ROP and Immigrants Rights in 2009

In 2009, tensions around immigration have heightened in communities across rural Oregon and the country.  And, as in years past, immigration fairness is a priority for ROP in 2009.  Follow the link below for an overview of ROP’s Immigration Fairness workplan for this year.
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We Must Build a People’s Economy!

Over the next year, ROP will be working with Human Dignity Groups and partner organizations throughout the state to create a broad movement for economic justice in rural Oregon. 
Our People’s Economy Campaign will focus on three key areas – education, action, and policy change. 
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Gimme 3 steps toward that door


Afghanistan has never been off the table. It has always been a part of the war on terror, though for the past few years it has been overshadowed by the clearly despicable Iraq Occupation. And in some ways, this might very well have been to our anti-war advantage now.

This weekend, we’re counting on you to participate in three Calls to Action that attack the war in Afghanistan from different angles, 3 steps toward that door out of war (Skynyrd anyone?).
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Let’s Build a People’s Economy!

 Building a democratic economy starts here!

Rural Organizing Project is working with our member groups to bring the economy into the forefront of our organizing.  Below is a menu of options for your group to consider on how to organize in this economic crisis.


Living Room Conversation on the Economy: Gather friends, neighbors, members and supporters of your human dignity group for a conversation on the economy.  A ROP staff person can lead your group through a conversation that explores: why we are in a recession, strategies other communities are using to respond to this crisis, opportunities and challenges for organizing locally. 


Roundtable Dialogues: ROP will work with you to bring together community leadership with concerned community members & activists to learn more about how the crisis is playing out in your county, assess what needs there are, what programs are already in place, analyze who the current economy is benefiting, consider what opportunities there are to build a more democratic economy locally and identify barriers to getting us there.  Current consensus around the need to do things differently opens up conversation in new ways and creates potential new alliances in our communities.  Roundtable participants have ranged from: elected officials, small business owners, credit union/community bankers, homeowners in foreclosure, social service agencies, education leadership, community action team, Latino leadership, small business owners.  ROP will work with your group to evaluate who to invite in your community, put together an agenda, and facilitate the Roundtable Dialogue.



Hometown Strategies: Hometown Strategies are locally focused survival economics programs and organizing campaigns that not only work with people in our communities to survive this moment but also implement locally led plans that bring us closer to making a more democratic economy.  We will be focusing on strategies that infuse organizing into meeting basic needs.  Read more about Hometown Strategies in place in other communities by clicking on the below links:


Bring Your Money Home

Foreclosure Defense

Common Security Club

Local Currency

Transition Town

Local Food 


Have a Hometown Strategy that is working in your community?  Share it with the ROP by emailing cara(at)


Accountability: Join ROP’s statewide efforts to help hold accountable those responsible for the economic recession.  Email cara(at) for more details on this strategy and opportunities to be engaged.


Economists on Tour: Get one for your town: ROP is organizing touring economists to come visit your town to talk about how we got into this crisis and some smart ideas for getting us out of this mess. Are you interested in hosting a Visiting Economist (credentials and all)? You would set them up with a few different stops in your town at the Rotary, the Soroptimists, the local radio program or wherever the people gather. Contact cara(at) to get your dates on the calendar! 


What is Democratic Economy? 

Rural Oregon has been hard hit by the economic crisis. We see double digit unemployment rates in practically every county. The rate of people on food stamps is double or triple what it was one year ago. And there is no solution in sight from the federal government or big business.


ROP is engaging in a long term campaign to look at what it means to build strong local economies & resilient communities.


Now is our opportunity to reach into the mess of the economic crisis and pull out our direction for a better future – a future where our communities are valued, our neighbors are secure and our children have opportunity. This is a chance to revamp the systems that have failed us in these past years.


This is the place to find the newest information on the current Democratic Economy campaign, our analysis on the Economic Collapse, and ways to join the conversation about rebuilding our economy from a local perspective.


Democratic Economy means that local communities should have a say in economic decisions that impact their communities.  It means that these decisions should not be made by a few people but by the people most affected.  It is about keeping local control over local resources. 


When most of us think of our economy, we think of it as something that is slightly mysterious, external, neutral, and decipherable only by experts.  In reality, our economy is what we do with our money and how we get our needs met, but we have too often ceded control to experts who are external to our communities or to a few wealthy individuals or corporations who control a disproportionate amount of local resources and may not have the interests of the majority of our community members at heart – or even know what those interests are. 


ROP’s campaign to build Hometown Strategies for Democratic Economy is rooted in local control and decision making, local wisdom and experience, and fairness and equity in economic development and resource management.  We believe that through collective action as a community we can transform our economies to work for all of us. 

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Turn UP the Volume!

On July 1st, 285 families and individuals in the Northwest part of Oregon will be turned out of their homes.

Columbia County, where most of those evictions will take place, has an unemployment rate of 15.4%. As the economic crisis deepens, it becomes clear that what we need is more support for our neighbors that have been hardest hit, not less. We need a way to ensure a basic standard of living for everybody in our community, and that includes the poor, the disabled, and the elderly.

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Ms. Paterno Goes to Washington: In Her Own Words

ROP Board Chair Kathy Paterno and Sen. Ron Wyden in DCI was one of the lucky ones to take part in the Reform Immigration for America Campaign Summit in Washington, DC last week on behalf of the Rural Organizing Project.  Ten of us from Oregon joined with delegates from 36 states.  The strongest message I came home with is this: 

We (everyone of us) have to exercise our power, turn up the heat, get organized and put the pressure on!  Our elected officials can only act boldly if they believe their constituents are demanding it.   

One of my most meaningful experiences happened before I got there – on my flight between Denver and DC.  I found myself sitting next to a 60-something gentleman who was quite interested in my reason for visiting his home base.  When I mentioned immigration reform, he immediately began presenting his views about the “illegals.”  I could feel my stomach begin to churn. 

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Stand with Kathy for Immigration Reform

Yesterday more than 700 advocates descended on Capitol Hill to tell Congress: "We cannot wait any longer.  America needs to reform immigration now." 

Among those hundreds was ROP’s very own newly elected board chair, Kathy Paterno from member group Human Dignity Advocates in Crook County.  Kathy is representing ROP as a member of the delegation from Oregon that includes CAUSA, PCUN, and Mujeres Luchadores Progresistas who are in Washington D.C for four days to attend the largest convening of immigration reform advocates and allies of the year.

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