We are thrilled to share that Portland voters will have the opportunity this fall to consider a change to our city government.
On June 14, the Portland Charter Commission voted to advance a measure amending the Portland Charter to the November 2022 ballot. There was strong support on the Commission, with 17 of 20 Charter Commissioners supporting the measure.
The measure, if approved, will amend the city charter to:
Establish a mayor-council government, in which an expanded City Council of twelve members focuses on setting policy and approving budgets, while a Mayor carries out laws, and a professional City Administrator manages city services
Create four geographic districts, in which three council members will represent each district
Allow voters to rank candidates in their order of preference for all elected offices including the offices of City Council, Mayor, and Auditor
The Charter Commission has worked diligently to hear from Portlanders, meet with city employees and local organizations, and use community input to shape their recommendations. Next Up has been honored to support robust engagement and education alongside the Coalition of Communities of Color, hosting more than 22 listening sessions and events.
Throughout our engagement, we heard our communities calling for change to our systems of local government and elections. Many Portlanders feel that the city government is not effectively responding to their needs and feel the City Council has historically not represented their communities.
With your ongoing support, we’ve been busy fighting for values-aligned candidates and boosting voter turnout in Oregon’s primary elections! Voting is a critical way for young people to be civically engaged, and we know that it’s not only a truly impactful way for young people to have a say in issues that affect our everyday lives, but that it is a key way to begin introducing young people to other forms of organizing and engagement as well. The primary elections are now over (phew), and we’re taking some time to reflect on how it went.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve adapted to doing virtual get out the vote (gotv) efforts for the past two years. For the 2022 primary, we reached out to 18-29 year olds that are located in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas county.
With the help of 6 paid Election Interns, we made 54,237 calls getting out the vote to young people ages 18-29. The Election Interns were a highly engaged and enthusiastic group of young people who were excited to talk to voters about the candidates. Several interns made their own fact sheets about the candidates to be able to answer more voter questions.
Election Interns’ calls elevated our Tier 1 candidates: Jo Ann Hardesty, AJ McCreary, Wlnsvey Campos, Brian Decker, Annessa Hartman and Libra Forde. Jo Ann Hardesty, Wlnsvey Campos, Annessa Hartman, and Libra Forde secured the nomination to move forward to the 2022 general election.
We know have some huge opportunities coming up in the 2022 November election. We’ll be working to reach out to young voters ages 18 – 29 to help elect progressive candidates be elected, as well as pass critical ballot measures focusing things like the Portland charter review commission proposal.
We truly appreciate your trust and partnership in making this work happen, as led by young people.
Joining us as of June 2022 is Charlie Ducharme, who will be helping our team as the new Development and Operations Coordinator. In this position he will prioritize grounding his work in equity and social justice – fostering a sense of belonging and collective power. You can get to know a bit more about Charlie below.
Development and Operations Coordinator
Charlie (he/him) is a young queer activist from Seattle, WA who is committed to understanding systems of oppression that have impacted and harmed marginalized communities. Before entering the nonprofit sector, Charlie’s experience consisted of being a youth organizer in multiple spaces, voicing gender equality and diversity. In the fall of 2021, Charlie became involved in Next Up as a BSW intern where he worked on restoration of voting rights, voter registration, and fundraising. After graduating with a Bachelors of Social Work and Minor in Gender & Women’s studies, Charlie is pleased to return to Next Up as the Development and Operations Coordinator. In this position, he will prioritize grounding his work in equity and social justice – fostering a sense of belonging and collective power. Outside of work, you can find Charlie hiking, taking photos, or spending quality time with loved ones (especially his two golden retrievers, Tommy and Ralph).
We are thrilled to officially announce our slate of candidates who have earned Next Up Action Fund’s endorsement for Oregon’s May 17, 2022 primary election.
We want to elect leaders that come from our communities, share our values, and will fight for young people in Oregon. The people elected to local offices make crucial decisions that affect our daily lives, including determining budgets, funding, and plans for transportation, access to healthcare, affordable housing, climate change, policing, immigration, and so much more. Your vote matters to ensure we are electing local leaders who will fight for us in office.
Take some time to update your voter registration to make sure you are ready to vote in this upcoming election! Oregonians (that are 16 years old or older and U.S. citizens) can register to vote online here. The deadline to register or update your registration for the May primary is April 26, 2022. To vote for these state legislative candidates, you will need to be a registered Democrat for the primary election.
About our endorsement process
We announced our endorsement process on January 28th on our website and over social media.In each election, we convene an endorsement committee made up of youth cohort members, staff, and board members – with a focus on Black and brown youth – who have decision-making power. This year, the endorsement committee is a paid, full-year commitment to grant more continuity between our primary endorsements and general election endorsements. It is crucial that the community we serve are the ones that get to make these decisions. After a thoughtful process, the Endorsement Committee made recommendations to Next Up Action Fund’s board, who voted to approve their recommendations.
