We Meet Tomorrow with Catherine McMullen, Clackamas County Elections Clerk Candidate Meet Catherine McMullen at tomorrow’s (Tuesday, June 28) A4D June meeting, which begins at 5:00pm via Zoom. Catherine is running against Sherry Hall for Clackamas County Elections Clerk. Hall is the person responsible for the debacle of a vote count in Clackamas County during May’s primary election. Register at this link and read the meeting agenda here.
Catherine has devoted her career to public service, first as a librarian and since 2015 as an elections administrator. She has conducted 15 elections, starting and developing the first Voter Education and Outreach program of its kind in the state. Prior to moving to Oregon, she worked as a Registrar of Voters in California. She has a Masters degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington, an Executive Masters in Public Administration from Portland State University, and is certified by the Oregon Association of County Clerks. You can learn more about Catherine at her website. Remember, our July monthly meeting will be an in-person, outdoor social gathering on Tuesday, July 26 (details forthcoming). A4D is taking the month of August off, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be making our voices heard! There is way too much at stake!
A4D Co-leader Mary Chaffin Comments on Abortion Rights & Last Week’s Alarming Supreme Court Decision Last Friday the Supreme Court issued the decision we’ve all been expecting and dreading—Roe v. Wade was overturned, the first time ever that the Court has rescinded a Constitutional right. Abortion is healthcare, but the scope of the anti-abortion laws now in effect in many states is shockingly broad. An example: I lost my first, much-wanted pregnancy at ten weeks. My husband and I were devastated. I was given the option of having a D&C to remove the lifeless fetus. I took it and shortly thereafter had two healthy, wonderful sons. I never imagined until now that the excellent healthcare I received could be criminalized. That’s my story, but I don’t want anyone to think that my experience is somehow a situation in which abortion would be okay but in other situations, it wouldn’t. It’s a woman’s right to choose. Period! Although our rights in Oregon are safe, for now, the impact of this decision is devastating, as the reasoning in the Dobbs’ decision threatens other constitutionally recognized rights, such as the right to marry whomever one pleases regardless of gender or race, the right to contraception, and the right to consensual sexual activity. GOP Senator John Cornyn has even urged the Court to reconsider the Brown v. Board of Education decision! The Dobbs case also underscores the danger that GOP control of Congress poses. Republicans are now openly planning to pass a nationwide ban on abortion if they take control of Congress! That will destroy the protections that we have here in Oregon. On the other hand, Democrats will push to pass laws to codify and restore Roe. Here are some of the things that we can do (compiled by our sister Indivisible group ORD2-Jackson County) to help:
Know Your Facts
Abortion is still legal and protected in Oregon, California, Washington, and Nevada. In fact, the governors of those states have made a pact to keep abortion accessible to residents and visitors to their states in the future. But that doesn’t mean we can ignore this ruling. Abortion will be banned in Idaho by August followed by bans in Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, and probably Montana. Thousands of people in those states will need to travel for abortion services. We MUST be ready.
Yes, money will help this situation. Planned Parenthood has 11 clinics in Oregon and is working to open its 12th in Ontario on the Oregon-Idaho border. Thousands of people seeking abortions are expected to come to Oregon. They will need financial help for travel, hotel rooms, childcare, and the procedure itself. You can donate locally here: Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon You can donate nationally to: Center for Reproductive Rights, which provides legal help and advocacy; National Network of Abortion Funds, which helps women pay for travel costs and other expenditures; Abortion Care Network, which helps keep abortion clinics open;and Sister Song, which fights for the reproductive rights of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women in the south.
Talk About Abortion
We need to make abortion a part of our conversations, nationally and at home. Don’t avoid the topic. Be prepared to say how you feel and why you think it’s important. (For tips, check out the ACLU’s mini guide to talking about abortion rights at the dinner table.) Even better, tell your story. If you had an abortion, if you supported someone seeking an abortion, if you or someone close to you faced obstacles in getting an abortion, or if you worked or volunteered in a clinic, tell your story. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s the most powerful response we have to the conservative lies being spewed by right-wing media. The ACLU is collecting those stories. If you’re interested in adding yours, go here.
Support Pro-Choice Candidates
Ask every candidate where they stand on abortion and support those who support choice. We have to do this at every level, from Congress down to City Hall. When you find pro-choice candidates, support their campaigns with your dollars, your time, and your skills. On the flip side, when you know a candidate is anti-choice, tell everyone you know. Work hard to make sure they lose in November. Also consider supporting candidates for Congress who will help us hold our Democratic advantage in DC. Indivisible has identified nine candidates they think need our help the most in their Give No Ground campaign. The list includes Raphael Warnock, Katie Porter, and our friend Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who is running for Oregon’s Congressional District 5. We can’t afford to lose one seat, at any level, so commit to doing what you can, today and every day through November 8.
Lift your voice, every chance you get! We need people to show up for rallies, write letters, make calls, and be active on social media—liking, commenting on, and sharing posts. We need to create a tidal wave of popular opinion to show how regressive, dangerous, and wrong this ruling is. We need to show that people here across the political spectrum did not want Roe reversed. If you have communication, art, or marketing skills. please bring them to the fight by making a short film, a documentary, or videos that can be shown online; create a meme or a marketing campaign; host an art show or an after-dark light show; design a t-shirt, buttons, or bumper stickers. Whatever your talent, whether it’s sewing, fiber arts, podcasts, music, or theater, be your creative self and help get the message out there.
Vote as if your life depends on it, because it does. Encourage everyone you know, everywhere, in every state, to make sure they are registered to vote and ready to support pro-choice candidates in November. This is especially important for younger voters. If they have a driver’s license, they are automatically registered to vote in Oregon, but most don’t pick a political party and are often not encouraged to participate in the political process. We need to change that, and we need younger activists to help us. The choice we have is stark. We must do everything possible to make sure that we elect every Democrat to Congress we can. We cannot give up! We won’t give up!
COIN Announcements Join COIN for a letter-to-the-editor writing session on the dangerous gubernatorial candidate Betsy Johnson on Wednesday, June 29, at 7:00pm. Betsy was a longtime Democrat in the state legislature who obstructed progressive legislation on guns, the environment, minimum wage, and more. She is trying to disrupt the election by running as an independent and has deep funding from people like Phil Knight of Nike. Register here. COIN continues its statewide effort to identify non-affiliated voters (NAV). There are now more NAVs in Oregon than Democrats and Republicans combined. If you’d like to participate in the effort to reach this cohort of votes, register for a July 14 training here. There will be a statewide canvass on Sunday, July 17. The outcome of vital races could depend on the NAV vote. In addition to overturning Roe, the Supreme Court issued another shocking decision last week when it reversed a lower court decision upholding a 108-year old law requiring a license to carry a concealed hand gun in public in the state of New York. If you’d like to help gather signatures on Oregon's Initiative Petition 17 to reduce gun violence in our state, visit Lift Every Voice Oregon’s website.
Call the White House Breach the Lower Snake River Dams If you missed COIN’s screening of the film Damned to Extinction and panel discussion, there is still plenty you can do, including watching the riveting and informative film here and the expert panel discussion which followed at this link. This document contains much valuable information for learning more and taking action. Let’s make sure the Biden Administration knows we want the lower Snake River dams breached without delay!