Contact: Mike Westling
(503) 498-8161
mike@brinkcomm.com

Salem, Ore.—On the final day of the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session, Fair Shot for All Director Heather Stuart released the following statement on behalf of the coalition:
 
“While Oregon’s economy continues to grow, many Oregonians, especially women and people of color, are being left behind. At the beginning of the 2017 session, Fair Shot for All set out an ambitious agenda to champion legislation that would create economic opportunities for working families and address longstanding racial and gender inequities.
 
“Although much of the focus in Salem has been on issues that have caused gridlock and disagreement, this session will ultimately be remembered for what was accomplished for working families: extending health care coverage to every kid in the state, expanding access to affordable reproductive health care to all Oregonians, and securing resources for tracking and ending law enforcement profiling. And while lawmakers did not approve paid family and medical leave insurance or tenant protections that would help keep families in their homes amidst a statewide housing crisis, Fair Shot for All raised the dialogue on both issues and built support that will carry forward to future sessions.
 
“Since the coalition launched in 2014, Fair Shot for All has been committed to amplifying the voices of working Oregonians from across the state. In 2017, members of the Fair Shot for All coalition spent thousands of hours making phone calls, sending letters, testifying at hearings, and meeting with legislators to make sure those voices were heard. These wins bolster Oregon’s emerging role as a national leader for working families, taking real action to advance racial and gender equity amidst efforts from the nation’s capital to roll back workers’ rights. While we have much to celebrate, our work is far from done. This coalition will be back—stronger and with even more resolve to ensure all Oregonians have a fair shot.”

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Contact: Rose King, (503) 863-1363, rose@brinkcomm.com

Passed by the House today, SB 558 ensures all Oregon children have the same access to health care, regardless of residency status

(Salem, Ore.)—The Oregon House today passed legislation known as “Cover All Kids” with bipartisan support. Senate Bill 558, co-sponsored by Representatives Alonso Leon, Hernandez, Huffman, Keny-Guyer and Olson and by Senators Boquist, Kruse, Monnes Anderson, and Roblan, now heads to Governor Kate Brown who is expected to sign the bill. 

The Cover All Kids legislation will: 

  • Extend health care coverage through the Oregon Health Plan for all children in Oregon up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. 
  • Ensure that culturally and linguistically appropriate community-based outreach is conducted to maximize enrollment. 

Expanding health care to undocumented kids has gained support throughout the nation over the last few years. Oregon is the seventh state following California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, D.C., and Washington state.

“Today, we are celebrating a tremendous victory. For the first time in their lives, thousands of kids across Oregon will have the health coverage they need to reach their full potential,” said Alberto Moreno, Executive Director of the Oregon Latino Health Coalition. “We thank Governor Kate Brown, Speaker Kotek, Representative Keny-Guyer and Representative Huffman for their steadfast support of all children and we thank the many Oregon legislators who supported a bill that truly reflects our core values. Today is a proud day for all Oregonians.” 

“We have a moral obligation to support Oregonians who face disparities accessing health care. Children rise to the top of that list,” said Representative Huffman. “I’m proud to support this policy that moves us one step closer to giving all children a healthy start in life.”

“I’m proud to say that health coverage will finally be a reality for all Oregon kids. As a sponsor of the bill, this has been a top priority for me for three sessions,” said Representative Keny-Guyer. “More children will get the preventative care they need to grow up healthy. This policy will strengthen the future of kids in every corner of our state.” 

In 2015, the Oregon Latino Health Coalition organized a statewide coalition of nearly a hundred organizations and set out to win health coverage for all children who call Oregon home. The Oregon Latino Health Coalition has led the effort to give a voice to the more than 17,000 kids denied critical medical coverage because of their residency status.  

Research shows that improved access to health coverage increases academic success and high school graduation rates. Medicaid-eligible children are also more likely to attend college, make greater contributions as taxpayers and live longer than kids growing up without health coverage and access to preventive care. Senate Bill 558 will promote the health of all Oregon children and put every child on the pathway to success.   

Advocates react to the news: 

“When kids are covered, there’s an immediate and long-term return on investment,” Imelda Dacones, CEO and President of Northwest Permanente, said “They have reduced emergency room visits, which is the most expensive venue of acute care, and also reduced hospitalization rates. They are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to graduate college. They tend to have higher incomes and surpass their families’ incomes, so as adults they pay more taxes.”

"Children are children. No child should be denied the health care coverage they need to thrive,” said Tonia Hunt, Executive Director for Children First for Oregon. “We know that access to health care improves all aspects of a child's life. Cover All Kids will give every child a strong start for a healthy and successful future." 

“For kids, health insurance helps create a greater possibility of a healthy, productive life. And Oregon is stronger when every child in our state has the opportunity to grow up healthy,” said Dave Underriner, chief executive, Providence Health & Services in Oregon.

“By committing to the health of all children, Oregon will help more kids do better in school, earn higher incomes down the road and ultimately pay more taxes. This was the right thing to do for our children and our communities will also benefit from a stronger economy,” said Jim Francesconi, VP, Moda Health.

"Access to quality healthcare for our kids isn't a luxury," said Nichole Maher, President & CEO of Northwest Health Foundation. "It's the hallmark of a state that knows a safe, healthy childhood sets the stage for lifelong health. Cover All Kids gives every child the dignity of care that will benefit them and our state for generations to come." 

"Passage of Cover All Kids is great news for our patients and children across the state," said Laura Etherton, policy director at the Oregon Primary Care Association, the association of Oregon's Community Health Centers. "Coverage means that these low income children will have access to the full range of health care - from primary and preventive care, to specialty and inpatient hospital care-without fear of unaffordable costs."

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Contact: Mike Westling, Fair Shot for All
(503) 498-8161
mike@brinkcomm.com

Salem, Ore.—A bill that provides resources to end law enforcement profiling in Oregon through data collection, training, and accountability passed the Oregon Senate on Thursday evening with bipartisan support. Having passed the Oregon House on July 5th, HB 2355 will now head to the desk of Governor Kate Brown for her signature.
 
Following the vote, Unite Oregon Executive Director Kayse Jama issued the following statement on behalf of Fair Shot for All:
 
“In a political environment increasingly defined by disagreement, finger-pointing, and fear, today’s vote is a sign that progress is still possible when listen with respect and come together to make our communities safer and more just.
 
“The passage of this bill is a victory for Oregonians who have been targeted by law enforcement because of who they are, where they come from, or what they look like. It’s a victory for law enforcement officers, who will receive needed training and an opportunity to rebuild trust in the communities they serve. And it’s a victory for all Oregonians, who can be confident that instances of profiling will be tracked and that law enforcement agencies will be accountable for their actions.
 
