Dear OSTPDX Members,
I hope you are all staying home and staying healthy. Since our last newsletter, activists and their organizations have decided that progressive change can’t wait until this pandemic is over so they’ve gone virtual! In fact, the need for progressive change is greater now than ever with increasingly more Americans facing unemployment, food insecurity, houselessness, lack of access to healthcare and more. In this newsletter, you’ll find information and action items for both local and national levels which can all be safely done from your home.
Important Measure 26-210 to Vote on May 19th
While most of us rearrange our lives to safely stay home, it is important to remember that many of our most vulnerable community members cannot — because they have no home. Educate yourself about this measure and decide on your level of support. Measure 26-210 summary: Supports homeless services through higher earners’ tax, business profits tax. It will provide funds for the sort of homeless services that are necessary to help people get into housing as well as be a success there after being homeless. What it does If the voters approve this measure, the Metro Council will enact a marginal 1% tax on all taxable income over $200,000 for joint tax-filers/over $125,000 for single tax-filers, and a 1% tax on profits for businesses with annual gross receipts over $5 million. The revenue from this new tax would be distributed for homeless services in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties that are inside the Metro district. The new tax would fund this program for ten years, at which point it would be up to the voters to decide if it should continue. Metro states, “Oversight would be provided by a 20-member committee that broadly represents the diversity of the region and lends expertise to the program. Metro is required to have an annual independent financial audit and for the results to be made publicly available, and the measure would restrict administrative expenses incurred by Metro to no more than 5% after collection expenses.” Where to find more info Measure 26-210 was referred to our May 19 primary ballot to all voters in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties by the Metro Council in February. It is actively supported by a coalition of homeless advocates and the Portland Business Alliance and many other endorsers. The campaign to pass this measure is called HereTogether. Their FAQ page is a good place to learn more about the measure and how to become involved as a supporter. It is opposed by other business groups and chambers of commerce who say that the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak makes this a bad time to enact a new tax. The Metro Council counters that argument, “We know that the population of the region’s most vulnerable isn’t going to get smaller during a recession,” said Metro President Lynn Peterson. “Now, more than ever, is when we need to come together as a community.” How you can help ● Endorse the measure: Go to HereTogetherOregon.org/endorse ● Stay connected: Text “Together” to 38470 to receive campaign updates. ● Spread the word: Follow @heretogetheror and #HereTogether on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter ● Give a contribution at WeAreHereTogether.org Contact: WeAreHereTogether.org, email@example.com , 503.893.5884
Portland’s Mayoral Race
For the May 19th Primary, Portlanders will see a ballot with 18 Mayoral candidates challenging incumbent Wheeler. Their filing information reveals that the candidates have an array of backgrounds including cannabis/hemp grower, homeless advocate who’s homeless, yoga teacher, and a retired Ferrari mechanic! You can access filing information about all 19 at the Registry of Candidates through the City Auditor. In addition, the Portland City Club has sponsored a forum focusing on four of the candidates: Ted Wheeler, Sarah Iannarone, Ozzie Gonzales and Teressa Raiford. You can access it here. In this virtual forum the four answered questions about homeless policy including “sweeps,” the Commissioner form of city government, climate change, and issues regarding diversity. The Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet will be out by the end of the fourth week of April and will, as usual, include helpful information about these candidates and their endorsements. According to Oregon election law, if any of them receives 50 plus one % of the vote, they will win the race. If no candidate receives this majority, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be on the November ballot. OST-PDX Climate, Energy, Environment (CEE) Team Update-Click Here
This fall we have a real chance to flip WA-3, the Congressional District right across the Columbia River from Portland. In 2018, Democrat Carolyn Long came within 5% of unseating Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler, closing the gap from Beutler’s 24% margin of victory in 2016. Washington will choose its final two candidates in a “jungle primary,” on August 4, when the top two candidates, regardless of party, will compete to be on the November ballot. Although OSTPDX doesn’t endorse candidates in the primary, many of us worked hard to defeat Beutler in the fall 2018 election. Beutler has got to go. She has backed Trump’s position 81.5% of the time. You can help defeat her by supporting the campaigns of her Democratic opponents: https://electlong.com/about/ or https://www.khalilforcongress.com/.
Announcements from Ken Rosenberg
Ken recently created a Facebook page called "Abolish Private Health Insurance." Please visit it and like it.
