The district will most likely see a high-priced effort
s Oregon political pundits hold their collective breaths waiting for State Senator Betsy Johnson to announce her intention to run for Governor, residents of Columbia County are preparing for what many expect will be a spirited and expensive political season.
House District 31 includes Columbia County and much of rural Washington County and, in part because of the voter make-up that redistricting has left and in part because of the retirement of embattled
Representative Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie), the district will most likely see a high-priced effort on the part of both parties to control the seat. Paired with its sister district -- House District 32 which is the Northwest Corner of Oregon from Tillamook to Astoria -- the two make up Senate District 16, currently held by Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose).
The election of 2020 saw Republican Brian Stout (R-Columbia City) fall to Witt by only 511 votes out of over 50,000 cast. In Columbia County, the largest of the three that encompass the district, Stout handily beat Witt by a 6-point margin. He also ran in 2018 losing by a
larger margin of 2,621 votes. He has filed to run for the seat again in 2022. It's an open question as to whether he is growing on the district, or if after two defeats, his brand is tattered.
Stout said "We did a ton of groundwork last time which I believe sets the stage for a decisive win in the 2022 election. I hear daily from local citizens and business leaders, and they are frustrated. Many feel that our rural communities have been marginalized by a disproportionate emphasis on urban policy. It's time to restore balance to our economy and take a stand for our rural communities.”
espite the fact that Senate District 16 has a conservative bent to it -- the economy of the district is tourism and natural resource extraction -- the departure of Witt and possibly Johnson as well as the tight voter registration in the districts make these attractive seats for both parties and will certainly draw quality contenders for both parties in both seats.
The other half of Senate District 16 -- each Oregon Senate District is comprised of exactly two House Districts -- is House District 32 where first-termer Suzanne Weber (R-Tillamook) will look to hold her seat.
In 2018 all three seats were held by Democrats: House District 31 by Witt, House District 32 by Tiffiny Mitchell and Senate District 16 by Betsy Johnson. 2022 could see all three seats going to Republicans.
|Post Date: 2021-10-13 17:03:58||Last Update: 2021-10-14 16:38:17|
The Court unanimously decided that the change in the law must be retroactive
he Oregon Supreme has done it again. They've made the effective repeal of the death penalty in Oregon retroactive. With the passage of SB 1013
in 2019, "aggravated murder" was redefined -- making it harder to qualify for -- but not retroactively so.
The new law redefined crime of aggravated murder -- the only crime for which the death penalty is a possible sentence -- to include
- Premeditated, intentional homicide of two or more persons that is committed with the intent to either intimidate, injure, or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a government through destruction of property, murder, kidnapping or aircraft piracy -- terrorist acts.
- Murder by a defendant in custody, after the defendant was previously convicted in any jurisdiction of any homicide that would constitute the crime of aggravated murder or murder in the first degree.
- Premeditated intentional murder against a person under 14 years of age.
In an opinion authored by Oregon Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Duncan, Oregon v. David Ray Bartol
, the Court unanimously decided that the change in the law must be retroactive -- in short because the law changed the moral standard, it would be cruel and unusual under the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment to apply the death penalty to a crime that was
a death penalty crime when committed, but no longer is.
he death penalty has been on the books and off the books several times throughout Oregon's history, driven by the voters, the Legislature and the judiciary. Initially, the Oregon Constitution contained no provision for the death penalty. The death penalty for first degree murder was adopted by statute in 1864 -- just five years after statehood.
From 1864 to 1903, county sheriffs conducted executions. In order to restrict public attendance at executions, the Oregon Legislature amended the law to require executions be carried out at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem in 1903.
Between 1904 and 1914, 24 men were hanged at the penitentiary. On Dec. 13, 1912, four men were executed on the same day, the most at one time at the penitentiary. There have been seven executions of two people on the same day.
