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Vote to Protect Our Communities and Our Environment
by Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director
Portland Audubon’s Board of Directors has taken positions on four November ballot measures, positions that reflect Portland Audubon’s commitment to building complete, healthy, sustainable communities. Though protecting our water, air, land, and wildlife is at the core of our mission, we also recognize that we are at our strongest when our work is inclusive and equitable. As pioneers in urban conservation, we have long promoted integrating healthy ecosystems and access to nature with community needs such as affordable housing, sustainable transportation alternatives, family wage jobs, and other basic necessities. This election offers significant opportunities to stand up for our environment and healthy, inclusive, empowered communities and to unite against those who seek to intimidate and disempower the most vulnerable in our communities.
The following are Audubon Society of Portland’s specific recommendations:
VOTE YES on Measure 26-201 Portland Clean Energy Fund Initiative (Portland only)
This historic measure will put Portland on the cutting edge of fighting climate change, creating green jobs, and promoting environmental justice. It will provide approximately $30 million in new annual revenue for clean energy and clean-energy jobs in Portland. Nonprofit organizations, alone or in partnership with for-profit companies, schools, and/or other government agencies, can apply for grants from this revenue to weatherize homes, install solar and other renewable energy projects, provide green job and contractor training, expand local food production, and create green infrastructure in Portland. The revenue is raised by a new 1% business licensing surcharge on the Portland revenue generated by retail corporations with over $1 billion in annual revenue and at least $500,000 in Portland revenue.
The measure prioritizes communities hardest hit by environmental degradation including communities of color and low-income communities. Portland Audubon is proud to serve on the steering committee for this measure along with groups such as NAACP, Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), Coalition of Communities of Color, Verde, OPAL/ Environmental Justice, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Sierra Club, 350PDX, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Columbia Riverkeeper. ze homes, install solar and other renewable energy projects, provide green job and contractor training, expand local food production, and create green infrastructure in Portland. The revenue is raised by a new 1% business licensing surcharge on the Portland revenue generated by retail corporations with over $1 billion in annual revenue and at least $500,000 in Portland revenue.
There is no greater challenge facing the planet than climate change. Measure 26-201 provides a path forward for fighting climate change in our community and addressing social and economic inequity.
VOTE NO on Measure 105 to Keep Oregon a Sanctuary State (Statewide)
If passed, Measure 105 would eliminate Oregon’s 31-year-old anti-profiling law. It would erode community trust, divert police officers and funding away from community safety, and put civil rights at risk. Measure 105 targets our most vulnerable community members and sows fear and division. The communities this measure targets, immigrant communities and communities of color, are also those hardest hit by environmental problems. Environmental justice demands that we create a community where everyone feels comfortable engaging in the public processes to address these problems, not a culture of fear that inhibits participation. People with intimate connections to our air, land, and water have the greatest incentive to protect it, the insights to understand it, and the on-the-ground opportunity to report environmental accidents and violations. If law-abiding community members avoid public participation for fear of being detained by police, we compromise one of our most effective sources of front-line protection and long-term solutions. Protecting the environment requires building a broad, diverse, and engaged community—this measure takes us in exactly the wrong direction.
VOTE YES on Measure 26-199 Metro Affordable Housing Initiative (Metro Region only)
Our region faces an affordable-housing crisis. A safe, affordable place to live is an essential element of any complete, healthy, sustainable community. Portland Audubon’s urban conservation vision is one in which people of all socioeconomic levels can live in healthy sustainable communities. Additionally, an epidemic of houselessness is putting increased pressure on our parks and natural areas. This measure would create a regional bond to fund affordable housing for low-income families, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. The bond will make it possible to build new affordable homes, and renovate and preserve currently affordable homes for those in need of safe, stable housing. This bond is estimated to fund homes for as many as 12,000 people.
VOTE YES on 26-200 Portland Honest Elections (Portland only)
At a time when big money and big corporations increasingly dominate our political landscape, transparency and accountability are critical. The Honest Elections Ballot Measure amends the Portland City Charter and limits Portland candidates to receiving contributions of $500 or less from any individual or political committee, and zero from corporations and other entities, and requires that political ads must identify the five largest contributors (over $1,000 each) to the candidate’s campaign or to any independent expenditure campaign to support or oppose a candidate. The environment wins when big corporate election money is controlled and exposed.