Charmaine was raising her children in the same Portland neighborhood where she was raised. They went to the schools she went to and the family was part of the community. They lived in their house with a backyard big enough for a trampoline for seven years. Charmaine was a good tenant and there had never been any issues. After she asked for some repairs to the house, though, she faced every Oregon renter’s worst fears: she received a “no cause” eviction notice.
 
State law allows property managers and landlords to evict with no reason and tenants have no recourse. In a flash, Charmaine’s home was gone. She was unable to find a home in her neighborhood or even in her town. Her family had to move across the river to Vancouver and her children are in new schools, far from the community they grew up in. 
 
This story is being replayed across Oregon. Our inflated housing market encourages landlords to take advantage of these no-cause evictions, leaving renters with few options.
 
Tell your senator to support House Bill 2004. 

House Bill 2004 will limit the unfair no-cause evictions that are happening to families like Charmaine’s. It has passed the House of Representatives and is now going through the Senate. Unfortunately, deep-pocketed and powerful special interests have launched an attack against the bill, trying to stop it before it can get to the Governor’s desk to become law.
 
That’s why everyone must contact their senator today to vote YES on HB 2004.
 
Take action now, for Oregon families. Stop unfair evictions.

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Last fall, Hanna and her husband John were excited to be growing their family. Then tragedy struck. At her 20-week ultrasound, Hanna learned that the baby’s brain hadn't formed properly. She would face severe health and mental problems, if she survived at all.
 
A few weeks later, Hanna made the painful decision to end her pregnancy. Not long after returning home from the hospital with empty arms, Hanna received a bill in the mail for $2,123. It felt like a sucker punch.

Contrary to much of the rhetoric about abortion, which paints poor women as irresponsible and lazy, and rich women as selfish—in the end, I believe the decision to let River go was the most loving, most moral decision I’ve ever made.
— Hanna

 
Tell your legislator to support the Reproductive Health Equity Act
and ensure that every Oregonian has the affordable care we need to make decisions about our health.
 
At least 43,000 women of reproductive age in Oregon face high deductibles policies of $2,500 or more—that’s over a month’s salary for those earning minimum wage. While most plans cover abortion, the cost must first come out of this deductible, leaving the procedure unaffordable and inaccessible for many.
 
For people living paycheck to paycheck, denying access to abortion can jeopardize a family’s financial security and push them deeper into poverty.
 
Contact your elected officials today and tell them that every Oregonian needs access to affordable reproductive health care.
 
The decision about whether and when to become a parent is one of the most important decisions that we all face, and it’s a decision with important implications for our families, our economic security and our futures.
 
Join us and send the message loud and clear: it’s time to give every Oregonian the reproductive health care our families need to thrive.
 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Fatima will never forget the day her older sister suffered her first seizure. News of epilepsy would bring sadness and stress for any family, but for her family, it also put them at risk of losing their home as they questioned how they’d pay for care.

Fatima remembers times when her sister went weeks without medication because her family couldn’t afford it, causing her sister to suffer uncontrollable epileptic seizures.

Fatima and her siblings were among the nearly 18,000 Oregon kids who are ineligible for health insurance under the Oregon Health Plan. For these kids and their families, a lack of health insurance means untreated illnesses, unfilled cavities, unhealed injuries and unnecessary trips to the emergency room. The result is often tragic: medical emergencies that turn into family bankruptcies, and preventable diseases that become chronic illnesses and jeopardize lives.

Fear and worry consumed my childhood. My mother would tell me not to play as rough as the other kids because I might break a bone or not to catch another cold because we couldn’t afford any more visits to the doctor.

At Fair Shot for All, we believe we can do better for kids like Fatima and her siblings. We’re fighting to extend health coverage to every kid who calls Oregon home.

It’s not right that Fatima and kids across Oregon are denied the coverage they need to grow up healthy. Tell your legislator it’s time to Cover All Kids.

For these children, health insurance means getting glasses to see the classroom blackboard. It means regular visits to the doctor to keep them healthy. It means fewer school absences for them and fewer missed days at work for their parents. And it means a better shot at graduating from college, getting a good-paying job and thriving throughout adulthood.

Oregon families are struggling enough. We can’t afford to have a medical emergency turn into a family bankruptcy.

Contact your elected officials today and tell them that covering all kids is key to building a stronger, healthier future for Oregon families.

Together with our partners like the Oregon Latino Health Coalition, we’re fighting hard to make sure that Oregonians have what we need to thrive— affordable health care, jobs that support our families, a stable home in a safe community. 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

All five campaigns on our 2017 agenda have passed the first legislative deadline but we need your help to send the message loud and clear: every Oregonian needs real economic opportunity and a fair shot at a secure future. 

