As we head into a new year, a new legislative session, and complete this election cycle, Neighborhood Partnerships is working to build a new vision for Oregon.
There have been a number of good looks over the past few years at what’s wrong with Oregon’s revenue structure. We—as a state and as local governments—lack the stable source of funds that we need to pay for the public structures and systems we all depend on, from highways and libraries to schools, housing and essential services.
Proposals for revenue reform are bubbling up. But the proposals all fall short because they tend to oversimplify the solution. The answer isn’t simple and it isn’t all about jobs, or tax expenditures, or even taxes. It isn’t all about the kicker, state spending, or administrative systems.
The answer has to be about vision. What kind of state, what kind of community do we want to be? Are we a state which offers all of its residents opportunities to thrive and pathways out of poverty? Are we a state that has adequately supported public systems and structures to help us accomplish our goals and vision? And, it has to be about balance. How can we craft a response that may mean we all share a bit of the sacrifice, but that gives us the state we want to leave for our children and grandchildren.
In this time of uncertainty, we need visionary leaders—elected and community—who can engage Oregonians in an honest conversation. We need leaders who will reject one-sided proposals or plans that don’t move us towards solutions. We need leaders who will help find a balance between revenues, tax side expenditures, and direct spending proposals and who will help us create the stable funding we need. Leaders who aren’t afraid to ask difficult questions or propose difficult solutions and who know that there are no easy answers.
This conversation is long overdue, and we at Neighborhood Partnerships are stepping up to the challenge. We’re inviting key leaders to join us, and welcome your voice as well. Watch this blog for more, or get in touch.