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Editorial: Corvallis leaders shouldn't waste widespread support

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The Corvallis City Council is in a rather unique situation in Oregon in that it seemingly possesses carte blanche from the populace to pursue a progressive agenda.

Super-educated Corvallis, home to Oregon State University, high-tech companies and more, is perhaps most liberal city per capita in the Beaver State.

At times, city leaders take vibrant action, such as a recent vote to provide a $500,000 zero-interest loan for a 174-unit affordable housing development in South Corvallis.

Critics may call this a drop in the bucket given Corvallis’ housing issues, and they’d be correct, but it’s a significant decision by the city that could serve as an inspiration for neighboring municipalities.

At times, however, instead of focusing on solutions to real world problems, even minor or partial solutions, city leaders seem intent to engage in endless discussions and virtue signaling.

In case you missed the news, in mid-November, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution that bars Corvallis from investing in armaments and military contractors.

This is a nice sentiment, but Corvallis doesn’t have any such holdings, nor was it likely to begin investing in the arms industry, which would be a scandal for the peace-loving Benton County seat.

Still, there was a lot of congratulatory back-slapping about slaying this imaginary dragon.

If some readers believe we’re picking on the current Corvallis council to a certain degree, well, they’re right. Corvallis has a tendency to define its values rather than act on difficult issues such as homelessness, mental illness, livability and even the housing crisis.

City leaders have widespread support and permission to boldly push things forward. They shouldn’t squander the opportunity. Corvallis is great but it could be so much more.

Landmark marriage bill

Speaking of not wasting their shot, Democrats are quickly moving while they still hold the majority in both chambers in Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted 61-36 to approve a landmark marriage bill that would ensure that same-sex and interracial marriages are enshrined in federal law. The next step is to send the bill to the House, according to an article from the Associated Press.

The AP described the development as “a stunning bipartisan endorsement, and evidence of societal change, after years of bitter divisiveness on the issue.”

A change, tolerance, equality and the separation of church and state has been long overdue in this matter.

Of course, gay marriage is nothing new in Oregon, where it’s been legal since 2014.

Nowadays there are about 1,000 same sex marriages each year in our state, and that accounts for somewhere between 4% and 5% of total marriages here, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

We’d argue that there should be legal rights and protections for people who want to make such a binding commitment. And who does gay marriage hurt? Don’t we want people to be in happy, loving and stable relationships — the kind of relationships that benefit society?

Upcoming memorial editorial

There are plenty of reasons why the mid-Willamette Valley is an amazing place to live, including its natural beauty, the farm-to-table scene and the proximity to the coast, mountains and major metropolitan areas. But a big reason for the quality of life here is the exceptional people.

For an upcoming editorial, we’ll be compiling a list of residents who left a legacy for our area but passed away in 2022.

This memorial has become a sort of annual tradition for our newspapers, and serves as the last local editorial for the year.

The list will include about 20 people who served our area and those who can inspire us as we journey into 2023.

If you have a resident of Linn or Benton counties, or Jefferson, who you’d like to nominate for this list, please send an email to Kyle.Odegard@lee.net.

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