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All-Star Advocates


Urban League of Portland’s Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, Midge Purcell, and Health Equity Coordinator, Ty Schwoeffermann look on as Governor John Kitzhaber signs HB 3049 into law on June 4th 2013.

As we look back on the 2013 Legislative session, the Urban League is celebrating its most successful session ever. We kicked off the session by bringing 200 folks to the Capital. Thanks to your support and that of our partners, we have passed legislation that will have a big impact on the health and economic prospects for communities of color.

 Because of the work of our staff, hundreds of community members, seniors and students, Oregon’s diverse communities will receive better health care by more culturally competent professionals who will receive high quality training through the passage of HB 2611; Natural hair care stylists will have new job and business opportunities due to the passage of HB 3409 which eases licensing requirements for natural hair care. 

This Legislative Session, for the first time, the Urban League of Portland had a dedicated advocate in the Capital, Ty Schwoeffermann. Ty has been a dubbed a policy guru by those who he works alongside in the Capital for his tireless efforts on behalf of the community. Rock star in the House (and Senate)! 

That’s just the beginning! The Urban League played a big role in coalitions and partnerships that passed or advanced groundbreaking legislation for communities of color and low income Oregonians – tuition equity, improved data collection on race and ethnicity, drivers’ cards, retirement security, paid sick days and more (see full list here).

Perhaps the longest lasting impact will be our undeniable presence in the Capitol and the empowerment of our communities. Local news media including the Oregonian and Portland Observer have covered the impressive influence of our agency.  This successes of this legislative session are a testament to the power of our voices united.