Your Action of the Week is to
"Engage with the Oregon Legislature!"
The Oregon legislature is in full swing. You can be engaged with the process by attending committee meetings, and commenting on specific pieces of legislation.
Here is how to get started!
A good starting point is with the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS). OLIS is a data base with bills and their current status and committee hearing information. Go to the OLIS system: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1
You see four icons on the right upper portion of this page: Session, Bills, Committees, and More. We encourage you to click and explore on each of these, but right now we will look at the "Bills" icon.
Clicking Bills gives us three tabs - Bill Number, Bill Text, and Bill Sponsor. The Bill Text tab allows you to enter a Bill Number and find it. You can also click on Senate Bills or House Bills to get a full list of all bills in either of those chambers. You can hover over any of the bill numbers to view a very short summary of the bill. Clicking on any bill number will take you to the bill page with links there to the bill text, sponsors, committee assigned to and lots more.
Note that if you already have a specific bill number, enter it in the search box and click Go to go directly to that specific bill. When at that specific bill, you can click on Follow this Bill: to set up a alert. If there is a change to the bill or something else happening with it, like a Committee hearing on it, you will receive an email. This is best way to keep track of what is happening to a bill you are especially interested in.
Clicking on Committees icon, allows you to enter the name of a committee or look for a Senate or House Committee as well as a couple of other options. If you want to see all the Senate committees, just click on Senate. Let's select the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. This reveals a committee members list, staff and the regular meeting schedule. And if you click on Assigned Measures, you have a list of all the measures which have been assigned to the committee, if the measure has had or will have a hearing or work session and other information. .
Very important on providing testimony
If you want to provide testimony on a specific bill, you have to submit it when the bill is scheduled for a public hearing. That is why it is important to set up the notification regarding specific bills. In each such notice will be information on how to submit written testimony at least 24 hours before the hearing. So find those bills and click on "Follow This Bill." You will also find the "Follow this committee" links for specific committees.
Some Bills you might want to follow
This is a list of bills suggested OR UU Voices for Justice board members. Please let us know of others the UUs might find important.
Some bills of interest regarding corrections
HB2631 - establish pilot program to provide legal services for women who are incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility
Some bills of interest regarding democracy
SJR 20 - allows same-day voter registration
HJM2 - Urges Congress to call Art. V Constitutional Convention to consider constitutional amendment declaring corporations are not people and money is not speech
HJR13 - proposes amendment to Oregon constitution to allow limits on political campaign contributions
HB2704 & HB2578 - would cause Oregon to join the National Popular Vote compact
HB2716 - Requires disclosure of person who funds political communications
SJR 8 & 11 - regarding redistricting
And we will follow the progress of the Small Donors Elections legislation. It has not been assigned a bill number yet.
Some bills of interest regarding environmental issues
SB256 - continues moratorium on oil, gas and sulfur leasing in territorial waters
SB444 - regarding small nuclear reactor. Bill changes present approval requirements from vote by all Oregon voters to vote by voters of cities/counties.
HB2020 - creates a Cap and Trade carbon reduction system (aka, Clean Energy Jobs bill)
HB2509/HB2653 - Prohibits use of single use checkout bags except in certain cases
HB2623 - prohibits use of fracking for oil, gas exploration and production
HB2656 - relating to forestland that supplies drinking water systems.
HB2659 - relating to forestland tax assessments - repeals special assessments
HB2800 - prohibits certain restaurants from offering single use straws
HB2883 - prohibits food vendors from using polystyrene containers in many cases
Some bills of interest regarding health care
SB770 - related to creation of state-wide health care program (affordable, universal healthcare)
SB409/HB2689 - creates program to allow importation of prescription drugs from Canada
HB2658 - requires 60-day notice before price increases on prescription drugs
Here are three bills regarding substitution of generics and biological products (HB2753, HB2754 and HB 2755)
Some bills of interest regarding housing
SB608 - would cap rent increases and put an end to no-cause evictions
HB2001 - Requires certain sized cities/counties to allow development of Middle Housing on property zoned for single-family
Some bills of interest regarding ending gun violence
HB2251 - Gov Brown's proposal for ending gun violence
HB2505 - requires safe storage of firearms
HB2605/SB275 - requires firearms to be secured
HB2929 - regarding the illegal use of bump-stocks
SB501 - comprehensive gun violence control law
See this article in the Salem Statesman Journal summarizing various proposed bills regarding ending gun violence
Some bills of interest regarding farming
SB103 - establishes a moratorium on new industrial 'mega-dairies' in Oregon until certain rules are strengthened
SB104 - Strengthens the ability of local communities to adopt stronger rules for 'mega-dairies'
HB2729 - aims to prevent the loss of farmland to non-farm uses
SB449/SB287/HB2790 - all relate to agritourism, aiming to create additional revenue sources for farm enterprises like farm cafes, farm breweries and amends rules for outdoor mass gatherings
HB2882 - allows farmers that have been harmed by contamination for genetically engineered crops to sue the patent holders of those crops
HB2619 - Prohibits the sale or use of products containing neonicotinoid pesticides in Oregon
Some bills regarding tax revenue
HB2146 - Increases corporate tax on S-corporations
HB2160 - expanses corporate minimum tax to out-of-state corporations with sales in Oregon
HB2163/SB208 - increases corporate minimum tax on certain corporations (note: these are not the same bills)
SB607 - Repeals provisions relating to use of incremental baseball tax revenues to finance major league stadium
SB319/SB674 - eliminates the estate tax for those dying before Dec 31, 2018 (these are exactly the same bills)
SB701 - establishes automatic adjustment to amount of estate on which an estate tax can be applied
Your Action of the Week is
"Attend Lobby Days!"
