Human Solutions Ballot Measure Positions | November 2018

As with most elections, there are important ballot measures to vote on that impact Oregonians. At Human Solutions we work every day with people who have very low incomes and are and have been oppressed for much of their lives. One of our jobs is to take a stand on ballot measures that could help or hurt them. The Fall 2018 election includes several measures that could help vulnerable Oregonians and a handful that could hurt. Below you'll find our position on the eight measures most relevant to our work and to our our partners' work. We invite you to consider our opinions and reasoning as you cast your vote.

Together we are powerful - especially when we vote for what we know to be right. Thanks for listening.

Local Measures:

  • YES on Measure 26-199 | Affordable Housing Bond in the Portland Metro Area: This will create safe, permanently affordable housing for thousands of people across Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties. If both Measure 26-199 and Measure 102 pass, up to 12,000 people — including low-income families, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities — will gain access to safe, affordable housing. You can learn more here.
  • YES on Measure 26-201 | Portland Clean Energy Initiative: This will bring $30 million in new annual revenue for clean energy and clean energy jobs in Portland, with a focus on jobs for low-income and people of color. Nonprofit organizations, alone or in partnership with for-profit companies, schools and/or other government agencies, will be able to apply for grants to weatherize homes, install solar and other renewable energy projects, provide job and contractor training, expand local food production and build green infrastructure in Portland. Learn more here, and be sure to check out their values - they really resonate with our Guiding Principles.
  • YES on Measure 26-200 | Campaign Finance Reform-Portland: Measure 26-200 will limit campaign contributions and independent spending on contests for City of Portland public offices, including Mayor, City Council, and Auditor. It will also require that political ads prominently disclose their actual major funders (not just nice-sounding names ofcommittees or nonprofit corporations). We think this measure will help level the playing field for candidates who cannot raise large campaign contributions from the wealthier interests. By limiting campaign contributions, candidates who represent traditionally oppressed communities may have more access to the democratic process, resulting in a more representative City Council. More information can be found here.

Statewide Measures:

  • YES on Measure 102 | Amendment for Affordable Housing Bonds: Oregon Measure 102 is a statewide ballot measure that will make it easier to create more affordable housing throughout the state. This simple change will stretch public dollars by allowing local governments to partner with private and nonprofit partners - like Human Solutions - to build more affordable housing when they pass general obligation bond measures (like 26-199 above). This measure is a very important piece of solving the affordable housing crisis in our area and it will benefit our work directly by making more funding available for organizations like ours. You can learn more here.
  • NO on Measure 103 | Misleading Ban on Food-Related Taxes: This effort was proposed by businesses who want to forever protect their future profits (in our state constitution), but is being sold to voters as a measure to save consumers money. We don’t like this voter manipulation, but we especially don’t care for corporate interests telling Oregonians and the lawmakers we elect to represent us how to raise revenue to fund the essential services our state provides, like education, health care for low-income Oregonians, mental health services, and affordable housing. In our view, it has real potential to harm Oregon families and puts the wrong people in the driver’s seat. Learn more here.
  • NO on Measure 104 | Adds a Hurdle for State Lawmakers to Raise Revenue: Currently, the Oregon Constitution requires bills for raising revenue to receive a three-fifths vote of approval, also known as a “supermajority” (for other bills only a simple majority is required). Backed and funded by the National Realtors Association, M104 is an attempt to expand this requirement to more bills, effectively making it more difficult for lawmakers to pass revenue measures to pay for public services. Importantly, this will very likely lead to needed services - that matter to our mission - being harder to fund. Learn more here.
  • NO on Measure 105 | Ends Oregon’s 31-year-old Sanctuary Law: Oregon’s sanctuary law for immigration, which we support wholeheartedly, says no law enforcement agency can use its money, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending people whose only violation is being in the country without documentation. While sanctuary cities are relatively common around the U.S., Oregon is one of only seven sanctuary states. This measure would repeal our existing law and encourage racial profiling by some local law enforcement. The group behind this law, Oregonians for Immigration Reform, was labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Learn more here and here.
  • NO on Measure 106 | Blocks State Funds for Women’s Reproductive Health: Women’s access to the full range of reproductive health services is essential to their economic stability and opportunity, as well as to their basic human rights. If passed, this measure would end state funding for abortion, meaning that Oregon women who depend on state-funded health programs, including all state employees and anyone with state-funded insurance (e.g., Medicaid/OHP), would have fewer options than other women in the state. In other words, only those who can afford it would be able to access the constitutionally-protected services of an abortion provider. A right is not a right if you can’t afford to access it. Human Solutions believes that every person should have self-determination and equal economic opportunity. This bill goes against both these beliefs. Learn more here.

