Oregon needs compromise, but some bills divide
By Francisco Lopez,
Executive Director of CAUSA Oregon
In his piece, he wrote,
"Cooperation between human beings is possible only if they are willing to compromise; and politics, the art of cooperation, of group action, is at bottom nothing but the practical application of the method of compromise."The current configuration of the Oregon Legislature is opening the doors for serious compromise. I hope, at some point during the session, a compromise will take place that will resolve the $3.5 billion state budget shortfall. This budget shortfall will affect the lives of the poorest of the poor, working-class Oregonians and state workers. The Latino community is not exempt from the impact of this economic crisis.
We need common-sense solutions in the areas of housing, education, health and human services. We need to make sure that common ground is reached in order to resolve the state's economic problems and be able to mitigate the pain caused by the economic recession.
But there is murkiness in this process: Individuals at the Legislature acting on right-wing principles are promoting legislation in order to distract us from resolving the real problems that Oregonians are facing. There are more than 10 anti-immigrant pieces of legislation at the Oregon Legislature that, if enacted, would affect the lives of working class immigrants.
Examples include mandatory e-verification of work documents for small businesses and hardworking farmers, English-only rules and many other pieces of legislation not related at all with resolving the current economic crisis. They are punitive and not serious problem solvers. These proposed pieces of legislation will create a burden among struggling small businesses, farmers, public services and many other productive sectors in our state. These "Arizona-style" copycat bills are destructive in nature and attached to extremist ideological principles that have nothing to do with compromise and cooperation.
CAUSA Oregon will work in the coming months and years on policies that will guarantee access to health services, affordable housing and quality education for all Oregonians. We will work to promote policies that will guarantee the safety and protection of the fundamental human and civil rights for all. We will promote these policies in an environment of civility. We will respond to that climate by promoting peaceful and respectful marches; we will pray for those who promote hate; we will visit our legislators and present to them humane solutions to our state's problems. We will organize educational and public-policy forums, leadership development classes, voter registration and education; we will help eligible Latinos to apply for citizenship; and we will build alliances to work for the common good in our state.
There is no doubt that this will be a difficult year, but we hope that with the help of God, our friends and allies, we will continue building an Oregon that is welcoming and inclusive in a spirit of cooperation and compromise for the well-being of all.