At Northwest Health Foundation, we talk a lot about decision-making tables: who’s at them, who’s not at them, and how decisions are being made with or without critical voices. Increasingly, we’ve come to believe the ballot is a critical decision-making table where our communities’ voices are needed more than ever.
We only make endorsements after careful consideration and consultation with community leaders, community-led organizations and our board. If communities agree on endorsing a measure, the issue campaign is community-driven, the measure aligns with our Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities goals, and we at Northwest Health Foundation have the capacity to offer our support, then we will make an endorsement.
Here's what we're endorsing in 2016:
YES on Measure 98 – High School Graduation and College and Career Readiness Act
What does it do? Measure 98, if passed, will require Oregon to earmark $800 in funding per high school student per school year for dropout prevention programs, college-level classes and career-technical education.
Who supports the Vote Yes 98 campaign? Latino Network, Coalition of Communities of Color, APANO Statewide Network, PCUN, Adelante Mujeres, NAYA Family Center, STAND for Children and many others.
Why YES? Oregon needs students to graduate ready to contribute to our communities and the economy. Oregon has the third lowest high school graduation rate in the country, and the kids who do graduate often leave school unprepared for college or career. This isn’t good for individuals; it isn’t good for families or communities; and it isn’t good for our economy. By funding dropout prevention programs, we can increase our graduation rates. Increasing the availability of Advanced Placement classes and co-enrollment in community college classes will give students a head start on college preparedness and earning a degree. And career-technical education will prepare students for living wage jobs and provide them with real-world skills. These approaches are proven to work.
YES on Measure 26-179 – Bonds to Fund Affordable Housing in Portland
What does it do? Measure 26-179 would authorize $258,400,000 in general obligation bonds for building, rehabilitating and preserving affordable housing for low-income households in Portland. The bonds would be paid for with a property tax, 42 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
Who supports the Yes for Affordable Homes campaign? APANO, Coalition of Communities of Color, Living Cully, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Urban League of Portland and many others.
Why YES? A stable home is a foundation for health. When Portlanders have stable and affordable places to live, they can focus on reaching their professional goals, succeeding in school, taking care of and spending time with family and friends and doing what matters to them. With the current affordable housing shortage, too many Portland residents are experiencing homelessness or paying more than they can afford for housing. By passing Measure 26-179, we can create 1,300 permanently affordable housing units, which will house tens of thousands of people over their lifetime.
YES on Proposition 1 – Levy to Fund Affordable Housing in Vancouver
What does it do? Proposition 1 would establish a levy on residential and commercial properties, 36 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. Vancouver would collect and distribute the money through a competitive public process to private developers, low-income property owners, the housing authority and nonprofits with the goal of preserving and creating affordable housing.
Who supports the Bring Vancouver Home campaign? Healthy Living Collaborative and many others.
Why YES? A stable home is a foundation for health. When Vancouver’s residents have stable and affordable places to live, they can focus on reaching their professional goals, succeeding in school, taking care of and spending time with family and friends and doing what matters to them. With the current affordable housing shortage, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and hardworking families with children are being priced out of Vancouver. By passing Proposition 1, we can help ensure that everyone in Vancouver has the opportunity to live in a safe, secure, healthy and affordable home.