Another vote for Karol Collymore. A vote for inspiration.

By Stephen Marc Beaudoin of Portland, Oregon. Stephen is the interim managing director of PHAME Academy, an arts nonprofit based in District 2 that provides arts programming for adults with developmental disabilities.

Let me say this about Karol Collymore. She inspires.

I thought about this, this past Sunday night, 7:30 pm. I was tucking into a home-grilled burger with an amazing group of twelve new friends, all in their 20’s and 30’s, all from a range of backgrounds and beliefs and colors and orientations. All gathered, feet-tired but barbecue-sated, because Karol had inspired them, too.

With my new set of friends, I had just completed a second canvass in support of Karol’s campaign for Multnomah CountyCommissioner. It was exactly my second canvass, ever, for a political candidate or cause. The first? Also for Karol, a week before. That first canvass was a follow-up to the very first political rally I’d organized, at Wilshire Park in Northeast Portland. Forty-plus supporters assembled, rain-soaked and happy, to raise our voices in support of Karol Collymore: a passionate progressive, an accomplished leader, a creative thinker and a fresh voice in Portland. A person who inspires.

I’m 30 years old. I’ve never in my life been much concerned with politics, aside from voting in most major-ticket elections or covering Portland politics and issues as a journalist around town. Now I run a small Portland nonprofit, coach college students, and raise my voice as an arts advocate and professional musician. And now Karol Collymore – because of her passion and knowledge and commitment to Multnomah County – has inspired me, and thousands of others, to care about County issues, to connect with others in my community, and to put my passion into action.

Inspiration alone, of course, does not a great County Commissioner make. I want a County Commissioner that understands the issues and has creative solutions to the social and economic disparities in her district. I want a County Commissioner that’s committed to food equity and health disparities, that knows what she does and doesn’t know, and that’s a great listener. I want Karol Collymore as my County Commissioner.

Politics is about promises, and about promise. Not leaders that merely have the right numbers in their cell phone, or want to push through multi-million dollar public infrastructure project just to say “I promise to create jobs.”

But I’m hungry for leaders, especially at this grassroots local level, that inspire, and bring wonderfully diverse communities together around our possibilities and ideas. Citizens in education, labor, healthcare and the arts, in business big or small, in environmental causes, government and the nonprofit sector and more – across every racial, religious, class and sexual orientation – have all lined up behind Karol Collymore for Multnomah County Commissioner.

That’s because Karol Collymore is this leader. I’m fired up for her. I’m inspired. Let’s elect her as our next Multnomah County Commissioner.

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      Pretty much everything you've said here to promote Karol is matched or exceeded by Loretta, including the breadth of support behind her. It's amazing how folks who argue strenuously for knowledge and experience in the governor's race largely ignore it for District 2.

      I agree. Although it's nice to see a younger set inspired and involved, as demonstrated by Stephen's guest column. I've watched and listened to both Karol and Loretta "debate" during the primary and general, and the difference is clear.

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        I agree that the difference is clear. Which is why I am so honored to be supporting Karol Collymore for Multnomah County Commissioner, and why I am joined by thousands of others in supporting her in this campaign. The quality of energy, positivity, creativity and ideas present in Karol and those that support her is just phenomenal to be part of. With Karol's campaign, there is a freshness, a sense of possibility, that is palpable. I endorse and support Karol solely, but wish the best to both candidates in the race!

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    I will be proud to call Karol my commissioner. I have been helping since the primary, dropping lit on the Alameda Ridge, in Cully, in Arbor Lodge, and I will continue to support this articulate, kind, and passionate candidate. She's the best person for the job. I also know without a doubt that Karol supports full equality for LGBT Oregonians, and knows how to build consensus and community. There is no other candidate who even comes close. Thanks, Stephen, it's a pleasure to have gotten to know you, and I look forward to victory on November 2!

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    Thanks, Stephen, for this post. I am glad that you have been inspired and that in a time filled with negative ads and mail pieces, you have chosen to write with such positivity. I am glad to have two qualified women running for this race here in our district.

    As a staffer myself, it has really bothered me that Karol has been attacked for referencing work that has come through her office. We all work on issues as a team. We also have our bosses and constituents take the credit, as they should. Getting our constituents engaged or helping constituents already engaged cross hurdles in their work is our job. Now that Karol is running for office, she ought to take credit for her work. In fact, her role as a staffer to a county commissioner makes her incredibly experienced. I cannot imagine better training. To compare Karol to Chris Dudley is so far off base that I had to take some of my lunch break to respond.

    Please note that I have not said anything bad about her opponent. I don't want to play that game. I just appreciate Karol's energy and the work ethic she has shown over and over in the time that I have known her. She has earned my vote because I have seen her in action at the County and as a committed volunteer.

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