Legislators need to hear from you why Oregon needs to improve access to affordable, culturally competent health care; empower people to make decisions about when and whether to parent; establish workplace policies that give us time to care for ourselves and our families; give all families a safe, stable place to call home; and make sure every Oregonian is treated fairly under the law.

Tell Your Legislators: Support a Fair Shot for All!

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

We’ve almost completed 2 months of the Legislative Session! This week marks a milestone as each of the campaigns on the Fair Shot for All 2017 Legislative Agenda have had their first hearings at the Capitol. 

Cover All Kids

Oregon is one step closer to ensuring that every child has access to health insurance and is on the pathway to success. The Cover All Kids campaign has passed its first legislative hurdle by moving out of the House and Senate Health Care Committees. The bills now await hearings in the Ways and Means Committee.

 

 

End Profiling

In 2015 Fair Shot for All helped pass legislation that banned profiling by law enforcement. This year we’re taking the next step to address profiling by asking the legislature to collect better data, require training of all law enforcement officers, establish accountability mechanisms, and address disparities in drug crimes. HB 2355 is expected to pass out of the House Committee on Judiciary next week. 

Family and Medical Leave Insurance

Most Oregonians will one day need time away from work to deal with a serious personal or family illness or to care for a new child. Over 100 community members came to Salem Thursday to share this message with their legislators during the first Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Act hearing in the House Committee on Early Childhood and Family Supports. 

Reproductive Health Equity

The Reproductive Health Equity bill, HB 3391, had its first hearing last week in the House Committee on Health Care. Fair Shot coalition partners sent a message loud and clear: Every Oregonian--regardless of income, citizenship status, gender identity, or type of insurance--must have access to full reproductive health coverage. 

 

 

Stable Homes for Oregon Families

Today, far too many Oregonians are experiencing extreme rent increases and no-cause evictions. Hundreds turned out on March 2nd to testify in support of HB 2004 in front of House Committee on Human Services and Housing.
 

 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

CLICK HERE TO TELL YOUR LEGISLATOR: OREGON RENTERS NEED STABLE HOMES

Oregon is in a housing crisis; especially when it comes to renters. Rents are rising much faster than wages, and people are losing their homes through no fault of their own due to the practice of "no-cause evictions." This has fueled a rapid rise in homelessness, housing instability, and the crushing of dreams for many families -- and if you're a renter in Oregon, it can happen to you too.

Enough is enough. It's time for the Oregon Legislature to act and protect families who work so hard to keep a roof over their heads. 

1. It's time to end no-cause evictions. As it currently stands, no matter how great a renter you are, or how long you've lived in a home, you can lose your home without cause. That's right, your landlord can tell you to leave without giving you a reason. 

2. It's time to let Oregon cities decide whether or not rent-stabilization is right for them. Currently, Oregon state law prohibits cities from enacting rent-control unless extenuating circumstances exist -- and if lawmakers can agree on what those extenuating circumstances are. That's right. If Oregon City wants to enact rent-stabilization, they are BARRED from doing so. Some markets are at a critical moment where continued housing instability due to rising rents will undermine their entire economic success as a city -- they need the freedom to enact rent-stabilization if they deem necessary.

CLICK HERE TO TELL YOUR LEGISLATOR: OREGON RENTERS NEED STABLE HOMES

Source: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/6681/p/dia/act...
Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

What a week it’s been for Fair Shot! On Monday Cover All Kids had its first hearing, on Tuesday hearings continued at the Capitol and dozens turned out in Hillsboro to share their stories of profiling with the Attorney General. Next week is looking just as busy and we want you to join us! 

Visit the Capitol

Stable Homes for Oregon Families Hearing & Lobby Day

Oregon is in a housing crisis; especially when it comes to renters. Rents are rising much faster than wages, and people are losing their homes through no fault of their own due to the practice of "no-cause evictions." This has fueled a rapid rise in homelessness, housing instability, and the crushing of dreams for many families -- and if you're a renter in Oregon, it can happen to you too.

Enough is enough. It's time for the Oregon Legislature to act and protect families who work so hard to keep a roof over their heads. Join us March 2, 2017 in Salem to lend your voice, speak with our legislators directly and demand an end to no cause evictions and the ban on rent stabilization. 

