What topic needs to be discussed most in the upcoming Governor's race?
Second Amendment
Transportation
Education
Abortion/life issues
COVID response
Northwest Observer
Subscribe for Free Email Updates
Name:
Email:
Search Articles
       
Concealed Carry Restrictions Passes Senate
It’s about the kids, you know

Today the Senate Majority Party passed controversial SB 554. Their press release shortly after the vote, however had an interesting headline: “Senate Democrats Approve Bill to Protect Students, Public Workers and Communities from Gun Violence.” How?

During the over 3 and a half hours of testimony, never once did the sponsors of the bill or the supporting Senators explain how Concealed Handgun License holders were a threat to students, public workers and communities. In one of his many speeches on the floor during debate, Senator Knopp (R-Bend) stated that “CHL holders are some of the most law-abiding citizens and in fact they are even more law-abiding that police officers when it comes to committing crime.” Not once during questioning and debate on the floor by the Republican Caucus was the question answered by the Democrats as to how a sign saying “no CHL allowed on the premises or in the building” help.

Still, Senator Ginny Burdick (D-Portland), the driving force for many years behind the regulation of firearms and attacks on legal gun owners stated when she presented the bill “I, like so many Oregonians, have been distressed by the tragedy of gun violence and the rise of extremism. Communities throughout Oregon deserve the ability to decide whether to allow firearms into public buildings, such as schools and office buildings. SB 554 will create safer environments for learning and working while allowing flexibility for schools and local governments.”

One of the motions by the Republicans to refer the bill to Ways and Means for a fiscal was due to asking the question “Isn’t this just the same as the honor system we have in place today?” asked Senator Knopp. The question centered around the cost to truly keeping all guns out of public places and the cost of metal detectors for those places if they were to adopt SB 554. It does not stop criminals from conceal carrying in public buildings only those that go through extensive background checks for the legal right to do so.

Senator James Manning (D-Eugene), another champion of the bill expressed his support and pleasure in passing the bill saying “SB 554 does not impact one’s ability to get a CHL, but if a public entity decides, they can eliminate firearms on their premise no matter your CHL status, which I believe removes intimidation and leads to a healthier workplace. It gives choice. It will make our schools safer, public workers safer and the community members who need to go to these buildings safer,” said Senator Manning. Again, the Senator failed to answer the question how it will make the schools, public workers, and community members safer without law abiding citizens being allowed to legally carry a firearm?

It should be noted that Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) crossed the aisle and voted against the bill along side the Republican Caucus. The bill now heads to the to the House for further consideration.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-03-26 09:22:54Last Update: 2021-03-26 13:54:48



Cash is King
Despite banning cash, they were unable to avoid COVID-19

Most legislation focuses on one issue or one area of law. Bills look at healthcare or transportation or water or housing and suggest changes to existing laws or implementation of new ones. However, some bills grab several areas that could be impacted by a single specific action such as discrimination and groups them together in one bill. SB 746 is one of those bills. While it is dealing with many topics around discrimination, it has brough back one specific topic from a bill heard during the 2020 session, HB 4107. The topic of accepting cash as legal currency for goods and services.

In 2020, HB 4107 was modified in committee and took on a broader scope which could have made it difficult to implement or possibly not legally enforceable. However, in a rare move, the bill was substituted on the floor of the House with the Minority Party Report and then moved over to the senate with some bipartisan support. There it was further fine-tuned and amended into HB 4107 B. Due to the walkout, the bill never finished its journey and died in the Senate Committee on Rules. Had SB 746 passed, businesses would have been forced to accept cash, with limited exceptions under the new law despite the declaration of an emergency.

However, during the pandemic some businesses choose to go to credit only payment and refused to accept cash. Dutch Brother Coffee was one of the most prominent businesses to do so. Shortly after the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, they made the decision to “temporarily suspended the use of cash due to COVID-19”, according to their web site. At the beginning of February 2021, almost a year into the pandemic, Dutch Brothers responded to an inquiry on their Face Book page as to why they were still not accepting cash. They shared “We’re so sorry for this inconvenience! At this point, we do need to maintain our touchless transactions for the safety of both our customers and our baristas. We’ll be accepting cash again as soon as it’s safe to do so”!

Despite Dutch Brothers banning cash, they were unable to avoid COVID-19 being contracted by their employees. Several locations over the last year have reported cases of COVID-19 among their workforces. Cash has never been determined by the Center for Disease Control or the Oregon Health Authority to be a source in the contraction of or spreading of COVID-19. Just over a year after the temporary suspension, Dutch Brothers is once again accepting cash. However, the Governor’s emergency Executive Order surrounding COVID-19 remains -- as does the existence of the disease.