In 1914, Oregon voters, by constitutional amendment, repealed the death penalty with a razor-thin 50.04 percent of the vote adding Article I, 36 of the Oregon Constitution. In 1920, voters restored the death penalty by repealing Article I, 36 and approving Article I, 37-38, with 56 percent of the vote.
On Nov. 3, 1964, Oregon voters repealed the death penalty by 60 percent of the vote. On Nov. 5, 1964, Governor Mark O. Hatfield (R) commuted the death sentences of three people
The repeal remained in effect until 1978, when Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 8, re-instituting capital punishment by lethal gas. Unlike prior death penalty laws, Measure 8 did not amend the Oregon Constitution, but rather was incorporated into the Oregon Revised Statutes, amending ORS 163.115 and creating ORS 163.116. Measure 8 won 64 percent of the vote.
Under the death penalty statute, the sentence was determined by the trial judge, without a jury. In 1981, the Oregon Supreme Court struck down the death penalty statute because it deprived the defendant of his right to trial by jury.
n 1984, Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 6 which created Article I, 40 and exempted capital punishment from Article I, 15-16 of the Oregon Constitution. The measure passed with 55 percent of the vote.
Ballot Measure 7, in 1984, amended ORS 163.150 to require that, following a conviction for aggravated murder, a defendant be given a separate sentencing hearing before the trial jury. The measure passed with 75 percent of the vote.
In all, between 1904 and 1994, 115 people have been sentenced to death in Oregon, and 58 of those have been executed. The rest have had their sentences reduced, dismissed, commuted, or have died in prison. Of the 58, 55 were white and three black. Their ages ranged from age 17 to 67.
|Post Date: 2021-10-13 10:29:40||Last Update: 2021-10-13 10:30:25|
Offered by Willamette National Forest Service
he Willamette National Forest will be offering free personal-use firewood permits, with a limit of six cords per household, per year beginning Oct. 1, 2021. Permits will be available over the phone or will be mailed to customers directly. This process generally takes five to seven business days.
“We are pleased to be able to offer free personal use firewood across the national forests in Oregon and Washington,” said Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa. “This change will benefit people who rely on firewood as their primary heat source and will allow us to dispose of material that otherwise would have a cost to burn or remove.”
Permit availability may vary by district depending on the availability of wood and the type of permit. Contact the respective district office to confirm. Additionally, firewood charge permits may be purchased for $10 on the Willamette National Forest. Processes for the free use firewood program and costs for charge permits may differ on other national forests.
long with the Willamette National Forest, the following national forests will also transition to the free use firewood program beginning Oct. 1, 2021: Mt. Baker Snoqualmie, Mt. Hood, Olympic, Rogue-River Siskiyou, Siuslaw, and Umpqua. A second transition will occur no later than Jan. 1, 2022, for the following national forests: Deschutes, Fremont-Winema, Gifford Pinchot, Malheur, Ochoco, Okanogan-Wenatchee, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman. The Colville National Forest has offered free use firewood since 2019 and will continue with the same level of service to the public.
Free use firewood will be granted to individuals for personal use without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, age, handicap, or sex, and without restrictions regarding the wealth or residency of the recipient.
|Post Date: 2021-10-12 17:20:13||Last Update: 2021-10-13 11:27:04|
"Democrats are projected to win five of the six congressional seats”
ormer Republican Secretary of State Bev Clarno and others have filed a lawsuit
against current Democratic Secretary of State Shemia Fagan over the issue of partisan gerrymandering in drawing the lines for the Oregon Congressional Districts.
The suit describes how the gerrymandering found its way into the amendments offered to SB 881
durng the recent special session:
The Democrat members of the Oregon Legislative Assembly at first appeared to recognize these statutory and constitutional mandates, creating a co-equal House Redistricting Committee with three Republican and three Democrat members, so as to overcome the commonly understood tendency for a single party’s politicians to favor their own party when drawing redistricting maps.
