"Democrats in disarray" articles such as the one by Dana Milbank ("Democrats Must Beware of Berning Out," Aug. 16) are popular. Focusing on conflict, the media misses the real story of the energized process at work in the Democratic grass roots, the heart of our party.

Benton County Democrats partner with many other progressive groups in town. Chief among them are the talented organizers of Our Revolution Corvallis Allies (formerly Corvallis for Bernie) many of whom hold leadership roles in the Benton County Dems. As chair, I affirm that we remain a unified force for progressive Oregon values regardless of our individual 2016 primary candidate choice. This is also true for the Democratic Party of Oregon which is influential on the national level.

The Democratic Party may look messy from the outside; however, it functions just fine. Democrats are diverse and care deeply about a wide range of issues — free public education, universal health care, halting climate change, living wage jobs, and strong unions — unlike the party in power, which bypasses these democratic values to focus on tax cuts for the wealthy.

Which party owns the current disarray in America? Under Republican rule, we face yet another government shutdown in the midst of Harvey and Western wildfires. Don’t depend upon the opinions of Washington, D.C. columnists! Come meet the dynamic group who are the Benton County Democrats. We meet every third Thursday. In September, we will review our Benton County platform, and Rep. Dan Rayfield and Sen. Sara Gelser will give an overview of this past legislative session.

Stephanie Hampton

Corvallis (Sept. 5)

The writer is chair of the Benton County Democrats.

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