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On this day, January 28, 2003, Oregon voters defeated a proposed three-year income tax hike designed to forestall $310 million in cuts to schools and social services.

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School Choice movie "Miss Virginia"
Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 12:00 pm
Free, fun, family-friendly afternoon to watch the movie to learn how it is possible for parents, grandparents and other ordinary folks to stand up for their children and give them the opportunity and financial means for a great education. Live Q&A with Ms. Virginia herself.

When: Jan 28, 2023 Where: Hillsboro, The Hillsboro Cultural Arts Center 527 E Main St, Hillsboro, OR 97123 Time: noon to 3 pm
Free ticket registration

Western Liberty Network Leadership and Activist Training Conference
Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 9:00 am
The year's premiere grassroots activist and leadership conference! Get what you need to be successful in 2023!
Portland Airport Embassy Suites Hotel 7900 NE 82nd Avenue

The Oregon Constitution
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 7:00 pm
First of a three part series presented by former State Representative Mike Nearman studying the Oregon Constitution.
The River Church 4675 Portland Rd NE Salem

The Oregon Constitution
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Second of a three part series presented by former State Representative Mike Nearman studying the Oregon Constitution.
The River Church 4675 Portland Rd NE Salem

The Oregon Constitution
Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Third of a three part series presented by former State Representative Mike Nearman studying the Oregon Constitution.
The River Church 4675 Portland Rd NE Salem

We Are Stronger Together
Monday, March 27, 2023 at 10:00 am
Oregon's Natural Resources & Industries (ONRI) is sponsoring the rally to meet legislators and influencers to bring light on legislation affecting natural resource industries, their families, and their communities. https://onri.us/events
Rally at the State Capitol, Salem.

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Route 99 Bar Has Alcohol License Suspended
Noncompliance of social distancing mandates

On February 2, 2021, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission(OLCC) issued an Order of Immediate License Suspension to the licensee of Route 99 in the City of Canby in Clackamas County, Oregon for not following public health social distancing and face covering requirements. The business, which holds a Full On-Premises sales license, is not allowed to sell any alcoholic beverages, according to the OLCC.

This past January the OLCC received complaints that the owner-operator was allowing groups of customers to gather and consume food and alcohol inside the licensed premises. OLCC enforcement staff visited the bar and restaurant as a follow-up to an initial conversation with the licensee after receiving several complaints about the business not following Coronavirus social distancing orders from the state's governor. OLCC staff had previously contacted the operators of Route 99 to provide education and verbal instructions on how the business could come into compliance.

Upon arriving at the business for an in person inspection, OLCC compliance staff observed that Route 99’s parking lot was close to full and could see patrons inside the business socializing without masks.

After entering Route 99’s dining area, OLCC staff observed a large group of customers, many consuming food and drinks in the bar, all of the customers and employees were socializing without masks.

At this time, no fatalities have been reported as an outcome of this incident.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-02-08 18:53:50Last Update: 2021-02-08 19:20:43

Policies to Impact Meat Prices
Restaurants, already struggling, will see a downstream impact.

As restaurants try to survive through Governor Brown’s lock down orders, ranchers can’t get their meat to market causing a sharp increase in the stakes you eat. A study released earlier this year estimates the COVID-19 pandemic will cost the cattle industry $13.6 billion. The problem isn’t sales, it’s the limited capacity of processing plants, which is causing the price of beef to rise.

Representatives David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford), saw that the Wholesome Meat Act of 1967, which requires states to have inspection programs “at least equal to” the federal meat inspection program, was an opportunity for Oregon. He sponsored HB 4206, which passed in the 2020 Special Session. It authorizes the Oregon Department of Agriculture to establish a program for state inspection of the processing and sale of meat products from amenable and nonamenable species, except for equine species.

However, the pandemic accelerated the need for processing and rendering facilities for processing the remains of harvested and natural caused or disaster caused loss of animals. At this time there are no rendering facilities to process animal remains. Representative Smith is back with Representative Mark Owens (R-Crane) sponsoring HB 2785 that will provide grants to upgrade and build processing centers to operate under the state meat inspection program. The $10,000,000 requested would also expand the federal inspection operation for meat processing in Oregon.