“Central to this victory were the brave voices of Oregonians who experienced profiling—on urban streets and on country roads—and were willing to share their stories in the state capitol and at listening sessions across the state.
 
“Since the legislature passed HB 2002, prohibiting profiling and creating the Oregon Law Enforcement Profiling Task Force, we have made progress in building a coalition of law enforcement officials and local leaders who care about justice and want to see our criminal justice system work for all. Beyond any piece of legislation, these relationships will continue to bring positive change to communities across the state.
 
“Everyone engaged in the conversations that led to this bill recognizes that the challenge of profiling will continue for years to come, but the commitment of law enforcement officials to take on this difficult work gives us hope for the future of Oregon.”
 
More information about the legislative proposal to end profiling is available here: http://bit.ly/end_profiling

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Contact: Mike Westling
(503) 498-8161
mike@brinkcomm.com

Salem, Ore.—Legislation that provides the tools needed to end law enforcement profiling in Oregon through data collection, training, and accountability passed the Oregon House Wednesday afternoon. The bill will next move to the Oregon Senate for approval. Once passed by both houses, the bill will need Governor Kate Brown’s signature before becoming law.
 
House Bill 2355 will require law enforcement departments to begin collecting and retaining standardized demographic data on all officer-initiated pedestrian and traffic stops. The bill also requires mandatory training in cultural competency and implicit bias for all state and local law enforcement officers in Oregon and establishes a statewide system to hold law enforcement departments accountable for profiling practices.
 
This bipartisan legislation builds upon years of hard work by community groups and law enforcement officials across the state and the legislature’s passage of HB 2002 in 2015, which clearly defined and prohibited profiling in Oregon and established the Oregon Law Enforcement Profiling Task Force.  

“Although Oregon officially banned law enforcement profiling in 2015, the reality is that profiling persists in communities across the state,” said Kayse Jama, executive director of Unite Oregon. “Today, the Oregon House backed up words with action, voting to provide the tools required to track and ultimately end profiling in our state and make our neighborhoods safer. With the support of law enforcement and legislators from both parties, we look forward to the work of tracking and ultimately ending profiling in Oregon.”

Collecting better data in Oregon will institute a best practice already in place in law enforcement agencies around the country. According to the ACLU, 22 states, 4,000 cities—including over half of the 50 largest—and 6,000 police departments are now collecting stop and search data. In Oregon, the Oregon State Police and the Corvallis Police Department have begun to collect data on profiling, but there is currently no statewide requirement or system to do so.

“This legislation will allow Oregon communities to expect better and more transparent policing, make sure our officers are trained to understand the root causes and best ways to prevent implicit bias, and take significant steps to eliminate law enforcement profiling in our state,” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “I’m especially thankful to the members of Oregon’s law enforcement community who helped us develop this important bill.”

“Police profiling still happens in Oregon, it’s difficult to stop when we don’t know exactly where, when, or how often it is occurring,” said Representative Jennifer Williamson. “By collecting data on profiling and setting up a structure of accountability, we’re getting closer to ensuring that Oregonians are never targeted by law enforcement because of their race, ethnicity, or gender identity.”

More information about the legislative proposal to end profiling is available here: http://bit.ly/end_profiling

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

 

The Oregon Senate today passed nationally significant legislation that will guarantee reproductive health equity for Oregonians. It now heads to the desk of Governor Kate Brown for her signature.

The Reproductive Health Equity Act (House Bill 3391) will ensure that every Oregonian can decide when and whether to become a parent - regardless of income, type of insurance, citizenship status or gender identity. The Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon, which developed the legislation over the past two years with input from community leaders and legislators, applauded the elected leaders who recognized the urgent need to safeguard reproductive freedom and fill gaps in coverage that benefit millions of Oregonians.

HB 3391 will:

  • Safeguard the right to abortion if Roe v. Wade were overturned.
  • Protect no-cost coverage for preventive reproductive health care for every Oregonian with commercial health insurance if the Affordable Care Act were overturned.
  • Expand post-partum care to about 48,000 Oregonians of reproductive age who have coverage for labor and delivery that drops immediately after birth.
  • Make safe, legal abortion more affordable and accessible for about 43,000 Oregon women of reproductive age who have high-deductible policies.
  • Help more than 18,600 Oregon women of reproductive age who are forced to pay out-of-pocket costs for preventive health services, including contraception.
  • Remove procedural barriers that hinder access to lifesaving cancer screenings for transgender and gender-nonconforming Oregonians.

House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, Representatives Jeff Barker and Julie Fahey, and Senators Richard Devlin and Laurie Monnes Anderson are the chief sponsors of the bill, which is co-sponsored by 21 State Representatives and 10 State Senators.

Grayson Dempsey, Executive Director for NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, said: "Preventive services reduce healthcare costs and strengthen our communities and our economy. In order to have stronger health outcomes, Oregonians need quality medical care to prevent problems before they start."

Laurel Swerdlow, Advocacy Director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, said: "Rights don't matter if you can't access them. Every Oregonian - no matter where they live or how much money they make or who provides their health insurance - deserves access to the health care they need."

Linda Roman, Director of Health Policy and Government Relations for Oregon Latino Health Coalition, said: "All Oregonians - regardless of citizenship status - should have the freedom to decide if and when they have children based on what's best for them and their family's circumstances."

Amy Casso, Gender Justice Program Director for Western States Center, said: "Immigrants are our neighbors. They work hard, pay taxes and put their children through school, yet many Oregonians are categorically denied health coverage due to their citizenship status. No one should have to go bankrupt or deep into debt because they don't have affordable reproductive health care."

Kara Carmosino, Director of Programs and Strategy for Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, said: "Transgender and gender-nonconforming Oregonians need access to services often categorized as 'women's health care,' including gender-specific cancer screenings. Unfortunately, when coverage is dependent on one's gender marker, procedural barriers can hinder access to this necessary and lifesaving care."

Kimberly McCullough, Legislative Director for American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, said: "We believe every Oregonian should have access to the full range of reproductive health care, starting with preventive care and continuing through postpartum care. This basic right is a foundation of freedom and opportunity for individuals and their families."

Andrea Paluso, Executive Director for Family Forward Oregon, said: "Working families are under so much strain today and often have a hard time making ends meet. Families in Oregon need support like paid time off from work to care for loved ones and access to affordable child care. It is also critical that they have access to affordable, essential reproductive health care, which this bill guarantees."

Reproductive Health Equity Act summary: https://reprohealthequity.org/about/about-the-bill/

Reproductive Health Equity Act fact sheet: https://reprohealthequity.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/hb-3391-fact-sheet.pdf

Source: https://reprohealthequity.org/2017/07/05/o...
Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

For more information, contact:
Alison McIntosh, Neighborhood Partnerships               
(503) 816-2882, amcintosh@neighborhoodpartnerships.org

Salem, Ore.—Today community leaders in Eugene, Medford and Portland held press conferences Wednesday calling for the lawmakers to pass HB 2004 before ending the 2017 legislative session.

