I've been really happy to read and hear lots of excited comments about Chris Blackman's candidacy for county commissioner, District 2, that basically say, "It's about time!"
Too often we forget that women did not even have the right to vote until 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. So 100 years ago women couldn't vote in presidential elections.
Washington did a little better by granting women the right to vote in 1910, making Washington the fifth state to do so. (Washington had earlier granted women the right to vote in 1883, but took that right away in 1888, with legislators arguing that women weren't really citizens!)
In the history of Walla Walla County there has been only one female county commissioner. In a county where 51 percent of the population is female, where there are three colleges and where there are many, many successful women, how has that been allowed to happen?
That's why it is such a gift Chris is running for county commissioner! Chris will show our daughters and granddaughters that women are equals who contribute to the tapestry that our government must be.
Chris has a bachelor's degree from Gonzaga University, two master's degrees from Walla Walla University, and has submitted her thesis for a doctorate from WSU in educational leadership. She is much better educated than her opponents.
Chris has a 30-year history of public service, working in the protection and education of children and in the care of the chronically mentally ill. She currently heads the special education department at Walla Walla High School.
Her diverse contributions to our community are impressive: Treasurer, AAUW; secretary, the Health Center at Lincoln Alternative School; member, Executive Board of Walla Walla Valley Education Association; member Parks and Recreation and Urban Forestry Advisory Board; member Department of Human Services Advisory Board; and WWU Professional Education Advisory Board. Chris never stops learning, she attend the recent Wolf Management Forum.
It is important that there be a woman's perspective on the county commission. It is vital that all segments of the county be represented. Just as it is important that commissioners have financial and business expertise (which Chris has), it is also important that they speak for citizens and families, including the weak, ill and most at-risk.
Women need a voice on the County Commission, and Chris Blackman will be that voice!