The ranchers have gone from being paid by renderers for waste remains and then were paying them to take waste, now there is nowhere in the state to take animal remains. Representatives Smith and Owens are also sponsoring HB 2787, which will study developing animal rendering facilities to utilize every part of the animal by reducing, converting, or melting down fat. Animal rendering facilities process animal by-product materials to produce tallow, grease, and high-protein meat and bone meal; and products that can be used in foods or to make soap, candles, or lubricants. Recommendations are to be reported to the appropriate interim committees of the Legislative Assembly by September 15, 2022.



Branching out for more control over processing meats and a potential for new industries is a positive for new jobs for one of Oregon’s top commodities. However, Governor Kate Brown is looking to fill the $2 billion gap in her budget and is leaving no stone unturned. Regardless of the consequences, she has requested the ranchers double their fees on brands in SB 32.

But, wait, that wasn’t enough. She is also requesting SB 33 which adds 30% to the food safety program license fees. The Oregon Department of Agriculture issues licenses for a variety of activities related to food manufacturing and processing. SB 33 authorizes rules to increase the license fees listed by no more than 15% for the fiscal years beginning July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2023:

ORS 603.025 – meat products
ORS 616.706 – food establishment
ORS 619.031 – animal food slaughtering and processing
ORS 621.072 – use of milk grade designation
ORS 621.166 – dairy products plant
ORS 621.266 – pasteurizer operator
ORS 625.180 – bakery or bakery distributor
ORS 628.240 – refrigerated locker plant
ORS 632.720 – egg handler
ORS 632.730 – commercial egg broker
ORS 635.030 – non-alcoholic beverage manufacturer

While restaurants are deciding whether they can survive the pandemic, the closures roll up to ranchers and food producers. Likewise, increased fees roll down to struggling restaurants and individuals struggling from high unemployment. Can the economy rebound on higher fees?

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-02-08 07:16:52Last Update: 2021-02-07 21:51:33

Multiple Windows in Multnomah County Smashed Overnight
Do we need common sense hammer legislation?

Lawless Multnomah County Oregon is in the news again for reports of violence and vandalism.

It comes as no surprise to many observers, as the local District Attorney Mike Schmidt has pledged to not prosecute so many violent rioters that have dominated the regional news as of late.

Now, a man has broke several windows in the Lloyd District in Portland, Oregon and was arrested with a hammer believed to be used in the crimes.

Local authorities have recently been trying to convince the public, that the failing area of Oregon needs more gun control in order to address the rampant crime. Reports such as this seem to suggest that violent criminals will use whatever weapon might be at their disposal, and that disarming innocent people only sets them up to be victimized by the criminal class.

On Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 4:28a.m., Portland North Precinct officers were dispatched to a report of alarms going off and someone breaking windows in the area of Northeast Broadway and Northeast 15th Avenue.

Responding officers located the suspect near Northeast 16th Avenue and Northeast Schuyler Street. The suspect was not compliant but was arrested after trying to run away. A hammer was recovered as evidence.

Officers checked the area for victims and located several locations damaged: Shaun A. Patterson, 28, was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on a charge of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree. Other charges are possible. Officers made an effort to contact all affected victims, but if anyone believes they're a victim and have not made contact with the police, please make a police report.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-02-07 13:21:47Last Update: 2021-02-07 13:37:40

BOLI: Employers May Require Vaccines
There are some exceptions. Union teachers, for instance.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is providing answers to the question of employer vaccine mandates. BOLI is the state agency that addresses worker rights claims, discrimination and civil rights. The agency is directed by the elected labor commissioner, Val Hoyle.

According to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released guidance under federal law that makes it clear that employers may require workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine – with limited exceptions. This is also true under Oregon law.

Employers cannot require COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace if they employ specific types of workers or have contractual limitations. Workers may make requests for exemptions or accommodations due to disability or religion.

Most workplaces can require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but some types of workers are exempt by law. Exempt workers include: people licensed or certified to provide health care, employees of a health care facility, a licensed health care provider or a clinical laboratory, firefighters, law enforcement officers, corrections officers, or parole and probation officers.

For employers with a unionized workforce, such as public school teachers and classified employees, a collective bargaining agreement could contain direct prohibitions on mandatory vaccines in the workplace. Although less common, individual employment contracts could present similar challenges.

In a stunningly bizarre combination of policies, teachers get in the front of the line for vaccines. However, this front-of-the-line position does not obligate them to return to the classroom. Further, though they get the vaccine first, they are not able to be required by their employer to take the vaccine as a condition of employment.

