2021 Political Priorities

During the 2021 political legislative session, our Union is uniting with coalition allies, community partners, and elected leaders to pass bills will improve access to healthcare, protect immigrant rights, build a safer workforce for all workers, and acknowledge and address racism so people of color can live and work safely. In Oregon, we’re focused on policies that will: 

  • Make it state law that immigrants do not need to choose between citizenship and access to affordable health care.
  • Rein in healthcare costs and preserve and improve access and equity in healthcare for all Oregonians.
  • Provide child care & other basic needs to every family to help boost our economic recovery.
  • Build a stronger, safer workforce for every worker, no matter what their job is. 
  • Work to repair generations of systemic racism and create an Oregon where all of us have a fair shot.
  • Ensure environmental justice because our next generation cannot afford to wait one more day, and because we cannot afford more crises.

Healthcare

Equity Impact: SEIU works to support access to quality and affordable health care for our members, with a specific focus on eliminating racial disparities in health outcomes and creating a health care system that works for BIPOC communities, women, LGBTQ+ communities, immigrants, and low income people.

  • Charity Care Public Charge Fix (HB 2360): The bill will advance SEIU’s anti-racist agenda by making it state law that immigrants do not need to choose between citizenship and access to affordable health care.
  • Equal Access to Care Act (HB 2362): This legislation seeks to rein in health care costs and preserve and improve access to health care for all Oregonians, and it explicitly seeks to improve health equity.
  • Regional Health Equity Coalitions (SB 70): Regional Health Equity Coalitions help address health equity with a strengths-based approach to working with local communities.

Private security licensing

Equity Impact: In order to improve and promote equity and public safety, we must establish a comprehensive licensing program that increases training and accountability for private security professionals and their employers. We must hold security companies accountable to ensure that private security professionals are trained to identify and prevent racist/discriminatory behaviors, sexual harassment, and assault that often disproportionately targets BIPOC populations and women.

  • Security Licensing Bill (HB 2527): Requires Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to establish by rule standards and procedures for licensing of private security entities.

Fair Shot agenda

Equity Impact: Fair Shot for All is an economic justice coalition of grassroots organizations and labor unions working together to build power with our communities, to create opportunities for all working families to thrive, and to dismantle historic and systemic economic inequities for Oregonians who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color (BIPOC); women; immigrants; and/or LGBTQ+. Fair Shot’s work centers racial and gender equity that seeks to address inequalities through organizing and concrete policy change.

  • Healthy Homes (HB 2842): Creates funding for health and safety upgrades in Oregon homes.
  • Child Care Assistance Reform (HB 2503): Expands eligibility for certain child care subsidy programs.
  • HB 2936: Requires Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to investigate person’s character before accepting person for training and certification as police officer or reserve officer.

Higher ed

Equity Impact: This session SEIU has prioritized higher education policies and investments that are supported by and benefit BIPOC, LGBTQ+, womxn, and low-income families.  Examples of policies and investments SEIU is supporting include: increasing student financial aid, ensuring tuition equity and support for citizens of the Republic of Marshall Islands, the Federated State of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau who live in Oregon under the Compact of Free Association (COFA), and adding specially trained staff to assist students in applying for needed federal food, shelter, and cash assistance programs. For faculty and staff, SEIU is supporting expanding healthcare and unemployment benefits to more post secondary faculty and staff and increasing state funding for Oregon’s seven public universities and seventeen community colleges.

 

Endorsements

Real Police Accountability’s SB 621: Upholds local laws concerning local community oversight boards established to oversee disciplinary matters concerning law enforcement officers, notwithstanding collective bargaining laws that require bargaining over such matters.

Health Justice Recovery Alliance: Coalition that is focused on the implementation of Ballot Measure 110 (Drug Decriminalization and Addiction Treatment Initiative).

Adult Criminal Record Expungement: Created a coalition focused on cleaning up Oregon’s criminal justice record system. There are 3 goals for expungement: decrease waiting periods, clean-up the process, and automate it like voting enrollment.

HB2337: Declares racism a public health crisis. Acknowledges Oregon’s racist history and its current day impact on policies and systems that perpetuate institutional racism which causes harm, trauma, illness and death to Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) Oregonians, and the need to heal these injustices through accelerated intentional actions. Articulates investments and strategies needed to address health inequities among BIPOC Oregonians and  Oregon Tribes. The strategies include: collecting data on race, ethnicity, language, and disability (REAL); creating an oversight committee in OHA; and creating an Equity Coordinator position for the legislature.

No-Fee Check-Cashing (HB 2356): Prohibits a state-chartered bank or credit union from charging fees to cash a check that is drawn in Oregon from an account at that institution. This bill would potentially save unbanked and underbanked Oregonians anywhere from dozens of dollars to the low-hundreds of dollars annually; valuable money that hard-working Oregonians depend on to live. Collectively, there is the potential for savings in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to the low-millions of dollars annually statewide.

 

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