From the Director – July 2018

By Janet Byrd

Summer is officially here with the calendar turning over to July. The team here at NP is taking some time to savor the long summer days, the beautiful state we live in, and time with friends and family. We hope you’re finding some time for those things as well. We’re also focusing on how we move forward as an organization trying to get closer to our vision of a more prosperous and a more equitable Oregon. The current political climate is frightening, and it feels easy to talk in divisive ways that don’t move us towards opportunity, safety, and stability for our neighbors. It is essential that we not be silent about the things going on around us that we know to be wrong.

We’re excited about some new research that helps show us a path forward. The Race-Class Narrative shows that by explicitly talking about race it is possible to move a broader group of people into active support, including voting, on a wide range of issues. They found that there is widespread agreement that focusing on and talking about race is necessary to move towards greater equality. And, they found that if messages remind us of what we’re aspiring to, and how to get there, our messages resonate more broadly.

We’ll be digging into this research as we prepare for Advocates College Eight, beginning in September (apply now!). We’ll also be bringing some of this research to the RE:Conference in October, as we gear up for a strong legislative push to expand the IDA Initiative tax credit, invest in housing opportunity, and protect people who rent their homes from unfair or economic evictions.

We’re looking ahead, and making sure we’re ready to move some big ideas on housing and asset building through the Legislature in 2019. We’re excited to have you as partners in this work.