Under civil rights and disability laws, employers with mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies will need to consider requests for exceptions for individuals with either sincerely held religious convictions, or a disability that prevents them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. While employers are not required to grant the exception if it creates an “undue hardship” on the business or a “direct threat” to the safety of the employee or others, employers should engage with the employee to determine if a reasonable accommodation is possible.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-02-07 08:48:31Last Update: 2021-02-07 09:00:21

Pot Possession Limits May Be Increased
“In light of the pandemic, we should be making staying at home easier”

Representative Rob Nosse (D-Portland) has introduced HB 2973 that allows a person 21 years of age and older to deliver or possess up to two ounces of usable marijuana in a public place. The current law is one ounce.

First, it must be clarified that under U.S. law, cannabis is the plant itself, and hemp and marijuana are specific parts of the plant. HB 2973 refers to usable marijuana, which means it’s been cured and tested for a maximum of 6% THC -- the addiction element.

Representative Nosse testified that “In light of the pandemic, I believe we should be making staying at home easier for Oregonians including Oregonians that use cannabis products. For almost all goods you can go to the store and buy larger quantities reducing the number of trips that might be made. I believe it should be the same for cannabis, which has become a way for us to easy anxiety and improve our mental health during stressful times.”

Is Representative Nosse testifying about cannabis or this bill, usable marijuana? There is unlimited purchase of CBD, which is shown to reduce anxiety, pain and inflammation and doesn’t possess the addicting THC. Is this bill a conditioning agent towards more government control to stay home?

Studies have shown that one ounce of marijuana makes approximately 84 joints which equal 14 days of continual high per ounce. One joint at minimum, results in 4 hours of intoxication. Why would anyone need more than one ounce in public unless it is not for their personal use?

Representative Nosse thinks that “current limits aren’t logical. While it’s legal to possess 8 ounces at home, it’s only legal to possess one ounce in public.

This bill is necessary at a time of racial reckoning and social distancing. I think it’s crucial that we recognize the disparage racial impacts we’ve seen in the ticketing and penalties of public possession of cannabis. A 2020 analysis by ACLU concluded that in just about every single state, black people were more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession and in some states black people were six, eight, and almost up to ten times more likely to be arrested. Raising the limit will decrease the target on black and what we refer to as BIPOC Oregonians.”

Cassey Houlihand, director of Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association says that consumers prefer buying in ounces because of the price breaks, but if they want to buy their preferred line of products, they have to choose between price breaks or products.

In response to Representative John Lively’s (D-Springfield) question on probable cause for a stop to get ticketed for possession, Houlihand responded, “the charges for possess are an overlay on other reasons for a stop.” So, increasing the legal possession won’t change the traffic stop statistics.

Houlihand further stated, “The artificial limits has made it impossible for the industry to reach its potential.” Addictions know no obstacles, but new customers to addict may be the potential they are looking for.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-02-07 08:44:45Last Update: 2021-02-07 08:59:36

Homelessness Solutions Probed at Cascade
“Housing first” appears not to work

The Cascade Policy Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research and educational organization that focuses on state and local issues in Oregon has released a report entitled Homelessness in the Portland Region. Eric Fruits, Ph. D. and Vlad Yurlov contributed to the 23 page report, which is also available in a condensed executive summary.

The authors don't shrink before the task.

After decades of attempts to address homelessness—and unknown, but large, amounts of money spent—the crisis seems to have worsened in many places, especially in Portland, Oregon. Since the mid-1980s the region has launched long-range plans to “end” homelessness. All of the plans failed to reach their goals, for many reasons: insufficient funding, political headwinds, legal barriers, and the seeming intractability of solving the problem.

One of the best parts of the study is the analysis of "Housing First" as a solution.

For more than two decades, the “Housing First” approach has been heralded as the best solution. The approach focuses first on providing housing to individuals and families, then addressing issues that led participants to homelessness and are keeping them from being housed. These “wrap around” services are expensive and require individuals to have the ability and will to fully use them.

While the approach has improved outcomes regarding the transmission of HIV and the survival of those with HIV/AIDS and has had some success in reducing alcohol abuse, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded that there is no substantial published evidence to demonstrate improved health outcomes or reduced health care costs. Moreover, there is no evidence that Housing First approaches have had any effect on reducing overall homelessness or the number of unsheltered homeless.

