Every day, Oregonians throughout the state wake up anxious about difficult decisions that await them and their families. Should they use their last few dollars to buy food or keep the lights on? Our fellow Oregonians living – surviving – on low incomes face no-win choices: two adults with a child need the income of both parents in order to pay rent, but one of them must stay home because child care is unaffordable, if it’s available at all.
For Oregon families, these are not so much choices as a Catch-22 of economic insecurity, a trap from which there seems to be no escape.
But there is a way out. There are choices our state can make that create a path toward economic security, toward ensuring all Oregonians can live in dignity. That is why we put together this Action Plan for the People: How to Build Economic Justice in Oregon.
This Action Plan outlines the changes needed to create an economy that works for all Oregonians. The plan is anchored in the need to advance tax justice, boost worker power, and raise Oregonians’ incomes. These key tax, employment, and public investment policies will shift the system away from benefiting the very rich and the largest corporations and instead lift up the Oregonians struggling to make ends meet.
The policies contained in this Action Plan reflect what the research shows can work, as well as what communities demand. In putting together this document, we spent a year talking to dozens of community-based organizations about their community’s challenges, needs, and priorities. Many of these conversations were with organizations representing Black, Indigenous, and other Oregonians of color. These communities face much greater economic challenges under an economic system crafted by and for white wealthy elites.
This Action Plan lays out the policies needed to transform Oregon, but the energy and conviction needed to make them a reality must come from all of us. We must come together and fight for an economically just Oregon. I invite you to join us in this fight. Together, we can build an Oregon where everyone lives in dignity.