Advocacy

VOTING FOR RACIAL JUSTICE: CCC’S GUIDE TO NOVEMBER 2018 BALLOT MEASURES

VOTING FOR RACIAL JUSTICE: CCC’S GUIDE TO NOVEMBER 2018 BALLOT MEASURES

The Coalition of Communities of Color advocates for and against ballot measures to help fulfill our mission to address the disparities, racism, and inequity of services experienced by communities of color, and to seek social change so we can obtain self-determination, justice and prosperity. To further that mission, we take positions and advocate for ballot measures that will move us toward this vision, and oppose those which will harm our communities.

This November’s ballot measures give Oregonians many choices on whether we will fulfill this vision--or move backwards. Environmental justice and affordable housing measures represent a step toward building a more equitable future, while flawed constitutional amendments will make it more difficult to address the disparities we experience. Most dangerously, measures designed to attack immigrants and limit reproductive justice will seriously harm our communities. In November, Oregonians will be able to make a choice to stop these threats and actually build a better future for communities of color.

To learn more about the 2018 CCC Voter Guide, please click on the link below!

OPB Article :: Coalition Report Reveals Inequality In Washington County

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Coalition Report Reveals Inequality In Washington County

by Erica Morrison Follow OPB June 18, 2018 5:24 p.m. | Beaverton, Oregon

The Coalition of Communities of Color released their comprehensive report on racial inequities in Washington County on Monday.

“Leading With Race: Research Justice in Washington County” comes after two years of research, and explores the lived experiences of eight communities in Oregon’s most diverse county.

The report focuses on Native American, African-American, African, Asian and Asian-American, Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders and Slavic communities in Washington County.

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CCC presented the report to officials and community members at Beaverton Library. Attendees received a 31-page booklet of the study’s executive summary. The summary details the population sizes of the identified communities and addresses key issues that affect them.

The mayors of Hillsboro, Tigard and Beaverton community leaders spoke at the meeting. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon, also delivered remarks.

Bonanmici said Washington County is the “economic engine” of the state and the struggle for equity has been long and is far from over.

The findings of the report prove that to be true.

Researcher Shweta Moorthy found Latino applicants are 125 percent more likely to have their home loan application denied compared to high income whites.

When asked what surprised her the most about her research, Moorthy replied, “How willing people were to get uncomfortable.”

The study confirms many things members of communities of color already know; there are greater disparities when it comes to homeownership, education and interactions with law enforcement.

The report includes an eight-step call to action to improve racial equity in the county.

Moorthy said she hopes the report gets people to realize the expertise of people of color and the need to respect that expertise.

Advocacy Update :: Just over a week to go! CCC legislative session update

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The short legislative session is in the home stretch, and we are continuing to push forward on our 2018 legislative agenda!


Education

Culturally specific early learning programs, including many offered by CCC’s members, have strong records of successful outcomes for children and families of color. Yet these programs are not currently eligible for state funding to invest in these effective programs. The Early Childhood Equity Fund (HB 4066), would establish a fund to invest in culturally specific early learning program.

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Latino Network has led a coalition of early childhood advocates to advance this bill. A number of CCC members have also been hard at work on this bill. Lee Po Cha from IRCO, Sadie Feibel from Latino Network, and Ashley Oakley from NAYA all testified at the hearing before the House Early Childhood and Families Supports Committee, along with CCC. At the hearing, committee members were visibly moved by their stories of the impact of culturally specific early learning programs on children and families. The bill passed out of committee unanimously and has seen widespread support and is now before the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education.

Despite the urgent need for this resource, legislators missed an opportunity to provide children and families of color with these critical programs by failing to pass HB 4066. We will be back next session to ensure that we are meeting the early learning needs for all of Oregon's young children.


Strengthening Families

Families are at the heart of our communities, and ensuring that children are not unnecessarily removed from their homes, and that families have a path to restoration is critical to keeping our families strong. Currently, children of color are removed from their homes by child welfare services at far higher rates.  Representative Tawna Sanchez has taken action by introducing a bill that would prevent unlawful removals and give families a path to reunite with rehabilitated parents.

