information about The Wayne Morse Youth Program
Wayne Morse was a fiery, independent U.S. Senator representing Oregon
for 24 years.
He started out in 1944 as a Republican and ended as a Democrat in 1968.
Between the two parties he served as an independent for four years.
Even though he chose parties at times he was not afraid to stand alone
for whatever he believed in, no matter how high the power he faced.
He was the greatest constitutional scholar our country has ever had.
At age thirty, he was the youngest dean in the history of the University
of Oregon Law School.
Senator Morse was a very courageous man, and believed in open government
without secrecy or corruption.
He worked consistently for what he deemed best for his fellow citizens.
He believed that if you give the people of our nation the truth, the
people will make the right decision.
THE WAYNE MORSE YOUTH PROGRAM
To build a multi-faceted composite of our neighborhoods by surveying
the needs and desires of our citizens of all ages and lifestyles, and to
develop a strong sustainable local economy with youth apprenticeship programs,
to bring the Constitution of the United States in the spirit of Wayne Morse
to the schools in an entertaining and simplified form, and to provide support
for local youth, farms, trades, businesses and entrepreneurs through innovation,
creativity and the common good.
'The interests of my country are more important the
interests of my party.'
- - Senator Wayne Morse
Our 2006 Sharings.
Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 15:23:59 -0700
Subject: Wayne Morse Youth Program - Update from the Chair
Greetings from the Board of Directors,
Eight weeks ago, without warning, our access to the electric at the Wayne
Morse Free Speech Terrace was denied. Since then our Youth Co-Managers have
spent countless hours petitioning for some redress of our grievance. They
have represented our grievance to numerous media, constitutional experts,
especially 1st amendment advocates, as well as grassroots groups and
Last week the poem written by Iana, our Youth Co-Manager, appeared in the
Eugene Weekly and the response has been good. On Friday from 9am-11am as a
result of our petition to the Lane County Human Rights Commission we were
able to meet with those responsible for this decision, Community Mediation
Services chaired this conflict resolution process. In attendance were
Commissioner Bobby Green, Public Service Admistrator, David Suchart,
Captain Tom from the Sheriff Dept, as well as representatives of the Saturday
Market and the Farmers Market. Conspicuous in their absence was the Eugene
Police Dept. Our Youth Co-Managers began the proceedings by presenting our
grievance and our remedy. Ishi spoke first then Iana, next each person
around the table spoke ending up with remarks by Commissioner Bobby Green.
Without exception each speaker mentioned the impossibility of some
resolution to this conflict without the participation of the Eugene Police.
The moderators conducted the proceedings in a civil and professional manner.
At the end of this 2 hour session we left still not knowing when our access
to electricity will be restored. Even so, the gathering was good in that
our young people participated in a roundtable discussion with others
involved and had the opportunity to state their case. In addition, they had
better feelings towards the other participants, especially Commissioner
Saturday, once again, our young people set up their makeshift battery
powered microphone and "activated" the Wayne Morse Free Speech Terrace.
Without a proper sound system it is not possible to provide a civic
discourse we can all be proud of. Still they are undaunted. It was never
part of the deal when they accepted the responsibility to manage the free
speech program that they would not have electricity and would have to spend
so much effort just to get the electric turned back on. Even so, they follow
through on their committment.
Considering the circumstances, this, our 14th season at the Terrace, is off
to a good start. Two months of Saturdays without electric has been a great
civics lesson for our youth. Although civil discourse has been limited on
Saturdays, other, unplanned, lessons in democracy have not been limited. It
is often said," Wayne Morse is turning in his grave", however there are also
some grassroots actions that give him some comfort and joy. Ishi and Iana
In closing, support these young people, your notes of encouragement and
donations are very important to them and good for you also.
G.V. Stathakis, Chair
Board of Directors
Wayne Morse Youth Program
Date: May 12, 2006
Subject: Wayne Morse Youth Program - Update from the Chair
Regards from the board of directors …
Six weeks ago we were notified without warning that electricity to the Wayne
Morse free speech terrace would no longer be available. We were told this
decision was indefinite and we had no recourse. A county employee made this
decision without the awareness of the county commissioners.
For six weeks our youth co-managers have been in a civics immersion program.
Six months ago they accepted the responsibility to manage the terrace for
the 2006 season .. April 1- October 20. Since then they have prepared to set
up our canopy, public address system, table with info on Wayne Morse and
push-toys for the toddlers. Because they were involved last season they
were experienced at adjusting the volume so that the timid could be heard
and the yellers weren't abusive. The youth were well prepared and eager for
this season to begin. They arranged their schedules around their commitment
to manage the Wayne Morse free speech terrace on Saturdays. When the board
of directors offered them this position they understood we are grassroots
and not to expect any money or help. All of us have been greatly disrupted
by the government revoking our electric power. We have provided free speech
at the terrace since 1993, this our 14th season has not begun as anyone
would have expected.
Our youth co-managers continue to accept their responsibility. Even without
electricity they follow through with what they promised. In addition to
setting up on Saturdays they have spoken at 4 county commission meetings, 1
city council meeting, spent countless hours with emails, telephone, and
meetings. They have been interviewed by the newspaper, tv and radio yet
there is no plan to restore our electric. It is frustrating and
shameful, yet we are proud of our youth managers. Wayne Morse would be
outraged at our elected representatives and he would be in complete
solidarity with our managers. Their decorum and attitude at each interview
and meeting as well as their efforts at the terrace on Saturdays is admirable.
They represent the spirit of Wayne Morse well. They have received
little help or money, do your part to show them your support!
Following is a poem by Iana, our youth co-manager, in response to the
government decision to revoke our access to electrical power:
Free speech is no longer free in America The ability to get your voice heard
is rare and the powers that be say that nothing is free, and we're losing our
democracy not from terrorists across the sea but something worse, apathy.
