I've been a member of the Salem City Club for a bit over ten years. I was invited to join by Russ Beaton, a retired Willamette University economics professor. He and his wife, Delana, are active volunteers in the City Club.
Me, I just go to the programs.
They're from noon to 1 pm on selected Fridays at the Willamette Heritage Center, which used to be called Mission Mill. A box lunch can be ordered, but it isn't necessary to buy one. I bring some food with me and eat it after the program, when I head off to exercise at Courthouse Club Fitness.
After the invited speakers do their thing, usually there's plenty of time for questions. The questions and answers often are almost as interesting as what the speakers had to say in their prepared remarks. The basic idea of the City Club is fostering a sense of civic involvement and community.
I lean decidedly toward the liberal side of the political spectrum, as do many other City Club members. But there's conservatives in the City Club also. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a microcosm of Salem, in part because the membership tilts in the older direction. Still, I enjoy meeting the fairly diverse people who belong.
That's one reason I'm writing this post and sharing it on Facebook -- in hopes that more younger people will join.
A new season of City Club programs begins on September 8, along with a membership drive. If anyone is interested in attending a program as my guest at no cost (otherwise non-members are charged $5), email me and we can work something out.
Here's a City Club message that appeared in my email inbox today. It'll give you a good feel for what the City Club is all about, and what programs are going to kick off the 2023-24 year. Programs usually are every other Friday, aside from holidays.
A Great Way To Start
By Ron Eachus, Salem City Club President
After a successful return to in-person meetings last year, Salem City Club is ready to begin a new season this fall with some critical topics and wonderful speakers at the familiar Willamette Heritage Center venue.
We will begin with two new public officials. The season will start on September 8 with Congresswoman Andrea Salinas, who was elected last November as the first to represent Oregon’s new Sixth Congressional District. She will be followed on September 22 by Andrea Castañeda, the Salem-Keizer School District’s new superintendent.
One of the Program Committee themes for this season is climate change and its effect on our daily lives through its impact on the economy and the environment. We will be following our first two speakers with programs on the impact of global warming on insurance rates, the plans for the transition to electric vehicles, and where climate related funds from the Inflation Reduction Act are being used in Oregon.
Our mission is the same - a space for civil discourse for civic good. It is a critical mission in the current vitriolic political environment and it will take strong, active support from membership to carry out. So, when it comes time, please renew your membership donation!
But we will also be asking you to help expand Salem City Club by reaching out to potential new members and encouraging them to join. Future communications will describe the membership options in more detail. But the best ambassadors for City Club and its mission are our members so save the dates for attending the programs and help us expand our membership by reaching out to others. Remember, members can introduce others to City Club by bringing a guest for free.