I know that strong schools have a direct and positive impact on strong communities, the kind of vibrant communities that attract employment and maintain quality infrastructure and services. This strength allows our citizens of all ages to know that West Linn and Wilsonville will continue to be great places to live. Please explore these pages to learn more about my campaign, follow my Facebook page, and if you’re inclined please volunteer to get the word out. I will work hard to earn your vote on May 18th, 2021.
The other day we stopped our car in a nearby neighborhood to adjust something on our roof rack. As I got down from our Jeep, I inadvertently stepped right in a big fresh pile of dog excrement. I didn’t think, “Oh, our community is awful, everything about it is awful, and people should go around feeling ashamed of it.” Instead, more naturally, I thought, “Wow, how inconsiderate of some jerk to not pick up after their dog. We can do better than this. That person should really not let that happen again. And, certainly, others should not follow that person’s poor example.”
Recently, I saw that someone had chalked some threatening anti-gay and other chauvinistic tripe on a sidewalk in a nearby suburb. I didn’t think, “Oh, our community is awful, everything about it is awful, and people should go around feeling ashamed of it.” Instead, more naturally, I thought, “Wow, how inappropriate of some jerk to write something so threatening. We can do better than this. That person should really not let that happen again. And, certainly, others should not follow that person’s poor example.”
Similarly, when I said to my son, “Please clean up your room,” I didn’t think, “Oh, my son is awful, our house is terrible, we should all hate ourselves.” I simply thought, “I love our house, and I’d like it if we could all help keep it nice.”
When one of us recently spilled coffee, I didn’t think, “Oh, coffee sucks, you’re a terrible person, and I hate this kitchen.” I thought, “Could you please clean that up so we can all continue to enjoy this nice kitchen together.”
This “you’re just too negative about our community and our neighbors” line is really specious. I see it deployed regularly these days as a comeback to many sorts of comments expressing concern about racism, religious bias, anti-LGBTQ sentiments, and the like. The argument appears to be an attempt to shut off conversation, saying we can only talk about positive things. Grow up, folks. Any mental health professional, clergyperson, teacher, parent, or person with half a brain can tell you that nobody is perfect and that no one will improve by avoiding talking about areas for improvement. Have you ever been a supervisor or leader at your workplace? Have you ever been to youth camp? We always talk about areas for improvement. To avoid doing so is self-defeating.
I’m done with this line: “Oh, don’t be so negative about our community.” It’s code for, “Just shut up and be happy with our straight, Christian, white chauvinism.” I’m not going to shut up. And, before you twist my words, no, I have nothing against straights, Christians, and whites. I do have something against chauvinism.
Thank you, General! This is THE POINT. We need to be well-read, we need to understand, it matters!
For the first time in American history, we celebrate Juneteenth as a federal holiday. May the symbolism of recognizing the importance of this day in our American story be a step on the road to change and growth. Happy Juneteenth, America!
Whatever Alisa and I do next, it will be aimed at making America, and our communities within, the multiethnic, multi-faith democracy it ought to be.
It looks like we lost by 28 votes. It was so very close.
Thank you to my wife Alisa, and our two sons, for bearing the weight of the campaign with me.
Congratulations to the new West Linn-Wilsonville School Board members.
Thank you! Thank you neighbors, family, friends, and all of the new friends we met along the way. Your collective labor, wisdom, donations, time commitment, energy, and support have been incredible. I am so grateful to each of you. This was your campaign. You made this happen.
We fought for teaching science, sex education, and history with integrity. We worked to ensure “diversity and inclusion” is more than just an empty slogan. We insisted that our elected officials represent and equally consider all of our community members. We engaged civically and civilly with our neighbors through our trusted electoral system that allows all of our voices to be heard.
I am also grateful to those who share my belief in our institutions and systems, even when things don’t go our way. We are fortunate to have a trustworthy electoral system, including the ability to vote by mail.
Thank you again. Though we lost the vote, it is clear that many in our community share our values. As a member of this community, I look forward to working together toward our shared goals of great schools and great hometowns for all of us.
Proud to receive the endorsement from Pamplin Media Group for WLWV School Board, position 5.
“…we are most confident in Shiratori – a former U.S. diplomat who also has experience at state Legislature. We appreciate his ideas about making sure everyone values education, even those who don’t have children or have seen them graduate already. Shiratori also has a strong and informed voice when it comes to matters of diversity, equity and inclusion. We believe Shiratori will bring a calm and informed perspective to the board if he is elected.”
Please make your voices heard. Vote! Ballots are due next Tuesday, May 18th by 8pm.