There are solutions being discussed and the report misses them. The first solution is a low-cost, albeit long-term solution. It is deliberately locate housing and services away from temptations and commerce. All too often, the homeless are provided with services which enables the revolving door of recovery -- either from mental illness or from addiction, if there is a meaningful difference between the two. Homeless persons The second solution is glanced at. The report talks about

the state's involuntary commitment law, which has a very high threshold. To be involuntarily committed, one must be an imminent danger to themselves or others or be unable to care for their basic needs. Efforts to change the law failed under Mayor [Bud] Clark and have failed in recent legislative sessions.

It's becoming clearer and clearer over time that any solution will have to take on addiction, which is a force so powerful that some sort of commitment or incarceration will simply have to be used. This might take the form of using criminal charges and services as pressure to get a homeless person to voluntarily commit themselves and get treatment.

The sad reality is that the failure to address homelessness has a huge human consequence and in a world where so many public budgets are constrained, taxpayers have provided large sums of money that have simply disappeared into the homeless-industrial complex abyss.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-02-07 07:34:04Last Update: 2021-02-07 09:06:12

Secretary of State Releases Audit Plan
Not much looking at government delivery of services

As Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan released the 2021-22 Audit Plan, observers noted that the audit plan contains little focus on the normal scrutinizing of the efficiency and effectiveness of government. Critics have pointed out that aspects of the plan include looking at domestic terrorism -- a move that some interpret as an attack on the Secretary's political enemies.

The plan, which outlines the work the Audits Division plans to tackle in the coming year, focuses on critical areas of public concern, including: risks related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, increasing threats to public safety posed by domestic terrorism and violent extremism, the disproportionate impacts to Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Oregon tribes, rural communities, and our most vulnerable populations as the result of inequitable systems; and emergency management response challenges and lessons learned from the devastating 2020 wildfire season.

With this audit plan, Oregon will be at the forefront in the effort to prioritize equity in auditing, aligned with government auditing leading practices being promulgated by the United States Government Accountability Office.

“The work of the Audits Division is critically important to strengthening and improving the government services and agencies Oregonians interact with and rely on every single day,” Secretary Fagan said. “Long before the pandemic upended our everyday lives, Oregon faced a number of ongoing crises, affecting the lives of people in every community across the state. Unprecedented wildfires, COVID-19, and the resulting economic downturn only intensified the existing inequities burdening Oregonians in under-resourced regions and historically marginalized communities. This year’s audit plan is directed at many of those most pressing issues with an eye toward building a better Oregon for everyone.”

Among the audits in the 2021-22 plan are: “This audit plan reflects Secretary Fagan’s and the Audits Division team’s commitment to using our skills and resources to execute high-impact audits examining government functions and services that are most relevant to the people who reside in our great state, especially those most vulnerable among us,” said Audits Director Kip Memmott. “These audits are designed to ensure transparency of government operations and to help to build and maintain public trust through a look at both what is working well in service to the people of Oregon and what can be improved. I join Secretary Fagan in thanking the Governor’s Office, agency leaders, and legislators, especially members of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, for their ongoing support, cooperation, and collaboration.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-02-07 07:29:58Last Update: 2021-02-06 13:34:04

Meme of the Week
Who’s the nutty one now?

--Northwest Observer Meme Team

Post Date: 2021-02-06 12:06:50Last Update: 2021-02-06 12:29:58

Fire Department Consolidation Considered in Mid-Valley
Metro encroaches from the North

At the McMinnville City Council meeting on January 26, Emergency Service Consulting International staff Sheldon presented the plan to combine nine local Fire Districts into an eventual single district named the Willamette Fire District in a four-phase process of public involvement.

The process calls for meetings, defining the plan, laying out the challenges to the idea and refining the plan and overcome objections. It would expand existing intergovernmental cooperation agreements to include McMinnville rural, Amity, Dayton, Dundee, Carlton and Lafayette in the north. Southwestern Polk County, Sheridan and West Valley Fire Districts would make up the south. It was noted that Metro has a toe hold in Yamhill County currently with service to Newberg.

Councilors participated in a visioning exercise to determine why this would better serve the citizens. They were asked to name strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Positive perceptions included economies of scale, unified training, improved recruiting and renewed vigor in he ranks. Concerns were limits on prioritizing funding, fiscally isolating law enforcement, loss of intimacy with constituents, loss of local identity with firefighters and support staff, loss of local control, possible loss of charter and harm to community support for tax rates.

Dayton’s Fire Chief Brett Putman was interviewed. He was asked is the current service to the area working or broken? It’s working well. Is the current service structurally adequate to meet the future needs of the area? So far, yes. Will the new plan improve service? Possibly, but at what cost? Will it better control fire insurance costs? Possibly. Will the new plan save tax dollars? No, but a small increase may be worth it.