💥 It’s true, our endorsement questionnaire is now live and accepting responses until March 8th at 5pm
Our endorsement committee makes decisions based on questionnaire responses, interview responses, and the overarching goal to amplify and support young people in Oregon to be leaders in their community.
We are particularly interested in races that include candidates and campaigns aligned with our values and people that are under 35 years old, are Black, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Latine, LGBTQIA+, disabled, women, low income, immigrant and people from oppressed communities.
During the 2021 legislative session, we supported and championed bills that addressed breaking down systemic barriers to civic participation. We were able to support the passage of numerous bills rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice, such as updating ballot postmark date to election day, the voter language access act, ending slavery, child care for Oregon, the sanctuary promise act, and so many more.
In even number years (like this year) we only have a little over a month to pass critical legislation that will support thriving communities. We’re ready to finish what we started in 2021. We’re pushing to transform our public safety system, end voter disenfranchisement of incarcerated Oregonians, expand access to voter registration online, pass legal representation for Immigrants, and fair wages for farmworkers. Find out more about each policy below and take action by contacting your lawmakers today.
2022 Legislative Priorities
Restoration of Voting Rights
Voting is a civil right. Yet, Oregon still has a law in place from the 1850s that was developed during Jim crow era policies to restrict Black people’s right to vote. In 2022, we have the opportunity to overturn more than a century of voter disenfranchisement. This bill will restore the right to vote to citizens currently serving prison sentences for felony convictions.
Currently, Oregonians without an Oregon-issued driver’s license must register to vote with a paper form due to a lack of signature on file with the DMV. An expanded online voter registration system (OVR+) allows for registrants to upload an image of their signature and register online with the last four digits of their social security number. With an OVR+ system, more Oregonians will be able to conveniently register to vote and update their registrations.
Fair Shot for All Platform
Passing policies we need the most
We’re proud to be a Fair Shot For All coalition partner. Our work as a coalition is centered on ideas and input from those both historically and currently bearing the burden of unjust systems. In 2022, Fair Shot for All will be focused on: Universal Legal Representation, Transforming Justice, and Farmworker Overtime.
We’re so excited to welcome two new amazing people to the Next Up organizing and youth leadership development team. Iya McSwain (they/them), has joined as the Youth Leadership Organizer, and Erin San Antonio (they/siya) is the Community Engagement Organizer. Read more about each of them below.
Iya C. McSwain
Youth Leadership Organizer
Iya (they/them) is a young Black activist, who holds many identities that influence their desire to show up for the community and the future generations to come. Born and raised in Portland, OR, they have dedicated time to understanding the systems of our society and how they impact and have harmfully impacted the communities they belong to, but also the communities that share similar systemic oppression. With this knowledge of systems of power and their own lived experience, they intend to use their passion and longing for a liberated and free world, to push for radical change within the institutions that make our society. Outside of organizing, Iya spends much of their time learning how they can practice holistic wellness as a form of radical self/community healing. They are a lover of astrology, literature, music, and nature!
Erin San Antonio
Community Engagement Organizer
Erin (they/siya) is an unapologetically fierce, queer, non-binary, Tagalog femme. With their work rooted in centering the importance of community-based healing to support personal and organizational transformation and growth, they perceive their daily work as a love letter unfolding and an embodied testament of their people’s survivance. Their involvement at Next Up started as a Summer Base Building Fellow and the Youth Vote Coordinator in 2020. After graduating with their bachelor’s degree and graduate certificate in June 2021, they’ve returned in a professional capacity as the Community Engagement Organizer for their childhood home in Clackamas County. In this position, they are eager to intentionally disrupt the threads of heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, and racialized capitalism to weave together new stories that document the rich fullness of living wholly and authentically as queer/trans, BIPOC youth, survivors, and our collective liberation. Outside of work at Next Up, you can find Erin at pop-ups under the Kalat House, mutual aid organizing, or near a half-finished creative project.
Our board and youth leaders are the core of Next Up’s community. We’re so grateful for everything they contribute to Next Up, and we want to uplift their voices to our extended community! Below we’ve highlighted six board of directors and youth action team members who shared their stories with us. We also conducted one deeper interview with youth advocate Aishiki Nag. Check it out!
Read on to learn more about Aishiki and 5 other members of Next Up’s community.
Meet Aishiki Nag, a student at Tigard High School and incredible youth advocate! Aishiki is a member of Next Up’s Youth Action Team and participated in our Upturn high school leadership cohort.
According to Aishiki, “Through the Upturn program, not only did I learn about the basics as a community organizer, but I also was exposed to so many great opportunities! This basic understanding led me to join other grassroots organizations around my area advocating for different policies such as climate resilience and immigration rights.”