Actions & Events
OST-PDX Activist Reading Group
The OST-PDX Activist Reading Group will be meeting every Thursday evening (1.5 hours starting 7:00 or 7:30pm) for the duration of the stay-at-home period of the coronavirus epidemic. The group will be serving two functions: decreasing individual isolation and exploring ways we can be politically active. If you are interested in joining our meetings, contact Ken Rosenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flip Florida Blue Postcard Project
Hope you and yours are staying healthy and physically isolated! We have all been learning and adapting to the new normal but I still have such a deep craving to connect with all of my activist friends. I miss everyone so much. While we are all washing our hands and figuring out how to do origami bandana face masks, I have a simple action that could help Flip Florida Blue. My brother, who lives in St Petersburg Florida has been deeply engaged with Indivisible. Pinellas County Florida is considered one of the key counties to flip to get Trump out of the White House as well as flipping the Florida legislature. Florida has a no excuse absentee ballot system. The goal of my brother’s project is to send out 80,000 postcards to non-affiliated left leaning voters in Pinellas county. The project is very straight forward. My brother ships postcards to me that are wrapped in 20 card packets with address sheets and instructions. The volunteer fills out the postcard as instructed, if possible, attaches a postcard stamp, re-wraps the 20 cards with address sheet and rubber bands. I then ship the cards back to my brother who will mail from Florida sometime in May. Postcard stamps are available online at usps.com. My hope is to recruit ten to twenty volunteers who agree to take 100 cards. I will place the cards in a large envelope so everything is COVID free and volunteers pick up cards at my home. I have asked volunteers to return postcards within a couple of weeks. I will then box up the cards and ship back to Florida. This is a well-timed project, COVID has given folks another practical reason to vote at home. The post card has simple instructions on how Florida voters can register to get their ballot delivered to their home. We can do this, we can flip Florida Blue. According to various sources — if we flip Florida, hold on the states Hilary won we would only need one more state to kick Trump out of White House. I have attached the link for my brother’s project. There is one update to the link — they are trying to get all of the post cards completed by mid-May — which is COVID peak in Florida. If you want to participate, please email me at email@example.com. Warmly, Phyllis Brown
Action by Indivisible Oregon
A reminder that Indivisible Oregon posts daily actions, in addition to their Indivisible Tuesday actions, with scripts if you’re looking to stay active and engaged while practicing social distancing. Indivisible Tuesday has gone virtual! Details are listed below in the Digital Events section. Our Tuesday ask: Everyone - no matter our zip code - needs food, housing, and medical care. The only way to get this for all is to vote in a Democratic Congress and President. For this we must have Vote by Mail and funding for the USPS in the next coronavirus package. Democrats must stand strong and only support a legislative package that includes Vote by Mail and USPS funding. The action will be posted on Tuesday at 6:00 AM here: indivisibleor.org/actions
Virtual Swing Left & Vote Forward Letter Writing
Vote Forward and Swing Left are working together to increase civic participation by sending letters to voters. If you’re interested in printing and writing letters on your own, click here for more information. Listed below are some virtual letter writing events and you may search for others here. Swing Left's National Virtual Letter Writing Party - co-hosted by Slay the Dragon! Tuesday, April 14th from 7:00-9:00 Write Letters to Voters Virtually with Indivisible Oregon and Swing Left! Saturday, April 18th from 12:00-2:00 Indivisible National has created this resource on how to host your own virtual events and more information on letter writing parties specifically can be found here.
City Club of Portland has put all of their programming online and is FREE to the public. Check out their upcoming virtual events calendar. Be a Primary Voter Action Party: Tuesdays & Saturdays Let's Get Fired Up for the May Primary Election! Thursday, April 16 at 6:00 p.m. Moms Demand Action Portland Virtual Membership Meeting: Thursday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m. Environmental Justice Pathways Webinar: Friday, April 17 from 10:00-11:45 AM Pacific Time Virtual meeting - Indivisible Tuesday at Sen Merkley's: Tuesday, April 21st at 11:30 a.m. Earth Day Virtual Rally! Wednesday. April 22 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Digital May Day Rally-Causa: Friday, May 1 from 11:30-1:00 Indivisible Webinar Series-Structural Inequalities that led to COVID-19:
Indivisible Webinar Series-Red and Rural Webinar Series Ep 1:
Indivisible Webinar Series-Deep Canvassing While Social Distancing:
Visit our website – www.onesmallthingpdx.org – like our Facebook page -- follow our Twitter account -- @onepdx. 6 things the fourth federal relief package must do Oregon Should Assist Laid-off Immigrant Workers Excluded from Federal Aid With Postal Service on 'Verge of Collapse' and 630,000 Jobs at Risk, Trump Slammed for Refusing to Act Coronavirus Is a Historic Trigger Event. Now Is the Time for a Social Movement to Rise After the Coronavirus, Two Sharply Divergent Paths on Climate America's billionaires are giving to charity – but much of it is self-serving rubbish OSTPDX will not be endorsing any candidates before primaries. All content included in our newsletters is informational in nature and should not be considered an endorsement. Regards, Sara McKinney