"HB 2004 would help protect a broad spectrum of Ashland’s residents who are vulnerable to no-cause evictions and displacement," said Ashland Mayor John Stromberg. "I encourage our legislators to support this bill - which is amenable to both landlords and tenants  - and allow it to be brought to a vote on the floor of the Senate.”

HB 2004 will limit no-cause evictions and provide basic fairness and stability to the forty percent of Oregon’s residents who rent their homes. The events today come one day after 41 local county commissioners, mayors, city council members, school board members and others also called for passage of the bill.

“As state and local elected officials, the most urgent issue we continually hear about from constituents -- at town hall meetings, in letters and phone calls, and in everyday conversations -- is that our families need relief in their struggle to keep a safe, stable place to call home,” said the letter the local officials sent to lawmakers.
 
HB 2004 has passed the Oregon House, and both the Senate Human Services Committee and Senate Rules Committee with a do-pass recommendation. So far, however, Senate President Peter Courtney has not allowed the bill to be voted on. If it does not pass the Senate, the bill will die in the 2017 legislative session.

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

For more information, contact:
Alison McIntosh, Neighborhood Partnerships               
(503) 816-2882, amcintosh@neighborhoodpartnerships.org

Mayors, council members, commissioners join state legislators who support limiting no-cause evictions

Salem, Ore. – As the legislature enters its final full week, local elected officials across the state, including mayors, city councilors, county commissioners, and school board members are urging lawmakers not to leave Salem without passing legislation to help keep families in their homes and reduce homelessness amidst a statewide housing crisis. Over 40 officials sent the joint letter to Senate President Peter Courtney, who has so far refused to let the bill move to the Senate Floor for a full vote after it was approved by the Senate Rules Committee. Also copied on the letter were other members of the Senate leadership.

Read the full letter: 
 
July 4, 2017

All Oregon State Senators
900 Court St. NE
Salem Oregon 97301

Dear Esteemed Colleagues of the Oregon State Senate:

We are writing to urge your support of HB 2004-C, which will limit no-cause evictions and provide basic fairness and stability to the forty percent of Oregon’s residents who live in rental housing.

As state and local elected officials, the most urgent issue we continually hear about from constituents -- at town hall meetings, in letters and phone calls, and in everyday conversations -- is that our families need relief and security in their struggle to keep a safe, stable place to call home.

Clearly, Oregon is experiencing an affordable housing crisis, with renters bearing the burden of a booming market that gives great power to those who own and control property. Thousands of families have had their lives completely up-ended by massive rent increases and no-cause evictions, and many have been pushed into homelessness. Without this bill, landlords will continue to be able to use no-cause evictions to discriminate or retaliate against families of color, those with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, and tenants who simply ask their landlord to make legally required repairs. According to the Portland Housing Bureau Housing Choice Survey, sixteen percent of households in the Portland tri-county area were forced to move, against their wishes, within the last five years. We also know that the average African American, Native, and Latino household can no longer afford to live within Portland city limits without being severely cost burdened. The ripple effects of this housing insecurity and displacement extend to our places of worship, neighborhoods and schools.

HB 2004-C will not prevent landlords from evicting tenants who violate the terms of their rental agreements, however, it will protect families from losing their homes through no fault of their own. Tens of thousands of families are looking to us to respond decisively to the housing crisis as we face a reality where some investors and landlords are profiteering with impunity, while vulnerable families and children suffer the burden.

Please do not leave Salem without taking this simple, common-sense step to protect our families, and pass HB 2004-C. Oregon’s renters deserve the basic right of housing stability.

Sincerely,

Ted Wheeler                                                               Nick Fish
Mayor of Portland                                                       Portland City Commissioner

Chloe Eudaly                                                              Amanda Fritz
Portland City Commissioner                                       Portland City Commissioner
 
Dan Saltzman                                                             Deborah Kafoury
Portland City Commissioner                                       Chair, Multnomah County
                                       
Sharon Meieran                                                          Jessica Vega Pederson       
Multnomah County Commissioner                             Multnomah County Commissioner    

Mark Gamba                                                               Angel Falconer
Mayor of Milwaukie                                                     Milwaukie City Councilor

Lisa Batey                                                                   Wilda Parks
Milwaukie City Councilor                                             Milwaukie City Councilor

Shane Abma                                                                Sam Chase
Milwaukie City Councilor                                             Metro Councilor

Bob Stacy                                                                    Kay Brooks    
Metro Councilor                                                           Medford City Council

Tom Koehler                                                                Amy Konhstamm
Chair, PPS School Board                                            Vice Chair, PPS School Board

Scott Bailey                                                                 Paul Anthony
PPS School Board                                                      PPS School Board

Mike Rosen                                                                 Rita Moore
PPS School Board                                                      PPS School Board-Elect

Tom Anderson                                                            Chris Hoy
Salem City Council                                                     Salem City Council

Sally Cook                                                                  Greg Malinowski
Salem City Council                                                     Washington County Commissioner               

Dick Schouten                                                             Andrea Valderrama
Washington County Commissioner                             David Douglas School Board                      

Lucy Vinis                                                                    Sarah Westover
Mayor of Eugene                                                         Phoenix City Councilor 

Barb Campbell                                                             Nathan Boddie
Bend City Councilor                                                     Bend City Councilor

John Stromberg                                                            Emily Berlant
Mayor of Ashland                                                         Talent City Councilor

Dennis Slattery                                                             Karin Power
Ashland City Councilor                                                 Oregon State Representative

Tawna Sanchez                                                            Alissa Keny-Guyer   
Oregon State Representative                                      Oregon State Representative

Susan McLain                                                               Diego Hernandez
Oregon State Representative                                       Oregon State Representative

Carla Piluso                                                                
Oregon State Representative                                      

Source: http://www.stablehomesor.org/single-post/2...
Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Contact: Rose King, (503) 863-1363, rose@brinkcomm.com

Salem, Ore. – Today, the Oregon Senate voted to pass legislation that will ensure all Oregon children have the same access to health care. Senate Bill 558 will extend health care coverage through the Oregon Health Plan to more than 17,000 kids currently excluded because of their residency status. The bill received bipartisan support. 
 
Leading a coalition of nearly a hundred organizations that have backed Cover All Kids, including community based organizations, CCOs, insurers, hospitals, educators, labor unions and community members, the Oregon Latino Health Coalition issued the following statement from Alberto Moreno, Executive Director: 

“As Oregonians, we believe that every child deserves the chance to succeed in school and life—and staying healthy is key to that success. Today, we applaud the Oregon Senate for taking us another step closer to a stronger and more equitable future, where every child has the health care they need to reach their full potential. 

