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.
- 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.
- 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.