By Bob Stoll of Portland, Oregon. Bob is an attorney and progressive activist.
When you receive your voting ballots, remember to look at the contested race for Supreme Court, Position 3. I believe the best candidate for Oregon is Judge Dick Baldwin, a highly experienced and fair trial judge who has served on Multnomah County's Circuit Court bench for the past 11 years. Judge Baldwin, who is endorsed by former Governor Barbara Roberts and the Oregon Education Association, has placed people first throughout his life and his legal career.
My dictionary defines progressive as "a person who favors or strives for better conditions in society or government". Here are some examples of how Judge Baldwin has improved justice for Oregonians during his professional life:
In 1995, as Director of Litigation for Multnomah County Legal Aid, he took a leadership role in creating the Oregon Law Center when federal restrictions were imposed on federally funded programs. As a result, with local funding, low-income clients in Oregon continued to receive a legal services, including farm worker advocacy that would not have been possible without the establishment of the Oregon Law Center.
As a trial judge, in addition to presiding over hundreds of criminal and civil trials, Judge Baldwin presided over highly effective drug treatment courts. He also started Multnomah County's first Mental Health Court.
For many years Judge Baldwin has served on numerous community non-profit boards, including the Fair Housing Council of Oregon and Uniting To Understand Racism, an educational non-profit. Following Chief Justice Paul DeMuniz, he served as Chair of the Judicial Department's Access to Justice Committee.
Judge Baldwin has been honored by the Metropolitan Human Rights Center's Peyton Award for his civil rights advocacy and the Oregon Women Lawyers Deiz Award "for his outstanding contribution to promoting women and minorities in the legal profession and in the community."
Judge Baldwin's candidacy has deep support within our legal profession, our communities and across the state. Based on his extensive legal experience, work ethic and public service record, Judge Baldwin is also endorsed by many community leaders and circuit court judges. I am confident he would serve all Oregonians equally as a distinguished Supreme Court Justice. I urge you to spread the word about his candidacy through your email networks and forward this article when you do so.