The fun begins: new local and national leaders sworn in

Ben DuPree FacebookTwitter

Today marked the swearing-in of new elected officials, both here in Oregon and in Congress.

Nationally there are a few bittersweet bright spots in the 115th Congress. Kamala Harris, Catherine Cortez Masto, Tammy Duckworth, and Maggie Hassan give Democrats more progressive muscle in the Senate. With each passing election, the Democratic caucuses become increasingly diverse. And, given Oregon’s progressive delegation, we look set to lead the resistance against President-elect Trump.

At the same time, Republican majorities in Congress look to start the “important” work right away. The House Republicans, for example, looked set to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, but that may no longer be the case.

In Oregon, new statewide officials are already getting settled in alongside familiar faces. We have a new Treasurer in Tobias Read and a new Secretary of State in Dennis Richardson. That second one stings. We’ll be talking often on how to hold him accountable and take the office back in four years, don’t you worry.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly are officially on-the-job, and day one sees Wheeler already shaking things up with significant new bureau assignments. Joining them on the clock are Multnomah County Commissioners Sharon Meiren, Jessica Vega Pederson, and Lori Stegmann.

And, here's a tremendous and important point worth its own paragraph: all of the members of Multnomah’s County Commission once again are women, including a majority being women of color. How amazing is that?

Of course, that only touches the surface. Which new or returning Oregon elected officials have your eye? Do you have any expectations or hopes you’d like to share as people get to work?

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