Reminder: The final day to cast your ballot is Tuesday, November 6th. After November 2 it is safer to drop your ballot in a dropbox instead of mailing it. You'll find a complete list of ballot dropboxes here.

October eNews from Human Solutions

There is so much to share with you this month – about what we’ve been up to and what’s coming down the pike. First and foremost: with Election Day upon us, we encourage you to vote. We know how concerned folks are right now about what’s happening in our area when it comes to housing stability. Human Solutions has endorsed two housing measures and the Portland Clean Energy Initiative. We urge your vote in support of these local and statewide measures that we believe are critical to solving our local housing and homeless crises and to expanding community equity.


Visit From Governor Brown

What an honor it was to host Governor Brown yesterday at Arbor Glen, one of our affordable housing communities. She joined our staff and incredible residents for a dialogue and listening session to hear from people with very low incomes and experiences with homelessness. It really was an amazing opportunity to convey to decision makers what people are facing every day - from barriers to housing like criminal histories and past evictions to childcare affordability struggles and juggling multiple jobs. We were inspired by how hard families work to make ends meet, raise kids and overcome barriers that too often are the outcomes of policies that create and perpetuate poverty and inequality. The morning filled our hearts and sharpened our determination to keep doing the work we do at Human Solutions. What a day! We are grateful to Governor Brown for wanting to hear directly from some of the most vulnerable Oregonians she serves and to take their experiences and thoughts into account as she strategizes solutions.


Be the Solution: Phone Bank for Affordable Housing

Human Solutions has proudly endorsed the Metro Regional Housing Bond (local Measure 26-199) and the constitutional amendment for housing bonds (statewide Measure 102). We did so because together they will make real strides toward adding desperately needed affordable housing in our region. To ensure these measures pass, we have knocked on doors to chat with voters and are hosting a phone bank next week on Tuesday evening, October 30th at our Rockwood office (124 NE 181st  here’s a map). You will want to be there because you’ll know you were part of the solution – PLUS you can see our cool office space and eat candy with us the day before Halloween. Drop in for an hour or two (or three!) between 5:30 and 8:30 PM.

Please spread the word and invite friends on Facebook – here’s the event page.


Join Us @ Our 30TH Anniversary Celebration & Gala Auction

We’re planning a BIG PARTY to celebrate our 30th Anniversary on Saturday, November 17, 2018. We hope you’ll spend the evening with us as we come together as a community to know each other a little better and fuel Human Solutions work into the future. It is so needed right now!

Get event details and register right here; contact Matthew at 503.548.0279 with any questions. See you in a few short weeks for a very fun night! Thanks to all who have already purchased tickets and tables – they are selling fast!


Season of Sharing: It's Nearly Time for Our Annual Holiday Toy Drive!

The annual Holiday Toy Drive is a joyful tradition at Human Solutions! Every year, we partner with volunteers and organizations in our community to collect gifts for kids who need them and invite their parents to “shop” (for free, of course!) for the holidays. The event serves low-income community members who live in our affordable housing communities or are participating in our programs. Details and volunteer sign-ups are on our web page. We hope you join in this community tradition – we’re pretty sure you’ll be glad you did!


Our New Development in Portland’s Gateway Neighborhood

We are working with experienced local developer Gerding Edlen Development to build a catalytic, mixed-use community next to the new Discovery Park in the heart of the Gateway community in East Portland.

