Statement on Protecting Oregon’s Democratic Process

Today, Oregon Environmental Council sent a strong statement to Oregon’s legislative leadership that our democratic process cannot be undermined by violence and anti-democratic movements. Read the words from our Executive Director, Diana Nuñez, calling for accountability and ensured safety to protect the rights of Oregonians as the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session begins: 

As a statewide nonpartisan environmental policy organization, Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) works collaboratively to ensure a future in which every Oregonian has access to healthy air and water, a stable climate, and toxic-free environments that we need to thrive. To achieve this vision, we strive for equitable environmental policies through participation in our state democratic legislative process.

The security breaches that occurred on December 21, 2020, at the Oregon State Capitol, as well as the violent riots at our nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021, are cause of organizational and personal concern by OEC staff and board members. We are living through an era of extreme divisiveness and increasing violence, which if left unchecked, will lead to political violence as the norm. Safeguarding our democracy will take a concerted effort by both national and Oregon elected leaders to reject anti-democratic movements, including both actions and rhetoric that inspire violence. It is critical that there is accountability for those who are actively participating in these types of actions. We support leadership on both sides of the aisle ensuring that the business of the people can be done without fear, intimidation, or harassment.

That’s why we respectfully and urgently request that legislators take whatever steps necessary, including holding other legislators accountable, to ensure that Oregonians can safely and peacefully engage and contribute to the necessary and important work in the state Capitol. Anyone who enters the Capitol building has a shared responsibility toward safety, but we are also relying on Oregon elected officials to protect the right of constituents to express their views without fear of harm.

Diana Nuñez
Executive Director
Oregon Environmental Council

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