Ballots are landing in mailboxes any day now, which means human dignity groups across the state are passing out STAND Voter Guides, holding ballot forums and candidate forums, and marching for Measure 88 for Drivers Cards -- all to get voters engaged, educated, and ready to vote!
Below you will find articles from our STAND Voter Guide, including ballot measure recommendations by and for rural Oregonians, more information on Drivers Cards, and a guide to choosing which candidates to vote for. Take a look, share with your group, friends, and neighbors, and, most importantly: vote!
Want STAND Voter Guides but forgot to place an order? It isn't too late! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 503-543-8417 to place an order and we'll get them in the mail!
PS: Would you like STAND articles in Spanish to share? Email me and let me know!
Talking About Tough Issues
In this critical election year, we face important choices that will impact Oregon for years to come. Some of the choices that we are asked to make require us to respond to issues that can be misunderstood and manipulated in ways that do not support real democratic values.
A just democracy is defined by the World Book Encyclopedia as: the inclusion of all; respect for majority rule and minority rights; a well-informed and educated public; and a reasonable standard of living.
Vote Pro-democracy November 4th – We have a lot to win…or lose.
Oregon Ballot Measures
Do these measures advance a just democracy and uphold basic rights for all?
Yes on Measure 86 (R)
Creates access to higher education for students in need by creating the Student Opportunity Fund and authorizes the state to issues bonds for the fund without raising taxes. Oregon has seen some of the highest tuition hikes in the nation and this is one step in addressing the student debt crisis.
Yes on Measure 87 (R)
Allows judges to serve in the National Guard and state colleges and allows school employees to serve in the Legislature. Determined to be straight forward and without unintended consequences.
Yes on Measure 88
Allows access to a four-year limited purpose, limited duration driver card for those who can provide proof of living in the state for at least one year and can pass drivers’ tests. Advances safety and justice for all by allowing everyone to drive safely to work, school and the doctor, regardless of documentation status.
You Decide on Measure 89
Amends the Oregon Constitution to prohibit state and local governments from discriminating based on sex. Women are a group that experiences discrimination and we support all efforts to protect all communities that face discrimination. This measure, though, is redundant to existing protection in the Oregon Constitution (Article 1, Section 20). Symbolic repetition is a distraction to systematic action. Opponents worry this measure could put others who experience discrimination at risk - including people of color and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender folks - because it suggests that current constitutional protections against discrimination are inadequate. Advocates suggest that this could help with challenging gender discrimination such as wage gaps and hiring practices. You decide, is this repetition worth the risk?
No on Measure 90
Creates a top-two primary system. Allows all voters to vote on all primary candidates, regardless of party affiliation. Only the two candidates with the most votes would proceed to the general election. We firmly believe in the need to stop money from dominating politics, but we are concerned that this measure falls short. This measure may also have negative consequences, including increasing the overall cost to run for office, favoring more privileged candidates with more access to money. Is one primary for all voters more democratic? Will 3rd parties be helped by access to May primaries or hurt by being excluded from the November ballot unless they win “top two” in the primary? Will adding endorsements by multiple parties to the primaries hold major parties more accountable? These are important questions that concern us.
Yes on Measure 91
Legalizes use and tightly regulated sale of marijuana for adults 21 and over, freeing up law enforcement for more pressing priorities. Regulates and taxes the sale through the Oregon Liquor Control Commission; tax revenues would benefit schools, state and local police and alcohol and drug treatment and prevention programs. People of color are disproportionately more likely to be arrested for and incarcerated longer for marijuana possession than white people, also making this measure a step toward reducing unjust impacts of the prison system on people of color.
Yes on Measure 92
Gives consumers more information by requiring food manufacturers to label food containing genetically modified ingredients. Demonstrates support of small farmers to maintain control over their crops and livelihoods, and is a step towards taking back power from corporatized agriculture.
(R) indicates that these measures are referrals from the State Legislature. All others are citizen initiatives. ROP recommendations were decided by the Board of Directors with input from the overall membership. Our Board is comprised of small town Oregon leadership from eight counties: Crook, Deschutes, Douglas, Klamath, Marion, Polk, Yamhill and Union. ROP members live in all 36 counties.
Thinking About Our Rights
Measure 88 would create a four-year limited purpose, limited duration driver card for Oregon residents provided that they, 1) pass the driver’s written test, 2) pass the behind-the-wheel test, 3) provide proof of residence in Oregon for more than one year, and 4) provide a passport, consular identity card or other document proving their identity.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because in 2013 the Oregon legislature and the governor already agreed to make drivers cards available to everybody who qualifies. Now the bill they passed has been referred to the ballot, where a majority of votes must be YES to make the driver card a reality.
