McLeod-Skinner will make higher education accessible

Labor Day is dedicated to the achievements of American workers and the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

As I celebrate Labor Day, I am grateful for the public education I received that opened many doors in employment and allowed me to earn a livable wage, own a home and support my family. Many workers need training and education beyond high school to be prepared for today’s job market. While trade schools and colleges once were affordable, current costs are out of control. Just when graduates are new to the workforce and should be looking forward to greater economic independence, they are strapped with debt. We need more affordable education and better job opportunities for our youth.

For many years, I was a work-study coordinator for a public university and helped students use their financial aid to find part-time career-related jobs. When they graduated with the combination of a college degree and on-the-job experience, they were well-prepared and able to find work in their chosen field. I also worked with graduates who became AmeriCorps members and worked in public service programs to pay off their student loans. We need more of these programs in our trade schools and colleges to help young people avoid debt and secure meaningful employment.

We also need government representatives who support our young people and work to ensure they have a bright future. That is one reason why I support Jamie McLeod-Skinner for Congress. She has proposed an exchange of public service for trade school or college education and she will build partnerships for good jobs in renewable energy, rural broadband access, affordable housing, transportation and water systems.

Jamie asks our district to “Please join me in honoring our workers by committing to protecting our unions and building the partnerships that will bring good-paying jobs to Oregon. Because when you work hard and you create wealth, you deserve a living wage.” Join me in voting for Jamie McLeod-Skinner on Nov. 6.

Gretchen Stadler

Baker City

Passing school bond a benefit to the community

We are writing to show our support for Measure 1-88. Baker City is a beautiful place to live, raise a family, and retire. Unfortunately, the condition of our schools has become a blemish for our entire community. Workers, professionals, and entrepreneurs are all important parts of a stable community. These people want to see a healthy educational system which includes a healthy infrastructure and our school buildings are just not adequate. When potential active community members select other locations to live we all lose. We lose when Baker City can’t attract or keep quality medical professionals. We lose when entrepreneurs don’t select our city to open a new business. We lose when current businesses can’t expand due to a lack of trained workers in the area.

Our community is in desperate need of schools that are safe, functional, and capable of handling current enrollment. The average age of the educational buildings in our district is 79 years. There are many areas that these buildings fall short and after a year of study the Long Range Facilities Planning Committee identified the main issues. Enrollment in Brooklyn, South Baker and Baker Middle School far exceed safe capacity while Baker High School is only at approximately 50 percent capacity. Measure 1-88 would address this problem while also improving safety, security and energy efficiency.

The last school construction bond passed in 1948! It is time to support the children of this community and in turn support the community itself. It’s time to Vote Yes for Kids!

Travis and Krista Cook

Baker City