Option 1: Lobby Training and Lobby Visits with Legislators, 12pm-5pm. 
Option 2: Housing Hearing and Testimony, 5pm-8pm. 
Option 3: All day! Lobby Training, Visits with Legislators, and Housing Hearing and Testimony, 12pm-8pm. 

Contact Your Legislator

Can’t make it to Salem? Your legislators still need to hear from you about these important policies. 

Oregon renters need stable homes!

Add your comments and share your story: tell your legislators how no-cause evictions and rent increases are harming you and your community. 

We need Reproductive Health Equity now!

The Reproductive Health Equity Act ensures that Oregonians, regardless of income, citizenship status, gender identity or type of insurance, have access to the full range of preventive reproductive health services, including family planning, abortion, and postpartum care. Healthier bodies lead to healthier families, and healthier families lead to healthier communities. Our elected leaders need to hear from all of us why this bill matters and why they must act now.

The Fair Shot agenda is building momentum. It’s only about to heat up from here. Join the movement to make sure all Oregonians get a fair shot!

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Over the past 2 years Fair Shot for All has delivered big victories for Oregonians including raising the minimum wage, passing paid sick leave, ensuring that everyone has a secure path to save for retirement, reducing barriers to employment by banning the criminal background box from job applications, and banning profiling by law enforcement.
 
We have made significant progress, but our work to address historic and systemic economic inequities for people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants, women, and working people continues. 

Now more than ever, it is important that we join together reaffirm our commitment to equity and economic justice and protect the victories for working families in our state. 

Join us in Eugene on Wednesday February 15 from 5:30 to 7:00pm as we kickoff the 2017 Legislative Session, learn about our legislative agenda, and discuss how we can come together as a movement for all Oregonians. 

When: Wednesday February 15, 5:30-7:00pm
Where: Whirled Pies, 199 West 8th (corner of 8th & Charnelton)

RSVP at https://goo.gl/forms/VWY66zVQMq4Fmu5n1

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

With the changing national political landscape, and the presidential election - we have seen an alarming rise in hate speech, and racist incidents happening in communities across Oregon. It's never been clearer to me, that many people still do not have a FAIR SHOT. But even though this political climate puts a magnifying glass on the divide, the reality is none of this is new. Deep disparities exist in every aspect of American life. From healthcare and education, to unemployment and housing, to community safety, we know that many of us are still struggling, and have been for generations. This is why Fair Shot for All was founded. Our coalition has made significant strides for Oregon over the past several years.  We won't stop until EVERYONE in Oregon has a fair shot.

Today marks the first day of the legislative session and we have a comprehensive agenda that takes bold steps forward to protect Oregonians’ rights, and sets the stage for Oregon to continue to lead the rest of the country. We know that supporting each other is key to winning a fair shot for all Oregonians. That is why we are prioritizing the following:

Our 2017 Agenda:

  • Cover All Kids (SB 558, HB 2726)
  • Reproductive Health Equity (HB 2232)
  • End Profiling (HB 2355)
  • Stable Homes for All (HB 2004)
  • Paid Family Medical Leave

Join us, in the movement to win a Fair Shot for ALL Oregonians, and sign the petition!

Thank you for your continued support. 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders
Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Over the past 2 years Fair Shot for All has delivered big victories for Oregonians including raising the minimum wage, passing paid sick leave, ensuring that everyone has a secure path to save for retirement, reducing barriers to employment by banning the criminal background box from job applications, and banning profiling by law enforcement.

We have made significant progress, but our work to address historic and systemic economic inequities for people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants, women, and working people continues. 

Now more than ever, it is important that we join together reaffirm our commitment to equity and economic justice and protect the victories for working families in our state. 

Join us and the Oregon Health Equity Alliance on the evening of December 1, 2017 from 5:30 to 8:00pm as we unveil our 2017 Legislative Agenda and discuss how we can come together as a movement for all Oregonians.

When: Thursday, December 1st, 5:30-8:00pm

Where: Vancouver Ave First Baptist Church
3138 N Vancouver Ave, Portland, OR 97227

RSVP at https://goo.gl/S3XXCo

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Long-standing inequalities between the wealthy and working families are standing in the way of real opportunities for many Oregonians, especially women, people of color and those in LGBTQ communities.

It's imperative that we change that system and find solutions that will make a real difference in Oregonian's lives.

Fair Shot For All supports A Better Oregon's proposal to invest in the services that will improve the lives of all Oregonians, from the youngest and most vulnerable, to our aging relatives and neighbors.

Help us build A Better Oregon. Pledge to vote Yes on 97 in November!

