We celebrate the passage of these eight important bills that help build justice in Oregon.
With the conclusion of the 2022 short legislative session in early March, the Urban League wants to highlight our successful advocacy on the passage of eight pieces of legislation that will support Black Oregon, as well as ensuring that the Oregon Worker Relief Fund was fully funded. Our greatest celebrations are for SB 1510, Transforming Justice, and SB 1579 the Equity Investment Act.
Transforming Justice makes our communities safer by centering our justice system on rehabilitation and equity over retribution. Police officers will limit unnecessary traffic stops by no longer ticketing minor traffic violations such as a single broken headlight, taillight, or brake light. Officers must also inform individuals of their right to decline a search. Those on parole or probation will now be allowed to check in remotely and will not receive violations for cannabis use, and community organizations will receive funding for culturally specific services that promote racial equity, address racial disparities prevalent in Oregon’s criminal justice system, and reduce prison use.
The Equity Investment Act will take a big first step to begin to repair economic oppression in our state. Due to racist oppression, the discriminatory effects of the War on Drugs, and other forms of institutional racism such as redlining, an immense wealth gap exists between white communities and communities of color. The Equity Investment Act allocates $15 million in investments to close this unjust gap by providing grants to culturally relevant, community-based organizations that support entrepreneurship, workforce development, and paths to home and land ownership.
With all the bills we were tracking during this whirlwind session, we must remember we could not have done it all without your support. Whether you joined us for Our Voices United: Virtual Legislative Action Day to demand passage of the Equity Investment Act, wrote or called your legislator to support these policies, or simply boosted these important efforts on social media, we thank you. If you’re happy with these wins, take a moment to thank your legislators for supporting these efforts: https://www.congressweb.com/ULP/23#/23/ and https://www.congressweb.com/ULP/24#/24/ (link to databank advocacy site). While there is much to do next session, we must take the time to celebrate. Learn about the policy wins here: https://ulpdx.org/
Below are quick summaries of our other legislative victories.
Senate Bill 1543 Universal Legal Representation
Universal legal representation provides low-income individuals facing deportation in civil immigration court with access to legal representation.
Senate Bill 1536 Emergency Heat Relief
Emergency Heat Relief would expand the rights of renters to install air conditioning in their place of residence, regulating that new or recently renovated rentals be installed with cooling, and funding more extreme weather shelters.
House Bill 4002 Farmworker Overtime
Farmworker overtime would treat farmworkers equally and allow them to earn overtime after 55 hours of work in a single week.
House Bill 4005 Child Care for Oregon
Child Care for Oregon provides relief by increasing subsidy rates for qualified families, providing grants for new providers and providers expanding their services, and strengthen Oregon’s childcare system.
House Bill 4045 Community Violence Prevention Grants
Community Violence Prevention Grants provided by the Oregon Health Authority approaches violence as a community-health concern by providing grants for organizations focused on violence prevention and intervention.
House Bill 4077 Environmental Justice for All
Environmental Justice for All creates and empowers the Environmental Justice Task Force with a vulnerability mapping tool to discover who has, and will be, hit hardest by climate-fueled disasters so they can receive targeted relief.