Our senate did the right thing by passing Cover All Kids. Without this legislation, more than 17,000 kids will have remained uninsured, forced to rely on episodic and emergency care that does not meet their health care needs. No child should face needless suffering and even death from a treatable condition. This is the time for Oregon to affirm its commitment to all of her children. 

We thank our Senate members for continuing to stand up for our core values and do right by all children. And we thank Senate President Courtney for his leadership along with Senators Boquist, Kruse, Monnes Anderson and Roblan who co-sponsored the legislation. 

We cannot accept a system where kids are denied critical medical coverage because of their residency status, putting their health and their futures at risk. Today’s vote was an important step forward and the Oregon Latino Health Coalition will continue to work hard to ensure health coverage for all the children who call Oregon home.”

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

For more information, contact:
Alison McIntosh, Neighborhood Partnerships               
(503) 816-2882, amcintosh@neighborhoodpartnerships.org
 
Salem, Ore. – On Wednesday, the Senate Rules Committee voted to pass HB 2004B with the –B21 amendments.

Following the vote, Pam Phan, Policy and Organizing Director for the Community Alliance of Tenants, issued the following statement on behalf of Stable Homes for Oregon Families:

“With this vote, Oregon lawmakers have moved one step closer towards reducing displacement and homelessness for our state’s children, families and working people. With time in the Legislative session running out, we urge the full Senate to pass HB 2004 quickly. Limiting no-cause evictions is the moral standard by which Oregon will be judged for years to come. Renters across the state—in rural, urban, or suburban communities—have told us that they are struggling in this severe housing crisis and urgently need the protections of the bill. How can we expect children to succeed when a record number of students are experiencing homelessness? Oregon must act now. We cannot wait another two years when lives are at stake.”

Source: http://www.stablehomesor.org/single-post/2...
Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

For more information, contact:
Mike Westling
(503) 498-8161
mike@brinkcomm.com
 
Oregon’s religious leaders call on Sen. Peter Courtney and Sen. Ginny Burdick today
 
Salem, Ore. – In the final weeks of the Oregon legislative session, a diverse contingent of faith leaders sent an urgent and somber message to Senate leadership calling for passage of SB 2004 to limit no-cause evictions and protect the renters in their congregations.
 
“In an extraordinary show of support, faith leaders from around the state have come together to call on the Senate to pass HB 2004 right away. The children, families and individuals cannot wait another two years for action,” said Alison McIntosh, Neighborhood Partnerships.
 
Here is the letter in its entirety:
 
June 26, 2017

Senate President Courtney
Senator Burdick
Senator Ferrioli
Oregon State Legislature
900 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
 
Dear Senate President Courtney, Senator Burdick, and Senator Ferrioli:
 
We, the undersigned religious leaders, ask you to please pass HB 2004B.
 
This legislative session, you have a great opportunity to help families remain in their homes and avoid a path to homelessness by passing HB 2004B. We respectfully urge your support of HB 2004B to limit no- cause evictions and to provide stability to the four in ten Oregonians who rent their homes.
 
We believe that everyone deserves a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home. Today, current policy permits landlords to evict tenants without providing a cause, sometimes with as little as 30 days’ notice. Across Oregon, families, children, and individuals are experiencing the negative effects of no- cause evictions, which threatens the stability of our communities.

Many of our congregations, churches, parishes, and synagogues operate a food pantry or an emergency rent fund. We know firsthand that as rents continue to rise, families are asked to choose between paying their rent or purchasing essential survival materials, such as food and medicine. Tragically, many of our congregants have to make these choices for themselves and their children often: hunger or eviction; health or warm clothing.
 
The current housing crisis is disproportionally targeting the stability and safety of the most vulnerable in our society. We ask you to recognize the danger to human dignity that no-cause evictions are perpetuating, particularly on communities of color, seniors, people with disabilities, and parents of young children.
 
As a state, we know we can do more to provide stability for families by limiting the use of no cause evictions. HB 2004B is one way that Oregon can help people who rent their homes remain stable.
 
We believe we must grab the opportunity presented by this bill. The health and safety of low-income families – as well as the strength of our social fabric – depend on it.
 
Thank you for your continued efforts to address the needs of every one of our communities, and we urge you to pass HB 2004B.
 
Sincerely,

Rev. Andrew Guthrie
Lynchwood Christian Church
 
Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie
University Chaplain, Pacific University
 
Rev. Katie Larsell
Oregon Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice

Bishop T Allen Bethel
Maranatha Church
 
Rev. Craig Moro
Minister, Wy'east Unitarian Universalist Congregation
 
Rev. Dr. Emily Brault, Chaplain
Coffee Creek Correctional Facility
 
Rev. Tracy Springberry
 
Rev. Kate Lore
 
Rev. Connie Yost
 
Rev Marcia Stanard
Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Willamette Falls
Oregon City
 
Rev. Lynne Smouse López
Ainsworth United Church of Christ
 
Reverend Judy Welles
 
Rev. Kit Ketcham
Minister, Pacific Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Astoria
 
Rev. Sue Ayer
Hillsboro
Rev. Wendy Fish
Retired Parish Minister and Hospital Chaplain

Rev. Mary Sue Evers
Pastor, Cedar Hills United Church of Christ

Rev. Kate Rohde
Minister Emerita, Unitarian Congregation of West Chester
Milwaukie
 
Rev. Judy Zimmerman
Minister, Mid-Columbia Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Hood River

Bishop CT Wells
Emmanuel Church
Portland

Rev. Melanie A. Oommen
United Church of Christ
Eugene

The Reverend Dr. Brent Was
Rector, Church of the Resurrection
Eugene
Rabbi Ariel Stone
Congregation Shir Tikvah

Rabbi Daniel Isaaks
Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Neveh Shalom

Rev. Mark Knutson
Augustana Lutheran Church

Rev. Valerie Kapman
St. Francis of Assisi
Portland

Fr. Elwin C. Schwab
St. Charles Borromeo
Portland

Rev. David Wheeler
First Baptist Church
Portland

Fr. Dave Zegar
St. Andrew's
Portland
 
Pr. Amanda Zentz-Alo
Central Lutheran Church
Portland

Rev. Chris Shade
Associate Pastor
First Baptist Church

Rev. Andrea R. Cano
United Church of Christ
 
Fr. Chuck Lienert
St. Andrew Catholic Church
Portland

Rev. Melissa O. Reed
Salt & Light Lutheran Church and Leaven Community
Portland 

Sr. Mary Breiling
Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary

Rev. John Schwiebert
Metanoia Peace Community United Methodist Church
Portland

The Rev. Christine M. Core
Bethel Lutheran Church
Portland

Rev. Mark S. Brocker
St. Andrew Lutheran Church
Beaverton

Rev. David Eppelsheimer
Community of ChristChurch
Hillsboro

Rev. Bill Gates
United Methodist Church
Columbia District (Portland)

