Key bills are at the make-or-break point in the 2021 legislative session and it's on us to demand that our lawmakers take them across the finish line. Contacting your lawmakers truly does make a difference: When they see that their constituents are passionate about an issue and a specific piece of legislation, good things happen.
The legislation listed below needs your help to pass. If you believe in racial justice, police accountability, immigrants' rights, and criminal legal system reform, now is the time to take action and contact your lawmakers via our forms and through our ally organizations.
HB 2002 - Racial justice & legal system reform
HB 2002 limits stops and arrests for low-level offenses to reduce unnecessary contact with law enforcement, abolishes supervision fees, and incentivizes people to earn time off their supervision, invests in culturally specific services, victim services,and advances equity by requiring race and gender data collection to ensure that funds are reaching impacted communities. This historic bill was developed in coalition with some of Oregon’s most experienced and visionary public safety and criminal justice reform advocates and leaders.
- HB 2002 on the Oregon legislature website
- Learn more about the bill from the Partnership For Safety & Justice
SB 397 - Removing Barriers to Expungement
Having a criminal record touches nearly every part of a person's life, leaving them open to legalized discrimination in housing, education, and employment. According to research done by the Paper Prisons Initiative, up to a third of Oregonians have a criminal record, and 42% of those people are estimated to be eligible for expungement.
Expungement is a legal process where eligible individuals can seek to set aside their criminal record, helping them rebuild their lives and reduce the discrimination they could face while pursuing employment and housing opportunities. Less than 6% of people with criminal records in Oregon who are eligible for relief have received it. At the current pace, it would take 77 years for Oregon to clear the backlog. SB 397 aims to streamline this process and lower the barriers to expungement for eligible individuals by expediting the process and eliminating filing fees, among other fixes.
- SB 397 on the Oregon legislature website
- Read the Oregonian piece from Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt and Metropolitan Public Defender Executive Director Carl McPherson: "We are united in supporting a bill in the Legislature that will make Oregon’s criminal record expungement system more just, efficient and equitable."
HB 3265 - Oregon Sanctuary Promise Act
The Sanctuary Promise Act protects Oregonians from racial profiling and ensures that Oregon polcie and local resources will not be used for federal immigration enforcement.
Oregon's sanctuary law is the oldest in the nation, but state and local government agencies across Oregon routinely assist and collaborate with ICE to target Oregonians based on perceived immigration status. The 2021 legislature has an opportunity to strengthen the law to protect Oregon families and preserve local resources.
- HB 3265 on the Oregon legislature websites
- ACLU of Oregon client Isidro Andrade-Tafolla's piece in the Hillsboro News Times: "Time and again, Oregonians have shown that we value the safety of all our neighbors, no matter where we were born, what we look like or how we came here. Let's fix our laws so they align with those values."
HB 3230 – Universal Representation
Oregonians who are immigrants and refugees have faced increased immigration enforcement that includes racial profiling, detention, family separation, and potential removal to countries where they have fled violence and persecution. Universal Legal Representation creates a statewide infrastructure for immigration legal defense. The program will also prepare Oregon for any major changes in national immigration policy by creating community-led pathways to citizenship.
- Visit HB 3230's landing page on the legislature's website
- Visit universalrep.com
- Read State Sen. Kayse Jama's piece in the Statesman Journal: "When we pass HB 3230, Oregon will be a step closer to fulfilling the founding values of our country: the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of all people."
SB 755 - Oregon Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act
Oregon voters made history by passing Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act, which decriminalized personal possession of all drugs and expanded access to addiction treatment and other health services. Halting drug arrests is only the beginning; we need to keep up the pressure and remind legislators to fully fund this new law so that more Oregonians can access life-saving treatment and recovery services. Tell your Oregon legislators to fund these vital programs without delay.