2023 Legislative Session Wrap Up

When Next Up Action Fund entered the session in January we had a bold agenda to transform our electoral system. We prioritized bills that were rooted in racial, economic, and youth justice, and more specifically, ones that would break down systemic barriers to participation, and increase equitable processes and outcomes in elections.

Now that the legislative session has concluded, here are some of the achievements that we are celebrating with our community, coalition and organizational partners:

  • Expanding Automatic Voter Registration to Oregon Health Plan – registering 170,000 eligible but unregistered voters (HB 2107)
  • Statewide Ranked Choice Voting heads referred to the 2024 ballot (HB 2004)
  • Fair Shot for All Coalition: The state’s economic justice coalition, celebrated the passage of its priority policy agenda: Indigenous Language Justice (SB 5506), Reproductive Health and Access to Gender Affirming Care (HB 2002), Stable Homes Homelessness Prevention Package (SB 611, HB 2001, and HB 5511) and In Defense of Humanity (SB 337).

Here is a snapshot of our community engagement work:

  • Two of our priority electoral justice policies passed: Automatic Voter Registration Expansion and Statewide Ranked-Choice Voting
  • Guaranteeing the Right to Vote: We were able to drive 587 emails to lawmakers, build and expand our coalition to over 50 organizations, write letters to over 450 currently incarcerated individuals, and drive over 150 pieces of supportive written testimony
  • Five events: Including legislative 101 and testimony writing workshops, a virtual lobby day with the ACLU of Oregon, and briefings for legislators on our policy priorities

While the passage of the listed bills was important, failure to pass our other priority bills this session was a missed opportunity to further advance accessibility and racial justice in voting systems.

Through our partnership with Oregon Justice Resource Center and Unite Oregon, Oregon had the chance to be the first state to restore voting rights to currently incarcerated individuals in the Oregon Department of Corrections custody. The bill (SB 579) advanced from its policy committee before being held up in the budget committee.

Additionally, through the Transforming Justice Coalition, the Equitable Workgroups bill did not advance out of the Ways and Means Committee.

We’re so thankful to the countless people who showed up by emailing their legislators, giving verbal or written testimony, texting friends to get involved or simply sharing our social media graphics to support our work this session.

In community,

Isabela Villarreal, Policy and Communications Director

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Next Up Action Fund engages the next generation of Oregon’s leaders to build political power and fight for a more just and equitable Oregon.

This is our 501(c)(4) branch.