America is the largest terrorist threat when we occupy we bring fear and death -
say we fight insurgents over in Iraq but they didn't show up til our pre-emptive
attack and just for saying what I just said, there's a few people out there who think
I'm better off dead.
'Cuz free speech is no longer free in America, the ability to get your voice
heard is rare and the powers that be don't be nothing but scared of the positive
energy we want to create they combat our love with discouragement and
hate, still we keep living on keep singing our songs and righting our wrongs.
When we try to do something good for our community like an open mic where
all speech is free they shut us down - politicians think they own this town but do
we see them out on the streets sharing their wealth and keeping the peace?
No, they take our electricity but not our speech.
But free speech is no longer free in America - the ability to get your voice
heard is rare and the powers that be are violent and scared of the people
living on the streets as if they're the Klan in their sheets but they're just
people on drugs or in need of a hug not a hassle from the cops or a
Here, 2,500 youth are without a home - if Eugene is so progressive then why do
they roam through allies and streets to find money to eat government won't
take care of folks in our town, so it's up to us, we've got to turn things around.
And make free speech free in Eugene, create welcoming places and a positive
Scene, let us live for the earth and respect all things green and always make
sure that our actions aren't mean.
Yes, free speech can be free in Eugene - we have welcoming places and a
positive scene - we live for the earth and respect all things green and we
always make sure that our actions aren't mean.
Iana Matthews-Harris, age 18, Co-Manager : Wayne Morse Youth Program
The following is the official statement by the Board of Directors of the Wayne Morse Youth Program. It is our response to the confusion resulting from the County Commissioners decision not to allow
the electrical outlets on the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza to be activated during hours the County
building is not open.
Senator Wayne Morse passed on in 1974. At the time he was actively
campaigning to return to his Senate seat. A grass roots effort to elect him was rapidly growing,
largely among young people. Yes, he had support from people who had changed their minds on Vietnam,
many had changed their hawkish stand on the war and once again supported him. In short, many who
had not voted for him in 1968 returned and said," You were right Senator, I'm voting for you this time".
Surely he was gratified to see his support returning but his spirits were even more gratified by the
enthusiastic support of young people everywhere he went. He was eager to attend gatherings of young
people wherever they were. He traveled all over Oregon to schools and festivals.
He didn't just give a rousing speech, he took time before and after his presentation to mingle and mix
on an individual level with young talent. Afterwards although excited he also seemed peaceful and
happy, perhaps feeling some hope for the future in the youth.
After his sudden passing his home and farm on Crest Drive, due to the generosity of his widow Mildred, their three daughters, and others, eventually became a park managed by the City of Eugene. A few years later the main entrance to the County building was designated The Wayne Morse Free Speech Terrace. The Wayne Morse Youth Program began "activating " the Terrace in 1993. We used the electric free until the County began charging us about 5 years ago. Last season we paid around $200. for electric.
In February of 2005 the life size statue was unveiled at the commemorization of the new remodel of the entrance
to the County offices now called "The Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza". Over a million dollars has been spent to
honor the Senator, including money from the County for the remodel and countless private donors for the statue
and all the pavers with inspiring inscriptions. The complete entrance is designed and built for free speech,
a fitting tribute to the teachings of this great man.
On March 6 2006 we began our efforts for this free speech season. We went to the Commissioners office paid for the electric and reserved our dates from April 1st and every other Saturday until the Senator's Birthday on October 20th. as we did last season. Our money was accepted and our dates were reserved. Our young people then designed and distributed flyers, rented sound equipment, assembled our canopies and info on the Senator and the other projects our program is involved in. On Friday afternoon, March 31st, we called the Commission office just to make sure the power would be turned on as in previous years. A few times county employees forgot and we had to find someone on Saturday morning. When we called we were informed there would be no power to the outlets at the podium the next day and for the rest of the summer. We were shocked and questioned "why", and were told it was because of illegal behavior at the plaza. We further asked if this was the Commissioners decision and were told that a county employee had made the decision. Many people young and old have appeared at Commission meetings, we have been told the decision stands, The effect of this decision is to lump our program with the negative behavior. Anyone who has been around there knows we are part of the solution not part of the problem. The negative behavior we are being penalized for has been going on for decades. It was there before we started in 1993, also during all of our 13 years there, and will continue after our power has been revoked. It will continue until a uniformed Deputy Sheriff or a City police officer is on duty. For years many, many have asked "WHERE IS THE LAW ENFORCEMENT?" We have persisted with our good efforts in the midst of this mess. We know all too well what is going on there. Anyone familiar with the scene knows we are a positive factor.
In closing, The Wayne Morse Youth Program is based on passing on the spirit of Wayne Morse. The Board of Directors limits itself to "advice and consent". We are a grassroots program "of, by and for" young people.
Our oversight is guided by the principles Senator Morse taught over many decades. We do not micro manage our young people. Our Co-Managers are held responsible for everyone involved in our efforts. Anyone who knows what the Senator stood for would know that he would not condone any illegal, violent or abusive behavior. We don't either. We are proud of our reputation. Since 1993 we have been involved with many young people. We support the efforts of those involved in passing on the legacy of Senator Morse. Our mission is to empower youth to develop a political base with the potential to have more of a say so in their future as the current political atmosphere doesn't seem to represent their needs. The Wayne Morse youth have presented themselves in a mature and positive way at the free speech terrace for many years and the city and county should commend and respect their efforts and cooperate with them in this important civic responsibility.
For more information contact our Youth Co-Managers; Iana Matthews-Harris or Ishi Maderas Woods at 683-0980.
Iana and Ishi can also be reached at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org Photograph by Thomas Boyd
of the Register Guard
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