Rev. Aimee Bruno
King of Kings Lutheran Church
Milwaukie

The Rev. Lorin Darst
Macksburg Lutheran Church
Canby

Rev. Michael Ellick
First Congregational United Church of Christ
Portland

Rev. Scott Dunfee
St. Stephen Lutheran
Gladstone

Rev. Donna Pritchard
First United Methodist
Portland

Rev. Robyn M. Hartwig
St. Andrew Lutheran Church
Beaverton
Rev. Sue Matranga-Watson
 
Rev. Jennifer Garrison Brownell
First Congregational United Church of Christ
 
Oregon Center for Christian Voices
 
Rev. Joseph Santos Lyons
 
Matt Cato
Director, Office of Life, Justice & Peace
Archdiocese of Portland

Valerie Chapman
Pastoral Administrator
St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Portland
 
Constance Kosuda
St Elizabeth Ann Seton
Aloha
 
Rev. Patrick Donoghue
Pastor, St. Anthony Catholic Church
Portland
 
Eileen Sleva
Chair, Social Justice Committee
Holy Trinity Parish
Beaverton
 
Fr. Craig Boly, SJ, Pastor
St. Ignatius Catholic Church
Portland
 
Evelyn A. Brush ofs
Director of Religious Education
Our Lady of Sorrows Parish
Portland
 
Gail Kingsley
Director of Social Services
St. Mary’s Cathedral
Archdiocese of Portland

Gerlinde Lamer
Director of Adult Faith Formation
St. Anthony Parish
Tigard
 
Helen Goff
Chair, Life & Justice Ministry
St. Anthony of Padua
Forest Grove
 
Diane Kintz, retired RN
Peace and Justice Chair, Christ the King Parish
Milwaukie
 
Fr. Manuel Becerra
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Sandy
 
Rev. Dr. John Krebsbach
Deacon
St. Anthony of Padua
Forest Grove
 
Maggie Stopka
Coordinator Liturgy, Pastoral Care, Peace and Justice
St. Matthew Parish
Hillsboro
 
Mike O'Mahoney
Deacon
St. Mary Magdalene Paris

Julie Reilly, President
St. Frederic Conference, Society of St. Vincent De Paul
St. Frederic Catholic Church
St. Helens
 
Maureen Sloan, Treasurer
St. Frederic Conference, Society of St. Vincent De Paul
St. Frederic Catholic Church
St. Helens
 
Patricia Montone
Peace & Justice Committee
St Pius X Church   
 
Penny McArdle
Chairperson, Peace & Justice Ministry
Resurrection Catholic Parish
West Linn
 
Sharon C. Williams
Chair, Justice and Peace Committee
St. Henry Church, Gresham
 
Sharon Grigar
Pastoral Associate
Ascension Catholic Church
 
Therese Ruesink
Secretary and Vice President of the Life, Justice, and Peace Committee
St. Rose of Lima Parish
Portland
 
Thomas Tomaszek
Pastoral Associate, Our Lady of the Lake Parish
Lake Oswego, Oregon
 
Brittney L. Sparks, President
Administrator of Practices and Policies
The Madonna’s Center for Life
 
Father Benjamin Tapia
Pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Catholic Church
Central Point
 
Joyce Marks
Pastoral Associate of Shepherd of the Valley Catholic Church
Central Point
 
Rev. Karen LaJoy Smith
All Saints Episcopal Church
Hillsboro
 
Daniel A. Brown, Peace and Justice Commission
St. Philip Neri
Portland

Rabbi Ruhi Sophia Rubenstein
Temple Beth Israel
Eugene
 
Rev. Jesse Christopherson
Milwaukie Lutheran
Milwaukie
 
Rev. Craig Johnson
Christ Lutheran
Aurora
 
Rev. Adam Phillips
Christ Church: Portland
& First Christian Church
 
The Reverend Eugene Ross
 
The Reverend Dr. Patricia Ross
 
Rev. Eric Conklin
Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church
 
Rev.  John Pitney
 
Pastor Donna Herzfeldt-Kamprath
West Linn Lutheran Church

Laura Lee Kent
Medford Congregational United Church of Christ 

Rev. Roberta J. Egli
Trinity UMC
Eugene
 
The Rev. Deacon Thomas R. English
Eugene
 
Jo Ann English
Social Action, Oregon-Idaho United Methodist Women
Member of First United Methodist Church, Eugene
 
Blake L. English
Member of First United Methodist Church, Eugene, Oregon
Board member of Wesley Center, University of Oregon
 
The Rev. Dr. Daniel Bryant
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Eugene

Rev. Adam Briddell
First United Methodist Church of Eugene
Eugene
 
Jan Musgrove Elfers
Executive Director
Ecumenical Ministry of Oregon

Source: http://www.stablehomesor.org/single-post/2...
Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Contact: Mike Westling
(503) 498-8161
mike@brinkcomm.com

The Joint Subcommittee on Public Safety held a hearing Wednesday on bipartisan legislation to curb police profiling in Oregon. House Bill 2355 will require law enforcement departments to begin collecting and retaining standardized demographic data on all officer-initiated pedestrian and traffic stops. The bill also requires mandatory training in cultural competency and implicit bias for all state and local law enforcement officers in Oregon and establishes a statewide system to hold law enforcement departments accountable for profiling practices.
 
After the Joint Subcommittee on Public Safety votes on HB 2355, it will then move to the Joint Committee on Ways and Mean before receiving a floor vote in the Oregon House.
 
Following the hearing, Senators James Manning and Lew Frederick issued the following statements:
 
Senator James Manning:
 
“Although slow, we have made steady progress in Oregon to improve community-police relations, yet there remains a lot more work to do. In the City of Eugene for example, we developed the first policy prohibiting profiling which holds all members of our police department accountable against profiling based on ethnicity, color, religion, nationality, sexual identity, and other protective classes. Measures to prohibit police departments and law enforcement agencies from engaging in profiling statewide have gained support. However, currently tracking programs or policies need more implementation to ensure full accountability.
 
“HB 2355 will provide the data collection, training, oversight, and accountability mechanisms required to ensure that we put an end to profiling in communities across the state. By recognizing this problem, tracking our progress, we join 40 other states by passing legislation prohibiting profiling by police department and law enforcement agencies all aim to make our communities safer and more welcoming for all Oregonians. Said by Senator Manning.”
 