Yet, under heavy pressure from national Democrats and Democrat Party aligned special interest groups, Oregon’s Democrat leadership broke their bipartisanship promise.
The Democrat members of the House and Senate Redistricting Committees never negotiated proposed congressional maps with their Republican committee-member counterparts.
Instead, House Democrat leaders created a new House Redistricting Committee with two Democrat members and only one Republican member, in order to ensure that the Democrats’ gerrymandered congressional map was voted out of committee.
In evidence is what many observers are calling an unnecessary move by House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) in breaking the deal to give Republicans equal representation on the redistricting committees. According to the suit, "On September 20, 2021, Speaker Kotek broke her promise to have equal representation in the House Redistricting Committee between Democrats and Republicans, so that Democrats could
enact the map without Republican input."
During the 2021 regular session, Kotek cut a deal with Republicans to get them to abandon the delay tactic of requiring all bills to be read in their entirety
, as required by the Oregon Constitution unless waived by a 2/3 majority -- taking hours in the case of some bills -- before being passed. In exchange for this, Kotek agreed to have a redistricting committee split equally between Democrats and Republicans. Because Democrats are in the majority in the House, they are entitled to a majority on each committee.
In a surprise move during the special session called to pass the redistricting plan, Kotek reneged on the deal
and created new redistricting committees with Democratic majorities.
The suit contends that "mere days after Speaker Kotek had reneged on her promise for equal representation in the redistricting committee, the new congressional redistricting committee voted out of committee the Democrats’ gerrymandered map on a party line vote, sending the proposal to the full House."
House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) said, “Gerrymandering is cheating. Oregon Democrats want a map that protects incumbents
and silences the voices of Oregonians. This challenge is an opportunity for the courts to fix the political gerrymandering and create maps that truly represent Oregon.”
everal quotes from prominent Democratic leaders are cited by the suit as a demonstration of the partisanship. It quotes Congressional Representative Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) as saying the agreement was like “shooting yourself in the head” and Congressional Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) describing the agreement as “an abysmally stupid move on her part.”
The most controversial part of the Congressional map passed by the Democrats is that it places large amounts of Portland Democrats in districts with rural Republicans, such as Polk County, and even has the City of Bend in the same district as Southeast Portland. The suit contends that "Democrats are projected to win five of the six of Oregon’s congressional seats in a typical year, results that are not even arguably justified by the Democrats’ overall political support in this State or the political geography of the State."
All of the Oregon Supreme Court Justices were appointed by Democratic Governors.
|Post Date: 2021-10-11 10:27:55||Last Update: 2021-10-11 22:40:57|
The city will pay the annual operations cost of about $585,000
he City of Eugene will open its first Safe Sleep site Oct. 4, at 310 Garfield St.
The location was one of the first two sites to be approved by the Eugene City Council in late July, and this “2nd and Garfield” site is the first to open to occupants after an intense couple of months of planning and site preparation.
The goal of Safe Sleep sites is to provide safe, legal places for people experiencing homelessness to sleep and connect to services as well as reduce the impacts of unsanctioned camping across the city. Sites will be managed by social service providers and provide a space for people experiencing homelessness to legally park their vehicles or sleep in tents. Since the US Ninth Circuit decided Martin v. Boise
which held that cities cannot enforce anti-camping ordinances if they do not have enough homeless shelter beds available for their homeless population, the city is in a stronger position to defend its anti-camping ordinances.
The site at 310 Garfield will accommodate up to 55 vehicles used for shelter, along with additional vehicles used by those residents for transportation. The five-acre property is owned by Lane Transit District, which will lease the site to the City at no cost for the first two years.
e’re excited to have this first site open, as it will help provide needed stability for the people who will stay here and also reduce the impacts of on-street camping in the community,” said Regan Watjus, a City policy analyst focused on homelessness. “We’re grateful to be partnering with St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, whose experience providing shelter and services for people who are unhoused will help ensure the site’s success.”
