Weekly Update: One Step Closer


Ballots are due on Tuesday, May 17th by 8pm. The last day to mail your ballot is tomorrow, May 12th.

After tomorrow, you’ll need to take your ballot to an official drop box – click here to find the closest one to you.

PSU Graduate Assistants File for Union Recognition

Last week, our friends over at the Northwest Labor Press reported some amazing news from Portland State University: Nearly 800 graduate students are one big step closer to forming their union on campus after filing for recognition last week!

The next step will be for the Oregon Employment Relations Board to double check authorization cards and certify the union. Once that’s done, the students will begin preparations to negotiate their first contract.  

In February, we wrote about why the students organized:

"As an instructor, I throw myself into the planning, grading, and leading of my classes," said Jane Carr, a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Hatfield School of Government. "My students are very important to me, and I've often put them before everything else in my life. To make this sacrifice and earn take home pay of only a few hundred dollars a month after paying for fees and health insurance is not sustainable or just. That's why we're standing together seeking the right to negotiate with PSU about how we're treated at work."

Support Verizon Workers on Strike

The strike at Verizon continues, with actions happening across the country in solidarity. The striking CWA and IBEW members need your help to keep up the pressure on Verizon, and to support the families of the strikers who have been cut off from their healthcare benefits as a result of the dispute.

Here’s what you can do to help:

Saying NO to Big Money Extremism

An increased minimum wage. Paid sick leave. Expanded voter access. Access to reproductive health care. These are just some of the victories that we helped Oregon win in the last year. Not only that, but we’ve been pioneers, leading the way and inspiring other states to follow suit.

Not everyone agrees that these are victories to be proud of.

Hate groups, conservative interests and out-of-state millionaires like Loren Parks want to roll back the progress we’ve made. Even worse, they want to stop us from building on that progress.

These special interests are coming after Oregon with a slew of destructive measures for the November 2016 ballot. They’re attacking Oregon workers, immigrant communities, women, and even our democracy. They’re pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into these measures and, because they can’t get citizens to help, they’ve already resorted to hiring hundreds of paid signature gatherers to qualify their measures.

They may have big money, and they’ve cleverly hidden their attacks, but that doesn’t mean they have the support of Oregon voters. That’s why we’re working to Defend Oregon’s Ballot and stand up to big money special interests and stop them in their tracks.

If we want to make sure Oregon continues to be a leader when it comes to progressive policies, we can’t let out-of-state millionaires like Loren Parks have their way. We need to say NO to their extremist agenda — and we need to make sure our friends, family and co-workers know about it, too.

Over the next two months, Defend Oregon’s Ballot will be sharing information about the harmful initiatives and what they mean for Oregon, as well as who is behind each one. We hope you’ll follow along. Most importantly, we hope you’ll take the pledge to defend Oregon’s ballot.