Measures 66 & 67 and the Long Haul

Wow, the work that ROPers have done to pass Measures 66 & 67 is more than you can shake a stick at.  You, ROP, and the rest of our human dignity leaders have:

  • Hand-distributed ROP’s county-specific STAND voter guides in 20 counties!
  • Knocked on 1520 doors and called 3225 voters to encourage voters to vote YES!
  • Made calls to all 36 counties to encourage a YES vote!
  • As part of the Rural Media Center, sent in over 50 letters to the editors of local papers, and had 11 articles and editorials printed!
  • Recruited small business owners in 16 counties to come out as a public face in support of 66 & 67!
  • Mailed to 12,496 rural voters with ROP’s STAND Voter Guide explaining how the ballot measures will affect their community and urging them to vote YES!

Whooeee.  Did we win yet?

Well, not exactly.  Actually, in these last days leading up to a tax vote, the trend is for our small lead to drop, so we need to all help out with this last push to make sure that yes voters get their ballots in and folks teetering on the fence vote yes!  In the final hours, ROP groups are squeezing in those last phone calls to neighbors and friends, telling them about the importance of protecting funding for education, public safety, and how these measures will only help to get the rich and corporations to pay their fair share.
Do you have a spare hour or more before Tuesday?  All you need is a phone line to call into the statewide phonebank system and get routed to voters that need to get their ballots in.  Contact TODAY to get a script and instructions for how to plug in and get a short list of voters to call.  It’s fun and easy and you’ll thank yourself come Wednesday morning!
But a democratic economy is built of more than a fair tax structure, and no matter what happens on Tuesday, the movement to build a new economy in Oregon will go on.  Though the spotlight shifts, people across the state are still getting their hands dirty putting together the brick and mortar of our new economy.  We’re developing models of sustainable, publicly-owned energy; we’re moving our money into local banks accountable to the community, we’re working day by day to meet the growing need for social services in the midst of this "jobless recovery."  We’re putting our heads together to create a vision for what we want.
As we find ourselves at a fork in the road, the recent tragedy in Haiti brings into painful relief what we could be headed towards: defunded infrastructure, a country where wealth is polarized and the very rich live apart from the rest of us, who have little access to quality education, libraries, health care, security, and the basic necessities of food and shelter.
Just as what Naomi Klein calls the Shock Doctrine is already at work in Haiti, we are facing our own slow-moving version of the same technique.  Unless organized people stand in the way, economic crisis, unemployment, natural disasters, are all used in the 21st century to promote deregulation, privatization of public wealth, and government contracts with corporations that have anything but our best interest in mind.  If this is not the "new" economy we want, we need our own vision.
There are big changes afoot, friends – the world’s economy is shifting.  Are we ready to participate?  What is our story?  What is our plan?  Where are we going?
Join us on Saturday, April 10th in Albany for the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session where we will advance our plan for a new economy, one that is people-centered and based on the values of democracy.  Register here now.
Throughout this last year, we have watched our reps in DC muddle through health care reform, and now we’re reminded how fragile those national politics are as well: with the election Tuesday of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts, the national debate takes a turn towards obscurity.  Through this we are learning an important, albeit painful lesson: real, deep change will not happen at the top.
Through our actions, we are making decisions about how to shift the balance of power and pull ourselves out of this economic crisis.