APANO

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.

 

Communities of Color Month of Action for Measure 97

October 14, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Amanda Manjarrez, 505-400-6513, amanda@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org

Communities of Color Month of Action for Measure 97

(Portland, OR) – Communities of color are increasingly engaged in Oregon’s future, with leading cultural organizations mobilizing voters for Yes on Measure 97. With Oregon’s demographics rapidly changing, and more than 1 in 4 Oregonians identifying as persons of color, Measure 97 would reverse decades of public divestment that have perpetuated racial disparities, investing in Oregon’s long-term health and prosperity.

In support of Measure 97, key organizations have announced plans to engage Oregon voters through door knocking, multilingual phone banking and bilingual ballot parties. Groups including the Coalition of Communities of Color, APANO, Causa, Unite Oregon, and the Oregon Latino Health Coalition are scaling up efforts with hundreds of new volunteers to reach 13,000 voters, including those who have been recently registered through Oregon’s New Motor Voter Law.

“We’ve struggled for 25 years as corporate profits have skyrocketed while health disparities persist and our kids don’t graduate on-time,” says Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, Executive Director of APANO, adding, “Yes on Measure 97 balances the scales ensuring corporations pay their fair share so our children and Oregon will thrive.”
“Measure 97 will provide Oregon with the ability to make targeted investments in education that will improve outcomes for communities of color,” says Julia Meier, Executive Director of the Coalition of Communities of Color.

“Our groups are fired up and getting out talking to neighbors, family and friends for Yes on 97. After decades of divestment, Measure 97 stabilizes revenue for Oregon and allows us to extend health care access to children and families across Oregon,” says Andrea Williams, Executive Director of Causa.

Measure 97 would raise the minimum tax on corporations, applying a 2.5% tax on Oregon sales over $25 million dollars. Measure 97 is endorsed by over 260 organizations.

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Formed in 2001, the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) is an alliance of culturally-specific community based organizations. http://www.coalitioncommunitiescolor.org/. APANO is a statewide advocacy organization, uniting Asian and Pacific Islanders to achieve social justice. http://www.apano.org/. Causa is Oregon’s Latino immigrant rights organization working to defend and advance immigrant rights by coordinating with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. http://causaoregon.org/. Unite Oregon represents the merger of– Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO) and Oregon Action (OA) – who together have decades of experience organizing immigrants, refugees, people of color, and low-income Oregonians to address racial and economic disparities and improve quality of life in our state. http://www.uniteoregon.org/. The Oregon Latino Health Coalition is a collaboration of individuals and organizations who are dedicated to promoting health and wellness and reducing disparities for the Oregon Latino community through prevention, education and sharing of resources. http://orlhc.org/

CCC Member Announcement: A Night of Poetry & Conversation

CCC Member, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), invites you to join us for an evening of powerful poetry by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a Marshallese poet and climate justice activist, followed by a conversation with Jo Ann Hardesty, President of the NAACP Portland Chapter. 

Light refreshments will be provided. Childcare is available upon request, at least one week in advance of the event. For more information, please email Khanh Pham at khanh@apano.org. 

Co-sponsored by: COFA Alliance National Network, Coalition of Communities of Color, Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, and Renew Oregon


Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner is a Marshallese writer. Her writing highlights the traumas of colonialism, racism, forced migration, the legacy of American nuclear testing, and the impending threats of climate change. Bearing witness at the front lines of various activist movements inspires her work and has propelled her poetry onto international stages. She has performed her poetry in front of audiences ranging from elementary school students to most recently over a hundred world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit, where she performed a poem to her daughter, "Dear Matafele Peinam". Currently she lives and works in the Marshall Islands, where she teaches Pacific Studies courses at the College of the Marshall Islands. She is also Co-Director of the youth environmentalist non-profit Jo-Jikum, which empowers youth to work towards solutions on environmental issues threatening their home island.  For more information, visit her website: https://kathyjetnilkijiner.com/

July 2015 Equity Lens: Education Justice Update

HB3499 Signed Into Law!

Governor Kate Brown signing into law HB3499 with students and members from communities of color.  (Photo: Gordon Friedman / STATESMAN JOURNAL)

Governor Kate Brown signing into law HB3499 with students and members from communities of color. (Photo: Gordon Friedman / STATESMAN JOURNAL)

This legislative session, Governor Kate Brown signed into law HB 3499, a comprehensive approach to improve outcomes for Oregon’s English Language Learners (ELL) by increasing transparency, accountability, and systemic supports for schools, educators, and students. Currently, only 49% of ELL students graduate from high school and for many years, communities of color throughout the state have struggled with these detrimental educational outcomes. Leaders from communities of color knew we could do better, and with HB3499, our communities have the ability to turn this crisis into an opportunity for students throughout Oregon. HB3499 will ensure that ELL resources are focused on delivering quality ELL programming to our most vulnerable students and resetting the status quo of using these critical resources to fill shortfalls in school budgets.

The CCC, our members, and our community partners were instrumental in all leading facets of this groundbreaking legislation – from research on best practices for ELL students, to compiling statewide data on ELL outcomes, to drafting the bill, and to building a broad base of support with communities of color throughout the state. The CCC appreciates the leadership of Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO); Center for Inter-Cultural Organizing (CIO); as well as our advocacy our partners at Stand for Children and Northwest Health Foundation.

“With out the advocacy and united voice of leaders from a the Coalition of Communities of Color and Stand for Children this groundbreaking law would never have been passed.” - Nichole Maher, President and CEO of Northwest Health Foundation

In addition to community leadership on HB3499, the Department of Education and the Governor’s Office provided leadership in convening all stakeholders to have facilitated dialogue about the impact of this legislation leading up to the session.

HB3499, which was sponsored and championed by Representative Joe Gallegos, passed with unanimous support from both the house and the senate. If you have any questions or need any more information, please feel free to contact the CCC.