Senator Lew Frederick:
 
"Over the past two years, we've heard from people around the state, sharing their experiences with profiling and calling for the resources we need to end this harmful practice. Law enforcement officials, Attorney General Rosenblum, and members of the community have been working together for months to come up with solutions that will create real change for Oregonians. Through their collective efforts, we have a strong bill before us that I’ll be proud to vote for." 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Contact:
Mike Westling, (503) 498-8161
mike@brinkcomm.com

With rents at an all-time high and vacancy rates near zero, families evicted from their homes face few housing options
 
Salem, Ore.— The cost of housing in Oregon continues to rise and is increasingly out of reach for low-wage Oregonians, according to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The report, titled Out of Reach, shows that the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Oregon jumped 27 percent over five years, from $807 in 2012 to $1,028 in 2017. It would take an hourly wage of at least $19.78 an hour to afford a modest apartment at that cost. The report comes as housing vacancy rates in communities across the state hover around 1 percent and more than 21,000 Oregon students experienced homelessness at some point in the past year.
 
“This report shows us why our Senators must pass HB 2004A” said Pam Phan, Policy and Organizing Director for the Oregon Community Alliance of Tenants. “It’s no secret that Oregon is facing a severe housing crisis and families are losing their homes. The Senate has a solution that can help keep families in their homes, right in front of them. Now is the time for them to act on HB 2004A, which will keep our communities whole and prevent displacement happening throughout the state. Legislators will own this vote for years to come. When face to face with Oregonians, they’ll need to explain to us why they sat back and allowed needless displacement of children, families, those with disabilities, and seniors, many of whom are disproportionately people of color, to continue.”
 
Oregonians like Patti Jay, a veteran of the Oregon Air National Guard and mother to three children need the protection of HB 2004A so they are not trying to find a new apartment in a difficult rental market.
 
“Our state’s no-cause eviction laws are a loophole that allows bad behavior to go unchecked,” said Jay. “Last spring, I received a 60-day notice to vacate my home. There was no cause listed. It was difficult to find alternate housing. It was the middle of my son’s freshman year at Milwaukie High School, and we wanted to stay within the school district. While we finally found an apartment, the monthly rent is $400 more than we were paying before. And the fear that this could happen again, at any time, with no warning or reason, remains with my family.”
 
The bill preserves landlords’ right to make business or personal use decisions about their rental property, allowing them to evict for business or personal use reasons, with 90 days’ notice and payment of one months’ rent. It also gives renters legal protection so they can request repairs or raise issues without fear of retaliation.
 
HB 2004A has passed the Oregon House of Representatives and the Senate Human Services Committee and is waiting for a vote of the full Senate.
 
The full Out of Reach report, including Housing Wages for all counties and major metro areas in the state, is available at http://nlihc.org/oor/oregon.

Source: http://www.stablehomesor.org/single-post/2...
Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Contact: Mike Westling
(503) 498-8161
mike@brinkcomm.com

Special interests seek to chip away at minimum wage increases, paid sick days, and retirement security, hurting Oregon women and communities of color

Salem, Ore.—Fair Shot for All, a coalition of more than 30 Oregon community and labor groups, released a new report Friday detailing efforts to roll back laws that have expanded economic opportunity for working families. 

During the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers introduced nearly 50 bills designed to strip away economic protections from workers. The rollbacks specifically target low-income workers, who are disproportionately women and people of color. 

Examples include:

  • HB 3317 - Changes minimum wage tiers and create a separate minimum wage for agricultural workers
  • SB 407 - Exempts employers under 50 employees from minimum wage tiers
  • SB 402 - Exempts agricultural workers from sick time
  • SB 403 - Repeals paid sick time for everything but domestic violence leave
  • SB 405 -  Repeals provisions of the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan

Other bills would shift the cost of wages and sick time from employers to taxpayers through targeted tax credits to corporations and special interests. 

Friday marked the cutoff deadline for legislative committees to hold work sessions on bills that originated in the opposite chamber. As of that deadline, most of these roll back measures were dead. 

Those bills still moving through the legislature include:

  • HB 2182 - Creates tax credit for employers that pay wages to youth workers, defined as workers between 16 and 25 years of age
  • HB 3383 - Establishes refundable tax credit against income or corporate excise taxes for employers in specified industrial sectors for wages paid to employees at or below specified rate
  • SB 299 - Directs Bureau of Labor and Industries to study issue of sick leave in Oregon. Excludes certain individuals from determination of number of employees of employer. Modifies rate of pay for accrued sick time for certain individuals.

The full report, including a list of all rollback legislation, is available online in PDF format. 

“Instead of devising schemes to strip wages, sick days, and retirement savings away from working Oregonians, lawmakers should be focused on expanding economic opportunity in our communities,” said Ramon Ramirez, President of Pineros y Campesinos del Noroeste (PCUN – Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United). “Many of these rollbacks specifically target agricultural employees, devaluing their work and treating them as less than deserving of a living wage, paid sick time, or a secure retirement. It is sad that in 2017 we have to continue fighting efforts to undermine economic progress for American workers, especially women and people of color.” 

At the federal level, Congress passed and President Trump signed a resolution in May to roll back regulations designed to help states set up retirement plans for workers. The resolution targets state-based retirement security plans like OregonSaves, which Fair Shot fought to pass during the 2015 legislative session.  

Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley both made statements condemning the resolution. State Treasurer Tobias Read has vowed to continue moving forward with the state’s plan to make retirement savings easier to access for more Oregonians. 

"While we may continue to see these threats to working Oregonians pop up in future legislative sessions, committee chairs and leadership in both houses have stood strong in 2017, calling foul and stopping a number of these bills from moving forward,” said Andrea Williams, Executive Director of Causa. “At a time when many hardworking Oregonians are fearful of the policies and rhetoric coming out of Washington D.C., Fair Shot for All remains united against attacks on workers and families in our state.” 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Contact: Rose King, (503) 863-1363, rose@brinkcomm.com 

Governor calls Cover All Kids legislation a take-home issue, urges legislators to make kids a priority

(Salem, Ore.)— At a rally held today at the Oregon State Capitol, Oregon Governor Kate Brown spoke in support of the bill known as “Cover All Kids”, calling for the legislature to ensure all Oregon children have the same access to health care. 

House Bill 2726 and Senate Bill 558 will extend health care coverage through the Oregon Health Plan to all kids. The bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by Representatives Alonso Leon, Hernandez, Huffman and Olson and by Senators Kruse, Boquist, Monnes Anderson, and Roblan. 

“As Oregonians we know health care coverage is foundational,” Governor Brown said. “Today, we stand together to ensure that all Oregon children have access to health care coverage.”   
Over the past decade, Oregon has made significant strides toward ensuring every child has access to quality, affordable health care. However, more than 17,000 kids are currently excluded from Oregon Health Plan because of their residency status. 