I am a PERS employee along with many others in our community. According to the State of Oregon’s PERS-by-the-numbers, PERS employees include those who work or retired from one of our state agencies, public universities, community colleges, all school districts, and almost all cities, counties and local governments. This includes fire departments; state, county and local police, and teachers to name a few.
There are those advocating for PERS employees to not be involved on the school board. I find it exceptionally disturbing that anyone would seek to disenfranchise 9% of our state’s population.
Let’s be clear, the school board has no say in my compensation or retirement package. There is nothing the board can or cannot do to impact that. Regardless, I find it disturbing that anyone would advocate for disenfranchising a significant portion of our community simply because they serve our local communities, our counties, or our state in a professional capacity.
Pamplin Media has published the below article providing you with more information about why Kirsten Wyatt and I are asking for your vote. Election day is May 18th. Turn in your ballots early at an official drop box to ensure that your voice is heard.
Seiji Shiratori and Kirsten Wyatt, May 05 2021
We found our purpose in helping others and we are running for the school board to continue our tradition of giving back.Seiji Shiratori and Kirsten Wyatt; two names we hope you vote for on May 18th for the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board.Both of us have spent our careers in public service; Seiji in U.S. diplomatic corps, and Kirsten in local government. We found our purpose in helping others and we are running for the school board to continue our tradition of giving back. Along the campaign trail, we learned we are both graduates of Willamette University. The university’s motto is “not unto ourselves, alone are we born.” Those inspiring words mean that while aspiring in life, it is important to find your purpose, believe in it, and give back to others.Now, more than ever, we need to elect local leaders with strong community ties and real relationships with local elected leaders — leaders who care about someone other than their own tribe, clique, or class. We are both proudly endorsed by the mayors of West Linn and Wilsonville, and the legislators from both communities. These connections will be invaluable when serving on the school board, with ready access to work with our regional partners.We proudly earned the endorsements of Stand for Children, Planned Parenthood, and Pro-Choice Oregon. Why are these endorsements important? These groups are mission-driven, with a focus on equity and inclusion. We are proud to be backed by organizations that want all our students — regardless of skin color, address, religion, gender, sexuality, first language, or ability — to have a chance to thrive and find their purpose. More fundamentally, we want all students and community members to feel safe and to feel proud to call themselves Americans.We know most families want their kids back in school five days a week, in person. We know they want that to start yesterday. We hear you. We promise to work with you to get kids back to school safely and to help them catch up on learning and experiences they missed during the past year.We know many of you are wary of new spending and new development. No new taxes. We get it. And, we commit to making sure your voice is heard when we talk about difficult issues such as the Dollar Street middle school, the arts and technical high school, and how to make tough tradeoffs in our budgets.As we begin to broaden investment in our arts and technical high school and develop more robust career pathways programming, we must make sure our facilities, teachers, staff, and community have the tools they need to prepare our students to succeed in the 21st century. What this means is sound financial oversight of the district’s largest bond in history; robust dialogue with employers to ensure our students, college bound or not, are prepared for the needs of the workforce; a commitment to transparency in our oversight; and enacting, not reacting, to the types of career options and technical training our students need.We pledge to bring thoughtfulness, honesty, and integrity to every issue in front of the school board. We may not always agree with each other on every issue, but we promise thoughtful and careful analysis of every decision. Please cast your vote on May 18th for Seiji Shiratori in Position 5 and Kirsten Wyatt in Position 3.Seiji Shiratori is running for position 5 on the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board. Kirsten Wyatt is running for position 3.
Wilsonville Spokesman, April 14, 2021
As a candidate for West Linn-Wilsonville school board position 5, Seiji Shiratori brings numerous personal and professional strengths. I have had the pleasure of knowing Seiji’s family for a couple of years through our synagogue. I have enjoyed getting to know him since he returned from his government service overseas and as he seeks a leadership position in our community. With two boys in the district’s schools and as a Wilsonville homeowner, Seiji has “skin in the game” with respect to the product the district provides its families and community.Seiji brings a great educational background to his candidacy: an undergraduate degree from Willamette University and a Master’s Degree in international political economy from American University. His twenty-plus-year career for the foreign service has taken him all over the nation and world serving ambassadors and high-ranking military officers. His multicultural personal background and his unique lived experience make him the kind of person we need in district leadership as the student population grows and diversifies. He also brings professional budgeting skills that will help ensure that bond money on the district’s capital projects is well-spent.Please join me in supporting Seiji Shiratori for position 5 on the WLWV school board.
Paul Diller – Wilsonville