Oct. 2009 KTA: $10? Fund Education & Health with Fair Taxes!

Tax Fairness is essential to building a Democratic Economy where we all contribute a fair share of our income for the common good & all are able to access the basic services that we need. That’s why the upcoming special election is so crucial to Oregon’s future and the broader movement for a People’s Economy.  And it’s why all hands are on deck here at ROP to make sure that Rural Oregon votes YES for Tax Fairness in January.

Check out this month’s Kitchen Table Activism for some concrete, effective and simple steps your Human Dignity Group can take to protect tax fairness.

Make sure to get your group’s STAND Order in by the October 16th deadline!


WHAT IS THE ACTIVITY?  In October, as we enjoy the crisp fall and the turning leaves, it’s time to clear the air about the essential education, health care, and public safety services that are fundamental to community well-being, and the tax measures that we need to make sure those programs continue.

For this month’s Kitchen Table Activity, we ask you to gather up all the charisma and passion that your group can muster and get the word out in your community about Tax Fairness.  By collecting pledges and sharing information with your neighbors about the upcoming special elections, your group will help maintain the very services and programs that are part of our constitutional and human rights.  And you will build the capacity of your group to work long term for a more just and democratic economy.
WHY THIS ACTIVITY?   This January, there is likely to be a special election that will have major impacts on the state’s vital services, including education, healthcare, and public safety.  The Rural Organizing Project is working on a YES campaign to protect these basic services, and we invite you to get involved!
As the recession continues, demand for essential services increases.  Because more than 90% of the state’s budget goes directly to education, healthcare, and public safety, this crisis could have major impacts on all Oregonians.  At the same time, two-thirds of corporations doing business in Oregon pay just $10 a year in income taxes.  It’s time for a change.
In order to preserve and create Oregon jobs, prevent cuts to essential services, and keep the burden off of middle-class families, the Oregon Legislature passed two tax increases on corporations and the richest Oregonians. The measures raise the $10 corporate minimum income tax (for the first time since 1931) to $150 and increase the marginal tax rate on rich households with income above $250,000. The tax increases protect middle-class families and preserve about $1 billion in funding for healthcare, education, and public safety.  By keeping $1 billion circulating in Oregon, these measures will protect and create good jobs when we need them most.
By signing the Pledge to vote YES in January, you can help play a vital role in protecting these vital services, help make Oregon’s tax system fairer for everyone, and protect Oregon’s future.
It’s simple.
Get your Human Dignity Group together and make a plan to:
1.      Get pledges.  Last month many ROP members pledged to vote YES on the January tax fairness measures.  Now it’s time to reach out and offer our communities a chance to do the same.
First, e-mail the Online Tax Fairness Pledge link to all your groups’ contacts and ask them to do the same.  Then, download pledge sheets and decide who will go where. Visit farmers’ markets, churches, union meetings, workplaces, local harvest festivals, and other community events.  Canvass group members’ neighborhoods in teams of 2-4.
Remember: asking folks to sign the pledge offers your group a chance to educate people about the measures AND gets you contact info for progressive community members that you can contact about other events and campaigns your HDG is organizing.
 2.    Distribute STAND Voter Guides.   While big industry-led opposition spreads misinformation, it is our job to provide voters with clear analysis and info about these measures.
Place your order ASAP for ROP’s Voter Guide, STAND: Small Town Actions for New Democracy.  Our voter guide – designed by and for small town and rural voters – is renowned for breaking down confusing ballot initiatives and making tough issues accessible all within a pro-democracy, common sense framework that appeals to a broad spectrum of the community.
Decide how many STAND guides your Human Dignity group will distribute in your community.  Will you mail them to your database?  Hand deliver to your neighbors at their doorsteps?  Give us a call at 503-543-8417 if you want help figuring out a distribution plan for your community. Then go to the ROP website to place your order.  The voter guide will be available for local printing by November 15th or earlier.
STAND Guide Orders are due October 16th
PS.  If you’re having a planning meeting with your group, be sure to print these “Campaign-In-A-Box” materials to bring along.
PPS.  Want to stay ahead of the curve?
  • Contact ROP at 503-543-8417 if you are ready to start organizing a Community Forum to talk about the measures and how they fit into a broader conversation on building a democratic economy.  We’d love to help.
  • We are also looking for individuals to join our Rural Media Center team.  Learn more about the Media Center.


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