Senator Dallas Heard’s response to the COVID pandemic has been dreadful.

In the best of times many families in Southwestern Oregon struggle to make ends meet. But the COVID pandemic has made things worse. According to the Oregon Employment Department’s recent report, Douglas County residents have filed a total of 17,070 unemployment insurance claims since January, and those claims have increased by 1,462 between July and August. Coos County unemployment claims since January totaled 4,412, and Curry County residents have filed 2,936 claims in the same period. All of these families, your friends and neighbors, deprived of their basic income, must somehow buy food and other basic necessities, pay rent or mortgage, and so on.

In spite of this catastrophe, Senator Heard voted nay on three measures passed during Oregon’s special sessions that provided some relief. SB 1701 expanded unemployment benefits. HB 4202 included a moratorium on foreclosures. HB 4213 extended a moratorium on evictions.

Worse, even as COVID cases surge in Oregon, Heard is actively opposing policies that will save people’s lives. At a rally in Douglas County, a mask-less Heard spoke about “freedom and liberty,” and promoted “standing up to Kate Brown” and her prudent policies intended to protect all Oregonians.

We, the people of SD-1, deserve better than this. Fortunately, we have an excellent choice. Kat Stone was born in Douglas County. Her first employment was as a mill worker. After that, she paid her own way through college and has been a registered nurse for thirty years. She is active in the community and serves on two local boards. As a member of the Democratic Party Gun Owners Caucus, she works to protect gun-owner rights. In short, Kat’s experience and policies are a perfect match for the district’s citizens.

Pat Sherman

Roseburg

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