As the Oregon legislature enters its second week, many organizations are organizing Lobby Days, inviting you to join them in raising our liberal voices to affect policy and law.
Come to Salem and lobby for Clean Energy Jobs, gun violence reduction, human rights, environment protection, and LGBTQ rights.
Clean Energy Jobs Lobby Day
Date: Wednesday, February 6th
Time: 9 am to 3 PM
Place: Elsinore Theatre at 170 High St. SE, Salem
On Feb 6th, let’s show legislators massive support for the Clean Energy Jobs bill. A big rally and then one-on-one meetings with our legislators to give them the courage to stand up to polluting industry and pass a bill to make Oregon a leader in protecting the climate.
More information and to RSVP, click here
March for Our Children
Date: Monday, February 18
Time: 10 AM
Place: Salem, on the Capital stairsMake your Presidents Day count and show up for students. Join educators in Salem to march for education funding on February 18th. Our students deserve better. It’s time to show our lawmakers that our schools need funding now. Let’s march to tell them our students can’t wait.
More information and RSVP, click here.
ACLU of Oregon
Date: Monday, February 18
Time: 8:30 AM – 3:45 PMYour voice is powerful in Salem. Meet other ACLU supporters and help create an Oregon that treats all people fairly!
Meet with your state legislators to advocate for issues like juvenile justice reform, privacy protections, and immigrant rights with the ACLU of Oregon.
No experience is necessary to make an effective lobby day participant! Participants will receive training on how to talk to lawmakers effectively before gathering with smaller groups to meet with Oregon's legislators and their staff. We will also be hosting a rally at the capitol steps.
This year, in Portland and Eugene, we are offering free bus rides to and from Salem, and we can also help connect people with others in your area to share a ride. We want to see you there!
More information and to register, click here.
2019 Wildlife Lobby Day
Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019
Time: 8:45 AM - 3:00 PM PST
Place: Ike Box, 299 Cottage St NE, Salem
This year's lobby day will focus on wildlife issues, ensuring our state legislators know how much Oregonians care about protecting native fish and wildlife. Topics will range from Fish and Wildlife Commission appointments, to ODFW budget (including wolves), poaching, and more. As we approach February 21st, Danielle Moser, Wildlife Program Coordinator for Oregon Wild, will have more details on the specific bills and policies.
We're inviting activists from all over Oregon to join us! Grassroots’ pressure creates political action. It is only through your help that we can protect Oregon's wildlands, wildlife, and waters.
More information and to register, click here
Oregon Interfaith Advocacy Day
“Raising Diverse Voices of Faith to Strengthen Oregon Communities.”
Date: Monday, March 4
Time: 9 AM to 4PM
Place: Salem, St Mark Lutheran Church, 790 Marion St, Salem
Morning session at St. Mark Lutheran Church feature a keynote address, workshops on effective advocacy;, and issue briefings on climate justice, criminal justice reform, gun violence prevention, health care, housing, hunger and immigration. After lunch, participants will march to the State Capital, where they will present their concerns to their legislators. Our goal is to create a massive mobilization of informed and influential citizen-lobbyists.
More information: EMO website
Basic Rights Oregon
Date: Tuesday, March 5th
Time: 10 AM
Place: First Congregational Church, 700 Marion St NE, Salem
This full-day action is an opportunity to speak directly with state lawmakers and advocate for LGBTQ justice. Our central focus this year is to pass Adi's Act (SB52), a law that would provide much needed resources to schools across Oregon to prevent youth suicide. In addition, we will continue advocating for Paid Family Medical Leave, Revenue Reform, and much more. Carpools, child care, and leadership opportunities are all available!
