Read the latest from OSTPDX
Dear OSTPDX Members,
Just this evening, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin refused to comply with the House Ways and Means Committee’s request for 6 six years worth of Trump’s tax returns deepening the showdown between the Trump administration and frustrating House Democrats’ ability to fulfill their oversight duties. If you’re angry about all of this stonewalling and the flat out flouting of norms, now is the time to take action! Oregon has two bills, HB 2762 and SB 594, that would require Presidential and VP candidates to release 5 years of their most recent tax returns in order to be included on the ballot. Call your REPS to show your support for these bills which can also be found on the OSTPDX Legislative Task Force’s most current Bill Recommendations.
The airwaves, internet and print media has been filled with very worrisome information concerning the actions and behaviors of the 45th President of the United States and the GOP that is enabling him. We all are concerned about the potential of infringements on the powers of the judicial and legislative branches of government and erosion of essential norms in the behaviors and expectations we have for our President and the implications they have for the integrity of our elections. Currently, OSTPDX strongly supports the US Congress’s continued aggressive investigation of the 45th President. We are withholding support for impeachment proceedings at this time. We have come to this decision for several reasons. First, there is disagreement in the progressive community on the best way to proceed. We want to maintain unity in our group and keep focused on encouraging our US Representatives and Senators to continue with their work to preserve the integrity of the electoral process. Second, OSTPDX has had its primary focus on State and Local issues. We have much to accomplish over the next two months to ensure that Oregon’s future is just, equitable and healthy. We encourage each of our members to contact their US Representative or our Senators to share their personal opinion on whether to continue to investigate or proceed with impeachment hearings if this is of importance to you. We will continue to provide important information of actions, activities and articles in this rapidly changing area. Thank you for all you do to support democracy, Phyllis Brown, Mary Chaffin, Jacque Abel and Lynn Youngbar
OSTPDX Monthly Forum-May 14, 2019 6:45 – 9 PM Subud Center, 3185 NE Regents Dr.
Everything We Care About Costs MONEY: How can Oregon fund climate action, education, healthcare & more?
Oregon’s revenue and expense sheet has been seriously out of balance for decades. We’ve been crippled by anti-tax ballot initiatives that passed in the 1980s and 90s and have been perpetuated by special interests ever since. Because of our perpetual revenue shortage, budgets for schools, social services, climate and most other essential services have been cut to the bone. Oregon lawmakers are continually searching for new revenue under every rock, but what we really need is to rethink our system of taxation that adheres to more progressive principles. Happily, a large coalition of nonprofit leaders has recently come together to outline progressive tax principles and revenue-raising proposals that could lead the way toward reforming and rebalancing our tax system.
The Oregon legislature will likely have passed an historic budget bill for K-12 Education-- The Student Success Act - $2 billion more for education in the coming two years. And they are proposing a Corporate Activities Tax to raise that funding. This is just the first step and we need to keep engaged for the long term. Please join us for this meeting, where two prominent revenue-reform leaders will discuss where we are now, how we got here, options for fixing our broken tax system, and actions already underway in the current legislative session:
Alejandro Queral, Executive Director, Oregon Center for Public Policy, a progressive think tank on everything revenue related. Alejandro will give us background on Oregon's current budget and tax structure, what's missing, and some strategies for creating an equitable, fair and progressive structure in the future.
Jody Wiser, founder and lead activist, Tax Fairness Oregon. Jody, a former teacher in Irvington, has been a tireless advocate for reforming and restructuring our revenue system. She'll add what's needed for property tax reform and then look at revenue “stepping stones” for the future.
Following the speakers, we'll break into small groups to explore key issues and important actions we can all take to help reform Oregon’s tax system. This meeting is vital! Our progressive legislative priorities can’t move forward without fundamental revenue reform. We can’t overstress the importance of attending this meeting. In the meantime, please take action to support a KEY revenue-reform proposal already moving through our state legislature:
1. Everyone: Please call or email members of the Student Success Joint Committee and thank them for their budget and revenue package. It’s historic. They need to know that we support them in order to get it out of committee. Here’s the member list: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Committees/JCSS/Overview 2. If your legislator is on this committee: Please call or email telling them you support the Student Success Act budget proposal and the Corporate Activities Tax to pay for it, preferably with a change that ensures that low-income citizens receive a tax credit or tax cut to offset higher prices for some goods that may be passed onto them by the Corporate Activities Tax. 3. Everyone: Please call or email your own legislators and tell them you support the Student Success Act and expect them to support it when they get a chance. Contribute to this great One Small Thing meeting by volunteering to help set things up the evening of May 14. From 6:15 to until the program starts at 7, we need two people to help move chairs and other items and to greet people as they arrive for the program. If you can’t arrive early, you can still help with clean up for a few minutes after social time ends about 9:30. Either way, you are making a valuable contribution and getting to know other group members better. If interested, contact Phyllis Brown as soon as possible at email@example.com.