St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County will run the site, and the city will pay the annual operations cost of about $585,000. The City has also made investments to prepare the site, including grading, gravel, electrical, plumbing, fencing and structures to be used by residents and site staff. The site will have 24/7 staffing, and occupants have been contacted in advance by social service providers to prepare them for a successful stay.
People staying at the two large temporary camps at 13th Avenue and Washington Jefferson Park will be prioritized to move into established Safe Sleep sites that accommodate tents or small structures. People living in vehicles in west Eugene will have the first opportunity to move into the safe parking sites.
Through the City’s partnership with Lane County, other actions are also underway, including coordinated outreach efforts, adding permanent supportive housing units, and expanding rapid rehousing programs. These efforts, when implemented together, are intended to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.
|Post Date: 2021-10-11 09:47:12||Last Update: 2021-10-11 10:27:55|
It would take seven Grand Coulee dams to replace natural gas
t was Representative Pam Marsh's (D-Ashland) star performance to pass HB 2021
, the decarbonize cap-and-trade bill in the 2021 session. Using virtual meetings to cut off undesired testimony supporting other plans, she passed the bill that sets a target date of 2040 to be 100 percent carbon-free electricity below baseline emissions sold in the state. What is hidden in the bill is the ban on expanding or constructing power plants that burn natural gas or fossil fuels, which makes up 21.1 percent of electric energy consumption in Oregon.
The work group behind the bill advocated for collaboration and partnering for Oregon’s plan to be successful. Natural gas users might ask where the partnering is with their provider. With 2.5 million customers, NW Natural Gas
has a large impact.
NW Natural Gas held a webinar for their customers in which they outlined their work to transform organic waste, trash, flushing and food waste into renewable gas. Director of Environmental Policy and Corporate Responsibility at NW Natural Mary Moerlins said they are testing the end use appliances for various gas sources. If forced to use the same infrastructure, they can drive down emissions to zero by 2050. It would seem HB 2021
handicaps their progress.
Oregon led the way by passing SB 98
in 2019 adopting a renewable gas (RNG) program allowing purchase of RNG. The gross for RNG production using thermal gasification technology is about 17.5 percent of Oregon's total yearly use of natural gas reported in 2018
. Director of Renewable Resources at NW Natural Anna Chittum reported a growth from 40 to 325 plants nationwide with new technology developments, looking to Denmark and France as examples. Now it seems HB 2021
will stifle that progress.
NW Natural Gas says studies show there is enough RNG to displace all the fossil fuel in the residential sector. RNG could currently replace
as much as 20 percent of the imported natural gas. Portland is already contracting with NW Natural to collect biogas emissions from their wastewater treatment plant and convert it to renewable natural gas. Eugene Water Board also started a Smart Energy program for delivery of RNG.
he real problem with cutting back on natural gas development is that gas systems have long-duration storage -- two-and -half times the hydroelectric facilities with about 1,500 times the energy delivered from current large-scale utility batteries. That equals about a two-trillion-dollar battery. Nonhydroelectric renewables is an immediate-use process. Converting wind, solar or hydro to renewable hydrogen to use in natural gas pipelines is being experimented up to 20 percent without causing damage to the current infrastructure.
Oregon is following the path of the Biden Administration. The United States was energy independent until the resources were shut down and now the U.S. is forced to import. Oregon is closing off all coal use, proposes to remove dams producing hydro power, and prevents fossil fuel development, despite new technologies.
Chittum said it would take seven Grand Coulee dams to replace natural gas, plus more infrastructure. It emphasizes the need for all systems of energy, and collaboration for supporting each other. It takes time to see results, something the legislature has not allowed. Oregon Department of Energy latest Biennial Energy Report
dated November 1, 2020, evaluated information through 2018. When the legislature implements new programs based on outdated information, it’s cause for concern. Even with 2018 data, it’s evident that no one source can retain stable energy output during heat waves or deep freeze peaks that takes every source at capacity output. The Mist facility was converted into a natural gas storage that is usually refilled from April through September and drawn down between October and March. Natural gas storage enables NW Natural to provide reliable gas service to customers during periods of high gas usage unlike some other forms of energy.