Register now for Basic Rights Oregon's 2019 Lobby Day here
Friends of Family Farmers – Farm and Rancher Day
Date: Wednesday, March 27th, 2019
Time: 9am (registration until 10am) to 4pm (end time may vary depending on legislative meetings)
Where: Willamette Heritage Center - Spinning Room (1313 Mill St SE, Salem, OR 97301)
A day of action at the State Capitol to support legislation addressing the top issues facing Oregon family farmers and ranchers. Brief presentations in the morning will cover current farm and food legislation, with tips and guidance for effectiveness with policymakers. Once again, we will be holding a mid-day rally on the Capitol steps and a special Farmers Market inside the Capitol to highlight the our issues. Join us for the day and together we can show decision-makers that Family Farms Mean Business! Light breakfast and lunch provided
RSVP in advance here
Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice
Date: Monday, April 8th
This is in the planning stage, so not much detail yet. But save the Date for IMIrJ's first-ever interfaith Immigrant Justice Advocacy Day in Salem. More details will be available on Facebook
Your Action of the Week is
"Support Gun Violence Control legislation NOW!"
The OR legislature is now in session. We will be following bills as they are introduced and suggesting Action's we can take to have our liberal voices of faith heard.
At our annual meeting last year, we heard from Penelope Sturr, the student from Lake Oswego High School, who addressed us on the need to end gun violence. She and Students for Change have submitted a bill which was co-written by March for Our Lives and sponsored by Senator Rob Wagner. In the House, it is sponsored by Representative Andrea Salinas. It is bill number SB 501.
There are at least seven different pieces of legislation regarding ending gun violence. These are all worthy of our support. The most comprehensive bill is the "Student's Bill", SB501. SB501 has six components
1. Requirement for a permit to buy a gun
2. A limit to purchase 1 handgun and 1 rifle shotgun per month
3. Safe gun storage requirement
4. Limits on purchases of ammunition to 20 rounds per month (with an exception for ammunition purchased at a shooting range
5. Limits on high capacity magazines — no more than 5 rounds per
6. Implementation of a 14 day waiting period from purchase to pickup of a gun
The House and Senate sponsors (Rep. Salinas and Sen. Wagner have been flooded with a wave of opposition and even threats of violence. They need to hear from us with statements of support and encouragement that they are doing the right thing. Your Acton of the Week Contact Sen. Wagner and Rep. Salinas with statements of support for both them and SB501, telling them "Thank you for your support of sensible gun safety regulations. We are in support of student safety and Senate Bill 501.
Their email addresses are
Sen.RobWagner@oregonlegislature.gov and Rep.AndreaSalinas@oregonlegislature.gov.
And follow that up with a note to your own Representative and Senator stating your strong support for this legislation and asking that they support it as well.
Find your representative and senator here.: htps:eewww.oregonlegislature.goveindyourlegislatoreleg-districts.html
Your Action of the Week is
"Attend Portland Legislative Forum"
OR Unitarian Univeralist Voices for Justice joins Oregon Coalition of Christian Voices, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and Interfaith Alliance for Poverty for a
Saturday January 19 from 10 AM to 12 PM
Westminster Presbyterian Church
1624 NE Hancock St
Come join us at OCCV's annual legislative forum where Oregon State Senators, House Members and advocacy representatives will be the panelists discussing plans for the next legislative session which will begin the very next week.
Print a copy of this Action of the Week here.
Your Action of the Week is
"Give to sustain our Advocacy!"
During this season of Thanksgiving and Holiday celebrations, we, members of theBoard for Oregon’s Unitarian Universalists’ Voices for Justice, want to thank you! You show up. You advocate for justice! You are standing on the side of love!
We are thankful for those who have contributed $100 to fund previous Action of the Weeks. We are thankful for those who contributed a pledge to sustain UUVfJ—from $5 to $1,500. We do NOT collect dues, each UU who signs up is a member.
Please consider a year-end tax-deductible 501(c)3 contribution.
Please ask your congregation to add UUVfJ to your Share the Plate for 2019.
Contribute to Oregon UU Voices for Justice
Or mail your check: Oregon UU Voices for Justice
c/o David Delk, 2835 Mill Pond Ln., Astoria, OR 97103
and don't forget: add yourself to those receiving our Actions of the Week and other occasional emails. Click here
Why should you contribute?
