On Thursday, January 7th Family Forward Oregon joined with community and labor groups from across Oregon to launch Fair Shot for All, a new coalition that is supporting solutions to create economic opportunity for Oregon’s working families. As the state’s economy begins to rebound from the recession, flawed economic policies are leaving Oregon’s working families behind and creating a financial crisis for taxpayers.
It’s time to un-stack the deck so everyone has an opportunity to succeed. The people of Oregon need policies that fix our broken economy and give all of us a fair shot.
Despite our hard work, Oregon’s economy simply isn’t working for many of us—women, people of color, LGBTQ communities, immigrants and working families, said Tom Chamberlain, president of Oregon AFL-CIO. The quality of jobs is declining for too many working families, and for others a good job is too far out of reach. By coming together to form Fair Shot for All, this broad coalition is sending a signal to lawmakers that when we pursue solutions that address inequality and create opportunity, we all benefit. It’s time for all Oregonians to have a fair shot at success.
The launch of Fair Shot for All coincided with the release of The High Cost of Low Wages in Oregon, a new report from the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) that details the growth of low wage work in Oregon and illuminates the financial crisis that low wage, no benefits jobs have created for working families and Oregon taxpayers.
Many Oregon families who work hard every day are still forced to rely on public safety net programs to make ends meet. The LERC report finds that 197,000 Oregonians who received public assistance in January 2014 worked the previous year. And the cost of providing this assistance is breaking the bank—taxpayers provide $1.7 billion each year to subsidize corporations’ reliance on a low-wage workforce.
Fair Shot for All represents a broad coalition of Oregonians who want change, said Midge Purcell, director of advocacy and public policy for the Urban League of Portland. Change that creates economic opportunity for all Oregonians. Change that fixes staggering opportunity gaps and long-standing inequalities that face communities of color. Change that provide us with the resources to take care of our families and make it easier to save the money we earn. During this upcoming legislative session, we will be working together to create that change and give working families a voice in the economic policy decisions that affect their lives.
The coalition’s priorities include:
- Raising the minimum wage;
- Ensuring all Oregonians earn paid sick days;
- Ending profiling;
- Making saving for retirement easier; and
- Creating opportunities for people with prior convictions and arrests to find work.
Together, these solutions will provide every Oregonian with the opportunity to succeed and strengthen our state’s economy.
Fair Shot for All includes Family Forward Oregon, SEIU, the Urban League of Portland, Oregon AFL-CIO, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Oregon Education Association, CAUSA, Basic Rights Oregon, PCUN, UFCW, Rural Organizing Project, AFSCME, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Oregon Action, and an ever-growing coalition from across Oregon.
To learn more, visit: www.fairshotoregon.org and read The Oregonian’s article about it here.