The input from natural gas customers is important for decision makers to consider when they are presented with proposals that could force communities to exclusively depend on the electric grid for all energy needs. The DEQ is conducting rulemaking to establish a new Climate Protection Program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address the effects of climate change, and alleviate burdens for environmental justice impacted communities. Rulemaking public comment
period for the draft rules is open until October 25, 2021 at 4:00pm.
|Post Date: 2021-10-10 16:21:56||Last Update: 2021-10-11 09:47:12|
"Crowd control is always evolving”
In a response to the Citizens' Review Committee
which produced a report and recommendations
on police behavior
on the riots of a year-and-a-half ago, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell acknowledged and defended his officers.
I want to acknowledge the impact to our Bureau members. They are human beings who were subjected to almost nighty events where dangerous objects were thrown at them. Every precinct was lit on fire or was damaged. Bureau personnel were injured and many were threatened as they arrived and departed from their shifts.
This is contrasted with descriptions in the report
which has descriptions such as, "Some community members described being targeted, suffering injury by this equipment, and being subject to the unjustified use of force as traumatizing."
Chief Lovell's letter describes the severity of the riots:
Following the murder of George Floyd, our city saw more than 170 days of crowd control events. Many events included thousands of people and were peaceful, requiring no police presence. However, unfortunately many others included civil unrest in varying degrees. The events of 2020 are complex and the Bureau was challenged by a number of factors, including the frequency of events, the complexity of tactics used by participants and decreased staffing, which contributed to fatigue and increased call response times. Many roles in the Incident Management Team were filled by the same personnel, due to a shortage of trained personnel. I am proud of the sacrifices made by many of our Bureau members to ensure the very worst didn't occur. Many of these nights could have resulted in a mass casualty event.
The closest Lovell came to promising reform or adoption of any recommendations was near the end of the letter, saying, "Crowd control is always evolving, as new and safer techniques and tools are developed. in addition, there are changes and updates on legal issues. Recently, we asked the City Attorney to seek a higher opinion regarding the ramifications behind HB 2928
in regard to crowd control."
|Post Date: 2021-10-10 16:00:20||Last Update: 2021-10-10 16:21:56|
She’s expected to win the special election to this seat
he Beaverton City Council approved a resolution at the Oct. 5 City Council meeting appointing Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg as an Interim City Councilor. The resolution was approved unanimously and accompanied by a swearing-in ceremony. Hartmeier-Prigg is a registered Democrat.
While the votes from the Sep. 21 Beaverton Special Election have yet to be verified by Washington County, the unofficial results show Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg in the lead to fill Beaverton City Council Position 1. Upon certification of the election results, Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg will assume a permanent role on the Council.
"I am humbled and honored to be elected to the Beaverton City Council," said Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg. "I am grateful for the dedicated public servants who keep showing up for our city, and who have done so throughout this pandemic. Together we will come back stronger from COVID-19, reduce our impact on climate change, tackle the affordable housing crisis, and push our city to be a more equitable place for every person."
eaverton's City Charter allows the City Council to fill a vacant council position by majority vote. This allows the appointee to serve as an Interim City Councilor until a successor to the vacant position is officially elected.
City Council Position 1 was vacated earlier this year when Mayor Lacey Beaty began her new term as Mayor. The remainder of the existing Beaverton City Council Position 1 term is through Dec. 31, 2022.
The Beaverton City Council was expanded to seven members under the city's new voter-approved Charter
that went into effect Jan. 1, 2021. As the city's governing body, the City Council gives policy direction and helps guide the city's long-term goals.
|Post Date: 2021-10-10 12:49:09||Last Update: 2021-10-10 12:59:27|
This is only a drill
he annual evacuation exercise for the Portland Aerial Tram is set for Sunday morning, Oct. 10. The exercise will begin at 9 a.m. and should be concluded by noon.
