I cannot cast my vote for East Lane County Commissioner based on gender, as Tony Corcoran recommends (Viewpoint, 2/22). I do have a “pro women” bias in general, but we desperately need a county commissioner who is committed to restoring democracy to Lane County! We need a leader who understands that “We, The People” need to be in charge of how we live in our communities in order to protect our health and safety.

James Barber is the best candidate to do this. James has dedicated time and endless effort to grassroots organizing, and the man “shows up” — at racial justice events, at climate justice events, community marches and town halls.

Wherever community is rising to further “the good,” there is James Barber. I have seen him speak “truth to power” at numerous city and county public meetings.

James is a local businessman, community leader and a dedicated husband with young children. James grew up in a working class family that, at times, benefitted from the social support programs provided to vulnerable community members by a civil society. This has shaped his ethic of “kindness.”

We need bold progressive change in county leadership. We need a person who cannot be bought out by “special interests.” Let’s take back our community and build a safer, more just and inclusive Lane County.

Talk to James Barber, then decide for yourself!

Debra McGee