Why Greenpeace Supports The Fight for Clean Energy and a Sanctuary State in Oregon

by David McElhatton

October 30, 2018

Why should you be paying attention to what's on the ballot in Oregon? Once a measure passes here, it’s not long before it shows up in a dozen other states. Oregon advocates are well aware that they’re not just fighting for their own future but they’re leading the way nationwide.

Communities throughout Oregon are working to stop Measure 105 from becoming law — one attempting to bring extremist, anti-immigrant policies to Oregon. ©OregonUnited/NoOn105

DOUG BROWN

Greenpeace is proud to announce our endorsement of the Portland Clean Energy Initiative 26-201 and the campaign to vote No on 105 in Oregon. These local fights have national implications; in the face of a regressive wave of anti-immigrant sentiment and climate denial, grassroots movements are rising up to fight for clean energy and against the rollback of racial profiling laws at the ballot.

In the midst of so much turmoil at the federal level, why does Oregon matter? Because for decades, Oregon has acted as a laboratory for the far right. Its permissive ballot initiative system, cost-effective media market, and rural/urban divide make it a perfect testing ground for many other states. Once a measure passes in Oregon, it’s not long before it pops up in a dozen other states. Oregon advocates are well aware that they’re not just fighting for the future of their state–they’re leading the way nationwide.

YES on 26-201

The Portland Clean Energy Initiative (Measure 26-201) is an ambitious first step towards an equitable clean energy future, where new renewable energy and energy efficiency investments improve our homes, improve our city’s environment, train our workers, and support our businesses. The funding is raised by a 1% business licensing surcharge generated by retail corporations with over $1 billion in annual revenue and at least $500,000 in Portland revenue — that’s just 1% from the top 1%! Predictably, corporate giants like Comcast, Amazon, US Bank, and Walmart are funneling money into a campaign to prevent this measure from passing.

Walmart doesn't speak for us. Vote YES for clean energy!

We say get big corporate cash out of the way of climate action and democracy. Portlanders demand clean energy, good jobs, and people over profits!Vote YES on #PDXCleanEnergy Initiative, Measure 26-201.

Posted by PDX Clean Energy Initiative on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

NO on 105

Measure 105 is an attempt to bring extremist, anti-immigrant policies to Oregon. It would throw out the state’s anti-racial profiling law, which passed more than 30 years ago with broad bipartisan support. The existing law gives clear guidance to local police on how to handle complex immigration issues and prevents police from stopping, detaining or interrogating someone just because of the color of their skin, their accent or their perceived immigration status. The groups behind the effort to throw out Oregon’s existing anti-racial profiling law are Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) and the Federation of Immigration Reform (FAIR). Both groups have been designated extremist hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And those advocating NO on 105  include racial justice organizations, law enforcement leaders, teachers, farmers, doctors and more.

Winning Together

While these two measures might seem disparate on the surface, the coalitions behind each have a lot in common: the leadership of organizations within communities of color. Organizations like OPAL, APANO, NAYA, Verde, NAACP Portland, and Coalition of Communities of Color have been leading the fight for the Portland Clean Energy Initiative. It is not an accident that many of the communities represented by these organizations will be directly targeted if Measure 105 passes; control of land, resources, and movement has been a primary tool used to deny freedom and sovereignty to people of color since the time of colonization.

“The Portland Clean Energy Initiative (Measure 26-201) will fund good jobs, clean energy, and green spaces for the communities that are most impacted by climate change. $30 million will be raised every year by putting just a 1% surcharge on billion-dollar retailers, the very same corporations that just got an enormous tax cut from Trump. The huge and diverse coalition behind Measure 26-201 is like nothing Portland has ever seen–and this will be the first environmental initiative created and led by communities of color in Oregon’s history.

Meanwhile, an anti-immigrant hate group is trying to pass Measure 105 to repeal Oregon’s 30-year-old sanctuary state law. Communities from every corner of Oregon are working hard to stop Measure 105 and protect Oregonians from racial profiling and families being torn apart. We must fight to stop racist, hateful policy (Measure 105) and move climate justice forward (Measure 26-201).”

— María Hernández Segoviano (Advocacy Coordinator, OPAL Environmental Justice)

Want to learn more about the these Oregon initiatives? Visit ORUnited.org and PortlandCleanEnergyInitiative.com!

David McElhatton

By David McElhatton

David McElhatton is a National Organizer at Greenpeace USA.

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