Members of the Portland Fire and Rescue Technical Rescue Team will lead the exercise. They will be assisted by representatives from both the City of Portland, whose Bureau of Transportation owns the tram, and Oregon Health & Science University, which operates the tram in conjunction with Doppelmayr USA.
Using ropes and harnesses, the team will lower four Doppelmayr employees playing the role of passengers 100 feet to the top floor of the OHSU Casey Eye Institute's parking garage.
The training allows crews to practice an aerial rescue in the event the tram is stopped for an extended period of time with passengers on board. If members of the public contact you with questions about the training, please inform them that this is a scheduled training exercise and not a real emergency.
ram ridership has been limited since March 2020, under safety precautions for the COVID-19 pandemic. For more detail about the current operations, which were adjusted in September, see the PBOT travel advisory.
The exercise has been conducted annually since the Portland Aerial Tram opened on Jan. 27, 2007 and is designed to provide personnel with experience in executing a last resort safety measure. There has never been a real emergency.
Before the pandemic-related limits, more than 9,000 daily commuters and tourists rode the Portland Aerial Tram, one of only two aerial gondolas used for urban public transit in the United States.
|Post Date: 2021-10-10 06:03:52||Last Update: 2021-10-10 00:19:19|
“The State has no compelling interest in coercing Plaintiffs into taking a COVID-19 vaccine”
has been filed in US District Court against Oregon Governor Kate Brown by the Freedom Foundation
on behalf of several state and school employees who have contracted the COVID-19 virus, have recovered and now presumably have natural immunity.
The suit alleges that Governor Brown's Executive Order
requiring vaccinations of all state employees and the subsequent administrative rule
that makes a similar requirement for "all individuals who work in schools" does not provide an exemption for those COVID survivors who presumably have natural immunity.
According to the lawsuit,
The State has no compelling interest in coercing Plaintiffs into taking a COVID-19 vaccine, because Oregon has no compelling interest in treating employees with natural immunity any differently from employees who obtained immunity from a vaccine, nor is mandatory vaccination an appropriate least-restrictive means for the State to achieve any compelling interest.
At issue is the lack of an exemption for COVID survivors and the chronic refusal
of the OHA to develop any type of policy that recognizes the immunity developed by contracting the disease. The lawsuit makes this point clear:
No exception to these mandates exists for persons who have already achieved immunity to COVID-19 by recovering from the virus. In fact, information provided by OHA indicates “Proof of history of COVID-19 disease as a substitute for vaccination is not allowed under the rule.”
he plaintiffs have moved to have a temporary restraining order against Governor Brown
. The hearing on this motion is scheduled for Monday, October 18. The motion asks for a "Temporary Restraining Order prohibiting Defendants Oregon Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority, with its Director Patrick Allen and all agents or employees, from enforcing Executive Order No. 21-29
and OAR 333-019-1010
, and OAR 333-019-1030
by charging any fee or imposing any penalty for failure to obtain verification or proof of a COVID-19 vaccination."
State courts have been reluctant
to take a stand against executive action restricting freedom with regard to COVID-19 policy. This suit has been filed in federal court which may have a different perspective.
|Post Date: 2021-10-09 22:06:17||Last Update: 2021-10-10 12:25:16|
“Mandates have already ruined educations for students”
ith just over a week left until the Governor’s deadline for police officers, nurses, and teachers to choose between their livelihoods or the vaccine, the consequences are coming into focus.
In the last few weeks, hospital systems around the state have laid off hundreds of health care workers, causing a lapse in critical services. Oregon State Police and other public safety agencies are facing massive staffing losses. Several rural counties, which have delicate workforces, have declared emergencies because of the impact the Governor’s overreaches are having.
Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) and Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) are calling on the Governor to roll back her misguided mandates.
