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Read OSTPDX's latest legislative bill recommendations and more

Dear OSTPDX Members,

Happy Earth Day!

A hearing on HB2509A, a plastic bag ban, took place this afternoon where testimony was given by the Chair of the Association of Oregon Recyclers and there’s another hearing scheduled this for this Thursday on SB90, a ban on plastic straws. Are you interested to see what other climate initiatives are in the works down in Salem this legislative session? Check out the “Climate” section of the OSTPDX Legislative Task Force’s newly updated Bill recommendationsand the Legislative Task Force Calendar for key dates on those bills. You can then go to the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) to check the status of those bills.

Announcements

OSTPDX Monthly Forum-May 14, 6:45 – 9 PM, SUBUD House, 3185 NE Regents Dr.

Everything we care about comes down to money:  Climate, Education, Healthcare & more

The Oregon legislature is likely to pass an historic budget bill for K-12 Education-- The Student Success Act - $2 billion more than the base budget to begin restoring over 10 years of draconian budget cuts.  And they are proposing a Corporate Activities Tax to raise that funding from a new source.  This is just the first step.  It’s complex but we all need to learn how to fix our tax system for the long term.  (See below (under “Actions”) for needed action NOW)

Please join our knowledgeable speakers to learn the basics of revenue reform:  where we are now, how we got here and what our options are for fixing a broken tax system in the future.


  • Alejandro Queral, Executive Director, Oregon Center for Public Policy, a progressive think tank on everything revenue related.  He’ll give us background on Oregon's current budget and tax structure, what's missing and some strategies for creating an equitable, fair and progressive structure in the future.

  • Jody Wiser, founder and lead activist, Tax Fairness Oregon.  Jody, a former teacher in Irvington changed gears and has been a tireless advocate for reforming and restructuring our revenue system.  She'll add what's needed for property tax reform and then look at revenue “stepping stones” for the future. 

  • And we'll have small groups to explore key issues and important actions.


Help Needed

OSTPDX is seeking someone to help manage our social media accounts-Twitter and Facebook. This work includes:

  • Posting and promoting OSTPDX’s monthly forums/meetings

  • Posting action items

  • Sharing and supporting content, events, and actions from other Indivisible groups

  • Responding to messages and questions

  • Building the accounts up to help amplify our message

If this is something that interests you and feel is a good fit, please email your interest and questions to Sara McKinney at ost.pdx@gmail.com.

Actions

Immediate Action needed in the next weekPlease call members of the Student Success Joint Committee and thank them for their budget and revenue package.  It’s historic. They need to know that we support them in order to get it out of committee. 

The Student Success Act is the product of a bipartisan year-long process to build a model public education system in Oregon through a dedicated, sustainable investment that ties funding to outcomes, requires ongoing accountability and closes the opportunity gaps for historically underserved students. 

The Joint Committee on Student Success (JCSS) is also proposing a corporate activities tax to raise 2 billion a biennium to pay for the Student Success Act.  It's a good proposal that with a few changes could be even better.  The corporate activities tax (CAT) is in HB 3427-1, but includes the following:

  • A 0.49% commercial activities tax (CAT) on business receipts above $1 million.

  • Businesses with less than $1 million in sales are exempt.

  • The tax does not apply to sale of groceries, petroleum, and certain healthcare providers.

  • Businesses can deduct 25 percent of costs for labor or capital from their tax liability

  • A 0.25% cut on many personal income tax rates

It's a historic great start but at a flat rate, it's regressive. Oregon's largest companies will pay the same as a small business with just over 1 million in sales. Also, many of us are opposed to a cut in personal income tax rates as an offset to the business tax​ because at a flat rate (.25%) the top 10% ​of taxpayers ​will get the biggest dollar tax cut, while those in the bottom 20% won't see anything. ​Instead we need to ensure that low income people have a tax credit or tax cut to offset higher prices for some goods that may be passed onto​ them by the CAT.


  •  If your legislator is on this committee, they need a call or an email telling them you support the Student Success Act budget proposal and the corporate activities tax to pay for it, preferably with the above changes.

  • Everyone:  Email your own legislators and tell them you support the Student Success Act and expect them to support it when they get a chance.

Thank you!

Actions by Multnomah County Democrats

7 Things You Can Do to Help Elect Democrats: An activist guide to the May 2019 Special District Election

Actions by Indivisible Oregon

OSTPDX, along with other local progressive grassroots groups, are collaborating to help Indivisible Oregon highlight their Tuesday action call of the week in email communications and across social media. We ask that you visit their website indivisibleor.org/actions every Tuesday morning where the action of week will be posted by 6AM, take the action and share on social media and/or via email with your circle.

  • Indivisible Tuesday message: Mueller punted to Congress and now Congress must follow the blueprint in the Mueller report and investigate Trump for obstruction of justice.  This investigation must include Mueller testifying before Congress ASAP

Contact Your Elected Officials

Activities

OST-PDX Activist Reading Group, Thursday, May 16, 7pm (Location TBD)

Readings: 3 essays:

1. “The Path of Greatest Resistance” by David Cole (NY Review of Books, 2/7/2019 issue):

“Whether #MeToo and other progressive movements will achieve lasting reform will depend on these organizations working collectively in multiple forums, including courtrooms, state legislatures, corporate boardrooms, union halls, and, most importantly, at the ballot box. We all need to turn away from our smartphones and screens and engage, together, in the work of democracy.”

2. ''Trying to Build in the Rubble of Neoliberalism'': Michelle Alexander and Naomi Klein on Bringing Movements Together (Truth-out, 2017)

3. Robert Reich, American Narratives

Other Upcoming Events

Articles

Halfway Home, Oregon Legislators Still Face Huge To-Do List

Willamette named one of the top 10 most-endangered rivers in the country

Most Teachers Don't Teach Climate Change; 4 In 5 Parents Wish They Did

CLIMATE GROUPS CALL ON CITY OF PORTLAND TO ENACT EMERGENCY FOSSIL FUEL INFRASTRUCTURE MORATORIUM

Judge Rules Trump Administration Violated Law By Opening Public Lands to Coal Leasing

Check out our website – www.onesmallthingpdx.org – like our Facebook page -- https://www.facebook.com/One-Small-Thing-150519055702228/ -- follow our Twitter account -- @onepdx.

Regards,

Sara McKinney

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