Oregon Christians: advocating for a just society.
“Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.” – Wendell Berry
OCCV: advocating for justice in the legislature
We believe scripture is clear God cares about public policies, and desires just laws that protect the poor and marginalized from being exploited by the powerful. OCCV is committed to advocacy because we believe that as Christians we are called to not only proclaim the gospel and do acts of compassion, but also to speak on behalf of those whose voices are often not heard when laws are being made.
OCCV was active in bringing a voice of faith to the capitol during this last legislative session, joining with others in support of laws that we believe carried out that scriptural mandate. We provided written testimony on several bills, testified in hearings, and encouraged our membership to call their representatives at crucial times to keep a bill moving through the process. We are grateful that most of the legislation we supported passed into law. Here’s a summary of the results from this session:
Preventing wage theft: House bill 2977 – passed
This bill requires that sub-contractors in the construction industry be licensed. Prior to the passage of this bill, workers hired by a dishonest sub-contractors would often not be paid their wages, and had no recourse. Now these workers have legal protection and means to recover wages, and honest subcontractors are not undercut by those who exploit their workers, most of whom are low-income, and struggling to support their families.
Human trafficking: Senate bill 673 and House bill 2334 – passed
These bills added and strengthened penalties against those who are perpetrators of human trafficking, and built in more protection for the victims.
Economic relief for low-income workers: HB 2477 – passed
Many of the working poor struggle to meet basic needs. This bill extends the Earned Income Tax Credit, giving a tax break to those who are paid a low wage, and thereby providing needed additional income to support their families.
Toxic disclosure bill: passed the Oregon House by a 39-21 margin but failed to come to a vote in the Senate.
We were saddened that this bill did not make it to the floor for a vote. It would have required manufacturers to disclose the chemical used in the products, thereby providing parents and families with the information needed to make a good decision about what products to buy.
Bills affecting undocumented persons – passed
OCCV also supported two bills that affect undocumented members of our community, both of which passed. House bill 2787, the Tuition Equity bill, allows students who live in Oregon to pay in-state tuition for a college education. Senate bill 833 grants driver licenses to undocumented persons, allowing them to safely drive to work, to provide for their families.
Join the We are the Safety Net campaign in protecting Portland's destitute. As we crawl out of the recession, we are acutely aware of how much we depend on having a secure safety net in times of crisis. Raise your hand now to defend the poor among us.