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In its initial form, HB 4009 would have required judicial authorization before a child would be removed, meaning that kids would remain in their homes so long as they were safe. The original bill’s provision to create a path for restoring families remains in the bill and has moved forward. Dani Ledezma, CCC’s Interim Executive Director, testified on the need for this bill. It was amended in the House Judiciary Committee so that it only includes an opportunity for families to be restored when parents who no longer have parental rights are prepared to successfully parent their children. While we are very disappointed that the removal provision was eliminated from the bill, CCC is dedicated to continuing this conversation to ensure families have the support and resources to thrive. The amended version of HB 4009 passed. We applaud Representative Tawna Sanchez’s leadership in sponsoring this critical bill.


Environmental Justice

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Maggie Tallmadge, CCC’s Environmental Justice Manager, testified about the need for environmental justice to be centered in Clean Energy Jobs legislation. We continue to advocate for action on climate through policies that meaningfully benefit most impacted communities. The final form of the bill remains under discussion. Representative Diego Hernandez has been a key champion for environmental justice and his leadership has been critical to incorporating climate justice into the policy. 

Clean Energy Jobs did not pass this session, although the Legislature took some important steps toward developing a program for legislation during the 2019 session. CCC and its members will continue to push for environmental justice to be even more central to climate policy.


The impact of legalized housing discrimination continues today, as families of color face barriers to home ownership and are the hardest hit by rising rental housing costs and displacement.
— Jenny Lee, Advocacy Director, Quoted in the Mail Tribune

Housing and Health

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Other CCC priority items include HB 4134, which would streamline the process for removing racially restrictive covenants. This bill has passed out of both the House and the Senate and will go to the Governor’s desk. A bill to increase the document recording fee to fund affordable housing, emergency rent assistance, and homeownership (HB 4007) passed. A bill establishing a task force to address racial disparities in homeownership (HB 4010, with Representative Mark Meek as a co-chief sponsor) passed unanimously out of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. Maxine Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of PCRI, testified about the urgency of addressing the homeownership gap and PCRI’s work on Pathway 1000. CCC also testified about the need for a maternal mortality and morbidity review committee (HB 4133). Representative Janelle Bynum, a co-chief sponsor of the bill, gave powerful testimony about the dramatic racial disparities in maternal mortality rates, and CCC testified emphasizing that implicit bias in health care and the impact of chronic stress. HB 4133 passed.

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We are heartened to see the leadership of legislators of color addressing the most pressing issues in our communities. The current Legislature is the most diverse ever, and this representation is resulting in bills that address some of the most pressing issues faced by communities of color. We look forward to a more equitable Oregon thanks to their leadership, and the dedicated advocates working for racial equity in our state legislature as we move toward the end of the 2018 legislative session. All of our priorities for housing and health passed this session!


Coalition of Communities of Color Legislative Action Day Recap

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The collective power of communities of color was out in full force on February 8 for the Coalition of Communities of Color's 2018 Legislative Action Day! For our 6th annual lobby day, more than 60 attendees met with 40 legislators to talk about CCC's 2018 legislative agenda and solutions for the most pressing issues impacting our communities. The session may be short, but our attendees covered a lot of ground, sharing their stories and advocating for issues from the creation of an Early Childhood Equity Fund to affordable housing to climate justice. We were honored to have Representative Teresa Alonso Leon, Representative Diego Hernandez, and the Governor's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion join us in the morning to share their vision for racial equity in government and inspire future political leaders.

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If you haven't seen photos of CCC advocates in action yet, check them out here. And many of our CCC members also held legislative action days this session—check out photos from the Urban League, NAYA Family Center, and APANO. IRCO will be holding their legislative action day this Friday.

Thank you to everyone who joined us, and if you missed CCC's Legislative Action Day this year, we hope that you'll be able to attend next year. The legislative session ends on March 9, so stay tuned for our recap of the session in our March Equity Lens newsletter.

