STEPS TOWARD ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES
Everyone in our communities should have access to the essential resources we need to thrive. Yet long-standing policies and systems continue to exclude too many of us from social safety net programs and fair labor standards — leading to disproportionate impacts of hunger and poverty in a host of communities throughout the region.
Incredible appreciation is due to the Oregon Center for Public Policy, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), Oregon Law Center, Northwest Workers’ Justice Project, Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon Housing Alliance, Neighborhood Partnerships, Residents Organizing for Change, Urban League of Portland, Our Children Oregon - Children’s Agenda and many other groups for leading the advocacy for economic justice in Oregon.
Through the leadership of this incredible coalition, we took important steps forward with initiatives that will help level the playing field for low-income families in Oregon:
✅Oregon Kids’ Credit (HB 3235)
House Bill 3235 provides a refundable credit of $1,000 per child each year for people filing taxes who earn less than $25,000/year (lower credit amounts apply up to a $30,000/yr earning cap). Oregonians qualify for the credit whether we use Social Security Numbers or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN), ensuring this benefit reaches families who are excluded from other supports due to immigration status. Though the income threshold is much lower than originally proposed, enacting this legislation is an important milestone that will support more than 55,000 kids across all 36 Oregon counties — and solid groundwork on which to build in the future.
✅Right to Refuse Dangerous Work (SB 907)
Senate Bill 907 ensures Oregonians can reasonably refuse to do work that can cause injury, serious impairment or death – such as faulty equipment or natural disasters. These protections help address longstanding gaps in workplace safety regulations that have led to disproportionate workplace injury and death in marginalized communities — including many essential workers in our food systems.
There is still work ahead to build on these important victories and continue moving toward economic justice for all:
❌People’s Housing Assistance Fund (SB 603)
Though it did not pass, Senate Bill 603 would have created a pilot program that allots $1,000 per month to many housing-insecure Oregonians who lack access to other forms of assistance.
The Oregon Food Bank Network provides vital support for more than a million people facing food insecurity each year. Yet we know we can’t end hunger for good through food alone — we have to address the policies and systems that drive poverty in our communities. Sign up to stay informed on state and federal policies that will help eliminate hunger at its roots!