A new team of guest writers joins The Olympian’s 2016 Board of Contributors today. Kicking things off on the Opinion page is a column from Sam Reed.
Most South Sound readers should recognize Reed. He served as secretary of state for three terms until his retirement in 2013, and before that he was Thurston County auditor for 23 years.
He left a mark — as you’ll read in his debut column — as someone who strove to be independent and who, despite many critics on both sides of the aisle, tried to keep his agency on a constructive path above the political fray.
Reed gets to pick his own topics, but we hope that in this superheated election year he turns his gaze again to the civility in our politics and how we might do that better.
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Reed chairs the advisory committee for the Sam Reed Distinguished Professorship in Civic Education and Public Civility at Washington State University’s Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service.
We’re extremely happy to welcome four other writers to this page, where they will write on a rotating basis most Mondays.
Two wrote at least a couple of columns last year. They are:
Hillary Soens — Hillary is chief executive officer for the YWCA of Olympia. Married with young sons ages 2 and 4, Soens earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Evergreen State College; she joined the board late last year.
Her past columns dealt with a disconcerting risk of depression in teen girls, economic inequality and other bread-and-butter issues that should be of high concern to everyone in our community.
Lan Nguyen — Lan is actually Dr. Nguyen, a primary care physician at Capital Family & Sports Medicine. Her volunteer work includes the local Dragonboat Race Festival and physical exams for Capital High School athletes. She is finishing a master’s degree in health administration at the University of Washington.
She brings a doctor’s view of health worries and a rare level of medical expertise to our page.
George Walter — George is a second-time member of the board and a longtime natural resources manager for the Nisqually Indian Tribe. The Ohio native prides himself on taking a long view — as in, the effect policy decisions can have on future generations long after we are gone. As a father, his ruminations have included his relationships with the very next generation.
Rachel Burke — Rachel is a newcomer to our board and an employee of the state Health Care Authority. She works in communications.
Earlier this decade, Burke served on a task force that dealt with efforts to create a permanent dog park. We hope to hear more from her perspective as someone who got active in a neighborhood issue.
As always, send us and our Board of Contributors comments about columns and suggestions for future ones. We promise to read the constructive ones.
Brad Shannon, Opinion page editor
Sam Reed, Washington secretary of state, The Olympian, 2016 Board of Contributors, Lan Nguyen, Rachel Burke, Hillary Soens, YWCA