What an election season! Oregon AFSCME members did over 700 volunteer shifts, knocking 10,000 doors and doing 50,000 contacts via phone/text! Thank you to all the incredible volunteers that made it possible!
We wanted to highlight a few areas where we made big progress for working people:
- Lane County Workers Campaign for Respect at Work Pays Off - Last year in Lane County, an aggressive anti-worker Commission forced workers out on strike. Today, that County Commission has been flipped to one that supports workers. Local 2831, put in an incredible amount of work, identified the right candidates, and volunteered. With hundreds of volunteer shifts, members made the difference electing Joe Berney and Heather Buch to crucial county commission seats. That folks, is how you finish a strike with a big win!
- Members in the Salem Area Help Deliver for Rep. Evans - A union-coalition went to bat for long-time ally Rep. Paul Evans against a well-funded challenger. Again, AFSCME members were at the forefront of making sure that seat remained with an individual who values the work we do and the services we provide.
- Local 189 Backing Helps Hardesty Become First African American Woman to Serve as City Councilor - Local 189 endorsed Jo Ann Hardesty, who will become the first African American woman to serve as City Councilor in Portland’s history. Local 189 supplied Hardesty with valuable resources and boots on the ground to secure a strong voice for working people on the City Council. Hardesty’s no B.S. style, pro-equity, and pro-worker stance will be a huge benefit to members.
- We Elected Union Members - Tiffiny Mitchell (SEIU) and Rachel Prusack (ONA) won their legislative races In very important swing districts. Both ran on their credentials as working-people and union members. In Prusack’s case, she defeated Julie Parrish, the person who attempted to strip healthcare away from thousands of Oregonians in a ballot measure fight earlier this year and is a reliable anti-PERS vote. Now both districts have a union member fighting on their behalf. While the race is still within a 100 or so votes; our own Jennifer Chapman continues to lead her challenger and looks poised to be the elected as a Yamhill County Judge! Also deserving of a shout out is Christy Inskip of Local 2831 who ran a strong campaign against Rep. Cedric Hayden. Although, she was not able to secure a victory in a deeply conservative district, Christy’s future in Oregon politics is bright if she chooses to continue on that path.
- Gov. Kate Brown Wins Re-election - With Gov. Brown we have someone who is not set on attacking your PERS; we have someone who wants to work with us to find the right solutions to legacy cost and the pressure they are putting on public budgets. In short, we have someone who has your back on the bread and butter issues that impact you and your families. We are already forming our legislative plans to defend PERS but doing so under Gov. Brown versus the potential Buehler Administration are night and day.
The pro-worker make-up of the legislature will also mean that our legislative agenda this year will be proactive and we plan to fight hard for PTSI protections for Corrections Officers and Staff, fight to reverse SB 1066 that took away double coverage, and much more. Importantly, with this legislature there is the potential to have some real lasting, positive impacts on our state and the work we do!