November 7, 2023 Special Election
It is our privilege and responsibility as Oregonians and US citizens to vote all the way down the ballot in every election. When you demonstrate your engagement, you inspire others to participate!
I do this work for you and nothing makes me happier than to know it helped you fill out your ballot thoughtfully and intentionally. Thank you so much for reading and voting!
This is a living document - until election day, as I received feedback and gain knowledge, I will add it to the guide. If I drastically change my position or candidate choice, I will note it with the edit date.
You're only voting in this election if you live in Crooked River Ranch, one small area of La Pine, or the Redmond Fire District. And there's only one thing on your ballot if you do – money for emergency services, or money for road maintenance. I'm going to tell you to vote yes on all of it, because I'm a filthy socialist.
No, really – because when we live in a community, we help to bear the cost of running that community. Many hands make light work/many dollars from many tax payers make drivable roads affordable for everyone.
If you don't like that, go live off grid in the boonies and pretend like you don't rely on anyone but yourself. It won't be true, but you'll at least stop screwing up society for the rest of us!
My vote recommendations are based on my own research and do not represent any entity's opinions but my own. I vote progressive/liberal/democrat. When other factors are equal, I favor the candidate that is the least cis/hetero/male/white/old; who is aware of, and working on, their own implicit biases; and who is committed to improving equity, accessibility, and inclusivity within their jurisdiction. (Why this isn't racist.)
I will absolutely never vote for a Republican again. The GOP has given itself over to violence and lies and anyone who is still willing to call themselves a Republican, no matter now they frame themselves as "different," is complicit in the destruction of our democracy. The Republican party is corrupt to its very core and there will be no rehabilitation from within its ranks.
I'm sorry for those people of integrity whose identity has been Republican, but it is way past time to renounce your party.
True patriots and conservatives with any integrity must not align themselves with the hateful, anti-democratic rhetoric of the Right. If this statement bothers you, close the tab and move along; I don't want to hear from you about it.
Anywho! I've included summaries of why I'm voting the way I am, and links to more information on candidates, when available, in case you want to be an informed voter. I'm open only to discussion based on actual facts, that respects the work I've done here already. If you disagree with me philosophically to begin with, my guess is that it's going to be a waste of both our time to discuss. But if you think I've erred within my own set of values, I would appreciate your input!
Pay me for my work
What started out as a favor to friends (to keep them from randomly filling in bubbles on their ballots!) has turned into a significant piece of my community service. My voting guides will always be free to use and share, but they've never been free to make. The guide I've written for you here is super short, so it only represents about 1.5 billable hours of my time, researching, info-gathering, and writing. If this guide helped you fill out your ballot and you can afford to, you can pay me for my work: PayPal.me/laurasguides, Cashapp: $laurajoycamacho or Venmo: @laurajoycamacho.
Please feel free to share this Voting Guide with your friends and on social media, as widely as you can. If you choose to quote any part of it publicly, you must credit my work and link back to the original.
I'm using the Voter's Pamphlet that you can find here. Your ballot was mailed to you on October 18. If you think it has gotten lost in the mail, or it is damaged in any way, contact your county elections office and they'll help you out.
YOUR VOTE IS YOURS. If you are unhoused, you can still vote. If you are a student here, you can still vote. If you need disability services, they are available. If you feel threatened or manipulated to vote a particular way by someone, or if you feel unsafe in any way right now, there are so many people available to help you.
Keep in mind that not everything I cover here will be on your ballot; your ballot only allows you to vote for the measures and candidates in your particular area of Deschutes county, plus any Oregon-wide candidates and measures.
Your ballot must be postmarked on Election Day – November 7 – and received within 7 days, to be counted (but please fill it out and mail it ASAP!). Or you can drop your ballot at any of the secure ballot drop boxes throughout our county, beginning on October 20.
Measure 9-162 - Fund Redmond Fire & Rescue: YES
You are voting to re-up (and increase) funding for Redmond's emergency services. This levy will replace the one that was approved by voters in 2020 and will expire in 2025.
The Redmond Fire District is a rapidly growing area, including Redmond, Cline Falls, Eagle Crest, Terrebonne, along with unincorporated areas of Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook counties.
If you like the idea of timely assistance for your medical emergency or house fire, you definitely want to vote yes.
Measure 9-163 - Fund Ponderosa Pines East Special Road District: YES
You are voting to pitch in with your neighbors to fund snow plowing, grading, rock surfacing, district insurance and dust control for your roads.
The reason this levy is on the ballot is because when the Road District map was drawn, it included a road that is, in fact, not in the district. That meant that all of the cost estimates were wrong. Now that the map has been redrawn correctly, the fees are going to go up and by law, it has to be voted on again.
Measure 16-107 - Crooked River Ranch RFPD: YES
You are voting to pay less than $20/month to have adequate fire and emergency response times for the next 5 years.
That $20/month number is based on the assumption that you're the owner of a property with an assessed value (AV) of $200,000. Remember, this isn't the real market value (RMV) you see on sites like Zillow; assessed value is way lower. Bad actors always like to pretend these taxes are based on RMV, in order to scare up opposition. Don't fall for it!
Here's an example of RMV vs. AV using a property within the CRR RFPD. This 5 acre property in Terrebonne, with its 2 bedroom manufactured house, has an RMV of $657,710. It's on the market for $789,900. Its Assessed Value is less than $169,000.
So, despite having a property that's on the market for 3/4 of a million dollars, the owners of this property will be paying less than $20/month for their fire and emergency response times "insurance," because their assessed value is so low.
You can find your (and your neighbors', if you're nosy like me) property's assessed value (and lots of other cool info) on your county website. Here are the links for Jefferson county and Deschutes county, since the CRR RFPD covers properties in both those counties.
Look, you voted! I'm so proud of you!
If you have some extra time, consider contacting your representative and telling them you don't want your tax dollars funding a genocide.
I've been educating myself on the history of modern day Palestine/Israel issues by reading The Last Million, by David Nasaw, which follows the plight of the displaced Jews after WWII. It is harrowing, enraging, and enlightening. I highly recommend.