There will be ground-floor retail fronting Halsey Street and the park plaza, as well as a second-floor office and service center for Human Solutions, and 78 units of mixed-income housing adjacent to the park. We are busily pulling all the pieces together so we can break ground in early 2019. If you’ve not yet visited Discovery Park, we can’t recommend it enough. The photo here is a rendering of how the building will look, a product of robust community input. We like it a lot and believe it will be a real asset to east Portland and a wonderful home for Human Solutions, area businesses and 70 families for years to come!.


New Report on Portland Area Homelessness

Earlier this month the Oregon Community Foundation (one of our generous funders) released a report to better understand and solve the area’s growing homelessness problem. We appreciate funders zeroing in on this critical issue in an effort to identify effective solutions to get behind. While we were not surprised by its finding (we need more affordable housing and services), we were glad to know that the credible partners who produced this report validated our approach to ending homelessness – providing deeply affordable housing coupled with services that support the success of residents. We’re including a link to the full report here, but if you’re short on time (as most are these days!), the six-page Executive Summary offers a great summary. Check it out!

Thanks, as always, for reading. We’re glad you’re part of our community and our work and invite you to get in touch with questions anytime.  

We’ve Pledged Yes

It’s election season! Human Solutions is proud to support two measures on your November ballot that will help solve our homeless and affordable housing crises: the Portland Metro Regional Bond (Measure 26-199) and the statewide constitutional amendment (Measure 102).

The Yes for Affordable Housing campaign is working to win both, and we are pleased to be partnering with them to reach voters. Thank you for your time to read through this update and hopefully we will see you at either our upcoming phone bank or canvass – or both!

Vote YES for Affordable Housing

We have a big opportunity this fall to address the need for affordable home for folks who live and work in our communities. By voting YES on Measure 102 and Measure 26-199, we can help up to 12,000 people in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties secure a safe, affordable place to live.

Human Solutions has joined over 600 nonprofits, businesses and community leaders who have endorsed Measure 102 and Measure 26-199. We are asking you to join us.

We invite you to pledge to vote YES for Affordable Housing on November 6th.

Skyrocketing rents have priced hard-working people and families out of their homes. In our region, a person making minimum wage would have to work 81 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment.

Measure 26-199 is a regional affordable housing bond that will build or preserve affordable homes for thousands of our neighbors in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties -- and it will only cost the average homeowner $5 per month. Measure 102 is just as critical. It’s a sensible statewide ballot measure that will allow local governments to work with nonprofits and local businesses to make affordable housing bond money go further. Together, these two measures will house up to 12,000 people in our communities.

This fall, every single vote counts. Your support will make a difference. Please pledge to vote YES on Measure 102 and Measure 26-199 today. Thank you for your support!

Please join Human Solutions to get the word out about the Yes for Affordable Housing campaign:

  • Sunday, October 14th from 1 to 4 PM we’ll be knocking on doors in East Portland/County to talk with voters. Meet at the Human Solutions office at 12350 SE Powell Blvd.
  • Tuesday, October 30th from 5:30 – 8:30 PM we’ll be making calls to voters from our Rockwood office @ 124 NE 181st (near Burnside).

You need not be an expert or have any experience! We’ll train you, and of course we’ll have snacks.

Please sign up to volunteer here!

We look forward to seeing you later this month and thank you wholeheartedly for being part of this communitywide solution.

The Numbers

"With Oregon exploding onto the national scene in the last decade, becoming one of the most popular destinations to move to, the area east of 82nd Avenue—including East Portland, Gresham, Troutdale, and Fairview—has come to be affectionately called “The Numbers.” It has one of the area's highest concentration of school-age children, a sky-high poverty rate, and an uncommon diversity of race, ethnicity, and language." -- from The Numbers

In May of last year, Oregon Humanities released "The Numbers," a video project by Sika Stanton and Donovan Smith documenting the hopes and concerns of young people living in East Portland.

Learn more about the young people involved in "The Numbers," part of Oregon Humanities' "This Land" project, on their  website.