Proud of My Vote for Karol Collymore

Nova Newcomer

We need more leaders with Karol's courage fighting for vital services.

The first time I ever heard the words Multnomah County was in kindergarten when I went to the Albina Library on NE 15th down the street from my house on 13th and Prescott. I was so proud to have my very own card to check out my very own library books. That started my love affair with our County library system and little did I know how important that social safety net would be for me.

As a child I would often escape on my bike to the library from a home life that was chaotic. I found solace in the dreams and wonder that filled the shelves of the Hollywood, Belmont, Woodstock, even the Central Library. No matter how often I was uprooted, there was always a library there to help get me through rough times. I think many children's first knowledge of the existence of Multnomah County is through their neighborhood library.

Unfortunately, I also saw another side of Multnomah County as a ward of the court from the age of 11. I was picked up weekly by a Multnomah County caseworker for supervised visits with my mom. That caseworker saw us through a difficult time and though I wanted more than anything not to leave school early each week for those visits, looking back it helped me stay connected to my mom, which despite her ultimate failings (she passed away at 46 of a drug overdose), was very important to me.

So, perhaps not unlike a lot of voters this year, my choices in this election are personal. And voters are blessed with two wonderful female public servants to choose between for Multnomah County's District 2 seat. And no matter the outcome, our community is better served with their leadership. Because parity for women in elected office is important to me, it's always hard to see two women have to go head-to-head when we so desperately need more women running for office.

There are many reasons Karol Collymore is my choice for Multnomah County District 2 Commissioner, but first and foremost, because she inspires me to be a better citizen. And in these difficult times, we need people with energy, enthusiasm and the creativity to work on our most challenging issues. When Karol moved to Oregon, she got involved immediately. She didn't let being a newcomer keep her from immersing herself as a community advocate.

In her 3 years at the County in Jeff Cogen's office (Jeff Cogen is one of her biggest supporters), she has worked collaboratively with community members on important community revitalization efforts like the new North Portland Library in Kenton and the Farmers Market in St. Johns among others. And courage, one of the most desired traits we look for in our public officials, is not something Karol strives for -- it's something innate in her. Evident in her long-time work for equality and support for gay marriage, it's not enough for Karol to state her position -- she's going to be the one leading the march in the parade. We need more leaders with Karol's courage fighting for vital services.

When I think back to the vital role that Multnomah County services played in my childhood, I want to know that someone like Karol with in-depth knowledge of how the County works and the courage to take a stand is there advocating tirelessly to help today's kids in need.

I understand it's a hard choice between two experienced, hard-working community members who bring different strengths to this race, but with her energy, courage and track record at the County, I am proud to have sent in my vote for Karol Collymore. I hope you will too.

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    Even more proud of my vote for Loretta Smith.

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      So you have a proud meter or something?

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        Not as such. I just posit that being proud of a candiate that hasn't stretched the truth on her accomplishments, and has her focus and priroties on the people and communities she wishes to represent, gives more legtimacy to being proud of my vote for Loretta Smith. Or as Willamette Week put it:

        In the May primary, we endorsed Karol Collymore for a seat on the five-member board of county commissioners. Out of a crowded field of candidates, we wrote that this 2003 New Mexico transplant has “progressive credentials” and the “passion and ambition” to represent North and Northeast Portland well.

        We’ve changed our minds. Collymore’s passion and ambition remain unquestioned. However, WW recently uncovered troubling clues that Collymore overstated her accomplishments as an aide to then-County Commissioner (now County Chairman) Jeff Cogen. Fortunately there’s a second candidate in the race, Loretta Smith, who is qualified to earn our support.


        Smith has spent most of her life cultivating deep roots in the community. Meanwhile, Collymore has channeled her social and political energy into working with the gay community and in favor of abortion rights, obviously worthy causes.

        Smith has earned my vote by actually focusing on area and the people in it, instead of trying to angle for the next available opening for advancement to campaign for.

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    I, unfortunately, can't vote for Karol (not in her district), but I'm so very eager to see what sort of policies she initiates, and what sort of social justice ideals she champions. She has a rare combination -- energy plus experience -- a perfect mix for a truly great leader. Great vote, Nova!

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    I don't live in Karol's district either. But I too wish I could vote for her.

    Karol's rare combination of courage, passion and ability to inspire leave me awestruck.

    Many people that I know and admire support Ms. Smith and based on that I'm sure she'd also be great. But having seen Karol in action and having been inspired to take action in my own community because of her, I can't think of something that means "leader" more than this.

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      We've all seen Karol in action right here on Blue Oregon, and many of us have made our various decisions based at least partially on our assesment of that "action".

      Of course I can't vote on this one either.......The curse of rural living I guess.

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    Collymore's use of Kitzhaber's photo ) is very uncool & troubling. as i commented at WWeek:

    she’s not endorsed by Kitz, but she uses his picture in her mailer — in the middle of his high-profile campaign — and then says she didn’t think it might give the wrong impression?

    not to mention: “I looked cute in the picture.”

    and she wants voters to trust her judgment with the County’s money, personnel & services? seriously?

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      It wasn't a "mailer." It was an email to her supporters. There's a big difference.

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        So because it was a campaign email piece instead of campaign direct mail piece, that makes the issue of a misleading photo of her and Gov. Kitzhaber "different" how exactly?

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      ...todd, the real deal is this...

      on the judgement issue...loretta still favors that massive boondogle crc plan...did you hear the estimate has gone up to $10 billion from $4 billion...looks like somebody forgot about those migratory, protected fish called salmon, so now, the work can't go on "in the river" for 12 months w/o interruption...only 4...very pricey mistake in the estimate...

      even then, the skyrocketing increase in asthma rates from pollution in our north/northeast communities associated with this boondoggle, as well as high-speed, cut thru traffic cutting down pedestrians and cyclists in our streets...well...

      karol collymore stands against this nightmare version of the project...

      loretta is for it...

      why do you care who is standing in some picture?

      how about some actual facts?

      sorry, dude...sounds harsh...still...just sayin'

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        i totally oppose the CRC; this is an issue Loretta is wrong on. so what? i disagree with most electeds on something. that's a good thing.

        this is not about an issue; it's about judgment. sending an email that makes it look like she's supported by Kitz is very poor judgment. and her comments to WWeek were just embarrassing.

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          ...last time i checked, issues WERE about jucgement...

          ...and willy nilly about lowering the bar when it comes to journalistic's just an oba annex to the the merc, the skanner, and just out if you want actual journalism...

          ...willy's guy...neville whoseit?...the pulitzer committee really must be the one's who are embarrassed...

          ...old tired willy...just did not have the guts to print the letters that would have definitively proven they were slanted, biased, and sloppy in their coverage of karol...

          ...but, that's would have been bad for ad sales...


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      It wasn't me Kristin. I never get a picture taken with any politician unless my mommy makes me.

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      your answer is "the other kids are doing it, too"? really?

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        No, it's that it's a common campaigning technique. Peruse the opponents FB page and you'll find a similar one. It's a little nutty to slam a candidate for something that her opponent is doing, too

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          and, btw, I don't have a problem with either one of them doing it. It shows, in my mind, Karol and Loretta's support of Kitz, another reason to trust them.

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    Beautifully said, Nova! It is so exciting to see a whole generation of folks embracing fresh voices and ideas in this race. I am with you in supporting Karol Collymore for Multnomah County Commissioner!

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