Director’s Note – December 2017

By Janet Byrd

What a year 2017 has been! We’ve seen remarkable steps forward in building opportunity at the state level. The Housing Alliance helped secure historic investment in housing opportunity by the State of Oregon.  We’ve continued to work with our partners to build the depth, creativity, impact and reach of the Oregon Individual Development Account Initiative. We have moved ever closer to our goal of opening a savings account at birth for every Oregon child. We’ve made a commitment to grounding opportunity in an equity analysis and we’ve helped others make that commitment as well.

Thank you for all you have done – adding your voice, your presence, your hard work, or your financial support – to make this progress possible. We value your partnership and your commitment to equitable and widespread opportunity.

2017 has also been a hard year, and one that has seen us lose ground. Our ability to provide health care for all Oregonians depends in part on a vote scheduled for January 23rd (Neighborhood Partnerships urges your YES vote on Measure 101 – see elsewhere in the newsletter for more on that). We continue to fail our children – the number of students experiencing homelessness increased again, more than 1 in 5 Oregon children live in poverty, and high school graduation rates remained dismally low. Federal budget cuts made in October and tax cuts now in process have eliminated some of our most important tools and threaten many more. Our core institutions feel shaky.

We need one another now more than ever. We need to advance strong policy proposals, grounded in what we hold dear. We need to support representational leadership, in our organizations and in our political institutions. We need to come together, to articulate shared values, to share ideas, to build influence and power, and to support one another in the work ahead.

We hope you can help us in our work this coming year – with your voices, your ideas, and your presence as we work to advance policy and programs. We also need your financial support – so please consider making an end of year contribution to Neighborhood Partnerships. Your support makes all of our progress possible. Click here to donate online.

We’ll see you all in 2018! Here’s to a better year ahead, together.