Governor Brown, a strong proponent of the Cover All Kids legislation, prioritized funding to extend coverage for every child in Oregon in her 2017-19 budget and also testified in the House Committee on Health Care in support of the bill.  

“It is our duty to ensure that our youngest Oregonians have the tools to grow into healthy adults, and to access to education, health care, and a bright future,” Governor Brown said. “Cover All Kids gives us an opportunity to fulfill this duty.” 

When children have access to health care through Medicaid, studies show they have improved education outcomes and higher incomes later in life. The proposed Cover All Kids legislation will promote the health of all Oregon children and put every child on the pathway to success.   

Governor Brown was joined by Representatives Hernandez, Huffman, Keny-Guyer and Alonso Leon. 

“By investing in every kid who calls Oregon home, we will correct a longstanding injustice in our health care system,” said Rep Alonso Leon. “It also means that children will get the preventative care they need to stay healthy and a medical emergency won’t turn into a family bankruptcy.” 

“It’s time for Oregon to take one step closer to a stronger and more equitable economy, where every child has the health care he or she needs to reach their full potential. By covering all kids, we will ensure that all children are on the path to a stronger, healthier future," said Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer.

More than 200 supporters attended the rally organized by the Oregon Latino Health Coalition, which represents nearly a hundred organizations that have backed Cover All Kids, including community based organizations, CCOs, insurers, hospitals, educators, labor unions and community members. 

Growing up healthy is a challenge for Oregon children who lack health insurance, and health insurance is a key factor in determining whether children receive the medical care they need. Studies show that uninsured children are much more likely than insured children to forgo necessary medical care due to costs, and much more likely to have unmet medical needs. 

In March, the Senate Committee on Health Care passed Senate Bill 558 and the bill now awaits its next hearing in the Ways and Means Committee. 
 

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Contact: Mike Westling, (503) 498-8161
mike@brinkcomm.com

Salem, Ore.— After Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek announced the details of the Oregon Education Investment Initiative last Thursday, APANO Executive Director Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons and Oregon Education Association President Hanna Vaandering released the following statement on behalf of Fair Shot for All: 

“It’s no secret that Oregon’s corporate taxes are some of the lowest in the country and the status quo is projected to produce long-term budget deficits. Without action to generate new revenue, we face severe cuts to education, health care, and other programs that would harm Oregonians in every part of the state, especially women and people of color. Real reform to our corporate tax system will allow us to move forward in the fight to ensure that every Oregonian feels safe in their community and has access to a quality public education, health care, a stable home, and a fair shot at economic success.

“The Oregon Education Investment Initiative is a bold plan that generates much-needed revenue in fair and stable way that will help prevent severe cuts for schools and communities around the state. With this proposal, Speaker Kotek and Representatives Nathanson and Barnhart are demonstrating serious leadership, refusing to kick the can down the road and restoring a sustainable balance to the state’s tax code. 

“We are hopeful that their colleagues in both houses are ready to roll up their sleeves and move forward with a tax reform plan that strengthens the state’s budget, stabilizes school funding, and expands economic opportunity for all Oregonians.”

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Contact: Mike Westling, (503) 498-8161
mike@brinkcomm.com
 
As amended in the Oregon House, HB 2004 strikes a balance between the rights of tenants and landlords
 
Salem, Ore.—The Oregon Senate held its first hearing Wednesday on legislation to help keep Oregon families in their homes by requiring statements of just-cause for evictions and repealing the statewide prohibition on modern rent stabilization policies.
 
The version of the bill considered by the Senate Human Services committee was amended and approved by the Oregon House last month. As amended, HB 2004A balances protections for tenants and landlords by exempting small landlords and reduce the relocation expenses that landlords are required to pay when they evict tenants without cause.
 
“When I walk through my district, I hear stories of unconscionable rent increases and no-cause evictions, plaguing families in every neighborhood,” said Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, representing SD 25 and serving Gresham, Troutdale, Fairview, and Wood Village. “That is why passing House Bill 2004 is so critical. Banning no-cause evictions will help keep families in their homes and give children a better chance at success.”
 
As housing demand rapidly outpaces supply, no-cause evictions and triple-digit rent increases have become increasingly common for the 40 percent of Oregonians who rent, upending their lives and breaking their budgets. Extremely low vacancy rates mean that families who have been evicted without cause or forced out by rent increases cannot find new units that they can afford, and many renters who have had stable housing are suddenly facing homelessness.

“In the 2015-16 school year, nearly one in ten students in the Reynolds School District in my district experienced homelessness,” said Representative Diego Hernandez, representing House District 47 and outer Northeast Portland. “Kids need safe and stable housing in order to focus on their school work. When families are impacted by no-cause evictions or rent increases, everyone suffers – our kids, our parents, our schools, and our communities. The Oregon Legislature should act to pass HB 2004A to protect Oregon families from displacement and evictions without a cause.”

“This bill is going to help keep families in their homes while preserving the rights of property owners,” said Beth Kellan, a Portland-area Realtor® and landlord. “If you’re a landlord, you can still make a healthy return on your investment, but not in a way that kicks people to the curb. To be honest, most responsible landlords aren’t jacking up rents by 100% anyway so this won’t affect them. If you want to evict a tenant – you can still do that. This bill just requires that you have a valid reason for it and that you share that reason with the tenant who is being evicted.”

Patti Jay, a veteran and cancer survivor, was shocked to be evicted from her Milwaukie, Oregon home without cause. She had met all the terms of her lease and was a good tenant. She and her children were left scrambling to find a new place to live.
 
“If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone,” said Jay. “The law needs to be changed to protect families like mine."

Source: http://www.stablehomesor.org/single-post/2...
Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Contact: Rose King, (503) 863-1363
rose@brinkcomm.com

House Bill 3087 creates Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, ensuring Oregon workers can afford to take the time they need to deal with a serious personal or family illness, bond with a new child

(Salem, Ore.)—Today the House Committee on Early Childhood and Family Supports voted to move HB 3087 to the House Revenue committee. The Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Act, HB 3087, will ensure all working Oregonians have paid time away from work to welcome a new child, to recover from a serious illness or to care for a sick loved one. House Bill 3087 — co-sponsored by House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson and Representatives Alonso Leon, Hernandez and Keny-Guyer and others — will create a paid family and medical leave insurance program available to every employed Oregonian.

“We applaud the House Committee’s decision to move HB 3087 to the next step in the legislative process,” said Andrea Paluso, Executive Director of Family Forward Oregon and Chair of the Time For Oregon Coalition. “Oregon families need the security of knowing that their elected leaders are hearing from them and recognizing their need for this important program.”

