Yes to Driver’s Licenses for All, No to IP43

On Friday thousands of Oregonians across the state rallied for a massive global climate strike. From Klamath Falls to Seaside, students and community members joined millions around the world in actions to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. Rural and small town human dignity leaders continue to be a voice and moral compass in their communities, demanding more just systems that ensure healthy, viable and sustainable rural communities where everyone can live with dignity.
As we make plans for our continued work, rural and small town human dignity leaders are coming together to fight an attack on immigrants and asylum seekers here in Oregon. We recently wrote with the news that Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) had begun gathering signatures on Initiative Petition 43 (IP 43) to push Driver’s Licenses for All to the ballot in 2020 and take away our victory. On Monday, September 16th, the sponsorship signatures submitted by OFIR were approved and OFIR can soon begin gathering signatures to repeal Driver’s Licenses for All. Our first opportunity to protect Driver’s Licenses for All and keep it off the ballot begins now, by spreading the word, distributing pledge cards and making sure our communities do not sign IP43 and put it on the ballot. Check out ways your group can take action below.
If this sounds familiar, it is because we have been here before. In 2014, OFIR successfully got an anti-Driver’s Card measure onto the ballot and repealed the hard won victory for drivers’ licenses for all. In 2018, OFIR tried to repeal our state’s 30 year old sanctuary policy by putting Measure 105 onto the ballot. We voted it down and protected our state sanctuary law that ensures that state and local funds can’t be used to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in detaining our community members. Why is OFIR so keen on reversing important protections of human dignity in our state?
Southern Poverty Law Center classifies OFIR as an anti-immigrant hate group. OFIR has, over the years, received the financial backing of the national anti-immigrant group FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform). OFIR’s cofounder is also the primary funder for ALIPAC–a North Carolina-based organization whose founder says that violence might be necessary to “save white America.” OFIR is not about fairness in immigration or upholding the democratic process, but in taking out-of-state dollars to use our hometowns as a national testing ground for anti-immigrant policies.
Human dignity groups across the state fought hard to achieve victories on Measure 105 and to pass Driver’s Licenses for All in the legislature. We won’t back down now! 
How to get your group involved:
1. Collect pledge cards in your community and spread the word. OFIR will begin collecting signatures soon, so let’s make sure our friends and neighbors know about IP43 and pledge to vote NO! Initiative petitions can be misleadingly written, and signature gatherers are trained to encourage people to sign measures that roll back basic human rights by saying that sending issues to the voters is democratic. Make a plan with your human dignity group to talk with your community about why it’s important to decline to sign ALL petitions unless you know exactly what it is. Here’s how to order and use the pledge cards:
  1. Decide how you and your group want to use the pledge cards to create conversations with your neighbors. A few options include: collect them at farmer’s markets and public events; distribute them at group meetings; ask friends, neighbors, coworkers, and others to sign on.
  2. Download the pledge cards in English and Spanish or email and let ROP know how many pledge cards your group would like to distribute. ROP will mail you the pledge cards.
  3. Keep track of supporters! Add pledge signers to your group’s database.
  4. Send completed pledge cards back to ROP.
2. Help us track where petitions are being circulated. The more we know, the more prepared we will be to respond. If you run into a petition circulator capture the following information. Share these questions with friends and neighbors who may also run into petition circulators:
  • Which petitions are the circulators carrying?
  • Did they have copies of the full text of the initiatives available for people to read?
  • Did they misrepresent the subject matter of the initiative?
  • Where and when did you see them?
  • Were they working alone or in a group?
Report back what you see to ROP by emailing Remember: never attempt to interfere with a petition circulator’s work, and never argue with a petition circulator, even if they’re misrepresenting an initiative.
3. Make an action plan for the coming year. Now is the time to find new supporters and bring them into our ongoing work, or to start a group in your community so you can take action together.
  • Bring in new supporters: Carry sign-in sheets to all your events and as you collect pledge cards (here is an example!) and add folks to your email list and database.
  • Schedule a strategy session with ROP: Our work to advance human dignity in rural Oregon will not be won overnight, and neither will fighting to maintain Driver’s Licenses for All. ROP can help you form a group or build a plan to protect driver’s licenses, challenge the systems and policies of detention and deportation in your local community, and strengthen your group for the long haul.