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.
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
I am the Policy Director for the Oregon Department of Revenue, Property Tax Division. Oregon’s property tax rates are tightly controlled by Measure 5, Measure 50, and voters. In my career as a public servant, a big part of my job is to scrutinize the details to ensure Oregon’s property tax statutes and rules do what Oregon voters intend them to do, not more, not less. In any case, neither a school board nor the State of Oregon can raise property taxes without a vote of the people.
As your neighbor and a fellow taxpayer, I know I can add a distinct and vital perspective to the school board. While my professional career will have no bearing, conflict or influence in my role as a member of the WLWV school board, I will use my skills to ensure our school district is accountable for being a good steward of our investment in our kids. No one likes paying taxes. Let’s work together to be sure we’re getting value for our money.
I promise you I will push for our kids to safely return to five-day-per-week, full-time school as quickly and as safely as possible, while preserving CDL for those families who prefer it. This means following CDC guidelines. This means only entering into agreements with the flexibility to change as CDC guidelines change.
Amending existing agreements can only occur if both parties agree to it. Additionally, the board does not have the power to overrule state rules and laws. No matter who is elected, that is the case. I won’t lie to you and imply otherwise. But, I promise you I will do everything in my power to get our kids safely back to school full-time, five-days-per-week.
We are in the midst of Passover right now. In the years before Covid-19, when we were overseas, we would come together with the Jewish community at post and enjoy a Seder of regional foods from many different Jewish communities. The mixing of Sephardic and Ashkenazi customs and foods was such a special experience, especially when we were all so far from home. Holidays often mean big gatherings of friends and family. We hope to host big Seders again once Covid-19 is better managed. We know it has not been easy, but we will get there.
In the meantime, we want to recognize the observances of different faiths and backgrounds that are so important to the fabric of our community. Whether observing Passover, Easter, Ramadan, Vaisakhi, Ram Navami, or something else, we wish everyone a springtime filled with good health, love, kindness, joy, equality, and respect for each other. And, may we all be able to celebrate in large gatherings once again sooner than later.