by Margaret Butler, Executive Director
Representatives of the Better Oregon coalition came together the week of the election and decided that we would stay together for the long haul. While we are disappointed about the outcome on Measure 97, we are proud of what we did. We took on the some of the biggest and most powerful corporations in the country. They outspent us 2:1, breaking campaign finance records. We didn’t win, but we did change the debate about the massive gap between where we are — because Oregon is 50th in the nation in corporate taxes — and where we need to be to fund education, health care and senior services.
Over the past 20 months 1300 endorsers and over 10,000 volunteers had 225,000 conversations with Oregon voters. Our massive field operation means we have talked to more voters than any other campaign in Oregon history. What we heard on the doors and on the phones was that Oregonians want to raise graduation rates, reduce classroom sizes, make healthcare more affordable, and give seniors the resources they need to live in dignity. Voters think it is unacceptable that we are 50th in the nation in corporate taxes. Oregonians are ready to hold large corporations accountable. That is why this coalition of more than 1,300 individuals and groups representing more than 500,000 Oregonians is turning into a movement to take that message to Salem.
Oregon has a choice: we can ask corporations to pay their fair share or we can allow our schools and services to suffer. To us, the choice is clear. Please join us in our movement to keep pushing for real investments in our kids, in our families, and in our communities. Please join us in holding corporations accountable, because we know that’s how we build a better Oregon.