Excellent public education is a necessary, critical component for any community to thrive and strive for equity. Opportunities provided by safe, healthy and modern public schools are invaluable, particularly to low-income residents and tenants, many of whom rely on school services for childcare and other community supports.
As such, affordable housing advocates recognize the multi-faceted value of safe and healthy schools and encourage a YES vote on Measure 26-193.
"Removing the lead from the water and preparing our students for a modern education is a necessary investment in the families and communities we serve. We encourage a YES vote on Measure 26-193," said Ruth Adkins, Policy Director at Oregon Opportunity Network.
Ballots are due in less than one week, on Tuesday, May 16. So far, elections officials are reporting turn-out of just around 10 percent, which is lower than campaign officials had hoped for this stage.
Hacienda Community Development Corporation also is an endorser of Measure 26-193. "There is an integral relationship between our work of supporting affordable housing and having excellent public schools to help our community grow and prosper," according to a statement by the organization.
"We're thrilled that Measure 26-193 will provide funding for modernizing Madison High School, where many of our constituents live, and we're happy to see every school in the district receive funding to remove lead, asbestos and radon," the statement continued. Read the Spanish version of the endorsement.
Prominent Portland housing advocate Margot Black also is a strong endorser. "Parents, students, and teachers of Portland's schools are renters, and as a tenants' rights organizer I believe that every family in Portland deserves the opportunity to send their students to safe and healthy schools, free of neurotoxins and carcinogens," Black said. "Please join me in standing up for tenants and vote YES for the school bond."
Additional social justice endorsers include Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Latino Network, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Disability Rights Oregon and more than 250 community advocates. See all of the endorsers of Portlanders for Safe and Healthy Schools.
Ballots are due to the Multnomah County Elections or at a drop box by 8 p.m., Tuesday, May 16. Ballots can be mailed up until Thursday, May 11. Postmarks do not count in Oregon. For details go to Multnomah County Elections Division voting info page.