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Dear OSTPDX Members,


Oregon’s public school system is worse than that of most states with some of the largest class sizes, shortest school years, the 3rd lowest high school graduation rates in the country, and subpar student achievement largely due to low funding. The legislature’s budget committee released its recommendation for the K-12 schools budget which again disinvests in our schools. The proposed budget will lead to either 4 additional school days being removed from an already too-short school year or 900 teachers being laid off. Enough is enough! Oregon has spent far too long disinvesting in its schools which is why our schools are in crisis.


What can be done?

Contact the legislature and demand that they fund our students and schools by calling for new investment. Contact Your Elected Officials

Make a plan to show your support by joining educators, parents and students for a Day of Action on the education budget on May 8th.


Our Oregon has requested you share a tweet or Facebook post about the inadequacy of the state budget. Some sample messages they wrote are listed below-feel free to copy and paste, or preferably, tweak the language so that is pertinent to your audience and your issue area:


Facebook

  • Today the legislature’s budget committee released its recommendation for the K-12 schools budget. Not only does their recommendation leave out any additional investment in our schools, but it actually calls for cuts. In a moment when every conversation about our schools is about the immense need, large class sizes, low graduation rates, and disrupted learning, this budget fails students. It’s time to INVEST in our students and in Oregon.

  • Oregon has underfunded its schools for decades, disproportionately hurting black and brown students, LGBTQ students, indigenous students, and students from low-income households. The co-chairs budget proposed today is a cuts budget that will only deepen those inequities. This is unacceptable, and we are calling on the legislature to INVEST in Oregon students.

  • We call on the legislature to fully fund our schools. This year. Don’t propose budget cuts when Oregon’s economy is booming and we should be talking about investments in our future. Our students can’t suffer any longer, and they shouldn’t have to.

  • We can choose to lower our class sizes. We can choose to hire counselors and nurses and mental health professionals. We can choose to restore programs like art and music. We can choose to prioritize students. The legislature must invest in our schools, not cut.

  • Oregon has some of the largest average class sizes in the nation. Students are missing out on the individual attention they deserve. It’s time to invest in our schools, not make cuts!

  • Share OEA’s post

  • Share Invest in Oregon’s post


Twitter - use #orleg #orpol


  • The co-chairs budget released today would mean cuts to education, even though our schools are in crisis. Large class sizes, low grad rates. It’s time to invest, not cut. #orleg #orpol

  • We can choose to lower our class sizes. We can choose to hire counselors and nurses and mental health professionals. We can choose to restore programs like art and music. We can choose to prioritize schools. The legislature must invest in our schools, not cut. #orleg #orpol

  • Oregon K-12 schools need $10.7B and CCs need $787M to serve students. Legislature’s recommended budget leaves out any additional investment in our schools and actually calls for cuts. #orleg

  • Retweet OEA’s tweet


Announcements


OSTPDX Announces Monthly Forums for March and April 2019


Join OSTPDX for an in-depth discussion of Immigration: We Are All Neighbors-How to Support Our Immigrant Communities in Oregon


Tuesday, March 12 at Subud Center, 3185 NE Regents Drive, Portland. Doors open at 6:45 for 7:00 program.


We are delighted to have Andrea Williams of CAUSA and Lisa LeSage of Immigration Consulting Services give us insights on immigration issues in Oregon with some national context. They are the experts working on these issues and solving problems every day.


We’ll look at the:

  • availability of legal services in Portland and more rural areas

  • the driver’s license bill in Oregon Legislature

  • advocacy for immigrants throughout Oregon


Our small group sessions will then focus on what actions we can take as engaged citizens to ensure our immigrant neighbors are getting the rights and services they need and deserve!


Beyond Prison: What are we doing in Oregon about Criminal Justice Reform?


Tuesday, April 9 at Subud Center, 3185 NE Regents Drive, Portland. Doors open at 6:45 for 7:00 program.


In 2018, a report by the nonprofit Sentencing Project found that African Americans are “overrepresented in every aspect of Multnomah County’s (and Oregon’s) criminal justice system.”


Bobbin Singh, Executive Director of the Oregon Justice Resource Center response was, “As Oregonians we should be embarrassed by this and work hard to transform our criminal justice system…”


The Oregon Justice Resource Center is a civil rights organization providing direct legal services and policy initiatives for underrepresented communities in our state’s justice system. Singh and other OJRC staff will speak about criminal justice reform for the OST April 9th program. They address what we can do to change racial and other inequities in the system including the incarceration of youth and women and related bills before the Oregon legislature this session.


HELP NEEDED with set up or clean up for the March 12 One Small Thing-PDX Meeting.

Do you have time to help other One Small Thing members assist in setting up for the next One Small Thing meeting on the evening of March 12? From 6:15 to until the program starts at 7, we need help moving chairs and other items to set up the room and to greet people as they arrive for the program. If you can’t arrive early, you can still help with clean up for a few minutes after 9 at the end of the social time. Either way, you are making a valuable contribution and getting to know other group members better. If interested, contact Jacque Abel at jacque.abel@comcast.net in the next week and she will give you with more details plus meet you at the event.


We also NEED HELP with note taking at upcoming general meetings, small groups, committees, etc. If you have availability to take brief notes of key points and decisions to help One Small Thing in various upcoming projects, contact Jacque Abel at jacque.abel@comcast.net for details and upcoming dates. You need to have a laptop to bring to a meeting and send out the notes.


Activities & Actions


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: We need Congress help families at here and at the border. We ask Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and end suffering at the border by passing the Keep Families Together Act, Protect Sensitive Locations Act, the REUNITE Act, and the ICE and CBP Body Camera Accountability Act.

Contact Your Elected Officials


Activities:

Read “Lobbying For Change With Moms Demand Action” by Mary Chaffin, chair of the One Small Thing PDX LegislatIve Task Force, a member of the OSTPDX executive team, and an organizer on the Indivisible Oregon Policy Team and challenge yourself to attend a lobby day. Check out our legislative calendar to find lobby days for what issues are most important to you and visit the OneSmallThing PDX website, where you'll find details on dozens of bills, the policy reasons behind them, their proponents, opponents, and advocacy groups to give you the information you need to successfully lobby your legislators.


OSTPDX Activist Reading Group’s next meeting

Thursday, March 28, 7-8:30pm at the home of Paulette and Lynn Wittwer, 2316 NE Tillamook Street, Portland.


We will be discussing: “White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson.


“Groundbreaking book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when discussing racism that serve to protect their positions and maintain racial inequality. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what can be done to engage more constructively.” (Goodreads)


Other Upcoming Events:


Articles

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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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