 

SAVE THE DATE: 2018 CCC Legislative Action Day

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Coalition of Communities of Color Legislative Action Day, February 8

Join advocates for racial justice from around the state at the Coalition of Communities of Color Legislative Action Day on Thursday, February 8, in Salem, Oregon. Advocates will be coming together to meet with legislators to talk about a racial equity agenda for the 2018 legislative session.

During the Legislative Action Day, you will:

  • Hear from legislators leading on advocacy for communities of color
  • Meet with legislators to share your story and talk about issues that are important to you
  • Learn more about bills with an impact on communities of color

If you're new to legislative advocacy, this is a great way to get experience meeting with legislators. We will provide you with all the training and information you need. For experienced advocates, this is an opportunity to come together and show that policymakers must prioritize racial equity during this legislative session. The event is free and lunch will be provided.

Register here. Please contact Jenny Lee, CCC Advocacy Director, at jenny@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org with questions.

CCC Press Release :: 2017 Racial Equity Legislative Report details progress and work to be done at Oregon Legislature

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Media contact:
Jenny Lee, Advocacy Director
Coalition of Communities of Color
(503) 317-1058
jenny@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org

2017 Racial Equity Legislative Report details progress and work to be done at Oregon Legislature

Salem (January 12, 2018) – Days before celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and just a few weeks before the beginning of Oregon’s 2018 legislative session, the 2017 Racial Equity Legislative Report has been released to examine the Legislature’s commitment to policies that improve the lives of Oregonians of color.

This is the fourth edition of the Racial Equity Legislative Report, which has been produced by a working group consisting of the Coalition of Communities of Color, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Basic Rights Oregon, Causa, Partnership for Safety and Justice, Unite Oregon, and the Urban League of Portland.

Legislation was selected for inclusion in this report if it was explicit about addressing racial equity; reduced or removed systemic or institutional barriers that lead to inequitable outcomes; and protected against racial discrimination and violence. Communities of color, immigrants, and refugees identified and proactively worked on legislation they marked as priorities.

In 2017, the Legislature passed four pieces of groundbreaking racial justice legislation that was supported by advocates for communities of color:

Criminal Justice

End Profiling: Oregon banned profiling by law enforcement and implemented systemic accountability measures. This bill also made small-scale possession of drugs a misdemeanor with access to treatment, instead of a felony.

Education

Ethnic Studies: This bill directs the Oregon Department of Education to convene an advisory group to develop statewide ethnic studies standards for adoption into existing statewide social studies standards.

Cultural Competency: This bill requires public institutions of higher education to provide ongoing cultural competency development opportunities and create standards for cultural competency.

Health

Reproductive Health Equity: This bill ensures that all Oregonians, regardless of income, citizenship status, or gender identity, can access the full range of preventative reproductive health services.

Missed opportunity

Tenant protections: The Legislature missed a major opportunity to protect Oregonians who rent their homes by failing to end no-cause evictions and allowing local governments to regulate rents.

The report also notes the increased representation of communities of color as Oregon’s legislative body diversifies. The number of legislators of color has more than doubled since the 2015 biennium. While this falls far short of representing Oregon’s increasingly diverse population, it represents meaningful progress toward a government that represents its people. In addition, the report presents stories of people of color engaged as advocates or legislators and their experiences at the Capitol.

The 2017 Racial Equity Legislative Report is a call to action for policymakers to work with communities of color to create a more equitable Oregon and end systemic racism by championing solutions rooted in communities where they will be implemented. In 2017, Oregon saw meaningful progress toward this goal, with much work still to be done.

The report can be downloaded at: http://www.coalitioncommunitiescolor.org/2017-facingrace.

For media inquiries, please contact Jenny Lee, Advocacy Director at the Coalition of Communities of Color, at (503) 317-1058 or jenny@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org.

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DACA Community Forums

Latino Network is hosting Community Forums to provide resources and information to individuals and families affected by the Trump administration’s decision to repeal DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Legal experts will be available to answer general questions.

