Community service has always been a core value for Salem native Sally Cook.
While studying health education at Portland State University, she spent her Saturday nights working with the homeless on Portland’s city streets. That experience is a continuing reminder that all people have worth and deserve leaders who will respect and represent them.
She brought that community spirit back home to Salem as a working mom, health educator and involved citizen. When she organized neighbors to start a community garden on unused city property, some at city hall said it couldn’t be done. She proved them wrong and now Sunnyslope Community Garden on Liberty Rd S has grown from 18 beds to over 50, with gardeners donating food, creating community and adding value to the area. This garden has served as a model of what people can do when we work together.
As chair of the Citizen’s Police Review Board, and a member of the Library Advisory Board, Sally has seen first-hand how the city has continually underfunded vital public services. While the city debates ways to bring new business to Salem, our roads and streets show signs of wear and tear. Many of our streets have no plan for sidewalks, leaving neighbors isolated and kids unable to play safely. Public safety suffers as the council closed two fire stations and failed to replace our outdated and unsound police facility. Sally will work to keep vital services like our library open seven days a week, and work for a modern, safe and affordable police facility that voters will support.
Sally is also vice chair of the Sunnyslope Neighborhood Association, a Deacon and Sunday school teacher at her church and volunteers at her daughter’s schools. She is married to Jason Cook, who works in information technology for the Willamette Education Service District.