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Oregon Congressmen address MLK's legacy; Biden inauguration

Both Reps. Cliff Bentz and Peter DeFazio released statements on Martin Luther King Jr., the recent Capitol insurrection, and the coming inauguration.

Posted: Jan 18, 2021 4:25 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2021 4:27 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the beginning of inauguration week, the two Congressman representing parts of southern Oregon released statements addressing King's legacy, the coming administration change, and the U.S. Capitol insurrection earlier this month.


RELATED: Alone among Oregon Reps, Cliff Bentz votes against impeachment of President Trump


Rep. Cliff Bentz, a Republican, said that he would attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris this week — calling for peace, justice, and cooperation in paying tribute to King's legacy:

“As our country observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we pay tribute to the incredible life and meaningful legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His peaceful calls for justice, during a time of great division in our nation appealed to the better angels of our nature and advanced the cause of freedom for many who were being denied their constitutional and inalienable rights.

“In many ways, our country continues to work toward fulfilling the dream envisioned by Dr. King. There is no doubt that we must continue this work together, peacefully, as we should all issues confronting our great nation. This year in particular, we are reminded that there can be no justice when those who claim to pursue it employ only violence and destruction.

“The tragic events that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, reflect what happens when individuals and groups decide to resort to violence to achieve power. The outcome was disastrous. In the aftermath, many have gone to jail. Many have, and will be fired from their jobs, as they pay a price for their criminal actions. Violence against our democratic republic should not be tolerated.

“There have been many responses to the defilement of our Capitol, but particularly necessary is the need to remind all Americans that our political process - while imperfect - works. It is the best system we have, and violent actions to undermine it are illegal, ineffective, and unnecessary. We must prove that there are viable political solutions and that by working together we can achieve them.

“Later this week, I will be attending the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. I plan to do so, despite those who think I should not participate in this event. Notably, these calls for protest by not attending are not unlike those that were made - and acted upon - by democrats during the inauguration of President Donald Trump in 2017. I will not repeat their mistake. We must also prove, together, that we will make our systems of government more transparent, responsive, and accountable to the people. This means addressing the widespread perception, right or wrong, that our elections systems aren’t working as well as they should.

“As the elected Representative of Oregon's Second Congressional District, it has been my goal to restore that confidence. Moving forward, I am committed to increasing awareness of the election processes we have in place in Oregon, working with others to correct imperfections in America's election systems, and making sure that every state's election process reflects the voice of the people and is consistent with our Constitution.

“I know that both parties can come together around viable solutions to our biggest issues. We have done it before, and it is essential to the survival of our democracy. This work will not be easy, but if there ever was a day to recommit our nation to the belief that democracy advances the cause of liberty and justice for all - let it be on this special day recognizing the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”


RELATED: Oregon lawmakers urge removal of Trump from office


Rep. Peter DeFazio, in his statement, also addressed the need to overcome white supremacy and reform the nation's criminal justice system:

“Reflecting on a year where our nation has faced so many challenges—from the ongoing pandemic, which has taken nearly 400,000 American lives, to our painful and ongoing reckoning with racial injustice following the tragic death of George Floyd, to the vicious attack on our Capitol by white supremacists, I take comfort from Dr. King’s powerful words:

‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and conveniences, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’

“As we await the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, our nation’s first Black woman vice-president, I stand ready to tackle the challenges our nation faces head-on.

“With a Democratic House, Senate, and President we will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. We will work to overcome white supremacy and reform our criminal justice system. We will work to expand voting rights, roll back the voter suppression tactics of the Trump era, and fight to get dark money out of politics—restoring the voice of the people and the promise of our system of representative democracy. And we will rebuild this nation by enacting a comprehensive infrastructure proposal that will help all communities thrive and grow and prosper.

“I look forward to the work we will achieve these next four years, and I promise I will never stop fighting to better the lives of the American people and to defend our country and system of government.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 207558

Reported Deaths: 2760
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40446614
Washington26850249
Marion23497324
Clackamas18981235
Lane13944166
Jackson11581146
Deschutes1005582
Umatilla862787
Linn565381
Yamhill479479
Klamath478278
Polk402056
Douglas391683
Josephine363872
Malheur362063
Benton327522
Jefferson237839
Coos217737
Columbia193029
Union150224
Wasco145630
Lincoln144021
Crook129523
Hood River121933
Morrow115816
Clatsop10639
Baker103115
Curry73211
Tillamook6614
Grant5527
Lake4698
Harney4369
Wallowa1945
Gilliam811
Sherman701
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3812825

Reported Deaths: 63501
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124841524472
Riverside3017994627
San Bernardino2994254886
San Diego2820523778
Orange2731705116
Santa Clara1202332199
Kern1108471405
Sacramento1080131738
Fresno1030201724
Alameda898911286
Ventura817271032
San Joaquin748081440
Contra Costa70882813
Stanislaus635861071
Tulare49823850
Monterey43858456
San Mateo42756581
San Francisco37304559
Santa Barbara34631455
Solano33797267
Merced32325481
Sonoma31026317
Imperial28908741
Placer23656300
Kings23214247
San Luis Obispo21448261
Madera16660245
Santa Cruz16262209
Marin14212230
Yolo14161212
Butte12666198
Shasta12615235
El Dorado10423117
Napa1003280
Sutter9676113
Yuba652151
San Benito611163
Lassen580825
Tehama574263
Nevada493675
Humboldt452849
Mendocino435750
Tuolumne422271
Amador374347
Lake356653
Glenn243727
Siskiyou239938
Colusa228818
Calaveras221056
Del Norte14688
Inyo143438
Mono12984
Plumas7426
Modoc5645
Mariposa4667
Trinity4246
Sierra1180
Alpine890
Unassigned330
Medford
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Brookings
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Crater Lake
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Grants Pass
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Klamath Falls
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