Introduction from Secretary of State Shemia Fagan

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan
Secretary of State Shemia Fagan
January 2021

Fellow Oregonians,

In this introduction to Oregon’s 2021–2022 Oregon Blue Book — Oregon’s biannual publication of our history, economy, government and cultures — I must acknowledge the historic momen​t we are in as this publication goes to press. On February ​28, 2020, the first Oregonian was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 in Washington County. By March 14, 2020, the first Oregonian died as a result of COVID-19. And, with unprecedented speed, the first Oregonian was inoculated against COVID-19  with an FDA approved vaccine. As my Dedication​ acknowledges, many Oregonians have lost their lives to COVID-19. Countless more have lost loved ones, been hospitalized or sick, lost relationships, lost jobs, lost businesses, lost spiritual rituals and ceremonies, lost learning, lost once in a lifetime experiences, and lived under overwhelming stress. As Oregonians, we are together in this historic moment that runs the spectrum from heartbreaking tragedy to extraordinary inspiration. ​

This historic moment has tested all of us — in some ways shared and in other ways unique to you.  We’ve struggled through new ways of working, teaching, worshiping, parenting, socializing and celebrating life’s milestones and losses. We’ve learned that it is hard to sacrifice to protect people we’ve never met, from a virus we cannot see, for an unknown duration. We’ve also been empowered to do the best we can, not perfection, but our very best under the unprecedented circumstances — our best work, our best parenting, our best partnership, our best risk reduction, our best self-care, our best housekeeping, our best celebrations and our best friendship. We have hopefully learned to give ourselves and each other grace when we inevitably fall short. 

As we enter 2021 — the darkness before the dawn — let us recommit ourselves to do the best we can to be safe and bring our loved ones, our neighbors and our fellow Oregonians, through this dark tunnel into the light awaiting us on the other side.


Dennis Richardson signature
Shemia Fagan
Secretary of State
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