Is this a defensive strategy to keep high overhead Metro from further incursions into non-Metro Yamhill and Polk Counties? Local fire chiefs don’t see Metro as a threat. The current tax for Dayton Fire is $1.23 per $1,000 assessed value of property. Dayton works from an annual budget near $550k with only two full time employees. The rest of the 27 firefighters are all volunteers. They responded to 628 emergency calls in 2020, about 30% of them were fires. Rules for the safety of firefighters require from 3 to 6 minimum at the conflagration before engaging in fire suppression. Mutual aid calls are frequent as the smaller districts work together on fire alarms.

If the new combined district means tax rates go from $1.23 to $1.50 or $2.00, local chiefs will support consolidation only if the benefits to locals can justify that increase. Currently each of the small districts has elected directors. Eighteen of the forty-four directors are up for election in May of 2021. Most are volunteer firefighters in addition to being directors. Their elected positions will go away eventually if consolidation occurs.

--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2021-02-06 09:26:57Last Update: 2021-02-06 09:44:12

Hope and Frustration
A family’s destiny is in the hands of the state

Editor's note: the following letter is printed with the author's permission, asking that their name be withheld

My name is [Name Redacted]. Recently, my father had a massive stoke to his cerebellum and had to be admitted to Providence St. Vincent, Portland Oregon Hospital. Upon his arrival I received a phone call from the attending Neurosurgeon that my father needed to have a Craniectomy as a life saving measure. I was told “If this operation is not done, he will die.”

Of course I said yes, and I am thankful to every single medical professional that saved his life and will be until my last breath. This isn’t news I would wish anybody to hear about a loved one. He has since been in the CCU for 2 weeks.

I am writing this letter now to express my concern for their 1 visitor per patient's entire stay policy. My mother, whom is still married to my father, has been his "designated visitor." I have been told several times that during this pandemic/crisis that I cannot see my father since I am not his designated visitor. My mother has expressed several times over to hospital staff of the need for my father to see his daughter as well, as I am the main point of contact.

I am aware of the pandemic and the many hardships countless people and hospitals have faced because of it. I’m more than positive that hospitals along with everyone else has had increased hardships, rapid policy changes, and setbacks. My heart goes out to all those affected.

Recently, my mother was provided a yellow informational handout about recovery from Providence St. Vincent. It entailed how patients need items of their daily routine to get better. I had a phone conversation with the attending doctor that day about how patients can become delusional during their stay in the hospital due to lack of sleep, unknown surroundings, and loss of routine. My father is still confused and delusional although making normal progressive strides while remaining in the Critical Care Unit.

My concern is with my father’s recovery going forward. While at home, I am a part of his daily routine, every day. My father sees me, every day. I know what he does, where he goes, who he’s talked to, how he thinks, what he ate etc. We are a part of each other’s lives and have maintained a close relationship. We are each other’s support system. My mother has relayed this information time and time again.

My mother is an essential visitor in the health and recovery of my father. I am also an essential visitor and should be deemed so. Who deems a visitor if they are essential or not? What are the parameters of being essential? I called, asked these questions and about written policy and have been told “There is no written policy” and “There is a global pandemic, that’s why you can’t visit”. I have been told the following reasons from several different staff members at Providence as for the reason why they have a 1 visitor per patient's entire stay "no written policy" policy:
  1. There is a global pandemic, it's not about who's essential, it's about limiting people in the hospital at one time. ( The hospital's "7 Steps of Safety" pamphlet posted on their website says " Limiting visitors to only those who are essential.")
  2. We are following CDC guidelines. (Guidelines are not laws)
  3. Its so that our hospital staff does not get sick so that there are still people to tend to patients.
  4. There is no written policy, it's just the protocol.
  5. They have given out exemptions, I'm just not sure who you have to talk to.
  6. It's up to the floor manager.
  7. It's up to the Covid Command Center.
  8. Try talking to a Social Worker or the Quality Care Team.
When I joined the Army in 2007 at the age of 20, I was well aware of the risks that my new job would entail. I assumed those risks and continued fighting for my country wherever they deemed fit, whether I agreed or not. It is what has made me who I am today and I respect those who willingly take on a risk to help others. I can only assume that medical personnel did the same thing when entering their said job field knowing that hospitals are where most people tend to flock to when the get sick. I am only asking to be able to relieve my mother when she can not be present, not to allow two visitors at the same time as to not "Increase the amount of visitor in the hospital at one time."

