Colm Willis

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Happy belated Mother's Day!

This weekend in a special way I was thinking of my wife Joan, and my mom. These two women have been such an inspiration to me in my life. Both of them happen to be nurses and this last week we also celebrated national nurses week at our weekly board session. Nursing and motherhood are both service first vocations. When I think of why public service is so important to me, I think it is probably in part due to the role these women have played in my life.

When it comes to being a mom, there are no days when you are "off the clock." You are a teacher, health care worker, janitor, spiritual director, short order cook, leader, and the heart of the home all at the same time. One time we had a friend over for dinner, and he asked my daughter, "Who is the boss in your house?" Without hesitation she responded, "Mommy." He laughed and then asked, "Well then, what is your dad the boss of?" She responded, "Marion County." There might need to be a little more explanation, but our three year old wasn't far off.

We were fortunate to have nurses from Salem Hospital, Santiam Hospital, and Marion County Health and Human Services join us to celebrate national nurses week. I am especially grateful for these local health care providers. There is nothing as good as having healthcare professionals who are truly a part of our community.

Honoring nurses

Recently, the Marion County Board of Commissioners decided to allocate about $300,000 to Hope Pregnancy Clinic to build their parenting initiative annex in order to support new moms in our community. Hope provides free, life affirming prenatal medical care to low income women in Salem and the surrounding region. My wife and I have received care there in the past, and the nurses and doctor on staff there are excellent. You can learn more about them here.

However, many of their clients come to the clinic with significant challenges, so Hope Pregnancy Clinic decided to launch a parenting initiative and build a parenting annex to help new moms hit the ground running. They provide mentoring and resources to new moms at this location. I am proud that we decided to support Hope and the moms that they serve. You can read more about how we allocated the rest of the American Rescue Plan Act dollars that we received from the federal government here.

Arson damage

Unfortunately, it is not all good news. On Mother's Day at approximately 10pm someone threw home made incendiary bombs at the Oregon Right to Life offices in Keizer. A fire broke out, but no one was injured. Police and Fire responded to the emergency. This act of violence took place after a draft opinion was leaked from the U.S. Supreme Court showing that there may be at least five votes on the Court to return the issue of regulating abortion to the states. Similar attacks have taken place all across the country. We should all be able to agree that this type of violence has no place in our community. I trust that our law enforcement officials will hold these individuals responsible for their actions. You can read more about it here and here.

Finally, election day for this year's primary election is just a week away. Please don't forget to fill out and return your ballot!

Although I don't have an opponent in the primary, I do have a competitive race in November. If you would support my campaign efforts by donating to my campaign here. I would really appreciate it! I will also begin to get yard signs out later in the summer as we get closer to the general election. Thank you again for your continued support!

It is an honor to serve you as your county commissioner.

God bless,

-- Colm



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