Senators Floye Prozanski (D-Eugene) and James Manning (D-Eugene) have introduced SB 746. SECTION 1 of the bill, PROTECTION AGAINST PAYMENT DISCRIMINATION is identical to the SECTION 1 in HB 4107 from the 2020 session. It would require businesses to accept cash as legal payment. Perhaps this time the bill will get across the finish line and those citizens that only choose to or need to use cash, will no longer be left out of the ability to purchase goods and services.

SB 746 currently resides in the Senate Committee on Labor and Business and has a public hearing and a possible work session scheduled for April 1, 2021.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-03-25 19:26:12Last Update: 2021-03-25 19:43:32



Rollback of CHL Rights Passes Senate
“This radical policy does nothing to solve gun violence”

In the wake of tragic shootings, Democrats advanced what many call "feel-good legislation" that threatens the safety of communities by rolling back Oregonians’ self-defense rights.

Amid rising violent crime, Democrats voted to advance SB 554, which would strip responsible Oregonians from defending themselves in certain settings, notably, public buildings. The move comes the same week Democrats entertained legislation that would let violent offenders off with lighter punishments.

“Let me be clear, this radical policy does absolutely nothing to solve gun violence or make communities safer,” Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) said. “It will make it worse. Democrats have brought forth zero evidence that this will do anything except criminalize responsible Oregonians. At a time when Democrats are advancing ideas that would embolden violent criminals and hamstring police, to simultaneously strip responsible Oregonians of self-defense rights is unconscionable.”

After Portland politicians defunded the Gun Violence Reduction Unit, shootings have skyrocketed by 2,000%. Firearm homicides have reached record levels, none of which have been alleged to have been committed by a CHL holder. Portland-area residents have rushed to get a concealed carry license to protect their families and neighbors.

Senator James Manning (D-Eugene) one of the chief sponsors of SB 554. “I am a gun owner. I’m a military veteran and a former law enforcement officer. That means I have seen -- many times -- that when a gun is present the situation is more dangerous and the loss of life is more likely,” said Senator Manning. He did not elaborate on these incidents. “SB 554 does not impact one’s ability to get a CHL, but if a public entity decides, they can eliminate firearms on their premise no matter your CHL status, which I believe removes intimidation and leads to a healthier workplace,” added Senator Manning. “The bill makes sense. It gives choice. It will make our schools safer, public workers safer and the community members who need to go to these buildings safer,” said Senator Manning.

SB 554 will make it harder for communities who have to bear the brunt of bad public safety policy to exercise their right to defend themselves,” Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) said. “It also increases the cost to access that right. That will only serve to price low-income Oregonians out of defending themselves and their families.”

Republicans offered alternatives that would have given Oregonians and policymakers insights on how to bolster public safety. A 2020 Rand Corporation study found no existing data adequately evaluated the relationship between “gun-free zones” and mass shootings. Republicans’ Minority Report commissioned a study to gather valuable data about gun violence in public spaces. Democrats rejected this evidence-based approach.

Republicans also offered Oregonians the chance to weigh in on this divisive legislation by proposing an amendment to send it directly to voters. Democrats rejected this pro-democracy proposal.

SB 554 restricts where Oregonians can defend themselves from violent attacks but fails to mandate that local jurisdictions who adopt these restrictions provide other safety measures. Republicans requested information about the cost of implementing metal detectors and hiring security. Again, Democrats blocked this prudent public safety step.

“Republicans proposed common-sense, data-driven approaches that would protect Oregonians’ constitutional rights and enhance public safety,” Senator Lynn Findley (R-Vale) said. “It is unbelievable that Democrats weren’t interested in the facts and instead, are clearly determined to pursue a political agenda at the expense of our rights. The data we have make it clear that CHL holders are some of the most law-abiding citizens in our state. This bill will simply single them out at no benefit to public safety.”

Data suggest that less than 0ne-hundredth of one percent (.0074%) of Oregonians with CHLs commit felonies. In Texas and Florida – two states that track concealed carry license data in detail – permit holders commit crimes at 1/6th the rate of police officers, a group that already very law-abiding.

CHL holders also stop crime. According to the FBI, 3.2% of active shooter situations are stopped by someone with a CHL. Other research suggests that they stop up to 16.5% of mass murder situations.