Your Action of the Week is to educate yourself about proposed redistricting and attend one of the forums around the state.
Gerrymandering, the drawing of political boundaries to advantage one party over others or to create non-competitive districts, is a huge problem around the nation and here in Oregon. We saw with our November election, especially at the state level, far too many non-competitive seats. We know competitive political races bring more people out to vote, increasing our relatively high turnout.
Redistricting will happen in 2021 following the next census. It is highly likely that Oregon will gain an additional Congressional seat, so the fair, nonpartisan redrawing of districts will be even more important, and difficult.
Secretary of State, Dennis Richardson convened a commission to look at and make recommendations for how this process should work. The commission’s report suggested following the lead of CA and made some suggestions for how it might work. Read that report here. No action has been taken on the report.
Willamette Week in Portland reported that former Sen Kevin Mannix proposed an initiative for the Nov 2020 ballot to direct how redistricting should work. His initiative would advantage rural counties over urban. Read the Willamette Week article here
The Oregon League of Women Voters and Oregon Common Cause are co-sponsoring a series of Redistricting Reform Forums across the state. The League supports a redistricting process putting the redistricting process back into the hands of voters to create fair, representative districts.
Redistricting Reform Forums
Tuesday, Nov. 20th, 1:30-3:30 pm, Curry Public Library in Gold Beach
Tuesday, Nov. 27th, from 11 am-1 pm, Atonement Lutheran Church in Newport
Tuesday, Nov. 27th, from 7-8:30 pm, Coos Bay City Hall in Coos Bay
Wednesday, Nov. 28th, from 5-8 pm, Taborspace in the Copeland Commons inPortland
Thursday, Nov. 29th, from 6:30-8 pm PCC Willow Creek Main Building, rm. 103 in Washington County
Tuesday, Dec. 4th, from (TBD), (TBD) in Albany
Thursday, Dec. 6th, from 12-1 pm, Hilton Garden Inn, hosted by the City Club in Springfield
Thursday, Dec. 6th, from 6-8 pm, Wilsonville Public Library in Willsonville
(TBD), (Corvallis Library) in Corvallis
And in the Capital building in Salem: LWVOR Redistricting Legislative Forum: Thursday, Dec. 13th, from 8 am-12 pm, Capitol Building at State St NB, rm. 162, in Salem
Questions? Please contact the League of Women Voters of Oregon’s Campaign Coordinator Candalynn Johnson at Candalynn@lwvor.org for more information about these forums.
Your Action of the Week is to fill out your ballot and get it to a drop box or in the mail. Also do what you can to encourage everyone you meet to vote.
One of our previous Actions urged you to vote yes on Ballot Measure 102 and no on the four dangerous ones 103, 104, 105 and 106. Those four are serious threats to the movement to Universal Health Care, several have tax giveaways to corporations or are discriminatory.
Help us by getting involved with the following:
103: Get involved at https://noon103.org/ and share with others. This is an unprecedented change to Oregon’s constitution that would permanently exempt a wide range of transactions such as e-cigarettes and vaping products from any taxes and fees. It’s risky, misleading, and completely unnecessary. There is no proposed tax on groceries. The measure is also retroactive, so it would even put Medicaid funding at risk. Just look at who is funding the Yes campaign and then decide if you are likely to benefit. Albertson/Safeway, Am. Beverage Assoc., Fred Meyer & Kroger, Costso, Oregon Soft Drink PAC, and others have contributed close to $5 million to convince you that you should vote Yes. Don't buy it; this is not in your interest.
104: Get involved at https://noon104.org/ and share with others. Measure 104 is a wasteful and unnecessary constitutional amendment that would lock in tax loopholes and perks for special interests and increase political gridlock by requiring a super-majority vote in the state legislature for bills increasing revenue. It would risk a government shutdown and threaten Oregon’s schools and healthcare. Oregon Center for Public Policy just issued a report on the racist historical roots of the movement to create super-majority requirements. Read it here
105: Get involved at https://orunited.org/ and share with others. This could open the door to racial profiling and families being torn apart, simply because someone is perceived to be an undocumented immigrant. 105 violates our Oregon values of fairness and looking out for our neighbors.
106: Get involved at https://nocutstocare.com/ and share with others. This sets a dangerous precedent by allowing voters to make medical decisions. Measure 106 takes away the full range of reproductive health care that women deserve. Women have a right to choose the procedures which affect their bodies and that right should not be diminished because they are low-income or are state workers.
Although we can’t recommend, due to our nonprofit status, any candidates, we trust that UUs will vote for candidates who embody our UU Principles.
