Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: Stand Together to Protect Health Care
January 10, 2018
Stand Together to Protect Health Care
Oregon’s January Special Election is only 13 days away. A YES vote on Measure 101 protects healthcare for vulnerable Oregonians, including seniors, people with disabilities, and 400,000 children. That’s why Oregon’s unions support voting YES in this important election.
Everybody should be able to see a doctor or get medications when they’re sick, without fearing bankruptcy. Measure 101 makes that possible by protecting Medicaid. Measure 101 asks hospitals, insurance companies and coordinated care organizations to pay a small assessment, which gets matched by the Federal government, to fund healthcare for the 1 in 4 Oregonians who rely on the Oregon Health Plan for their basic care. The providers who pay the assessment all support Measure 101, along with 160+ other trusted organizations across the state, because they know that access to affordable healthcare is critical to the success of our communities.
It’s time to get out the word about Measure 101. Oregon’s unions are making sure working people know to vote YES on Measure 101 by January 23rd. We will be volunteering to knock doors, text and phone bank. We hope you’ll join us!
And in case you missed it, the Willamette Week has joined newspapers across the state to endorse a YES vote on Measure 101! The newspaper is the 11th to come out in favor of Measure 101, writing that opponents of Measure 101 "would deprive thousands of Oregonians of health insurance, sending them back to emergency rooms or the power of prayer. They'd create an artificial crisis...And they'd do so in defiance of a basic fact: Everybody needs health care."
Are You Ready to Run for Office?
Running for political office is not easy. It takes commitment, time and money to do it right, and the Oregon Labor Candidate School is here to support union members who are ready to run and win. Serving in elected office means your voice and skills will help build an Oregon where working people have a fair shot at prosperity. 2018 is the year to prepare yourself to be that voice.
Applications are now being accepted for our spring course starting in March in Eugene. In Portland, monthly evening workshops covering an exciting range of campaign topics are starting in February, and are open to members and workers' allies. Find out about these opportunities and more at www.oregonlaborcandidateschool.org and see for yourself what some of our alumni have to say about serving in office.
Voting Rights for Millions at Risk in Supreme Court Case
From OHIO AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Pierrette "Petee" Talley via the AFL-CIO Now Blog
The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a monumental case that will impact voting rights.
The case, Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), challenges a procedure the state of Ohio uses to remove voters from the registration rolls based on their failure to vote. The precedent set by this Supreme Court case will have ramifications for voting rights for generations and, if the court decides against APRI, it could potentially harm entire swaths of the voting public.
APRI argues that Ohio’s voter purge procedure violates the National Voter Registration Act—sometimes called the Motor Voter law—which prohibits a state from removing a person from the voter registration rolls because of that person’s failure to vote. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with APRI that Ohio’s removal procedure violates federal law, which prompted Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to ask the Supreme Court to weigh in. Under Ohio’s process, if a registered voter does not vote or update their registration during a two-year period, the county board of elections will send a postal notice to the voter asking them to confirm their registration at that address. Recipients of the notice are removed from the rolls if they neither respond to the notice nor subsequently vote during the following four-year period.
For many people—including working people and especially low-wage workers—voting is not easy and this "use it or lose it" policy is unfair. Limited voting hours, erratic job schedules, child care needs, the closing of neighborhood polling places, inadequate or inaccessible transportation and the costs associated with obtaining a photo ID, to name just a few obstacles, mean that many eligible voters are unable to cast ballots on Election Day—despite registering where necessary, being motivated to vote in the particular election and, in some cases, even arriving at the correct polling place and waiting in line. As a result, Ohio’s voter purge procedure falls disproportionately on those citizens for whom various features of the voting process already present significant obstacles to participation.
At a time when we should all be working to bring our government closer to the people, voter purges like Ohio’s disenfranchise many voters who wish to have their vote counted. A bad ruling in this case could allow states hostile toward voting rights to undermine the Motor Voter Act by purging voters from the rolls just because they did not vote in certain elections. It’s happened before, and it will keep happening unless the Supreme Court sides with APRI and with the voters of Ohio.
We need to resist these cynical and unfair attacks on our democracy. And we need to stand up for our right to vote. Our future and the future of our democratic institutions depend on it.
Save The Date:
Oregon Women Labor Leaders Gathering in February
Save the date for a multi-location Oregon Women Labor Leaders (OWLL) Gathering! Join us to discuss how to make sure that our workplaces and unions are safe and inclusive spaces for women! Meetings will include an update on legislative issues of particular concern to women workers, group reflection on training opportunities, as well as a chance to socialize and meet other women unionists! The event will be held simultaneously in Portland, Eugene and Salem on Wednesday, February 7. Click here for the details.