While Democrats were rejecting common-sense Republican proposals, they also voted against the United States and Oregon Constitution. The Republican Minority Report included clauses affirming Oregonians’ Constitutional right to defend themselves. SB 554 also makes responsible Oregonians criminals overnight with punishments of $125,000 and up to 5 years in prison. These are the same monetary fines as rape in the third degree and some child pornography charges.

“Our society is beginning to embrace a principle of rehabilitation for non-violent offenders to decrease prison populations,” Senator Girod (R-Lyons) said. “This bill flies in the face of that. The stiff penalties it imposes are completely contrary to that principle.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-25 12:12:22Last Update: 2021-03-25 16:22:54



Democrats Claw Back Kicker
Senate Democrats approve plan to steal $15 million from taxpayers

Over unified Republican opposition, Democrats voted in lockstep to keep money that is projected to be returned to Oregon taxpayers.

SB 846, introduced by Senate President Peter Courtney, would divert $15 million from the anticipated Kicker to other programs. Oregon’s unique kicker law is the last check Oregonians have against runaway bloating of state government.

“At a time when Oregonians need money in their pockets, Democrats are intent on nickel and diming them,” Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) said. “Republican legislation that would exempt stimulus checks from state taxes is being stalled in Committee, while the Governor’s proposals that take millions from taxpayers move at breakneck speed. All the while, the state is raking in billions in federal aid.

“Our budget is doing better than expected but that is obviously of no consequence to Democrats. Oregonians are struggling. Taking money that constitutionally belongs to them is unacceptable and wrong.”

By changing the dates of future budget changes, Democrats are setting themselves up to take even more of the Kicker in the coming months. If revenue projections hold steady, Oregon taxpayers would get $570 million back via the Kicker. With the changes in SB 846, the Kicker has been reduced to $555 million. Further changes in the bill set the stage for Democrats to prevent the kicker from kicking altogether.

Oregon’s unique Kicker law enshrines in our Constitution the principle that tax dollars belong to Oregonians, much to the disdain of Democrats. In recent years, they have stolen more than $100 million from taxpayers.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-25 11:37:40Last Update: 2021-03-25 12:12:22



OHA Monitoring Four People for Ebola
And you thought COVID was bad

Public health officials in Oregon are monitoring four people who recently visited the West African countries of Guinea and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Regions in each of these countries are currently experiencing outbreaks of Ebola virus disease. There is low risk for people in Oregon.

Oregon Health Authority, Directed by Pat Allen, and local public health departments have been in contact with these individuals, who are considered “persons under monitoring,” since they arrived in the state earlier in March. The goal of this contact is to determine their risk, if any, of being exposed to Ebola and ensure their safety, as well as the safety of their families and the community.

“We want to make sure these individuals have the support they need to monitor their health, stay in contact with public health officials and safely get help with medical services if it comes to that,” said Richard Leman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Health Security, Preparedness and Response at the OHA Public Health Division.

As of March 24, Guinea has reported 18 Ebola cases and nine Ebola-related deaths. The Guinea outbreak is centered in Nzérékoré Prefecture, which is in the southern region of the country near the Liberian border. Democratic Republic of the Congo has reported 12 Ebola cases and six Ebola-related deaths. The outbreak in DRC is in North Kivu Province, which is in the eastern part of the country near the Ugandan border. The outbreaks are limited to small areas of each country and are not in large population centers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued Level 3 travel warnings for the affected regions in both countries, recommending people avoid nonessential travel there.

Beginning March 4, CDC has required all airlines to supply contact information for all U.S.-bound travelers who have been in Guinea or Democratic Republic of the Congo in the last 21 days — the largest known incubation period for Ebola. U.S.-bound travelers who have been in affected countries are routed through six international airports: Dulles in Washington, D.C.; John F. Kennedy in Queens, NY; Newark Liberty in Newark, NJ; O’Hare in Chicago, IL; Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, GA; and LAX in Los Angeles, CA. Upon arrival, they are interviewed to determine if they are symptomatic and to confirm their contact information. If they are symptomatic, they will be offered medical evaluation.

CDC shares information for travelers from affected regions whose itineraries include Oregon. That way, public health authorities can contact these travelers and ensure they know symptoms to watch for and how to receive prompt medical evaluation if they become ill with symptoms consistent with Ebola. OHA and local public health officials also are reaching out to international non-governmental organizations with services in the affected countries to request early notification for any volunteers traveling to Oregon after recent work in those areas.

In addition, OHA and local public health officials are contacting community-based organizations in Oregon to help the persons under monitoring with language access and other support services.




