By Brian Hoop, Director, Housing Oregon

Yes, building more affordable housing is goal number one for all our member organizations of Housing Oregon. But ensuring all Oregonians have equitable access to the resources and opportunities necessary to be healthy and economically vibrant requires us to connect the dots beyond housing with access to health care, high quality education, and other basic necessities our constituents need.

With that in mind, the Housing Oregon Board of Directors approached endorsements of measures on the Nov. 6 ballot recognizing the significant impact this year’s election will have on each and every individual and family our member organizations serve across Oregon. While we focus our advocacy efforts on expanding affordable housing opportunities, we must also join in coalition with others to defend against forces that wish to divide Oregonians and target our most marginalized communities.

Vote YES on Measure 102

To make it easier for your community to build and preserve homes that are affordable – Sign up to volunteer andEndorse 

Throughout Oregon, rents and housing costs have skyrocketed and people and families are struggling to afford their homes. Too many hard-working Oregonians worry that they are being priced out of their community.

Measure 102 would lift the ban that currently exists on government working with non-profits and local businesses to build affordable housing with bond funds.

Why does this matter? Housing costs are out of control. The current rent for a modest one-bedroom apartment in Oregon is $904. That means a person needs to earn $21.26 per hour to afford rent and still put food on the table.

Local governments can already ask voters to approve bonds to build affordable housing, and some are. However, many cities don’t have the capacity to implement an affordable housing bond program without this change. This simple and sensible amendment was referred to voters with strong bi-partisan support from Oregon legislators.

Yes for Affordable Housing: Yes on Measure 102 –

Vote Yes on 

Measure 26-199 

The regional affordable housing bond will fund affordable housing for low-income families, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities– Sign up to volunteer andEndorse 

Voters in the Metro region, in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties, will be asked to approve a regional general obligation bond of $652.8 million to fund affordable homes and renovate existing home for over 7,500 people in the region in need of safe, affordable housing, or up to 12,000 people, or 3,900 homes, if the statewide measure passes as well.

Throughout the Portland metro region there is a lack of affordable units for families of four making approximately $41,000 or below. The metropolitan region currently needs over 47,000 protected affordable units to lift the heavy burden of rising rents.

By addressing the affordable housing problem together as a region, more communities will contribute to the bond and benefit from it. The cost for the average homeowner to $5 per month, or little more than the cost of a coffee drink.

The bond is a necessary step to ensuring all communities have a safe, stable and affordable home.

Yes for Affordable Housing: Yes on Measure 102 –

Vote NO on Constitutional Amendment 103

An unnecessary, misleading, and risky change to Oregon’s constitution that would permanently carve out a wide range of transactions from any taxes or fees

Constitutional Amendment 103 has drawn widespread criticism from small business owners and tax experts who note that it is unnecessary – there is no tax on groceries – and that it carves risky tax policy into Oregon’s constitution.

Though proponents claim the measure would block taxes on “groceries,” legal analysis shows that it’s misleading and that the measure would apply to far more than just grocery retailers – it would include food processors, slaughterhouses, trucking companies, restaurants and fast food chains.

Constitutional Amendment 103 fails to exempt many of the basic necessities that Oregon families rely on, including medicine, diapers, and feminine hygiene products. The measure also puts Medicaid funding at risk, repealing part of the provider tax Oregon voters just approved in January to protect families from losing their healthcare. No other state has a constitutional amendment like this.

The initiative is spearheaded by big, out-of-state grocers. Albertsons, Safeway, Kroger and Costco Wholesale Corporation have contributed millions to the campaign.

No on Measure 103:

Vote NO on Constitutional Amendment 104

Expands (beyond taxes) application of requirement that three-fifths legislative majority approves bills raising revenue

Constitutional Amendment 104 would make it nearly impossible to rein in runaway tax breaks and creating unnecessary gridlock in Salem. This amendment would require a three-fifths supermajority to cut wasteful government spending and special interest tax breaks, and even to modify simple fees like State Park and State Board of Nursing fees.

Expanding the supermajority requirement would also put funding for essential social services in jeopardy. If this amendment had been in place earlier this year, Oregon would have faced $1 billion in cuts to services like public schools and Medicaid, which means hundreds of thousands of people would have lost their health care.

The initiative is being funded by groups like the Oregon Association of Realtors and Priority Oregon.

No on Measure 104:

Vote NO on Measure 105

Protect Oregonians against racial profiling

In Oregon, we believe in fairness and looking out for our neighbors. But if Measure 105 passes, it could open the door to racial profiling and families being torn apart, including many served by affordable housing and community development organizations across the state, simply because someone is perceived to be an undocumented immigrant.

Currently, Oregon’s common sense “sanctuary law” protects Oregonians against unfair targeting, interrogating, and detaining. Measure 105 would throw out this law, which passed more than 30 years ago with broad bi-partisan support for a very important reason: to end unfair racial profiling in our state.

Voting NO on Measure 105 will keep the law in place ensuring that local police services are not used to pursue and detain people suspected only of violating federal immigration law. Local police can continue to hold people accountable, including both immigrants and non-immigrants, if they commit crimes and harm our communities.

Oregonians United Against Profiling,

Vote NO on Constitutional Amendment 106

Reduces access for Oregonians to a full range of reproductive health care

The individuals behind Constitutional Amendment 106 are out of step with Oregon voters, who strongly believe each of us should have access to the full range of reproductive health care. Under current law, abortions may be obtained, when approved by a medical professional, under state-funded health plans or under health insurance funded through public services.

This measure would prohibit spending public funds to access a safe, legal abortion or health benefit plans that cover abortion. No exceptions would be allowed for pregnancy resulting from rape or incest unless federal law requires.

This measure would disproportionately impact many lower-income individuals and families served by our affordable housing and community development organizations. The Reproductive Health Equity Act, passed by the 2017 Legislature, ensured access to the full range of reproductive health services to all Oregonians regardless of citizenship status, gender identity, or type of insurance. Measure 106 would roll-back newly gained access to reproductive healthcare for many of these individuals.

No Cuts to Care campaign: