Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson has stood out as an excellent progressive representative of his south Eugene district since 1997, winning election six times for a total of 24 years of service. Whenever there was a land use battle defending the people against business interests, Sorenson was leading the fight. The environment, racial justice, LGBTQ issues, social services, education, labor and budgeting of government resources are just a few of the areas in which he challenged the status quo. Those who wanted to clearcut Oregon forests and degrade our environment made it their (unsuccessful) mission to defeat Sorenson. And he was questioning police and jail funding levels years before it became a national issue.
Sorenson was an Oregon state senator from 1993-97 and also served on the Lane Community College Board. He helped elect and then worked for Congressman Jim Weaver and also was a special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
Sorenson is finishing out his final days in office. Like anyone who serves in such a role for many years, there will be some who love him, and a few who have found fault. But for many, Pete Sorenson was a great representative for one of the most progressive areas in our state. Every day he went out to fight for the common person, seeking justice and fairness and to make the world a better place. He did it with compassion, honesty, integrity and great humor. He took to heart the motto of “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.”
Joe Daunt and Karen Kennedy