--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-25 11:34:36Last Update: 2021-03-25 11:37:40



Eternal Voter Registration
It’s hard to not suspect bad motives behind the proposal

Representative Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) has introduced HB 2681, which reads “Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the registration of an elector may not be considered inactive due to an elector not voting or updating the elector’s registration for any period of time.”

This will degrade our election voter rolls and list maintenance from this year and every year going forward it will get worse.

The directive in this bill is contrary to the advice from the US Election Assistance Committee, which says, “The National Voter Registration Act allows states to remove voters who have not voted in two consecutive federal general elections and failed to respond to a confirmation notice from an elections office. Other reasons for removal include death, felony conviction, having moved from one jurisdiction to another, mental incompetence, or at the voter’s request.”

Voter list maintenance increases the veracity of the voting rolls, giving voters greater access to the ballot by not letting someone else get the voters ballot. The voter gets the right ballot for their district, it reduces the number of provisional ballots, allows for better planning of the election and improves the voter experience. It also saves the taxpayer money.

The National Voter Registration Act -- commonly referred to as the “motor voter” law because it contained provisions about voter registration at local DMV offices -- provides guidance for when a state may remove the name of a voter from a list. Oregon allows 10 years of inactivity before removing an inactive voter currently. The NVRA only suggests 4 years and then removal. This bill would even remove the 10 year safeguard.

People registered at local colleges and universities would never have their voter record updated from the dorms. Apartment dwellers and others would have numerous ballots delivered to them from the previous residents from this time forward, every election. People often do not notify the Elections Division of their move out of state. New people at that address do not always notify the Elections Division that the person is no longer living there.

Some states do a cross state voter check, to compare voters from state to state. They also employ various agency lists to find accurate information on name changes, deaths, felon charges, and changed addresses. HB 2681 will increase costs of elections by sending ballots to addresses that are no longer accurate for that voter. This bill will facilitate voter fraud opportunity. It will cost the taxpayer a lot of money in wasted printing, paper and postage.

Accurate voter lists improve the election process for everyone: the voter, the election workers and the candidates. HB 2681 will degrade our election process,

The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House Rules Committee on Tuesday, March 30 at 1:00pm for a hearing and possible work session.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-25 10:08:58Last Update: 2021-03-25 01:24:40



Marijuana Revenue Tinkerings
Dude, rural counties got the munchies

Editor's note: This is the fourth in a multipart series exploring tax measures before the Oregon Legislature during the 2021 session

Marijuana taxes have become a big part of Oregon's budget, brining in a whopping $133,150,349 in fiscal year 2020. 40% of that goes to schools and 15% goes to the State Police, so over half of the revenue is offsetting general fund money that would otherwise have to be paid by Oregon income taxpayers. It's play money for the Governor and the Legislature.

Since the passage of Ballot Measure 91 in 2014, marijuana has been seen as a cash cow, and like many other addictive products, there is incentive to turn up the spigot and generate even more revenue -- or at least change the rules for distributing the revenue.. People who are opposed in general to marijuana might support a tax increase also.

Right now, local taxes on pot are capped at 3% and have to be approved by the voters. State Representative Mark Owens (R-Crane) has a proposal, HB 2015, which would raise that cap to 10%. Some might argue that it's a sin tax and might deter some from weed, while generating revenue for local communities.

He's also introduced HB 2014 which changes the formula for redistributing marijuana revenue to cites -- currently based solely on population -- and bases it partly on sales.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-25 09:32:15Last Update: 2021-03-20 21:46:31



“Anti-Vaxxers” Targeted by Attorney General
By effectively rooting out fraudulent information, you can prevent death

Oregon's Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum (D-Portland) has signed on to a letter originated by the Attorney General of Connecticut to Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Mark Zukerberg, Chairman and CEO of Facebook asking them "to take immediate steps to fully enforce your companies’ guidelines against vaccine misinformation."

In this, the latest play in the information suppression scandal surrounding social media, the rhetoric has reached a new level. According to some, it's scandalous that the level of paranoia and suppression of free exchange of ideas has reached these heights.

The letter, making several references to "anti-vaxxers" calls for nothing less than the suppression of speech. It reads:

As Attorneys General committed to protecting the safety and well-being of the residents of our states, we write to express our concern about the use of your platforms to spread fraudulent information about coronavirus vaccines and to seek your cooperation in curtailing the dissemination of such information. The people and groups spreading falsehoods and misleading Americans about the safety of coronavirus vaccines are threatening the health of our communities, slowing progress in getting our residents protected from the virus, and undermining economic recovery in our states.