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Profiling by Law Enforcement 

In Oregon it is illegal for a law enforcement agency or officer to target an individual based solely on their age, race, ethnicity, color, national origin, language, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religious affiliation, houselessness, mental disability, or physical disability. 

What Can You Do?

File a Profiling Complaint. Now we have a tool to address this problem. Filing profiling complaints will help us curb this dangerous practice and make our families safer and our communities stronger.  

We’re Here to Help

We know that individuals and communities across Oregon are targeted by law enforcement every day. Unite Oregon and a coalition is leading the effort to end profiling by law enforcement and we know that profiling won’t end until we file complaints that will help us identify patterns and practices of profiling and begin to hold law enforcement accountable. It’s a quick and easy process and we can walk you through it. 

For help filing a complaint or to get involved in this campaign contact Unite Oregon at www.uniteoregon.org (503)287-4117. 

This material is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Should you wish to seek an attorney to obtain advice with respect to particular issues or problems, contact the Oregon State Bar at (503)684-3763.

 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States, with hundreds of thousands of contributing members and more than 500 local and campus affiliates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since its founding in 1966, NOW’s goal has been “to take action” to bring about equality for all women. NOW’s priorities include championing abortion rights, reproductive freedom, and other women’s health issues; opposing racism; fighting bigotry against the LGBTQIA community; ending violence against women; winning economic equality; and amending the U.S. Constitution to guarantee equal rights for women.

Oregon NOW is a state chapter of NOW. We work on behalf of nearly 1,500 NOW members in Oregon to achieve equality for all women and girls and to amplify the work of other justice-seeking organizations around Oregon. Our work includes encouraging our members and supporters to take action on our priorities, engaging in legislative advocacy, raising consciousness about our issues and priorities, endorsing candidates who will be strong advocates, and connecting members to feminist happenings, actions, and events in Oregon.

We are proud to be part of the Fair Shot Coalition, and have been strong supporters of efforts to pass laws first at the local level and then at the state level to require paid sick days, recent legislation to increase the minimum wage, and the successful effort to “Ban the Box” in Portland to improve employment prospects for people with felony convictions. Next year, Oregon NOW is focused on helping Oregon become the fifth state in the nation that requires paid family and medical leave.

Executive Director Michelle Ganow-Jones supporting paid sick days at an Oregon NOW annual meeting. 

Executive Director Michelle Ganow-Jones supporting paid sick days at an Oregon NOW annual meeting. 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Founded in 1910, the National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically under-served urban communities.  Our mission is to empower African Americans and other Oregonians to achieve equality in education, employment, and economic security. 

The Urban League movement carries out its mission at the local, state and national levels through direct services, advocacy, research, policy analysis, community education and mobilization, coalitions and collaborations, and communications. As an early advocate for fair housing and employment, the Urban League was instrumental in helping to shape the city of Portland we know today. 

We're proud of our work with the Fair Shot for All Coalition. After passing a law to Ban the Box in the legislature and 18 months of campaign work we co-led with the Oregon AFL-CIO, Portland City Council voted unanimously on November 25th, 2015 to pass a ban the box ordinance stronger than the statewide legislation. While we were thankful to see the state law on the books, it simply removes the box from a job application. The Portland ordinance provides an effective solution to strengthening our workforce and reducing our incarcerated population by requiring employers to extend a conditional offer before seeking information on an applicant’s criminal history.

Urban League members supporting Ban the Box at the Oregon State Capitol. 

Urban League members supporting Ban the Box at the Oregon State Capitol. 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Oregon's minimum wage will increase in three geographic regions over the next six years  starting on July 1, 2016. Here's what you need to know. 

  • Region 3: Includes Multnomah county and parts of Washington and Clackamas counties.
  • Region 2: Includes Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Deschutes, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, Tillamook, Wasco, and Yamhill counties. 
  • Region 1: Includes Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, and Wheeler counties.

Region 3: Portland Urban Growth Boundary

The Portland Urban Growth Boundary line encompasses roughly 2.2 million people By comparison, Seattle's population--where the minimum wage is increasing in steps to $15--is less than one-third the size, at 650,000 people. 

Approximately 37% of the total estimated jobs that will see a raise by 2022 are located in the Portland UGB. By 2017, minimum wage workers in the Portland Metro area will earn $11.25 an hour, or $23,400 a year. That's just under 200% of the current Federal Poverty Level for a single person. 

67% of the jobs in the tri-county area that will see a raise this July are at businesses with 50 or more employees.  