We both offer support to my father in different ways, different constructs, and different strengths. My mother needs her own support person during this tough time as well, a person of trust when she cannot be present, a second voice when she can’t find the words to say to the doctor, and a familiar face she can find comfort and reassurance in. My father deserves an advocate with whom he knows and trusts on his behalf when one of us cannot be present. Nurses, doctors, staff, ANY employee ANYWHERE is allowed to take the day off to conduct personal business, go grocery shopping, tend to family matters and so on. Why are we ( My mother and I) not allowed to relieve each other while advocating and supporting my father during his stay in the hospital? My mother is having to choose to stay with my father (Who has been restrained to his bed when someone is not present in the room for fear of pulling out vital drain tubes) or taking a break to gather her bearings.

I do not write to you as a bleeding heart daughter who just wants to see her daddy. I write to you for the mere fact of aiding in my father’s recovery and my mother’s emotional wellbeing. My father has told the staff that he wishes to talk to me. He has told me to "Come on over, were waiting for you." People in positions of power are using COVID to enforce policies, written or not, unaware of the aftermath. They are unaware of the mental and emotional toll it is putting on the people.

Virtual meetings/visits” can not replace in person visitation. How is "Skype & Zoom" getting back to normal when you never used it before in your actual normal life?

I am asking for help to be allowed to see my father when my mother cannot be present. There would still only be 1 person (visitor) in the hospital per day. As a main support and family member, I will be heavily involved in his recovery when at home as well. I only wish to sit next to him, advocate for him when my mother cannot, and support the recovery of his wellbeing. I don’t believe my father should be denied a visit from his daughter in the particular circumstances that resulted in his stay.

--A Daughter

Post Date: 2021-02-06 07:25:38Last Update: 2021-02-05 21:30:52

Oregon Senate Leader Calls for Rep. Hernandez to Resign
He’s had calls for his own resignation

In response to the findings of the House Committee on Conduct that Representative Diego Hernandez (D-Portland) violated the Legislature’s anti-harassment policy multiple times, Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) released the following statement:

“I join many of my colleagues, community leaders, advocates, organizations and individuals in the call for Representative Hernandez to resign. The House Conduct Committee found clear evidence that he created a hostile workplace and committed acts of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual contact. He abused his place of power and his office, violating a position entrusted to him by his community.

“We must believe survivors. I commend the bravery of those who came forward in this investigation as well as the resilience of all survivors of harassment and abuse. We must be unequivocal in our stance against abusive behavior, and I take seriously my role in maintaining the Capitol as a safe and supportive work environment.

“In the statement made by Representative Hernandez, which was shared on social media, he wrote, ‘These rifts in the legislature are distracting us from important work that must be done.’ Representative Hernandez must take responsibility to remove this ‘distraction’ by resigning immediately. If he refuses to resign, the House of Representatives should vote to expel him.”

Senator Wagner recently had a volley of calls for his resignation, while as chair fo the Lake Oswego School Board, he failed to act on racist activity directed at a student of color that was happening in his own school district.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-02-05 15:37:08Last Update: 2021-02-05 16:25:38

No Excuses for the Governor on School Reopenings
President Biden’s CDC director says schools are safe to open without vaccinating teachers

Several weeks ago, Governor Kate Brown promised Oregonians that schools would reopen by February 15. She even jumped vulnerable seniors in the vaccine line to make it happen. Since making that decision, she has taken no responsibility to deliver on that promise. Oregon families and students are suffering from school closures, but now she has no reason to ignore their pleas for help.

This week, President Biden’s CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, announced that the “vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite to the safe reopening of schools.”

“The science is coming into focus. Schools can safely reopen without teachers getting vaccinated,” said Senate Republican Leader, Fred Girod (R-Lyons). “The Governor needs to deliver on her promise to reopen schools. This will help us begin a truly equitable distribution of vaccines by inoculating our seniors who are most vulnerable to this virus. She has 10 days to deliver on her promise to kids and families. It is not enough for her to talk about schools reopening and then sit back to watch school districts handle it. They need the state’s support. It's time for her to bring the teacher's unions to the table and deliver on that promise. She is the Superintendent of Oregon Schools – she should act like it.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-02-05 15:36:02Last Update: 2021-02-05 15:37:08

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