As safe and effective vaccines become available, the end of this pandemic is in sight. This end, however, depends on the widespread acceptance of these vaccines as safe and effective. Unfortunately, misinformation disseminated via your platforms has increased vaccine hesitancy, which will slow economic recovery and, more importantly, ultimately cause even more unnecessary deaths. A small group of individuals use your platforms to downplay the dangers of COVID-19 and spread misinformation about the safety of vaccines. These individuals lack medical expertise and are often motivated by financial interests. According to a recent report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, so-called “anti-vaxxer” accounts on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter reach more than 59 million followers. “Anti-vaxxers” are using social media platforms to target people of color and Black Americans specifically, members of communities who have suffered the worst health impacts of the virus and whose vaccination rates are lagging.

Given “anti-vaxxers’” reliance on your platforms, you are uniquely positioned to prevent the spread of misinformation about coronavirus vaccines that poses a direct threat to the health and safety of millions of Americans in our states and that will prolong our road to recovery.



The updated community guidelines you have established to prevent the spread of vaccine misinformation appear to be a step in the right direction. However, it is apparent that Facebook has not taken sufficient action to identify violations and enforce these guidelines by removing and labelling misinformation and banning repeat offenders. As a result, anti-vaccine misinformation continues to spread on your platforms, in violation of your community standards.

We call on you to take immediate steps to fully enforce your companies’ guidelines against vaccine misinformation. By effectively rooting out fraudulent information about coronavirus vaccines, you can prevent needless illness and death and hasten our road to recovery.

One wonders, if the ideas of the so-called "anti-vaxxers" are so outrageous, that allowing them to persist in public might be a more effective way to control so-called "misinformation." Similarly, if the vaccines are truly safe and effective, the so-called "anti-vaxxers" would only be a threat to themselves, and not to those who have taken the vaccines.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-25 09:28:50Last Update: 2021-03-25 01:34:36



Gov. Brown Announces Fed Fund Distribution
“We must create a more just and equitable Oregon”

Governor Kate Brown has released a 10-Point Economic Recovery Plan for Oregon. The 10-Point Plan, which was developed with input from the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors and Racial Justice Council, builds on the work of local economic development districts across the state to help Oregon families and businesses. It provides a framework for economic recovery related to COVID-19 and wildfires, with a specific focus on strategically supporting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities.

The Governor also outlined her principles for the use of federal American Rescue Plan resources, to guide state agencies and local governments in making investments that will maximize immediate benefits for Oregonians in an equitable way.

“Thanks in part to the passage of the American Rescue Plan, Oregon’s outlook for a rapid economic recovery is strong, if we act quickly to get relief to Oregonians," said Governor Brown. "We have the opportunity now to lift up Oregon families and businesses, by immediately investing state and federal resources to help them recover from the devastating economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic."

“We must do so by creating a more just and equitable Oregon, helping the communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and wildfires. By rooting our recovery efforts in equity, we can support economic growth for Oregon’s Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, and Tribal communities.

“My 10-Point Plan provides a roadmap for economic recovery, and will guide our state and local governments as we invest our shares of federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan. Aligning programs and activities funded through these dollars will help ensure we are coordinating, not duplicating efforts, and collaborating on what will make a difference in our economies.”

Between state and local governments, Oregon is slated to receive approximately $6.4 billion in federal funds from the ARP. The Governor also laid out her principles for making investment decisions with ARP. Investments should be made now in a way that maximizes economic recovery efforts for Oregonians this year, while also addressing the existing disparities that were exacerbated by the pandemic, particularly for women and BIPOC communities.

“Oregon businesses have worked throughout the pandemic to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. We are pleased with the direction Governor Brown is taking with this plan to immediately invest state and federal resources towards shared prosperity and a robust recovery,” said Joth Ricci, CEO and President of Dutch Bros and Chair of the Oregon Business Plan Steering Committee. “Oregon businesses need both short-term relief and long-term investments like those in the Governor’s plan to help get our state back on its feet and thriving.”

"Without prioritizing equity we can not have social and racial justice," said Jan Mason, co-chair of the Community Chamber Coalition of Oregon. "I support the Governor Brown priority in grounding and leading with racial equity and justice. We simply cannot achieve economic justice and prosperity without these priorities."

The Governor applies these principles for equitable and rapid economic recovery in her 10-Point Plan: These principles and 10-Point Plan are a starting point for conversations with the legislature, community stakeholders, the RJC, and the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors to develop a process for funding decisions related to ARP dollars. More information will be provided as decisions are made.

