PENDLETON - The citizens group Pendleton Commons is ramping down operations for the time being.

Pendleton Commons started several years ago in opposition to statewide ballot measures aimed at codifying discrimination based on sexual orientation. Since then, the organization has stretched beyond just political action to create the Pendleton Farmers Market and to continue to promote equality, sustainability, democracy and community.

The group decided to assume a minimally-active role during a meeting last week. But lead contact Don Butcher said the group is not going away.

Rather, it's in a bit of a transition after former coordinator Harold Shepard moved to Colorado and no one in the group has been able to come forth to assume that function.

For now, five key members will sustain Pendleton Commons: Ben Talley will act as treasurer and Web master, Sarah Burford will hold periodic meetings, Barbara Wright will issue newsletters, Karen Wagner volunteered to submit newspaper columns and Butcher will act as point-of-contact and maintain the database.

Butcher said this core will decide what projects and actions to pursue, both now and in the future as Pendleton Commons renews greater activity.

Some of those activities could include lending support to Friends of Family Farmers, an advocacy group for sustainable farming, dealing with the homeless in Pendleton and promoting buying and eating locally grown foods.

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