By Janet Byrd
It’s December, the dust is settling from the election, and here at NP we’re looking ahead to the Legislative session. Before we jump into that, though, we want to pause and reflect.
The ballot measures we just voted on in November were in no small way a test of who we want to be as Oregonians. We here at NP are celebrating the resounding YES votes to expand the public role in meeting housing needs, and the resounding NO vote to keep our decades old sanctuary policy and confirm our desire to welcome new Oregonians from other parts of the world. At the same time we’re celebrating, we’re also aware of the people who voted differently, and thinking about how we demonstrate impacts of access to opportunity, and communicate differently to counteract the pervasive fear based messaging to create a broader community of support.
We know that Oregon is better off when everyone has a safe, decent, stable and affordable place to call home. Housing is the foundation for health, for learning, for being part of family and community. As we continue to build the confidence of Oregonians across the state that providing homes for all of our neighbors is possible, and engage more and more residents of community based housing in telling the story of housing’s impacts, we will see that momentum grow.
Creating an Oregon which is a more welcoming and equitable home to residents of all races, religions, ethnicities, and gender/sexual orientations is possible. The increasingly diverse and capable leadership in the Legislature, the Executive Branch, serving as judges at all levels, and engaged in local government from school boards to city councils promises to build our track record of success, show us new models and styles of leadership, and deliver sound policy that’s driven by the experiences and voices of those who are impacted.
We look forward to chances in 2019 to partner with you, and to and share our vision and tell our story in ways that move even more people to act together and build the Oregon we want to call home.