Hello ORCA members,
As you know, it’s an election year and November is quickly approaching. As a non-profit organization, it is the Oregon Counseling Association’s choice (and duty) to fight for the well-being of all Oregonians, whether they be counselors, clients, both, or neither.
The three measures on the ballot this November that we, as a Board, voted to take a stance on through COPACT. COPACT (The Coalition of Professional Associations for Counseling and Therapy) is the organization that works with our lobbyist to ensure that we are protected as counselors and therapists, as well as making sure that our clients and their mental health is protected, and allowing ethical policies to progress. This November, you will see COPACT’s name in the Voter’s Pamphlet.
Ballot Measure 102
COPACT publicly supports a YES vote. This is something that affects many folks in Oregon, especially low income folks and families. This measure would allow local governments to fund and construct more affordable housing, which is desperately needed across Oregon. It passed the legislature with bipartisan support and requires voter approval.
Ballot Measure 105
COPACT publicly supports a NO vote. Measure 105 would throw out Oregon’s existing “sanctuary” law. This law passed with broad support from Republicans and Democrats and has been protecting Oregonians from unfair racial profiling for more than 30 years. If Measure 105 passes, it could open the door to racial profiling and families being separated, simply because someone is perceived to be an undocumented immigrant. As counselors, we know how deeply harmful and traumatic such family separations are to children. A “no” vote on Measure 105 will keep the existing law in place, ensuring that local police resources are not used to pursue and detain people based solely on suspicion about their immigration status, while also ensuring that local police can continue to hold anyone--regardless of their immigration status--accountable who commits a crime.
Ballot Measure 106
COPACT publicly supports a NO vote. This measure targets and disproportionately harms low-income women and public employees, by prohibiting any public funds for abortion, with narrow exceptions. This means that those Oregonians who access health care through OHP, and those who are public sector workers— such as teachers, nurses, and firefighters— would have their reproductive health care options limited. In cherry-picking and prohibiting certain aspects of health care based on ideology, Measure 106 sets a dangerous precedent that could open the door to limiting other types of care, such as coverage for gender affirming care, for example. It is our ethical obligation to stand up for all Oregonians, and this measure disproportionately targets women and low income folks, contradicting who we are as healers.
If you would like to know more about ORCA and our Advocacy efforts, please visit our website. If you would like to donate to COPACT, please visit their website.
Get out there in November and VOTE! Vote like your life depends on it, because it does. And if your life doesn’t depend on it, please use that privilege and power to help other folks!
Let’s continue to empower not only this profession, but the folks we stand up for everyday. Thank you.
Gianna Russo-Mitma, M.S.,LMFT
President, Oregon Counseling Association