by Ashley Bromley, Executive Director
Over the past month, AAUP-Oregon members have made their way to Salem to lobby, rally, and testify in support of increased revenue and investment in education. Alongside our partners in the Higher Education Coalition, we held a lobby day on May 24th. The lobby visits paired faculty, staff, and students into teams to meet with legislators to discuss the importance of revenue generation and the negative effects that tuition increases and cuts will have on faculty, staff, and students. We also met over lunch with Representative Diego Hernandez and the Governor’s Chief Education Officer and Education Policy Advisor, Lindsey Capps. Members pushed both to work to help the state realize game-changing revenue that is so badly needed for Oregon.
We also joined our allies within the A Better Oregon (ABO) Coalition on June 6th for the Oregon Can’t Wait rally. Members traveled from across the state to demonstrate the urgent need for revenue to support our schools and other critical services. Following the rally, a new revenue bill was introduced, HB 2830. HB 2830 is a compromise bill combining aspects of the revenue proposals offered by Speaker Kotek and Senator Hass. AAUP-Oregon President Michael Dreiling and Vice President for Political Action Ramin Farahmandpur traveled to Salem on June 13th to offer testimony on the compromise bill. Both thanked the Joint Committee on Tax Reform for their significant work on this issue but cautioned that the bill falls short of the revenue needed to make necessary, game-changing, and long term investments in our education system.
As the July 10 Sine Die, the Constitutionally mandated last day of session, approaches, we continue to push for meaningful revenue reform this session. Please keep your eyes on your inbox for ways you can push for tax fairness and educational investment. Michael’s President’s Column includes a link for contacting your legislators. Please take a few moments to let them know that we can’t wait for the Oregon our students, seniors, educators, and most vulnerable citizens deserve!