.
--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-24 17:44:19Last Update: 2021-03-24 18:08:58



SOS Recommends Improvements for COVID Response
Fight COVID with bigger government

The Secretary of State Audits Division, under the direction of Secretary of State Shemia Fagan (D-Portland) has released an advisory report identifying several steps the Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Health Authority, and the Oregon Legislature could take to improve infection control in long-term care facilities -- which includes nursing facilities, assisted living and residential care facilities, and memory care units. The improvements identified in the report could help the COVID-19 response, as well as responses to other illness outbreaks common to these facilities, like flu and norovirus.

Among the improvements recommended and challenges identified in the report: “COVID-19 has stressed every system in our nation and laid bare challenges and inequities that existed long before the pandemic,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan (D-Portland). “This is a moment for all of us to take stock and ensure we are improving the vital systems and services that Oregonians count on to provide care and support. The goal of this advisory report is to offer concrete steps to improve the safety of these facilities, for the residents and the workers providing their care.”

For this advisory report, the Oregon Audits Division reviewed infection control in long-term care facilities to identify gaps in Oregon’s laws, rules, and practices that, if addressed, could help the state further contain the COVID-19 virus and prevent future communicable disease outbreaks. Audit staff focused on oversight of 685 long-term care facilities including nursing facilities, which are regulated by the federal and state government, and community-based care facilities, which are regulated only by the state. Community-based care — assisted living and residential care — includes almost all the state’s memory care units.

Today’s report is a research-based project, not an audit under government auditing standards. This reporting method allowed for a timelier project to recognize the impact on state agencies’ bandwidth as they respond to COVID-19. The report has undergone the same quality assurance process as audit reports from the Audits Division.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-24 10:18:12Last Update: 2021-03-27 09:52:18



Measure 11: What Today’s Opponents Want
Early release will re-traumatize victims of violent crime

Editor's note: This is the fourth of a multi-part series on Measure 11 and its impact on crime. This series is adapted from letters written to the legislature by Kevin Mannix, the author of Measure 11.

The attack on Measure 11 is clear, comprehensive and deliberate. This is a complete list of all the bills that make changes to the provisions of Measure 11. Many of these, if enacted, will change the face of criminal justice in Oregon. Each of these bills requires a two-thirds majority in each chamber, which means 40 votes in the House and 20 votes in the Senate.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-24 09:51:00Last Update: 2021-03-20 21:15:29



ACLU Director Named to Fill Hernandez’s Seat
A year ago, she filed a restraining order against Hernandez

The Multnomah County Board of County Commissioners unanimously appointed Andrea Valderrama (D-Portland) to fill the vacant House District 47 seat formerly held by Representative Diego Hernandez. Valderrama will serve the remaining term of Representative Hernandez, who resigned effective March 15. Valderrama’s term will last through the end of 2022.

District 47 is located entirely in East Portland between Interstate 205 and Rockwood. The district is at the center of some of the greatest challenges facing Portland, including increasing traffic deaths, poverty, and racial and health disparities.

“She’s been such a strong voice and champion on immigrant rights, on women’s rights and education, said Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, an East Portland resident and a former representative from House District 47. “I’m really proud to support her today and to look forward to partnering with her as a neighborhood resident, as a county commissioner and a constituent in the really important and big work that we have as we’re moving forward.”

Valderrama brings more than a decade of experience in policy and budget advocacy, grassroots community organizing and coalition building. Having grown up in poverty, she said she knows firsthand the experience of living paycheck to paycheck. She’s also a first-generation college student, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree from Portland State University. Most recently, Valderrama served as the policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. A mother and community organizer, she also serves as Chair of the David Douglas School Board. Her endorsements included Senator Kayse Jama (D-Portland), David Douglas School Board Vice Chair Sahar Muranovic, and community activist Deian Salazar.

In March 2020, Valderrama filed a restraining order against then Representative Hernandez. In court documents, Valderrama wrote that while they were living together between January and April 2019, he was prone to violent outbursts, including throwing things at her while under the influence. She said that he usually mixed “alcohol, narcotic pills and marijuana.”

“I have also been a mom raising my daughter, I know what it’s like to push that stroller in the mud, to be concerned about the lack of lighting and other infrastructure here,” Valderrama said. “My lived experience in poverty and my values of economic justice are so critical in this role and really important for me to prioritize in all decision-making as we’re looking at recovery.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-24 09:45:10Last Update: 2021-03-24 11:23:40



Read More Articles