Pacific County Democrats Chairwoman: KAREN?SPACKMAN

Karen Spackman was recently elected the new chairwoman of the Pacific County Democrats.

NASELLE — Longtime activist for the Democratic Party Karen Spackman was elected chairwoman of the Pacific County Democrats in December.

Spackman and her husband, Douglas Kess, moved to Naselle seven years ago from the Menlo Park, Calif., area. 

“We came her accidentally,” Kess said, explaining that they were in the area and decided to stop at a real estate office in Naselle where they found that property on Willapa Bay had become available and purchased it. 

“It’s a joy to live here,” he said. “We’re both loving the beauty and nature of the area,” he said. “We want to do what we can to preserve that. Plus, there are lots of very interesting peope here.” He worked in the field of mathematical statistics and now is a very active member of the Pacific County Marine Resources Commission and also is active in Democratic politics.

Spackman, who has had a chronic, progressive neurological disease from early childhood and is now retired, worked for more than 30 years as a software designer and executive for computer manufacturers. She and Kess lived and worked in the St. Paul, Minn., area for 20 years and also in France and Belgium. Before retiring she was senior director for software engineering for Sun Microsystems. 

“It’s a wonderful area to work in,” she said.

Spackman was Democratic state committeewoman for the 19th District and was chair of the group in 2008.

“More than anything I want to encourage people to support the values endorsed by the Democratic Party,” she said, “including social justice, a more equal society and to provide opportunities for people. These aren’t values that can be dismissed as useless or bad. One of the things we need to be pushing back at is the anti-tax attitude. The government has to provide many services and we need to support them.”

The state’s serious budget deficit is “very difficult,” Spackman said. “It’s a shame the income-tax initiative lost last year. We should be taxing people with higher incomes. There’s no way important services won’t be cut. I hope we can get people to realize why they should pay taxes.”

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