“The Governor’s reckless mandates and government overreach are causing a crisis of critical public services,” Girod said. “Her mandates have already ruined the educations for thousands of Oregon students by shutting down schools. Now, she is steering us toward severe staffing shortages in education, health care, and public safety. Every Oregonian has been given the opportunity to get vaccinated and they know how to protect themselves and each other. These mandates have gone on for too long and have gone too far.”
The Oregon Nurses Association recently emphasized the dramatic impact the Governor’s mandates will have on the health care system. The ONA board president said, “Losing even a single nurse from the bedside will result in greater strain on our health care system.”
et, the Governor’s overreach is putting Oregon’s health care system on the verge of losing hundreds of nurses. The Aurora Fire Department, and many other public safety departments, could lose up to 50% of their staff in the coming weeks.
“After a year of being called heroes, our frontline workers’ livelihoods are being threatened,” Knopp said. “Our kids are desperate for a real education. Our neighborhoods are being overrun by crime. Our health care workers are overwhelmed. We cannot afford to make these problems worse by what are clearly avoidable self-inflicted wounds. The coming catastrophe is completely on the Governor and the Democratic-controlled legislature who has abdicated all COVID responsibility to her. She must drop these mandates now and allow Oregonians to make free and informed decisions about their safety.”
|Post Date: 2021-10-09 10:24:00||Last Update: 2021-10-09 10:50:38|
Does not recognize the impact on housing providers or the market
In a letter addressed to Governor Brown
State Senator Kayse Jama (D-Portland) and State Representative Julie Fahey (D-Eugene) are asking for an extension to the eviction moratorium.
The original Oregon eviction moratorium was in the form of Executive Order 20-13
“...a temporary moratorium on terminations of residential and non- residential rental agreements and evictions on the basis of nonpayment is necessary during this emergency, to protect the public health, safety and welfare of all Oregonians. The moratorium set forth in this Executive Order is temporary, with a limited scone and duration.”
It was codified into law during the third 2020 special session of the legislature in HB 4401
The request for the extension of the Eviction Moratorium presents a heartfelt plea to protect various aspects of families.
When a family is evicted, it negatively impacts their physical health, their mental health, their children’s education, their ability to keep a job, and their long-term well-being. Even a short period of becoming unhoused or housing instability can do long-term, generational harm to families and communities. This harm will be concentrated among the Black, Indigenous, communities of color and low-income Oregonians who have been most vulnerable over the course of the entire pandemic. In addition, evictions have been shown to contribute to the spread of COVID-19 -- a serious consideration in the context of a Delta surge that has hit many parts of our state hard.
Surprisingly, the letter makes no mention of the impact on housing providers. In fact, the document goes as far as recognizing those who work for the government providing benefits, but does not recognize the impact of an eviction moratorium on Oregon's many housing providers, many of whom are "mom and pop" operations. Further, there is no recognition of the damage done to the housing market through the sustained intervention of an eviction moratorium.
We understand that the past 18 months have been extremely taxing to the people and organizations that make up our social safety net, and that Oregon has been relatively successful at getting money out the door in comparison to other states across the country. But those considerations do not help those families who are currently at risk of eviction. The executive branch must take additional action to protect Oregonians.
For industry experts, the market impacts of effectively directing a single sector of the economy to shoulder nearly the entire burden of a multi-billion dollar, 18-month-long -- and continuing -- welfare program. According to Multifamily NW
, an organization which describes itself as committed to promoting a high degree of professionalism for rental housing providers, owners and partners, “The collective burden will be put on housing providers and will land a devastating blow to Oregon’s naturally affordable housing supply.”
Insiders have speculated that the unfair burden on housing providers may be the subject of litigation, as providers attempt to recover some of their lost revenue. According to some, relief money has had a hard time trickling down to housing providers.
|Post Date: 2021-10-08 06:42:28||Last Update: 2021-10-07 18:46:37|
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