JOIN US for our final meeting of 2021! In-Person or Via ZOOM!!
WHEN: TUESDAY – December 14, 2021
TIME: 6:30 pm – Social; 7:00 General Meeting
WHERE: Unitarian Universalist 129 NW E St and Virtually via Zoom
Oregon Democratic Governor Candidate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Nicholas Kristof, will be joining our holiday party via Zoom! Kristof grew up on a farm outside Yamhill, and is running for Oregon Governor in 2022 We are eager to hear him state his case for new leadership in the state.
For our in-person attendees, we will be celebrating the season with pizza and libations – and we look forward to seeing folks in person.
**************Masks are required for in-person attendees******************
THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN
HELP IS HERE AND IT FEELS SO GOOD!
When President Biden took office, he promised the American people that help was on the way. Now, Biden and Democrats have delivered on that promise. Here are some highlights of what the American Rescue Plan means for you and fellow Oregonians:
DIRECT PAYMENTS: This plan will get checks out the door, starting NOW. 85% of American households will get direct payments of one thousand four hundred dollars per person. Because of Democrats, working families bearing the brunt of this crisis will see $1,400 direct checks in the mail, thousands more in individual benefits, the resources to get our kids and teachers safely back to school, access to more affordable health care and so much more.
VACCINES: This plan provides funding for vaccine distribution, coronavirus testing, and contact tracing so we can get vaccines into the arms of more people and end this pandemic.
STATE HELP: The plan provides $2.758 billion in state relief.
The American Rescue Plan is the most consequential piece of legislation for working families in modern American history. It is a historic response to the moment of crisis we face and will make a real difference in the lives of Americans by creating jobs, providing economic relief, and defeating this virus.
This is a huge accomplishment, but we still have so much work to do to help our country recover from this pandemic. One thing is clear: we have to keep electing Democrats up and down the ballot to get critical, progressive legislation like the American Rescue Plan across the finish line.
The American Rescue plan had bipartisan support across the country with the voters. Democrats voted for a package that enjoys broad support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents across the country.
Yet, NOT A SINGLE elected Republican supported it, including our congressional representative Cliff Bentz.
Democrats voted to send $1,400 checks to Americans bearing the brunt of the crisis – not a single Republican joined them.
Democrats voted for a national vaccination program to get shots into people’s arms – not a single Republican joined them.
Democrats voted for aid for small businesses struggling to keep their doors open – not a single Republican joined them.
Democrats voted for funding to keep educators on the payroll and to safely reopen schools – not a single Republican joined them.
While the plan has broad bipartisan support among citizens, our recent wins in the Senate and House were slim. The far right factions of the Republican Party are even now supporting HUNDREDS of state bills to limit voting rights.
HOW CAN I HELP?
To hang on to these victories and ensure a bright future for our democracy, we need YOUR involvement! This includes participating in our local party efforts, helping to keep our Democratic elected officials in office, and help flip obstructionist in office who are blocking much needed progress!
Sign up here to learn more about how you can be involved in our local democracy!
We are now focusing our efforts on Getting Out The Vote (GOTV). Although the General Election had a turnout of 76% this last year in Josephine County, we see much lower turnouts during other elections (e.g., only 43% turnout for Josephine county in the 2020 primary election). Electing Democratic candidates into local positions is extremely important and our local elections should not be ignored!
Our next election is May 18, 2021, with most ballots being mailed out on or after April 28, 2021. (Registered voters with mailing addresses outside of Oregon may go out on or after April 19, 2021.)
Don’t forget – the deadline to file a candidate statement or a measure argument in the Josephine County Voters’ Pamphlet is Monday, March 22nd!
Thursday, March 18th marked the final deadline to file for the May 18, 2021 Special Election. These non-partisan districts include:
Our efforts in electing local Democrats, such as our Grants Pass Mayor and members of Grants Pass City Council, are a testament to our abilities as a community to vote in responsible, genuine and hard-working Democrats. Let’s continue bettering our community by electing those candidates that best serve us. You can view the local races, measures and candidate filings for this May 18th Special Election at https://co.josephine.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=1669.
Support Senate Bill 755 To Fund The Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act
Guest contributor, Dr. Barbra Villona – Measure 110 was endorsed by labor unions, professional organizations, and advocacy groups including the Oregon Nurses Association, the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians, and the Oregon Chapter of the American College of Physicians, Unite Oregon, Latino Network, and the Oregon Public Health Association.
Oregonians across the state voted overwhelmingly in favor, passing it by a 17-point margin but the Senate Committee On Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation has not yet funded the measure.
Measure 110, The Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act, treats the personal possession of small amounts of recreational drugs, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and opioid pain pills, as a civil violation indicative of a medical problem needing to be treated rather than a crime needing to be punished. Prior to passing of the measure, Oregon state law typically treated possession of small amounts of drugs as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the person’s prior record. Now, the civil violation is subject to a health assessment or a fine of $100.
The manufacturing and selling of these drugs are still crimes. Possession of larger amounts of drugs 2 grams or more of cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin was a felony but has been reduced to a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days of imprisonment and a fine of up to $6,250.
MONEY: SOURCE AND ALLOCATION
According to the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, drug possession convictions will be reduced by about 90%. The money saved will be redirected into the new state fund for addiction treatment. The majority of the funding will be reallocation of cannabis tax money which is projected to increase over time.
While no additional treatment beds are added, additional funding and a centralized hotline, (503) 575-2769, will increase access. Current addiction service providers will be designated Addiction and Recovery Centers which will be standardized in each service region to include peer support, case management, and health care referrals. A new committee under the Oregon Health Authority will oversee the Addiction and Recovery Centers and decide how to allocate the fund. The new state fund could also be used to pay for addiction treatment, housing for people with substance use disorder, and harm reduction services like needle exchanges.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Any resident of Oregon can submit Public Written testimony to the Oregon State Legislature in support of Senate Bill 755 (to fund Measure 110). Here is an info sheet from Unite Oregon to get you started. Oral testimony can be very impactful. If you would like to submit Oral Public Testimony, you are encouraged to contact Anna Ford, the United Oregon Community Organizer for the Rogue Valley: email@example.com