Oregon has a numbers problem; Measure 97 is the solution

EHN Staff
Oregon has a numbers problem; Measure 97 is...
measure-97By Andrea Miller for El Hispanic News

In 2013, when I became the Executive Director of Causa, Oregon’s Latino immigrant rights organization, I was given the opportunity to advance issues that improve the daily lives of Oregon’s Latino families. That’s why I’m voting yes on Measure 97 this November.

Today, Oregon has a numbers problem that affects access to health care, education, and services for seniors. When you look at the numbers, we see that our state is falling short in so many areas.

Look at health care. There are nearly 18,000 Oregon children who are excluded from affordable health care because of their family’s citizenship immigration status. There are nearly 300,000 Oregonians who don’t have health insurance at all. The lifetime health consequences of these gaps are significant and they impact communities of color at a far greater rate.

Look at education. Oregon has the third largest class sizes in the country and one of the shortest school years. It’s no wonder our state has the 4th worst graduation rate in the country.

Look at our seniors. There has been a 61% increase in the number of seniors living in poverty in Oregon. Two-thirds of retired Oregonians have no income outside of social security.

Here’s another number that can help explain why our state is falling behind in so many areas: fiftieth.

Oregon is currently ranked fiftieth – dead last in the nation – in corporate taxes. Corporations like Monsanto, Bank of America, and Walmart, Comcast , Wells Fargo get away with paying next to nothing when they do business in Oregon, and as a result our state’s schools and public services are denied the funding they need.

Small businesses and regular hard-working people pay their fair share in taxes. It’s time large corporations paid their share, too. Fortunately there is a number that can fix these problems: 97.

Measure 97 on the November ballot would raise taxes on large corporations and dedicate new revenue to education, health care and senior services. The measure raises taxes only on corporations that do more than $25 million in annual sales. Small businesses and families will not have to pay more, but the largest corporations will finally pay their fair share.

The time has come for Oregon to hold large corporations accountable and make an investment in health care, education and senior services. That’s why I’m voting yes on Measure 97 this November.

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