Currently, only 14 percent of workers across the nation have access to paid family and medical leave at work, and only 40 percent have access to a short-term disability policy on the job. Federal and Oregon laws currently provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for some workers — however, these laws do not apply to all workers and they do not help with lost income. In addition, many family members are excluded by workplace and economic policies that fail to recognize the majority of families who don’t fit the nuclear model of a married mother and father and their biologically related children.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among the bottom quarter of wage earners only 5 percent have access to paid family leave compared to 21 percent of those in the highest quarter. These workers are disproportionately women and people of color, who are also the most likely to take on the care of an ill relative to avoid the cost of other forms of care.

"I gave birth to my beautiful daughter but soon after found out she needed extra stay in the NICU,” said Amy Powers, a parent from Beaverton. “My husband and I were extremely stressed and heartbroken to be discharged from the hospital without Aubrey. I had no family leave, no benefits, and no financial support from my employer.  We couldn’t afford to be at home to take care of my daughter. I returned to work part-time after a very short 4 weeks of unpaid time off. My family just could not afford for me to take any more unpaid time off.  To this day, my biggest regret is that I did not spend enough time with my newborn daughter.”

The proposed legislation creates a statewide paid family and medical leave insurance program that will be:

  • A self-sustaining insurance program administered by the state;
  • Structured as a social insurance program, like Social Security or Unemployment Insurance;
  • Funded by a shared contribution by employers and employees, each providing a small percent of payroll to a state-managed insurance fund that will administer the program;
  • A way for employees to receive partial income replacement when they need family or medical leave; and
  • Inclusive of more families, defined as individuals related “by blood or affinity” — to better reflect Oregon’s diverse family structures and caring relationships.

The bill will move onto the House Revenue committee, the next needed step in the legislative process for this type of program.

Source: http://www.timefororegon.org/time-for-oreg...
Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon House Healthcare Committee today passed landmark legislation to ensure reproductive health equity across the state. 

The Reproductive Health Equity Act (House Bill 3391) removes financial barriers and ensures that every Oregonian is empowered to make their own decisions about whether and when to become a parent. Limitations on reproductive health services can have profoundly harmful effects on public health and on an individual person's life opportunities. Particularly at risk are those who already face significant barriers to receiving high-quality care, such as low-income women, women of color, immigrant women, young women, survivors of domestic violence, and transgender and gender-nonconforming people. 

House Bill 3391 is sponsored by 21 State Representatives and 10 State Senators. The bill has been developed over the past two years by the Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon with input from community leaders around Oregon and legislators. 

"Working families are under so much strain today and often have a hard time making ends meet," Andrea Paluso, Executive Director for Family Forward Oregon. "Families in Oregon need support like paid time off from work to care for loved ones and access to affordable child care. It is also critical that they have access to affordable, essential reproductive health care, which this bill guarantees. We are thrilled that the House Healthcare Committee has advanced this urgent remedy." 

This landmark legislation closes multiple gaps in reproductive health coverage: 

  • Requires all commercial plans to cover the entire cost of the full range of reproductive health services - including family planning, vasectomy and abortion - without deductible or co-pay by the patient. 
  • Establishes coverage for reproductive health care, especially postpartum care for new mothers for Oregonians who are categorically excluded from health programs due to citizenship status. 
  • Assures access without government interference to the full range of reproductive healthcare, including abortion. 
  • Prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in reproductive health coverage. 
Source: https://reprohealthequity.org/2017/04/14/h...
Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

For more information, contact:
Alison McIntosh, Neighborhood Partnerships              
(503) 816-2882, amcintosh@neighborhoodpartnerships.org

Salem, Ore. – On Tuesday, the Oregon House approved HB 2004A, which protects Oregon renters from no-cause evictions while preserving property rights for landlords. The bill will also give local communities the legal right to create common sense rent stabilization policies that work best for local renters and landlords.

HB 2004A was amended prior to passage to exempt small landlords and reduce the relocation expenses for renters who are evicted without cause. This compromise bill now heads to the Oregon Senate with the full support of a broad coalition of Oregonians working for stable housing legislation.

Upon passage, Oregon tenants, landlords and advocates released the following statements:  

“Passage of HB 2004 is important to renters who have faced no-cause evictions. My decades of excellent rental history were meaningless when it happened to me. Without HB 2004, there is absolutely no recourse for the renter as long as the landlord hides behind no-cause, no-reason evictions,” Leela Coleman.

“With over 1,800 units statewide, we have very few evictions and only use for-cause notices. House Bill 2004 treats our residents fairly and keeps our properties strong,” Martha McClennan, Executive Director, Northwest Housing Alternatives 

“Today’s vote in favor of HB 2004 is good news for Oregon communities. This legislation creates certainty for renters and landlords by creating a legal standard for evictions with cause and lease termination. It also gives local jurisdictions the right to set their own rent stabilization policies, working with tenants and landlords in their communities,” Pam Phan, Policy and Organizing Director for the Community Alliance of Tenants, on behalf of Stable Homes for Oregon Families.

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders

Contact: Rose King, (503) 863-1363, rose@brinkcomm.com

Salem, Ore. – Today, the House Committee on Judiciary voted to pass legislation that will help stop profiling by law enforcement. House Bill 2355 requires law enforcement to begin collecting and retaining demographic data on all officer-initiated pedestrian and traffic stops. The bill will also require mandatory training in cultural competency and implicit bias for all state and local law enforcement officers in Oregon and establish a statewide system to hold law enforcement departments accountable for profiling practices. 

Finally, the bill will also change state law to make small-scale possession of drugs a misdemeanor with access to treatment, instead of a felony, which carries steeper penalties that often result in the loss of housing, employment and social services that make it that much harder to beat addiction. 

As strong advocates leading the fight to end police profiling in Oregon, Unite Oregon and the Fair Shot for All Coalition issued the following statement from Kayse Jama, Executive Director of Unite Oregon: 

“Recognizing that police profiling is an epidemic that hurts people across the state, Oregon took an important step forward in 2015, joining more than 40 states to ban profiling. Unfortunately, making something illegal doesn’t mean it no longer happens. The harmful practice of profiling continues in our communities with Oregonians of color, low-income neighborhoods and LGBT people targeted most. 

We cannot accept a system where every day, people are singled out based on their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, language, housing status, sexual orientation or gender identity—in the streets, in our schools, at public transit stops, and in our own neighborhoods.

Our coalition will not rest until our state has the right tools to adequately track profiling, the oversight to stop it when it occurs, and the training to prevent it from happening in the first place. We firmly believe that once this bill becomes law, we can put an end to police profiling once and for all. We thank the committee for voting in favor of the End Profiling Legislation. 

We also know that we have much more work ahead of us in our fight to create a safer and more equitable state where people don't have to live in fear and entire communities aren't cast as suspect simply because of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or any other protected identities.

Posted
AuthorChristine Saunders