Region 2: Non-Portland Urban

Approximately 53% of the total estimated jobs that will see a raise by 2022 are located in Region 2. By 2017, minimum wage workers in non-Portland urban counties will earn $10.25 an hour, or $21,320 for a single year. That's 180% of the current Federal Poverty Level for a single person. 

Region 1: Rural

Approximately 10% of the total estimated jobs that will see a raise by 2022 are located in Region 1. By 2017, minimum wage workers in rural Oregon will earn $10.00 an hour, or $20,800 a year. That's 177% of the current Federal Poverty Level for a single person. 


For more information about your rights under this new law call the Bureau of Labor and Industries Wage & Hour Division at (971)673-0761. 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

The 2016 legislative session may have been short but together we made great strides for hardworking Oregonians. Hundreds of you turned out for hours of hearings and shared your stories of why raising the minimum wage, ending profiling, and stopping wage theft are essential to having a fair shot. 

As legislators head home, here’s the rundown of what your support helped make possible. 

Raised the Minimum Wage
Last week Governor Brown signed SB 1532 and made the minimum wage increase official. As a result over 100,000 minimum-wage workers will receive a raise this July and when the raise is fully phased in, it will positively impact the lives of over 600,000 Oregonians. This law sets the standard that whether you work in a field or a factory, a small town or a big city, everyone deserves a wage that allows them to afford the basics. 

Ending Profiling
HB 4003, also signed by the Governor into law, directs the Attorney General and the Work Group on the Prevention of Profiling by Law Enforcement to continue meeting and to issue a report with recommendations for legislation by December 1, 2016. The work group was established by the legislature in 2015 to help build a system to identify, record, and correct profiling by Oregon law enforcement agencies. 

Stopping Wage Theft
We began the session with a bill intended to make it more difficult for companies to get away with cheating workers out of pay. However, a key provision of the bill was removed and despite the bill’s passage, the barriers for workers to reclaim their stolen wages remain. The reality is that it’s going to take more to fix what’s broken with our system and we’ll continue to work towards solutions that help workers who have been shortchanged. 

Thank you for helping us make the Fair Shot agenda a reality. Your work has helped thousands of Oregonians over the past year and our work together is just getting started. 

Sign the pledge to support fair shot solutions to make sure you hear what’s next for us.

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

VOZ Workers’ Rights Education Project (Voz) is a worker-led organization that empowers diverse day laborers and immigrants to improve their working conditions and protect civil rights through leadership development, organizing, education and economic opportunity. We provide disenfranchised day laborers with leadership development opportunities as well as classes aimed at providing them with the skills they need to secure long-term employment. Voz uses Popular Education methodology in our leadership development and grassroots organizing, and we have a strong history of community engagement as a worker-led organization.

We operate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Worker Center, which connects hundreds of workers each month with local employers. The Center is critical to the day labor movement in Oregon and nationally. It offers a safe space for workers to build community, participate in trainings that increase employability, and organize themselves towards ending exploitation, discrimination and wage theft. Since 2000, Voz has been able to reclaim over $530,000 in stolen wages, created 25,127 jobs, and set a $12 minimum wage for worker at the center.

The important role that Voz plays in helping workers reclaim stolen wages demonstrates how wage theft has become a massive problem for Oregon workers and the state’s economy. We are proud to be members of the Fair Shot for All Coalition and the Oregon Coalition to Stop Wage Theft to put an end to workers being shortchanged. 

Romeo Sosa of Voz at the Fair Shot 2016 Agenda Launch. 

Romeo Sosa of Voz at the Fair Shot 2016 Agenda Launch. 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders
impactywca.jpg

Impact NW and YWCA of Greater Portland are proud members of the Fair Shot for All Coalition. These two organizations have a shared management agreement and support each other in fulfilling their complimentary missions. 

Impact NW’s mission is to help people prosper through a community of support. Impact NW provides an array of antipoverty programs, serving people across the lifespan with programs for all ages from infants to seniors. 

The YWCA’s mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. The YWCA has programs serving survivors of domestic violence, senior citizens, incarcerated mothers, and specifically addressing social justice. 

The Social Justice Program compliments the array of direct services with a multi-pronged approach that includes legislative advocacy (supporting gender, racial, and economic justice initiatives), community engagement, and community education (facilitating public and private trainings on social justice issues). We are honored to work with other members of the Fair Shot Coalition to eliminate racism and poverty, and empower women.

Impact NW and YWCA intern Alex at the Fair Shot for All 2016 Agenda Launch. 

Impact NW and YWCA intern Alex at the Fair Shot for All 2016 Agenda Launch. 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders