Weekly Update: Defend Our Healthcare

Betsy DeVos in Oregon

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is in Oregon today. Education advocates, including AFT President Randi Weingarten, have criticized DeVos for her record of pushing for privatizing our public schools.


Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain said in a statement following her nomination that DeVos “has not shown that she understands what our children need to succeed in school.” Eight months after her confirmation as Secretary of Education, President Chamberlain’s statement remains both relevant and true. DeVos has consistently drawn criticism in her time as Secretary of Education, from the words she uses to attack her critics to rolling back policies on campus sexual assault.

You can help welcome DeVos to Oregon by clicking here to tweet about Oregon’s strong support for public education, and for the educators who work hard to help our kids.


Defend Our Healthcare

The national attacks on healthcare for working people have sprouted up here in Oregon, and it’s time to fight back. Last week, healthcare opponents submitted signatures to try to take care away from more than 350,000 Oregonians, including 66,000 kids. It’s heartless, and we won’t stand for it.


Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Nobody should get sick because they can’t afford to see a doctor or pay for medication to get better. It shouldn’t matter whether you work at a coffee shop or a construction site, you should be able to afford the care that you need.

Vulnerable Oregonians - kids, adults with disabilities, hardworking families - will be hurt the most if Referendum 301 fails. All told, more than half a million Oregonians are at risk of losing their care or seeing their premiums increase if Referendum 301 fails. The stakes could not be higher.

It is time to stand together and protect Oregon families in January by supporting Referendum 301. If we do, the future is bright: All children will have healthcare and more Oregonians will have coverage than ever before.

Click here to sign up to be notified about volunteer opportunities to defend healthcare for 350,000 Oregonians.


Income Inequality in Oregon & Trump’s Tax Plan

The Oregon Center for Public Policy recently released a hard-hitting report about our state’s growing income inequality:

Never has the income gap separating Oregon’s very rich from ordinary Oregonians been so wide, according to the new report.  This growing imbalance undermines the well-being and opportunities of most Oregonians. Analyzing recently released data from the Oregon Department of Revenue, the Center found that in the 2015 tax year, the income of the average member of Oregon’s richest one-tenth of 1 percent — the richest 1 out of every 1,000 Oregonians — was $4.3 million. That was an all-time high even after adjusting for inflation.

The problem could be made worse by President Trump’s proposed tax plan. According to the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy:

"The “tax reform framework” released by the Trump administration and congressional Republican leaders on September 27 would not benefit everyone in Oregon equally. The richest one percent of Oregon residents would receive 58.4 percent of the tax cuts within the state under the framework in 2018. These households are projected to have an income of at least $532,000 next year. The framework would provide them an average tax cut of $42,090 in 2018, which would increase their income by an average of 2.5 percent.”

Click here to take action against Trump’s tax cuts.