Portlanders across the city are rightfully concerned by the threat poised to public education by President Donald Trump and his Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The promise of a public education is an essential bedrock component of the American dream; the opportunities afforded to children through access to excellent teachers, classrooms and curriculum are manifold and well-documented. The health, economic prosperity, and vitality of the next generation of Americans depend on public education.
The City of Portland has a long history of supporting public schools; nearly 85% of students in PPS' jurisdiction choose to enroll in the district. 45% of PPS students identify as students of color. These students are the future of our city.
This May 16 Special Election represents the first post-November election for Portland, a city demonstrably eager to challenge the Trump Administration's attacks on civil liberties, marginalized communities and public education. On the ballot is Measure 26-193, a school bond which would ensure that all 49,000+ Portland Public School students are able to attend schools that won't expose them to neurotoxins, carcinogens, fire safety hazards, and leaky roofs. The Bond also provides substantial renovations at three high schools and a middle school that will prepare students for a modern education. (Learn more about the bond HERE).
The coalition of organizations who have come together to ask Portlanders to pass this bond read as sort of a local whos-who of groups working to actively resist the Trump Administration by building resiliance and resistance in our city. Unions, immigrants' rights organizations, affordable housing advocates, disability rights supporters, small business owners, local Democrats and progressives, environmentalists, and teachers have all weighed in. Measure 26-193 is supported by over 250 political organizations, social justice leaders, and education advocates from across the city, including the Multnomah County Democrats, Working Families Party, BerniePDX, Disability Rights Oregon, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, the Black Parent Initiative, Somali American Council of Oregon, Latino Network, Portland Association of Teachers, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, all four newspapers, and more. Check out our website to see our full list of endorsements.
A YES vote on Measure 26-193 is an investment in safe and healthy schools for all Portland students, across all neighborhoods, that supports the community values we cherish that the Trump administration is emphatically attempting to destroy.
Thanks to Oregon's progressive voting laws (another aspect of Portland that the Trump Administration seems eager to challenge), all Multnomah County citizens with an updated driver's license should have received a ballot in the mail. Ballots are due to Multnomah County Elections by 8pm on Tuesday, May 16; learn more HERE about how to ensure your vote counts.