Your Vote Matters – Our Issue Endorsements
This election is about more than just the presidential race. Down ballot races and ballot measures are critical to continuing Oregon’s environmental leadership, and these issues need your support in 2020.
As a respected nonpartisan policy leader, Oregon Environmental Council carefully considers ballot measures each election cycle to provide you with important information on issues that impact our health and environment, help or hinder our ability to make progress on our priorities, and strengthen the ability of government to get work done. After evaluating each issue based on our mission, partnerships, and the rigor of the public policy proposal, the OEC Board of Directors makes the final vote on each endorsement.
There is a vital nexus between individual action and the systemic policy change needed to effectively prevent the worst impacts of climate change. With the future of our planet at stake, the single most important action that any person can take to protect our climate, our planet and our future is to VOTE.
Here is an update on the measures we supported:
STATEWIDE BALLOT MEASURES
YES on Measure 107: Fair and Honest Elections
This measure, which was referred to voters by a bipartisan vote of legislators, is a critical next step for creating a healthier and more transparent democracy in Oregon. It is needed to reduce the outsized role that corporate money plays in our political system. Oregon ranks #1 in the nation in corporate political donations to the average lawmaker.
Oregon is one of only five states with no limits on political campaign donations and spending. This amendment to the state constitution – and especially if there’s an overwhelming support from voters – will help enable the state legislature to pass meaningful campaign finance reform.
We need a strong democratic system in Oregon to effectively pass environmental policy.
As we have experienced, there are frequently dark-money groups and campaigns that work against our climate and environmental goals. See The Oregonian’s Polluted by Money series for numerous examples of how deep-pocketed special interests have undermined environmental and health efforts in Oregon: https://projects.oregonlive.com/polluted-by-money/
SUPPORTED BY: League of Women Voters, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, PCUN, Unite Oregon, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Economic Justice Action Group, Oregon Education Association, Oregon AFL-CIO, Climate Solutions, Basic Rights Oregon, and others.
YES on Measure 108: Yes for a Healthy Future (Smoking Prevention)
People’s ability to live sustainable lives depends, in part, on their health. Cigarettes remain a major public health threat, create litter for land and water, and historically tobacco companies have misled the public and undercut sound science. Cigarettes and vaping products contain many toxic substances and this aligns with our focus on reducing toxic exposure.
This measure was referred to the ballot from the 2019 legislative session (HB 2270) and increases the tax rate on cigarettes, including cigars and e-cigarettes/vape pens. All revenue goes to the Oregon Health Authority, with 90 percent going to maintaining and expanding the Oregon Health Plan, and 10 percent (approximately $35 million) going specifically to “tribal health providers, Urban Indian Health programs, regional health equity coalitions, and culturally-specific and community-specific health programs. These dollars also support state and local public health programs that address prevention and cessation of tobacco and nicotine use by youth and adults, tobacco-related health disparities and the prevention and management of chronic disease related to tobacco and nicotine.”
SUPPORTED BY: American Lung Association, American Heart Association, Oregon Nurses Association, Planned Parenthood, NAACP, APANO, NAYA Family Center, SEIU Local 503, Oregon AFL-CIO, Oregon Medical Association, Oregon Latino Health Coalition, and others.
PORTLAND METRO AREA
YES on Measure 216-18: Let’s Get Moving, Metro Transportation Measure
Everyone in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties deserves a safe and efficient transportation system. This measure makes long overdue investments in safety, bike, transit, and walking options, and aging roads and bridges while creating thousands of family-wage jobs to help rebuild our local economy.
We are excited about the many critical improvements for safety and access this measure will fund, including more than 40 miles of new sidewalks, 130 miles of improved bikeways, and more than 25 miles of new bus lanes along with 11 miles of new MAX tracks. We’ll see more pedestrian crossings, street lights, and transit priority signals. The measure will also fund a more rapid electrification of the TriMet bus fleet, helping to cut climate pollution sooner.
These investments will save lives and prevent harm along the most dangerous traffic corridors and make it easier for people around the region to get where they need to go.
SUPPORTED BY: Coalition of Communities of Color, 1000 Friends of Oregon, The Rosewood Initiative, Safe Routes Partnership, APANO, The Street Trust, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Northwest Oregon Labor Council, Oregon Food Bank, AARP Oregon, American Heart Association, and others.
CITY OF BEND
YES on Measure 9-135: Go Bend Transportation Measure
The proposed Transportation Bond will fund projects in Bend that provide better connections across the city, and make it safer for people to get around. This is an historic investment in Bend’s transportation system, with more dollars going to create safer streets, make the city more livable, and support residents across many walks of life. The measure will fund sidewalk improvements, add much needed bike lanes, and improve east-west connectivity.
SUPPORTED BY: The Environmental Center, Council on Aging of Central Oregon, St. Charles Health System, Central Oregon Association of Realtors, Bend Chamber of Commerce, The Vocal Seniority, Zero Energy Project, Central Oregon Conservation Network, and others.