ES. Latino Network esta preparando una serie de foros comunitarios para proveer recursos e informacion para individu@s y sus familiares afectados por la decision de la administracion de Trump para revocar al programa de DACA. Expertos legales estaran disponibles para contestar preguntas generales 

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DACA

 

Community Forum

Latino Network is hosting Community Forums

June 2017 Equity Lens :: Advocacy Update

The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) endorsed a bold agenda to advance racial equity in the 2017 Legislative Session. Each bill prioritized by our members aims to address socioeconomic disparities, institutional racism and inequity in services affecting our communities. The Oregon Legislature has come a long way toward addressing racial disparities and creating more opportunities for all. In 2016, we also saw a record number of leaders of color elected by Oregonians to represent our communities in Salem. These are signs of progress. But, we still have a long way to go to overcome Oregon’s difficult history with racial inequality and exclusion.

On March 1st, over 150 advocates from communities of color met at the state capitol in Salem for CCC’s Legislative Advocacy Day. The day was an opportunity for community members to meet with their legislators to advocate for more affordable housing and tenant protections, greater investments in education, health care, protecting civil rights, and expanding economic and environmental justice.  Many visited the legislature for the first time. Throughout the session, CCC members have also had the opportunity to testify in front of legislative committees on issues benefit our communities, like a bill to develop ethnic studies standards or creating a fund to invest in culturally-specific early learning. To advance racial justice for the long term, it’s imperative that we continue to work toward elevating the voices of communities of color in policy-making.

This year, the CCC is also leading the 2017 Legislative Report on Racial Equity. The 2017 report released this fall will be the fourth edition of the facing race series. It is a project of nine nonpartisan, community-based organizations dedicated to advancing racial equity through legislative advocacy. Our hope is that this report will encourage legislators to continue to engage with communities of color early and often.  To be included in the report, a bill must be identified as a priority by communities of color and be explicit about addressing race, reduce or remove institutional barriers that lead to poor outcomes in communities of color, or protect against racial discrimination and violence. The following legislation was nominated for this year’s report.

  • HB 2004: Prohibits landlord from terminating a tenancy without cause. 
  • HB 2845: Requires the Oregon Department of Education to develop statewide ethnic studies standards.
  • HB 2864: Requires higher ed. institutions to provide ongoing culturally competency opportunities, create standards, and provide bi-annual reports on progress.
  • HB 3066: Creates an early childhood equity fund to invest in culturally-specific early learning services.
  • HB 2355: Provides a system to record and track data from officer-initiated pedestrian and traffic stops; mandates training; and reduces penalties for possessing a small amount of drugs.
  • HB 3078: Improves safety and creates savings for the state by fixing the family sentencing alternative, reducing presumptive sentencing, removing mandatory minimums and reinvesting savings into supervision and treatment.
  • HB 2232: Provides coverage for the full range of reproductive health services with zero out-of-pocket costs.

This session, we’ve seen significant progress on many of our priorities. The bills that require funding are just starting to be heard in the Ways and Means committee, while bills like HB 2004 and HB 2864 are on their way to the Senate floor for a final vote. With the 2017 Legislative Session wrapping up in July, our hope is that the legislature will take meaningful steps toward advancing racial justice and investing in Oregon’s future. 

CCC News Release: "Rebuilding Community" Report Released

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NEWS RELEASE

Contact:
Dani Ledezma, Interim Executive Director  
(503) 381-9990
dani@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org

Limits to No-cause eviction are necessary to reduce displacement of Oregonians of Color.

“ReBuilding Community” report released by the Coalition of Communities of Color and Urban League of Portland recommends passing HB 2004

According to the “ReBuilding Community” report, policymakers can help slow the displacement of communities of color by passing HB 2004, which limits evictions without cause against individuals and families who follow the terms of their leases. Community leaders from the Coalition of Communities of Color and the Urban League of Portland released this report highlighting cross-cultural and community-specific solutions to address our housing crisis.  The report was funded by Meyer Memorial Trust.

Advocates are sharing the report with Oregon lawmakers currently debating HB 2004, so that policymakers can better understand the disproportionate effect that the lack of tenant protections has on communities of color.

