picked people who had questions.

Throughout the evening residents asked questions regarding certain bills that would affect them, education, the War on Terror, and President Trump’s recent speech to Congress. The community was concerned for those who will be affected by Trump’s Immigration Ban. As one woman said: “These are human beings, and we need to protect them”. Representative Bonamici responded with “That’s not what America is about” and stressed the message we will be sending to other countries. She continued by considering the families that could and are being torn apart. It is an issue that we cannot ignore. Oregon is a sanctuary state, a loose statement which means that our state welcomes refugees and illegal immigrants.

Another concern was guns and public shootings. One concerned mother and teacher said: “we need to make sure our areas are safe from gun shootings”. Bonamici proposed the idea of universal background checks. They would not violate the second amendment and would make sense. She views the shootings from the past few years as “gut-wrenching” and she shares the community’s concerns in hoping to find a way to protect others.

Education was a concern for many parents. Bonamici commented, “Public education needs to teach kids how to be critical and creative thinkers”. Residents spoke up about the children who eat at school in the morning and afternoon. The School Breakfast Program was said to be too expensive, but studies proved otherwise as more and more families found it useful. Representative Bonamici agreed by saying: “Children aren’t hungry by choice. It’s not that their parents aren’t feeding them by choice; it’s because of circumstances”.  She understands the importance of education and that “Kids can’t learn when they’re hungry”.

Representative Suzanne Bonamici encouraged the community to keep speaking up. She says: “We work for you”, and she shows this by listening to each member and considering a solution or assuring that she will find some way to help. She believes that President Trump is making empty promises, and that there is a right to assemble. Members of the community are scared about what bills and acts the President will construct which will tear apart the United States instead of “Making it great again”. Bonamici hopes to aid the community and reassure that The United States is not going down a path no one wishes to follow.