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Inside Salem

from Rep. Jeff Helfrich

Inside Salem

This month we will gather across the nation to celebrate our Independence Day. There will be firework shows, barbecues, beach days and family gatherings across the country. As we sit and enjoy ourselves, I would encourage everyone to reflect on the principles that underpin our democracy and the values that ensure our continued prosperity. Our Founding Fathers envisioned a nation grounded in liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government. These principles have guided us through challenging times and remain as relevant today as they were in 1776. On this Fourth of July, I want all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, to think on these things.
At the heart of our Independence Day celebration is the notion of liberty. Americans have
fought bravely for centuries for the freedoms we enjoy today, and it is our duty to safeguard them for future generations. The ideas of individual freedom and personal responsibility must continue to be the cornerstone of our society. We need to recognize that a free society thrives when its citizens are empowered to make their own choices, and that those citizens must take ownership of their actions and their consequences. This mindset then fosters a sense of accountability that strengthens our communities.
As we champion individualism, we must also recognize the importance of being responsible members of a community. Independence Day is a time to come together as Americans, setting aside our differences to celebrate the common bonds that unite us. Civic engagement and active participation in our communities are essential components of a healthy democracy. By individually supporting local businesses, volunteering, and participating in civic organizations, we can build resilient communities that reflect our shared values.
Our Founders designed a system of limited government with checks and balances to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful. This principle remains vital in maintaining the balance between individual freedoms and government authority. Limited government also means valuing local solutions and the strength of our communities. It is the idea that the answers to our problems can often be found in our own backyard.
In today’s polarized political climate, it is more important than ever to seek common ground. As your State Representative, I believe these values can serve as a unifying force, bridging the divide between differing viewpoints. Our nation was founded on the principle of E Pluribus Unum — ”Out of many, one.” Let us honor this ideal by working together to address the challenges we face. This Independence Day, let us recommit to the values that have made our nation great: liberty, personal responsibility, limited government, and community engagement. By embracing these principles, we can ensure that America remains a land of opportunity and freedom for generations to come. Wishing you a safe and Happy Fourth of July!
As always, you can reach me at or 503-986- 1452. My office and I would love to hear from you.
Outside of their own families, mothers play a pivotal role in fostering social cohesion and stability. They often serve as the primary caregivers, educators and role models, imparting invaluable lessons that transcend generations. They cultivate a sense of empathy, kindness, and solidarity within our communities, laying the foundation for a more compassionate society. Many are unsung heroes juggling multiple responsibilities with grace and fortitude.

Despite all the value they bring to our society, it is hard not to see the barriers and challenges that undermine their well-being and potential. One of the greatest challenges we face in our state is inadequate access to affordable childcare, which often hinders a mother’s ability to help provide for their families. As a legislative body we have taken steps to try and remedy this; however, there is much still to be done on this front. I am reminded of a young mother who came to my office this last legislative session and shared her experiences of going through community college in order to get one of the new jobs available through the semiconductor industry, an industry that is growing in our state. While her degree and career gave her hope for a better future, she did express some of the challenges that still faced her, childcare being one of them. As legislators, it’s incumbent upon us to champion policies and initiatives that empower and support mothers in every facet of their lives.

On this Mother’s Day, I pause to express my profound gratitude to the mothers who have shaped our lives. Whether they are biological mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, or maternal figures, let us honor their unwavering love, sacrifice and resilience. To all the mothers out there, I extend my heartfelt wishes for a Happy Mother’s Day. May your day be filled with love, joy, and cherished memories, and may you always know how deeply valued and admired you are for the remarkable role you play in shaping the future of our world.

As always, you can reach me at or 503-986-1452. My office and I would love to hear from you.

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