“The Urban League and the member organizations of the Coalition of Communities of Color hope that highlighting the experiences of Black Oregonians will motivate lawmakers to do the right thing. After years of watching while our communities were pulled apart, with the help of state and local government investments, this legislature can act to end the unjust practice of no-cause evictions. Without legislative action, no-cause evictions will continue to hurt their constituents and the character of the neighborhoods that we call home,” said Nkenge Harmon Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Portland.

Today, Oregon’s housing laws allow any property manager or landlord to - at any time - kick people out of their homes without giving a reason. These notorious “no-cause” evictions are traumatizing because they rip children from schools, destroy communities, and displace low-income families, throwing them into crisis, and often causing homelessness.

The “Building Community” report is based on the experiences of many Portlanders from communities of color, advocacy organizations and a series of culturally-specific focus groups held over six months. It provides a vivid narrative of the impact displacement, and gentrification has on communities.

According to the “ReBuilding Community” report, no-cause evictions are today’s example of state-sanctioned practices that displace communities of color. Historic segregation, fueled by redlining, property seizures by local jurisdictions, block busting, racist lending practices, and many other policies have resulted in communities of color living in historically underinvested areas. As neighborhoods become more popular attracting public investments and development, they also gain in value and trigger property managers and landlords to raise rents and use no-cause evictions to reach a higher paying market for their units. Residents are pushed out of their homes and often seek affordable rents miles away from their historic neighborhoods.

Families of color are much less likely to own their homes than white families and have less wealth accumulation according to Pew Research Center.  Now, rental homes are also increasingly out of reach. A report released Thursday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition showed that the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Oregon jumped 27 percent in the last five years, from $807 in 2012 to $1,028 in 2017. It would take an income of $19.78 an hour to afford the apartment in a state where the median income is $18.26 an hour, and people of color earn half the median income.

“Our members have experienced no-cause evictions used as a tool to discriminate against them. Their landlords wanted to make way for ‘different’ kinds of tenants,” says Katrina Holland, Executive Director of Oregon Community Alliance of Tenants, “Let’s call that what it is: coded language specifically talking about communities of color. It is unacceptable and we refuse to believe that our legislators are okay with that loophole perpetuating systemic racism, prejudice, and oppression. HB 2004 is an essential policy that helps stem the tide of displacement and end the discriminatory practices that cause instability for families and individuals.”

HB 2004 would prohibit no-cause evictions from large landlords and property managers after a nine-month waiting period, giving much needed protections and stability for people who rent their homes. It is currently waiting for a vote in the Oregon Senate.

The impacts of displacement for mothers and children of color are devastating. There are a record number of homeless children in Oregon today. According to school surveys, some 21,352 pre-schoolers and K-12 students experienced homelessness during the 2015-16 school year. “ReBuilding Community,” highlights a survey from the Multnomah County Health Division that surveyed pregnant African American women and their families about how they are being affected by the housing crisis. Twenty-five percent of the women reported having to move or be homeless while pregnant, and 30 percent of the North and Northeast Portland residents had to move out of the area against their will.

“We must take action before leaving Salem. No-cause evictions are unjust, unnecessary, and have a disproportionate effect on communities of color,” said Representative Diego Hernandez, (D-East Portland.) “I see the effects in my district. I hear from my constituents who are left with nowhere to go. Oregon has a record number of homeless children and mothers being forced from their homes with no legal recourse. It's time to pass HB 2004 now.”

Hernandez also says his colleagues in Salem need to hear from communities right now to hear how much support there is for tenant protections. To contact your lawmaker and get involved, go to www.StableHomesOR.org.

To see the full report, go to:http://www.coalitioncommunitiescolor.org/cedresourcepage/rebuildingcommunities

About Coalition of Communities of Color

The Coalition of Communities of Color's mission is to address the socioeconomic disparities, institutional racism, and inequity of services experienced by our families, children and communities; and to organize our communities for collective action resulting in social change to obtain self-determination, wellness, justice and prosperity.

