The Wildfires Knew No Party.
A message from Val Hoyle - October 27, 2020
It’s crunch time for this election, but this message isn’t really about the election.
If you’re like me, you’ve been peppered with emails from candidates seeking votes and donations. If you’re like most people, you know who you’re voting for in what truly is the most important presidential election in my lifetime. And you know my values, and you know where my support sits for candidates up and down the ballot. So I’m not going to ask you to read another message asking for your money or support.
It’s almost November, and it's getting cold outside. But less than two months ago it was very hot, and very windy, and Oregon was ablaze. I live east of Springfield, and like thousands of other people, we lost power in my home; like thousands more, we had to evacuate. Unlike so many thousands of our fellow Oregonians, the fires never reached all the way into where my husband and I live. We are lucky, but so, so many were not.
And as the weeks have passed by and the election is in full swing, we’re all still dealing with the pandemic, the economy is a wreck, and the national media moves on to the hype cycle of the hour—the wildfire devastation is not over. The recovery has barely begun.
I’ve been talking to people all over Oregon since the fire started, helping where I can, making connections to resources, and keeping attention focused on recovery. We have thousands of Oregonians who lost their homes and have nowhere to go. We have infrastructure destroyed and forests primed for landslides and floods.
State Treasurer Tobias Read and I are co-chairs of the Wildfire Economic Recovery Council convened by Governor Brown. It’s a non-partisan, statewide group of Oregonians working to provide input and leadership into key decisions about recovery. You can learn more about our work here.
We have a long road ahead of us as Oregonians. And as intense as the politics are right now, we have to remember that when those fires were burning, they didn’t discriminate amongst their victims based on their political leanings. No one who lost their home deserved it.
When the election is over, we have to recover - from our division, from COVID, and from the wildfires.
When you vote, you are setting the course for our recovery. Please get your ballot in as soon as possible if you have not already. And if you are able, please support local organizations that are helping with wildfire recovery.
All the best,