OSTPDX June Meeting-June 11, 2019 6:30 PM (please note early start) Subud Center 3185 NE Regents Drive
2019 Oregon Legislature: The Final Push and Celebrating our Successes!
Come join us and hear from Mary Chaffin, chair of the OSTPDX Legislative Task Force, and members of the team as they present the remaining (and probably some of the most important) issues left for the 2019 Oregon Legislature. Find out what bills need your support; what committees could be swayed by your passionate testimony and which legislators require a persuasive phone call. Your involvement has already and could still make the difference.
We will be starting early to have plenty of time to celebrate all of the success we have so far achieved. We will provide the beverages and some finger foods. If you can, please bring an appetizer to share. We will raise a toast to everyone’s hard work and enjoy some social time with the folks who made make One Small Thing such a special community of activists.
OSTPDX Takes a Summer Recess
After our June 11 legislative wrap-up and celebration OSTPDX will be taking a two-month break from our monthly meetings. Sara McKinney, the editor of our email blast will continue to keep you abreast of important issues, activities and articles. She will be taking a well-earned breather in July so anticipate a decrease in frequency of our emails in July and into August.
We are planning to get back to work in September, find out about the schedule of meetings from our website onesmallthingPDX.org or the email blasts.
We hope everyone has an enjoyable and relaxing summer. Self-care is important preparation for the hard work we will be facing in 2020. We hope to see folks at concerts in the park, hiking on Mt Hood or chasing waves at the beach.
In closing, we would like to suggest that you watch this twenty-minute TED Talk by Stacy Abrams. She once again inspires and reminds us about why we do what we do at OSTPDX.
Have a wonderful summer, see you in the fall, Phyllis, Lynn, Jacque and Mary
Take the Pledge! In the fall we will begin to turn our attention towards 2020. We all share the same hope to defeat the 45th President, hold onto the House of Representatives and flip the Senate. Indivisible has created a pledge, we have taken it, we hope you all will as well. Happy Summer! Phyllis, Jacque, Mary and Lynn
Actions by Multnomah County Democrats
Help Multnomah County Democrats Get out the Vote for May 21 local elections! Volunteer today to drop slate cards and get out the vote!
We’re focusing on six areas to shift seats to Democrats and keep other Democrats in office. You can pick up packets of slate cards atEast County Rising offices (right there on the MAX line), 18210 East Burnside Street, Suite E, Portland, OR.Or on the front porch of a couple of our super volunteers,Neta C. 701 NE 167th Pl 97230Marcia S. 6919 SE 144th Ave 97236Each packet has 2-3 hours of turf, the slate cards, instructions, and contact information in case you have any questions. Sign up now! You can bring a friend along.
What is a slate card, anyway? What is dropping slate?
Dropping slate is walking for Democracy. Slate cards let voters know about an upcoming election and who the Democrats are on the ballot. Slate cards increase voter turnout and support for Democratic candidates.
Dropping slate does not require you talk to voters; you leave the slate for them to read. It goes quickly, and the weather report says it is great time to be outdoors!
Actions by Indivisible Oregon
OSTPDX, along with other local progressive grassroots groups, are collaborating to help Indivisible Oregon highlight their Tuesday action call of the week in email communications and across social media. We ask that you visit their website indivisibleor.org/actions every Tuesday morning where the action of week will be posted by 6AM, take the action and share on social media and/or via email with your circle. Indivisible Tuesday message: Congress must hold him accountable by opening an impeachment inquiry. Given the gravity of Trump's offenses, the stonewalling he and his administration are currently demonstrating, Congress must put country over party and embark on the impeachment inquiry path - which will give them the power needed to hold Trump accountable and lay bare to the American public (all in one place) what he has done.
Rally to Support Climate Change Lawsuit-June 4th from 10:30 to 12:00 Director’s Plaza The rally is being organized being organized by Our Children's Trust (www.OurChildrensTrust.org) based in Eugene with the support of several local organizations, such as 350PDX and Indivisible97201, to show public support for the 21 young people who are suing the federal government.
The CBS program 60 Minutes reported on March 3, 2019 that it is “the climate change lawsuit that could stop the U.S. Government from supporting fossil fuels.”
Come together with family and friends to show your support and greet the young plaintiffs.
OST-PDX Activist Reading Group, Thursday, May 16, 7:00-8:30pm at the home of Ken Rosenberg: 2130 NE Knott Street, Portland
Readings: 3 essays:
1. “The Path of Greatest Resistance” by David Cole (NY Review of Books, 2/7/2019 issue):
“Whether #MeToo and other progressive movements will achieve lasting reform will depend on these organizations working collectively in multiple forums, including courtrooms, state legislatures, corporate boardrooms, union halls, and, most importantly, at the ballot box. We all need to turn away from our smartphones and screens and engage, together, in the work of democracy.”
Other Upcoming Events
May 8th for Students - Portland: Wednesday, May 8th from 11-2
Medicare for All Speak Out w/ Reps. Blumenauer, Jayapal and Bonamici: Saturday, May 11th from 9:30-11:30 at Benson High School: 546 NE 12th Ave.Green
New Deal Town Hall May 11th: Saturday, May 11th from 3:30-5:30
Check out our website – www.onesmallthingpdx.org – like our Facebook page -- https://www.facebook.com/One-Small-Thing-150519055702228/ -- follow our Twitter account -- @onepdx.