This is not a message from the left or right. This is a message to ask why we continue to do the same thing… over and over. This, in fact, is… a message to the left and the right.

I wish our elected officials well. I want them along with all of my fellow Oregonians to succeed.

However, I have seen and now… I am responsible.

I have seen the hungry and I have seen the out of work. I have seen the homeless and I have seen the voice of our youth stripped of their innocence. I have seen the exploitation of the weak all the while their predators still work the street. I have seen the effects of the fatherless and heard the gunshots of the abandoned.

I have seen the small business owner overtaxed because they were labeled “rich” and I have seen the wealth of the elite keep themselves in power as those without cash are left out of the game.

I have seen dishonesty masqueraded as truth, and truth discounted as rhetoric. I have heard the promises of change, but I have only seen my pockets empty of change. I have seen our money spent, but I have no idea where it went.

I have heard the name calling from the left and I have heard the name calling from the right. I have seen the flames of class warfare fanned and the name of many good and decent people tanned by ones only doing so to buy themselves and their interests a vote.

I have seen the youth educated, but I have seen the schools closed… why must it matter what neighborhood we live in for our youth to get an education?

O Portland, where art thou? Where have you gone? How have we allowed this to happen?

O Portland, when did you become known as Pornland? How have we become so polarized?

Who speaks for me but from a predictable force but by the unions who lead without any recourse?

I have seen those that are connected left without a voice while those who claim to be our guide not even close.

I have seen the same once again given their shot, and yet sadly we have been led with the thought that things will indeed… get better, yet still… they have not.

As a citizen I pledge to do my part too and not just sit back and complain about you for I… I have seen enough and I hope you have too.

To bring us back to civility, it will take all of us, together as one, doing our part. It will take discipline and active engagement from each and everyone of us. It will take humility and it will take accountability. It will take a posture of service and a heart to place actions far beyond our words. In this, we all have a responsibility.

What will yours be?

* Oregon is in one of the leading states nationwide for hunger, homelessness, and unemployment.

* Portland has more businesses per capita than any other city nationwide within the legal commercial sex industry.

Gunnar Simonsen – 11/3/2010