Letter:’Elisabeth Veneman has stepped up to the challenge’

Vancouver resident Marie Therese Emerson offers her thoughts on race for Clark County Council

“Kites rise highest against the wind — not with it.” – Winston Churchill.

This quote I have felt has always seemed apt during election time where the promise and hope of liberty and great expectations run feverishly high – and it should. Hope provides promise of something better, and casting our vote is as much an act of hope as it is of a choice we make for our liberty and citizen rights.

Marie Therese Emerson
Marie Therese Emerson

Elisabeth Veneman stepped up to the challenge and like the kite that Sir Winston alludes to, rose high despite the challenges and obstacles she has battled through – with integrity and with a rarely met sincerity to serve the public.

High praise indeed, and it is merited. In a bullet point summary, I will share why:

  • She has consistently campaigned for an increase in property rights well before she ran for the position.
  • She opposed the property tax/levy that Julie Olson endorsed and voted for.
  • She is a big champion for lower property taxes. She understands that lesser taxes means more money in your pocket for your family.
  • Elisabeth understands the need to boost local economy and jobs in Vancouver. A thriving city is founded on prosperous local businesses that make our city richer. This provides more resources to make a better, prosperous and safer city for its inhabitants.
  • She is a proponent of no bridge tolls. The reasons for her position are:

It will have a detrimental effect on commerce; Oregonians travel to Vancouver for better deals and if people have to pay toll charges, it may have an effect on their choice to bring their business across or not.

It will have a financial strain on families who may not be able to pay the toll charges to make it to work. Nobody should have to be restricted in their choice on where to work. Toll charges will do exactly that.

It is not lawful to toll bridges without a toll free alternative for exactly the reason above.

  • She advocates for no fee parks. We pay for them through our taxes and another fee removes resources from our pocket to pay for things that are already paid for.
  • Lastly, but by no means least, is her objection to the I-639 agenda that curtails individual gun ownership rights. Elisabeth quite correctly states that we already have laws, which are not being enforced. We do not need more legislation; we need our agencies to enforce what already exists.
  • Julie Olson who currently holds the position and also campaigns against Elisabeth Venemen has consistently voted for all of these measures mentioned above that not only disenfranchise Vancouver residents, but harm average families such as ours. Elisabeth Venemen is not the elite; she is the average person like the rest of us who not only relates to our issues but like us is also a casualty of bad policies. Bad policies such as raised property taxes, advocacy of tolls and park fees that have been passed and promoted by her opponent Julie Olson.

We want more money in our pocket to enjoy with our families, not less. Julie Olson states that the property tax hike is minimal at only 1 percent. Well, perhaps math is not Ms Olson’s forte, but 1 percent on a $300,000 home comes to $3,000 per year that is out of your pocket. Add to this unnecessary park fees and the tolls Ms Olson proposes. These small changes have widespread consequences. They will have detrimental effects on local economy and a potential loss of commerce by people across the river who come to shop in Washington, as well as locals who can’t afford to do things they used to because of taxes and one begins to see how Ms Olson’s proposals begin to pinch the average family’s pocket and reduce their choices. Then there are the hidden elements to bad policies such as loss of social capital and the increase of social pressure that comes with financial difficulties that families will suffer due to bad policies. The aggregate result of Ms Olson’s proposals and bad policies will soon have a detrimental effect on our communities.

Bottom line: families will suffer with Ms Olson at the helm.

Elisabeth Venemen believes in empowering individual rights, which is the very foundation upon which our Constitutional republic thrives and prospers. This is to be embraced and encouraged. It is to be promoted and reinforced. Individual empowerment and good policy based on the fundamentals of the Constitution provide choice and a path to prosperity.

The adage ‘’actions have consequences’’ is as much a signal of hope as it is a warning siren. We not only have a civic duty to cast a ballot as informed voters but a duty to vote in a manner that ensures our individual rights are not only protected, but that we actively participate in our civic duty to present our nation with a right guard. This ethos was surmised nicely by President Dwight D. Eisenhower who stated: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

On a more personal note, Elisabeth is an active volunteer in her community. She has been raised with an ethic of community help and public service. Her parents run a ministry for people who are struggling with substance and alcohol issues, and she knows that a thriving community is based on community effort and the promotion of good values. She volunteers at the Fort Vancouver Historical Site, often with her children. She is a huge advocate for homeschooling and learning. She is not only passionate about public service, she lives what she believes it. In a time of abound political cynicism, Elisabeth Veneman is a true breath of fresh air.

Marie Therese Emerson

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