December 2016 Equity Lens :: Research End of Year Update

Research End of Year Update

The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) adopts a ‘research justice’ framework that centers communities of color as the experts of their lives and acknowledges their right to self-determine, their priorities, and their right to impart that as authoritative knowledge to policymakers and other audiences. This year the CCC hired a full-time researcher to lead our data and research strategy as well as implement culturally appropriate data and research projects that advance racial justice.

In the last nine months, the CCC has launched a multi-stakeholder community-based participatory research project into the lived realities of communities of color in Washington County. Also, the CCC is continually exploring collaborative and consultation opportunities focused on culturally appropriate and equitable data projects with institutions of higher education and local governments.

 Click Here To Download Summary

Click Here To Download Summary

After the tremendous impact of CCC’s An Unsettling Profile research series in Multnomah County, we are leading the first comprehensive community-based research project about the state of racial equity in Washington County. We are seeking to shift common understandings of racial equity from a deficit framework of perceiving communities of color as victims to a strength-based approach that allows communities of color to identify their strengths and sources of resilience and re-frame racial disparities as repercussions of institutional racism that are barriers to their well-being. 

The CCC has also been invited to consult on data gathering and collection projects by Portland State University (PSU), Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS), Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (WMSWCD). The CCC is on OHA’s ad-hoc Race, Ethnicity, Language And Disability (REALD) committee to ensure that state and county health datasets collect culturally appropriate data and that the great community advocacy that had led to the adoption of REALD is sustained. We are also working in collaboration with PSU to recommend the best methodologies to JOHS to identify homelessness among communities of color. Lastly, we are consulting with WMSWCD to assess racial disparities in their service provision. 

Looking forward to 2017, the CCC is committed to providing responsive and strategic research to advance racial justice advocacy and movement building with our communities, member organizations and outside partners.

For more information and questions, please contact Shweta Moorthy, Researcher, at: shweta@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org (503) 200-5722 Ext 555.

December 2016 Equity Lens :: Advocacy End of Year Update

This year, the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) hired an Advocacy Director to increase our ability to impact change locally and in the upcoming legislative session. That change started with the 2016 election.  In the 2016 election cycle, the CCC:

  • Endorsed five ballot measures aimed at improving the lives of people of color in Oregon.
  • Produced a 2016 voter issue guide to help inform voters of key ballot measures that impact communities of color.
  • Collaborated with each campaign to turn out volunteers, organize canvasses in communities of color, get the word out in the media, and provide guidance on campaign strategy. 
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While we know the result of the national election will create new challenges, locally we were successful on 4 out of 5 CCC ballot initiative priorities. These local victories will give more families access to safe, affordable homes, improve our schools, and protect our natural areas. Also, we saw new levels of engagement in communities of color that will set the stage for future success on the ballot.

Even during elections, we know that our work on other issues impacting communities of color does not stop.  Since the passage of HB 3499 (English Language Learners programs), the CCC has worked diligently with our allies to develop rules for the new law that will lead to better implementation and ultimately outcomes for English Language Learners (ELL). This week, the State Board of Education adopted many of our proposed rules thanks to the incredible advocacy of our allies in the ELL Advisory Workgroup.

Earlier this month, the Portland City Council passed the Open & Accountable Elections Act, which will enact a new public campaign financing program that matches low dollar donations given to candidates. The CCC and our member organizations helped lead the way to pass this important reform, working with a local coalition of over 30 organizations. Check out this op-ed written by Julia Meier and Joseph Santos-Lyons to learn more about how it impacts communities of color.

This new law will create more opportunities for diverse representation in Portland city government. The program empowers candidates to run for office without taking big campaign contributions. Instead, candidates can run with small-dollar contributions from local city residents that will be matched 6-to-1 by the city. In a city where only 7 women, 2 people of color, and 2 people from the outer east side have ever been elected to city office, and at a time when big special interest money is dominating our elections - this is huge victory for our communities.

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As the CCC prepares to announce our 2017 legislative endorsements, we will continue to work hard to engage the community and create opportunities to advance racial equity in Oregon.