As an eventful 2020 finally draws to a close, we need Congress and the Oregon Legislature to take action before the end of the year to win good contracts next year and avoid disaster for millions of people across our state.
Despite a decline in revenue due to the economic impact of COVID-19, Governor Kate Brown’s proposed budget for the upcoming biennium contains “salary pots” that will protect our wages and benefits, maybe even make some gains. That’s a big change from where we were a few months ago, and it shows all the hard work that SEIU members have done to advocate for essential public services. But this proposal is based on federal funds and revenue that we don’t have yet.
You can help make sure our salary pots remain intact. Contact your Senators and Representatives in Washington, D.C. and let them know that, without federal COVID funding to support the state budget, Oregon will not have sufficient funding for the essential services our state needs in this time of crisis.
Additionally, many people across the country are suffering. National programs helping renters, people who lost their jobs during the pandemic, working parents, and low-income families are set to expire at the end of the year. The next stimulus package isn’t just about the state budget, it’s needed to avoid going off an economic cliff in January.
The decisions in D.C. are critical, but there’s more we can do right here in Oregon.
On January 1, 2021, protections against evictions for struggling renters will disappear, creating a new crisis as COVID caseloads are rising again and winter approaches. The Oregon Legislature is considering another special session before the end of the year to extend the eviction moratorium and protect renters.
Please contact your state legislators today and ask them to protect Oregon renters. Right now our neighbors – particularly low-income families, Black, Indigenous, and people of color – are struggling. An eviction could push them over the edge.
From a global pandemic, to a reckoning for racial justice, to wildfires that scorched over 1 million acres, SEIU 503 members have experienced quite a bit in 2020. Let’s end the year strong and lay the foundation for a prosperous 2021.