Aishiki epitomizes the youth leadership we seek to uplift and connect with opportunities. We’re so grateful to be part of Aishiki’s journey and for Aishiki to be part of our community!
Meet Josh, a Master of Public Policy student at Portland State University dedicated to building a just, prosperous and sustainable future!Josh is a member of Next Up’s Board Directors.
Josh says, “I wanted to join Next Up’s Board of Directors because of their proven commitment to dismantling systems of oppression and advancing justice and equity here in Oregon. There’s nothing quite as soul-replenishing as amplifying and empowering diverse, young people to not only contribute to that work, but champion it.”
We’re so appreciative of Josh and all the work he does to build a more just future, both in and out of Next Up.
Meet Danielle, a Climate Justice Organizer with Sunrise Movement PDX and youth leader extraordinaire! Danielle is a member of Next Up’s Board Directors.
In Danielle’s own words, “As a strong believer in the restoration of voting rights of those currently incarcerated, I volunteered with Next Up’s letter writing campaign and quickly began to learn what an incredible organization it is. I have loved the opportunity to engage with youth in spaces that often feel inaccessible to people my age and I have learned so much from each and every individual I have connected with through this organization.”
Danielle shows up for her whole community in so many ways, and at Next Up, we’re grateful to be one of her outlets for positive change!
Meet Mazie, a student at Northwest Academy and amazing youth organizer! Mazie is a member of Next Up’s Youth Action Team.
Mazie says, “I’m also an organizer with Sunrise PDX and co-facilitate the social justice club at my school. Next Up has been instrumental in how I understand organizing and also how I write testimony and make asks. The lessons I’ve learned at Next Up inform so much of my work, not only organizing, but elsewhere too.”
We are so happy and honored to work with wonderful youth leaders like Mazie!
Meet Lucy, a Public Involvement Consultant at EnviroIssues and community changemaker! Lucy is a Next Up board member.
Lucy says, “Next Up encourages everyone to show up as their authentic self and to contribute in their own unique way. That shines through in how everyone collaborates together to make a difference.”
We are grateful for Lucy’s advocacy in the community and are lucky to call her part of the Next Up family!
Meet Michelle, Chief of Staff for Senator Lawrence Spence and awesome youth organizer! Michelle is a board member at Next Up.
Michelle says, “I am incredibly thankful for the work that Next Up does to ensure that youth have access to the rights, resources & recognition we deserve and ensure that our voices are heard in all places decisions are being made about us.”
Her biggest takeaway from working with Next Up? “Youth are badass change-makers who can and will determine our own futures.” 🔥
We love working with change-makers like Michelle and are grateful for everything she brings to our community!
We’re back in Willamette Week’s Give!Guide for a 5th year! Give!Guide features 170+ nonprofits based in Portland that are handpicked for their impact on Portland communities. Our goal is to raise $15,000 through Give!Guide while celebrating and lifting up the young people who do the work of leading Oregon forward.
2. We’re growing, developing and celebrating youth leaders
We work with 60+ young people each month to support youth organizing centered on the intersections of youth, racial, social and economic justice, while expanding our cohorts to communities beyond the Portland metro area. We create unique plans for each of our core volunteers to increase their involvement, amplify their leadership, and ensure that we are building lifelong relationships.
3. We’re turning out the youth vote in elections
In 2021, we connected young people with the importance of school boards and local elections through events, communication, and education. This will continue and expand in 2022 as we get out the youth vote in the midterm elections.
4. We’re building a strong staff and a culture of care and growth
We welcomed our new Executive Director, Elona J Wilson, this year! We also are in process on some important internal changes to bring us more in line with our values:
implemented a pay equity plan for all staff
implemented a plan to compensate youth leaders for their time
shifted board leadership towards more high school youth
are in process of hiring for a new staff position to organize young people in Clackamas County
began a first implementation of Participatory Budgeting. Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend part of a budget. It gives people real power over real money. This helps ensure that Next Up’s budget priorities will better reflect our communities served, not just for a singular year, but every year following that.
Like before, we are 100% for and led by young people ages 35 and under.
5. We’re fighting for a more equitable Oregon
In 2021, we continued to push democracy forward and make sure that Oregon continues to be a leader in equitable and just elections. We supported youth engagement around redistricting and tracked the Portland and Multnomah County Charter review processes in collaboration with partners. We also championed racial, gender, and economic justice as part of the Fair Shot Coalition, amplifying our partners’ calls for action and priorities, and engaging at the local level throughout the metro region.
Thank you for supporting us in Give!Guide for a 5th year!
Next Up is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. All donations through Give!Guide go to support Next Up and are likewise tax deductible. However, if you would like to support the full range of our advocacy work, please donate to Next Up Action Fund, our 501c4 branch.