Secretary of State Bev Clarno @oregonsos
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Last month, @depsecvial passed by a small group of students in the halls of the @oregonstatecapitol. They were from Sunset Academy in Sherwood, and they were touring the capitol building. Deputy Vial, who represented Sherwood in the Legislature, asked them if they wanted to meet the Secretary of State (they did) and he took them into my office to see me. We talked about what they were learning in school and about the importance of civic engagement. Starting again in January, you can take a guided tour of the capitol building on any weekday at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Along the way, you’ll learn about the history of Oregon, the capitol building itself, and the legislative process. Walk-in visitors are welcome. Between June 15 and September 30, you can also combine your capitol tour with a tower tour, where you can climb the 121 steps to get a closer look at the Oregon Pioneer (also known ask the “gold man”) on top of the capitol building. Call 503-986-1388 for a current schedule of tower tours.
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Over the past few months, I've made a habit in my newsletters of acknowledging some of the people in the Secretary of State's office who are known for going the extra mile. This month, I'd like to shine a spotlight on Aubrey Gesner, who works for our Business Services Division. Since coming to the Secretary of State’s office from the Department of Administrative Services, Aubrey has become an invaluable and key team member. Although her primary role is to serve as our Budget Analyst, she has since become the Division’s Application Administrator, Continuity of Operations Coordinator, and most recently a supporter of the Division’s Payroll and Benefits Coordinator. Aubrey is one of those people who always steps up when there's a need—with enthusiasm and a big smile on her face. Working with people like Aubrey, who go above and beyond every single day, is one of the things that makes serving as your Secretary of State such an honor.
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Last week, I attended and spoke at a breakfast sponsored by 100 Strong in Beaverton. 100 Strong is a women-in-business mentorship program that focuses on giving back through mentorship and group donations. This month, the group was supporting @makeawishoregon, which strives to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a critical illness. For my speech, I was interviewed by my granddaughter, Rachel Grittman, who asked me about my family life and my career in farming, real estate, law, and public service. Also in attendance was my daughter-in-law, Lorraine Clarno, who serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the @beavtonchamber. Special thanks to 100 Strong for having me, and to all those who attended for their activism and generosity.
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It’s #NationalVoterRegistrationDay! Are you #VoteReady? You can register online at oregonvotes.gov/register and check or update your registration at oregonvotes.gov/myvote.
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I would like to recognize the initiative, competence, and impact of Audits Manager Jamie Ralls, whose team went above and beyond and found a way to use data analysis to help federal investigators identify potential fraud in Oregon’s food stamp program. After conducting an audit of the program, Jamie and her team had access to vast troves of data. Upon analyzing that data and identifying common red flags for fraud, they were able to compile a list of merchants with multiple fraud indicators and share it with the FBI. These efforts have already led to the successful prosecution and conviction of numerous individuals and over $525,000 in restitution paid to the state. I want to thank Jamie for her leadership and her commitment to identifying government fraud, waste, and abuse. Her story is just another example of how hard your government is working for you.
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Last week, I invited Corinna Tanguy to my office in the Capitol to personally thank her for all of her hard work. Corinna is part of the Contact Center team for our Corporation Division, where she spends her days working directly with business, notary, and Uniform Commercial Code customers. Most importantly, she does it all with a positive attitude. At a time when our Contact Center was low on staff, Corinna really brought her A-game—taking an average of 100 calls per day and replying to customer emails in between. In her spare time, Corinna participates in the Division’s Quick Response Team as well as the Secretary of State’s Inclusion and Diversity Council. She is an incredible example of a team player, par excellence!
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I recently visited Hood River, where I met with the Hood River County Clerk, Brian Beebe. Like most county clerks, as head of the county’s Elections Department, Brian leads a team of specially-trained staff that conducts local, state, and federal elections pursuant to the County Charter as well as state and federal law. However, Brian is unique among county clerks in Oregon because, in addition to serving as County Clerk, he also serves as County Assessor. He therefore also manages the county's Records and Assessment Department. His Chief Deputy, Kim Kean, has served the County for over 30 years. Brian and Kim expressed their appreciation for all that the Secretary of State’s Archives Division does to help with the management of the County's records, and I appreciated the opportunity to discuss how state government can better serve the people of Hood River County.
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Secretary of State Dennis Richardson brought transparency, accountability, and integrity to Oregon government. In his memory, the office put together a series of videos on the successful work by each division under his leadership. See the list here: https://oregonsos.com/blog/2019/3/7/a-video-tribute-what-dennis-richardson-accomplished
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