Rep. Janelle Bynum, who was first elected in 2016 and represents a swing district in the northwestern part of the state, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that someone called the police and said she was “going door to door and spending a lot of time typing on my cell phone after each house.”
She went into more detail in an interview with The Oregonian:
She was taking notes on her cellphone from the conversation she’d had with someone at the second to last of about 30 homes on her list around 5:10 p.m. when a Clackamas County deputy pulled up to her.
She looked over at the deputy in his patrol car and thought, “I don’t believe this.” He asked if she was selling something. She introduced herself as a state legislator and said that she was out canvassing and that she guessed someone called him.
Bynum, who was endorsed by Barack Obama in 2016, told the Oregonian that she didn’t know the race of the caller, but that she had the deputy call the woman so Bynum could speak to her. Bynum said the woman was apologetic, but said she “called 911 for the safety of her neighborhood.”
“It was just bizarre,” Bynum told The Oregonian. “It boils down to people not knowing their neighbors and people having a sense of fear in their neighborhoods, which is kind of my job to help eradicate. But at the end of the day, it’s important for people to feel like they can talk to each other to help minimize misunderstandings.”
Bynum told the Oregonian that she wants to meet the person who called 911 one day, and that she plans to return to the neighborhood to canvass.
“We all know that we’re not in a society that is perfect, and we have wounds that still need to heal, but at the end of the day, I want to know my kids can walk down the street without fear,” she said. “I hope everyone gets a good look at my face, because I’m coming to your door.”