There are a lot of distractions flying around about what this measure is about, but don’t be fooled! This is about all of our neighbors – including many immigrant families who would be impacted by the measure – having equal access to get safely to the places we need to go. And in rural and small-town Oregon where public transportation is rare, driving is often the only way to get around.
Vote Our Values, Not Our Fears
Here’s a fact for people who eat food: according to the US Department of Labor, about half the people growing and harvesting our food crops are “not authorized to work” – they are undocumented workers. It has been this way for decades. What this means is that the riled up folks who would vote to take away driver cards for undocumented immigrants in Oregon start their days by sitting down to a breakfast provided to them by… undocumented immigrants.
So what is this really about? Do opponents of the driver card really want to prevent the critical workforce behind Oregon’s $1 billion per year agricultural industry from getting to work?
The few at the top hope that by turning workers against each other, they might be able to keep workers from thinking about the real solutions to the problem of making a living, such as better wages, the right to organize, fair taxation on the rich and corporations, and closing the huge wealth gap in our country.
In other words, the folks opposing the driver card are thinking very little about a common sense way for people to get to work and a lot about making all work pay as little as possible.
During this election season, let’s all stay focused on our basic values of human dignity and respect for ALL members of our communities. Vote YES on Measure 88, YES for Safe Roads. All people should be able to get to work.
A Peek Behind the Curtain
Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) is the primary organization responsible for the driver card referendum. Since its founding in 2000, OFIR has pushed policies designed to create a hostile environment for immigrants and drive them out of the state. OFIR’s efforts are supported by and follow the lead of national anti-immigrant groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
OFIR’s efforts to overturn the driver cards through Measure 88 have been funded primarily by Loren Parks, a wealthy business owner who provided an infusion of $100,000 (70% of OFIR’s total budget!) in the ehttp://www.thleventh hour, getting paid canvassers on the streets to collect enough signatures. This is not Loren Parks’ first rodeo! He has worked with buddies Bill Sizemore and Lon Mabon for over a decade, bankrolling political campaigns designed to make Oregon a haven for the rich and unlivable for communities that are already vulnerable, including creating new mandatory minimum sentences and cutting taxes for the wealthy.
Why is Loren Parks the largest political donor in Oregon history, even though he lives in Nevada? Oregon is often seen by big-moneyhttp://www.th political movers as a testing ground, meaning that what can pass in Oregon can pass in other places around the country. This means that the way we vote here in Oregon has echoes around the country… which just goes to show that your vote as an Oregonian means a lot!
How to Choose a Candidate
It is hard to choose a political candidate. How do we know if a politician reflects our values and if they will work for our best interests?
Some people go by “brand name” – political party. Some folks try to figure out where a candidate is at by watching the TV ads, listening to radio spots, reading campaign junk mail (good luck if that’s your method!). Then there’s the trusty coin toss.
The most reliable way to choose a candidate is also the best way to keep that person accountable to you when in office: decide what ishttp://www.thsues matter most to you, make a list, then do what you can to find out where that candidate stands on your concerns.
All politicians say they support economic development that benefits working people. Is your candidate supportive of programs that benefit small businesses and living wage jobs, or policies that pad the pockets of large corporations?
What does your candidate mean when they say they support working families? Outside of Portland, 53% of private-sector workers across Oregon lack a single paid sick day. That’s true for nearly 80% of low-wage workers. Would your candidate support a proposal that affords workers across Oregon the right to earn paid sick time through their job? What about a raise to the minimum wage in Oregon?
Politicians often say they can be trusted to ”make the tough choices.” Often, elected officials must make difficult choices when budgets are tight. When there is a budget crunch, does your candidate immediately propose cuts to services for the most vulnerable in our communities, such as health care for children or the elderly? Or does the candidate put everything on the table, including tax breaks for powerful corporations?
We believe in democracy: the majority rules, but minority rights are protected. In these uncertain times, some politicians play on people's fears of economic insecurity by scapegoating minorities. Immigration reform and the rights of child refugees crossing the border are being debated nationally and in every community. Does you candidate stand up for the rights of all?
One good thing about this election season is that candidates are reaching out to voters. Use the web sites and phone numbers from the campaign ads, contact the candidates or their staff and ask hard questions. Attend candidate forums and events. Get together with friends and neighbors, compare notes, and share information. Remember, information is power. The more you learn, the more you can make the system work for you!
The Rural Organizing Project (ROP) will help you to access election-year information. Call the ROP at 503-543-8417 or go to www.rop.org