The ACLU of Oregon often takes positions on state, city, and county proposals that would have an impact on civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU is strictly non-partisan; we never support or oppose candidates for elective office.
We had great success with Oregon legislators in 2013 on key privacy measures – one to guard against privacy invasion by law enforcement use of drones and the other to protect employees’ and university students’ digital privacy from unwarranted online snooping. We will continue to advance this agenda this session with a package of bills to curb mass surveillance.
Past criminal history shouldn’t limit job opportunities
We strongly support the "Ban the Box" bill - HB 3025 , which helps to remove roadblocks to employment for formerly incarcerated individuals. This bill would prevent employers from asking prospective employees about past criminal histories on job applications until after a conditional offer of employment is made.
After serving their debt to society, many ex-offenders are denied the opportunity to work based solely on their conviction. This makes it difficult if not impossible for individuals with a criminal record to re-enter society successfully and be able to earn a living. With a criminal justice system that is dominated by racial disparities, people of color are disproportionately harmed by employers’ criminal background check procedures.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), more than 650,000 individuals are released from prison every year. One of the key elements they identified for successful re-entry into our communities is helping these individuals find and keep a job. If ex-offenders are to succeed as law-abiding, taxpaying citizens, they must have an honest shot at finding employment – particularly in this tough economic climate.
March 6, 2015 - As part of a diverse coalition of organizations committed to expanding access to women’s health care, we are thrilled to announce that Senate Bill 894 has been introduced in the Oregon Legislature.
This groundbreaking legislation is an important step in ensuring that more Oregonians – regardless of their income, type of insurance or location – have access to safe and affordable reproductive health care.
We believe every Oregon woman should have access to the full range of reproductive health care, starting before she ever becomes pregnant and going through childbirth. This basic right is a foundation of freedom and opportunity for women and their families.
Electronic communication – through email, cell phones and social media – has increasingly eclipsed postal mail and other hard-copy methods as our primary means of communication. Unfortunately, some government agencies interpret our outdated privacy laws to allow them to intercept and access a treasure trove of information about who you are, where you go, and what you do – the information being collected by search engines, social networking sites, and other websites every day.
Law enforcement agencies deploy license plate reader surveillance technology in Oregon without adequate or consistent privacy restrictions. Many agencies retain the location information and photograph of every vehicle that crosses the camera’s path, not simply those that are associated with a criminal nexus.
The type of data stored on a smartphone can paint a near-complete picture of even the most private details of your personal life. Before the age of smartphones and other portable electronic devices, it was impossible for police to gather this much private information about your communications, historical movements, and private life during an arrest.