By Steve Novick of Portland, Oregon. Steve is a long-time progressive activist and was a 2008 candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Bill Sizemore and Kevin Mannix are at it again. This year, Sizemore and Mannix (mostly Sizemore) have littered Oregon's ballot with seven measures (58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64), all of which would cause lasting harm to the state.
One of the most critical measures is Measure 64, which would limit the ability of working Oregonians to participate in the political process, but would give even more power to out-of-state corporations and millionaires, like Loren Parks. Big tobacco, oil companies, and insurance companies would have even more influence, which is why the corporate-backed FreedomWorks is trying hard to get it passed. And get this—they're insulting Oregonians by calling it "campaign finance reform." That's why it's so vital that we get out to talk to voters about the true impacts of Measure 64, and all the ballot measures.
Voters this year hold the future of Oregon's education, health care, and public safety services in our hands. And we need to talk to them before they start filling in those bubbles on their ballots. And that means now.
That's where you come in. Volunteer with the Defend Oregon Coalition to hit the phones and the streets this weekend. Let's arm Oregonians with the information they need to protect our state from Measures 58 to 64. Sign up now, and bring your friends and families. It's that important.
So get out there with us. This stuff matters. The time is now.
Specifics about these measures:
Measure 58 (VOTE NO) is a one-size-fits-all teaching mandate that pretends that every child who speaks a different language can be 100% fluent in a year or (for teenagers) two– making no exceptions for students with learning disabilities. Measure 58 would cost the state at least a half a billion dollars over the next two years.
Measure 59 (VOTE NO) would cut $2.4 billion in funding for education, public safety and health care. It creates an unlimited deduction for Federal income tax deduction on state tax forms. Most Oregonians would get no tax cut; 75% of the billions would go to those making over $200,000.
Measure 60 (VOTE NO) requires teachers' salaries to be based solely on undefined "classroom performance," which will lead to more standardized tests and fewer teachers willing to take on the most challenging assignments.
Measure 61 (VOTE NO) is a rigid, one-size-fits-all approach to crime that would cost the state $586 million per biennium to implement and would require the construction of at least three more prisons, while not addressing drug treatment. Warehousing criminals isn't the answer, which is why the majority of law enforcement supports Measure 57.
Measure 62 (VOTE NO) would take nearly $185 million away from schools, resulting in fewer teachers, larger classes, and shorter school years. It also pulls money out of job creation programs.
Measure 63 (VOTE NO) would allow property owners to build certain constructions on their property without building permits, safety inspections or adherence to any state environmental laws.
Measure 64 (VOTE NO) would silence the voices of working people by stopping public employees from using voluntary payroll deductions to donate to charities, unions and other organizations. Measure 64 limits the ability of working Oregonians to participate in the political process while giving corporations even more political power and influence. It's Sizemore's way of silencing his strongest opponents – opening the door for him to pass public-service-destroying measures in the future.