Weekly Update: Registration Deadline Alert!

Registration Deadline Alert!

Act fast! Registration deadlines are coming up for LERC’s AFL-CIO Summer School and the 2016 Oregon Strong Voice Summit.

A Step in the Right Direction

On Friday, July 1, over 100,000 Oregonians earning minimum wage received a raise. Within Portland’s urban growth boundary and in urban counties, wages increased from $9.25 per hour to $9.75. In nonurban counties, the minimum wage increased from $9.25 to $9.50. From minimum wage earners to small business owners, Oregonians are applauding the first increase as a strong step forward for our state.

Small business owner Shaun Sieren of the O'Neil Public House in Northeast Portland sees the increase as a way to give local economies a boost:

“The minimum wage increase on July 1t is a good thing, for my business, our customers, and the entire community,” said Sieren. “When folks who earn minimum wage get a raise, it helps everyone. It puts more money in the pockets of working people, and that money gets spent at local businesses and on local goods and services. It’s simple: raising wages makes our local economy stronger.”

For Kasil Kapriel, who earns minimum wage working at Portland International Airport, the increase on July 1t is a step forward, and a promise of hope for something more:

“The minimum wage increase will make a difference for me and my family,” said Kapriel.  “It is a great step, but only the first step. There is more we can do to make sure working families have a shot at a better life. I look forward to continuing to stand with my fellow airport workers, and people across our community in standing up for good jobs, with a living wage, and affordable care. We’ll continue to do whatever it takes for all working families to have a shot at a better life.”

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain explains how raising the minimum wage is just one part of a solution to a crisis facing working people in Oregon:

“In the past six years, the number of people moving to Oregon has increased by 10% while much of our state’s job growth is happening in the low wage sectors of the economy. Combine that trend with housing costs skyrocketing and we have a problem,” said Chamberlain.  “Solving that problem requires a multifaceted approach, and raising wages is central to that approach. We can’t expect Oregon to grow, to prosper, unless working people can afford the basics like housing, groceries, childcare, and transportation. The raise on July 1 is the first step in the right direction for working people in Oregon.”

Business owners and workers who are interested in learning about their minimum wage region and the schedule of raises can visit Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries website to see information about the increase.  Raising the minimum wage was part of the Oregon AFL-CIO’s 2015-16 Legislative Agenda.

The November Ballot

The deadline for ballot measures to qualify for the November ballot is this Friday, July 8th.   Here are a few recent news stories about what to expect in November:

Thinking about Running for Office?

Do you know about the Oregon Labor Candidate School? Since 2012 OLCS has trained union members to run for office, including some names you’re sure to recognize on your ballot this year as well as union members currently in office.

If you’re considering running, read the following message from Oregon Labor Candidate School Executive Director Sara Ryan:

2016 is an exciting year for OLCS. As we start our 5th year training union members to run for political office, we have 7 alumni running for state level elected office, 12 members currently serving in office, and many more sitting on appointed boards and commissions, and stepping up for leadership roles. Does this sound like the right organization for you?

OLCS is currently accepting applications from members for the Portland area class starting in October. Classes are held on the second Saturday of the month, for six months, in different union halls. Our engaging and interactive curriculum is designed to support both the political newbie as well as the experienced campaigner. Union members who are interested in learning more about this 6-month course can contact me for more information, or visit our website at www.oregonlaborcandidateschool.org. You will find the link to apply on the APPLY tab.

If you are wondering if this class is right for you, let's grab some coffee and talk about it. Participants in the program are required to fundraise, attend all classes, and volunteer for political campaigns. Travel scholarships are available for people who have to commute farther than 100 miles. Additionally, if you would like to nominate someone to attend OLCS, please just send me his or her contact information and why you are nominating this member.

In solidarity,

Sara Ryan
Executive Director, OLCS