Print a copy of this Action of the Week here.
This Action of the Week comes, in part, from one of the young people who presented at our annual meeting.
Gun violence has not been in the headlines lately. But we know sooner or later another mass shooting will take place. Advocates for reducing gun violence need to let elected officials know NOW what we expect them to support during the 2019 legislative session.
What can we do now?
Passing effective laws during the 2019 legislative session means working now on the issue. Most of those presently holding legislative office will hold those same positions next year. So contacting them now will put the issue on their table and let them know that we still feel the urgency for getting legislation passed whether the issue is in the headlines or not.
What kind of legislation?
Legislative proposals divide into two groups: Safe storage, and legislative limits on guns and availability.
Safe Storage: Safe gun storage, based on the idea that preventing children, and others from gaining unauthorized access to firearms may be the most important part of responsible gun ownership. Oregon should join other states which have passed safe storage laws. See this fact sheet for additional details.
Legislative limits on guns and availability: Students for Change and March for Our Lives PDX have approached Sen. Rob Wagner with a list of proposed legal changes regarding guns. He has submitted these to Legislative Council with the support of other Senators and Representatives. Here are their proposed reforms:
Other gun violence prevention organizations have other proposals as well.Lift Every Voice Oregon has two proposals: banning large capacity magazines and banning future sales of assault weapons.
Your Action of the Week is to write your Oregon state senator and representative, asking them to support any and all of these changes. DO IT NOW. Get on the record. Voice your desire for reducing gun violence.
OR UU Voices has researched the state-wide ballot measures and makes these recommendations. Many organizations, including UU churches, have made these same recommendations.
Would allow local governments to issue bonds to pay for affordable housing projects that involve nonprofits or other nongovernmental entities. This mix of private and public money is expected to expand funds for affordable housing and was submitted by the Legislature
Also endorsed by Defend Oregon, Affordable Housing for Oregon, Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCCP), and First Unitarian's Committee on Hunger and Homelessness (COHHO) and Economic Justice Action Group (EJAG)
A constitutional amendment that would bar new taxes on groceries, including food and soda, as well as freeze the state’s corporate minimum tax for supermarkets. Submitted by grocers and soda producers after Multnomah Co interest in imposing local soda tax for health reasons.
Defend Oregon, Rural Organizing Project, OCCP, and First U's Economic Justice Action Group (EJAG) and others recommend Vote No.
A constitutional amendment that would require a three-fifths supermajority for legislation that raises revenue through changes in tax exemptions, credits and deductions and fees. Submitted to halt fees on financial and real estate transactions and changes to a more progressive tax system. Rep Alissa Keny-Guyer “this measure would hobble the ability of the state to raise money “
Defend Oregon, Rural Organizing Project, OR Right to Health,OCCP, and First Unitarians's Economic Justice Action Group (EJAG) recommend Vote NO.
Would overturn Oregon’s 1987 sanctuary law that prohibits state and local police from enforcing immigration law if a person’s only violation is being in the country illegally. Would increase threats to immigrants and their access to services, allow racial profiling and hamper farming operations.
OR United, Defend Oregon, Rural Organizing Project, Oregonians Against Profiling, OCCP, Causa, and First Unitarian's Immigrant Justice Action Group (IJAG), Economic Justice Action Group (EJAG) recommends Vote NO.
A constitutional amendment that would ban public funds from being spent on abortions in Oregon, except when medically necessary or required by federal law. (Currently no federal funds may be used for abortion.) Would lead to more limits on women’s rights, including limiting access to state funded abortion for all state employees and those on the Oregon Health Plan.
Defend Oregon, Rural Organizing Project, Oregon Right to Health, OCCP, and First U's Economic Justice Action Group (EJAG) recommend a NO Vote
Download a printable copy here.
You may know that under the current administration’s zero tolerance policy everyone crossing the border is being arrested whether they are requesting asylum or not. Requesting asylum is legal.
Can you imagine traveling thousands of miles, fleeing horrible conditions to the United States, thinking this will be a safe haven and instead being chained and shackled and sent to a federal prison? These men have spent months in lock down conditions, never even going outside, not understanding why they are there since they committed no crime. Thanks to a number of pro bono attorneys, including Innovation Law Lab, a judge found they all have valid asylum claims but is requiring they post bond.
There are 10 men left in Sheridan who have not been able to raise the bond money. The Action of the Week is to donate to the bond fund for these men. Help get them out so they can continue to pursue their claims for asylum.
Printable PDFs of
Action of the Week here.