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By Mark Henderson

There was in our recent history a time when leadership was defined by a person’s willingness to work with others to solve our country’s challenges. When compromise and dialogue were considered strengths and not weaknesses—and when a community and its leaders were measured by their accomplishments, not their stridence. Key to this ideal was thought, a willingness to consider the perspective of others, and the humility to recognize that others may know something you don’t.

My Dad has always valued this kind of ideal, and he has practiced it every day of my life. I believe that it is this spirit, combined with a passion for bridging communities and a patriot’s desire to help, that led Dad to start this Journal. In its pages you have found differing opinions, a lot of data, and many, many ideas for how to improve communities large and small. What started as a bit of a passion project has grown into something more, something I hope readers have found meaningful. I know it meant a lot to Dad to be able to meet people throughout Southern Oregon and provide something that he hoped help add to the conversation about how to make its communities stronger. 

I am very impressed by what Dad, with a lot of help from my Mom, too, built over these past few years. Starting with no knowledge of publishing and creating something with this depth is no small feat. And I’m very proud of what they accomplished. What’s more, I’m proud to say they’re my parents. 

So, congratulations on what you’ve done, Dad. Since I know you’re not the “retiring” type, it’ll be fun to talk to you about the next several things you dive into. I can’t wait. 


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