Resolution to Support the Reproductive Health Equity Act

Whereas, access to reproductive health care is critical for the health and economic security of all Oregonians; and

Whereas, everyone in Oregon, regardless of income, citizenship status, gender identity, or type of insurance, needs access to the full range of reproductive health services; and
 
Whereas, approximately 18,600 women of reproductive age in Oregon are forced by their insurance plans to pay out-of-pocket costs for preventive health services, including contraception[1]; and
 
Whereas, an estimated 43,000 women of reproductive age in Oregon who purchase insurance on the Healthcare Exchange, as well as an unknown number of women with employer-sponsored coverage, have policies with deductibles of $2,500 or more[1]; and
 
Whereas, the cost of a reproductive procedure such as abortion must first come out of this deductible, leaving the procedure unaffordable and inaccessible for many; and
 
Whereas, 48,000 women of reproductive age in Oregon are categorically excluded from Medicaid and prohibited from purchasing insurance on the Healthcare Exchange due to their citizenship status [1], leaving them without coverage for essential health services like reproductive health care; and
 
Whereas, transgender and gender-nonconforming Oregonians need access to services often categorized as “women’s” health care; and
 
Whereas, often these services are unavailable to transgender and gender-nonconforming Oregonians when coverage is dependent on a binary gender marker; and
 
Whereas, House Bill 3391, called the Reproductive Health Equity Act, will bridge the gap for the tens of thousands of Oregonians who need access to life-saving reproductive care; and
 
Whereas, the Reproductive Health Equity Act ensures that Oregonians receive the full range of preventive reproductive health services at zero out-of-pocket cost, fills gaps in reproductive health coverage for those categorically excluded from health programs due to citizenship status, and prohibits discrimination in reproductive health care; now
 
Therefore Be It Resolved, that AFT-Oregon and its affiliated locals support the passage of the Reproductive Health Equity Act; and
 
Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will join the existing coalition, consisting of American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Family Forward Oregon, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, Oregon Latino Health Coalition, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon and Western States Center;and

Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will use lobbying resources to support the passage of the bill, including adding HB 3391 to the list of bills supported by members on AFT-Oregon lobby day, notifying members of opportunities to speak on behalf of HB 3391, and instructing the Director of Political and Legislative Affairs to meet with legislators to encourage the passage of HB 3391.

Be It Finally Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will encourage AFT National to work for a similar bill at the national level.

 


 

Resolution to Denounce Immigration and Refugee Ban

Whereas, AFT- Oregon prides itself on the diversity of its membership and is committed to ensuring no members are discriminated against “based on race, creed, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, social, political or economic status, national origin, age, or disability” [1]; and
 
Whereas, on December 7, 2015, Donald J. Trump, as a candidate for the Republican party’s nomination for President of the United States, announced his intention “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” [2]; and
 
Whereas, on January 27, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order titled “Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States” which bans individuals from the predominantly Muslim countries of Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Somalia from entering the United States for 90 days, prevents all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days, and indefinitely suspends the entry of refugees from Syria [3]; and

Whereas, the Ninth Circuit of Appeals considered the possibility that the aforementioned executive order constituted a violation of the First Amendment in its unanimous ruling against the executive order; and

Whereas, on March 6, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed a slightly revised executive order titled “Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States” which bans the issuance of visas to individuals from the predominantly Muslim countries of Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Libya, and Somalia for 90 days and prevents all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days[4]; and

Whereas, these executive orders provide a pathway for permanently blocking immigration from these majority Muslim nations;
 
Whereas, these executive orders are an affront to religious freedom according to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; and
 
Whereas, the original executive order was implemented in a disorganized manner without the vetting of departments in charge of protecting American national security, such as the United States Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the United States Department of Justice; and
 
Whereas, as a result of the original executive order, individuals in possession of visas were detained or sent back at airports, resulting in chaos, confusion, and anxiety; and
 
Whereas, an estimated 134 million people – including 160 students at Oregon State University, 39 students at University of Oregon, and 76 students at Portland State University – were temporarily banned from entering/re-entering the United States  and continue to face uncertainty about their current and future immigration status[5]; and

Whereas, the federal Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 banned all discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin, in order to eliminate prejudice and bias from the immigration process [6]; and
 
Whereas, the federal Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 unambiguously restricts presidential authority by stating that no person can be “discriminated against in the issuance of a visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence”, and that the only exceptions are granted by the United States Congress; and
 
Whereas, these executive orders are in violation of this national law due to their discriminatory policies based on national origin [6]; and
 
Whereas, any attempt to prevent entry by a class of people based on race, religion, or national origin is contrary to American values and puts Americans at home and abroad at risk; now
Therefore Be It Resolved, that AFT-Oregon condemns both executive orders titled “Protection of the Nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States,” issued on January 27, 2017 and March 6, 2017 as open acts of discriminatory overreach that illegally target immigrants based on their religion and national origin and urges President Donald J. Trump to immediately rescind these orders; and
 
Be it Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will sign on as author and/or join amicus briefs from AFT opposing these orders and any similar orders; and
 
Be it Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will devote resources to connect members affected by these executive orders to resources; and
 
Be it Finally Resolved, AFT-Oregon will urge state universities to protect students by any means necessary, including creating a pathway to graduation for all affected students despite potential changes to their immigration status.

 

 

Supporting Science and Science Educators

Whereas, the pursuit of knowledge in the arts, humanities, and science are an undeniable public good.

Whereas, current political actors aim to specifically inhibit scientific study and communication,

Whereas, science education teaches children and adults to think critically, ask questions, and evaluate truth based on the weight of evidence; and

Whereas, many members of AFT-Oregon locals are employed as scientists and/or science educators; and
 
Whereas, the greater public benefits from living improvements brought about through scientific study; and

Whereas, proposed budget cuts for national science agencies — including the Environmental Protection Agency, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — would reduce the volume and quality of scientific research in the United States; and

Whereas, the Sea Grant program, which is important for the scientific study and public education of Oregon coastal and marine resources, is at risk of elimination under the newly proposed budget; and

Whereas, the aforementioned budget cuts to national science agencies are being proposed in a political culture of science denial — particularly denial of human-created climate change — in which national science agencies have been ordered not to discuss climate change in their public outreach and their websites; and

Whereas, tax dollars support scientific research, and withholding scientific results limits the public’s ability to learn from important developments and discoveries; and
 
Whereas, new policies threaten to further restrict scientists’ ability to research, and teachers’ ability to communicate scientific findings; and
 
Whereas, Governor Kate Brown’s recommended budget calls for “painful cuts”[1] to K-12 and higher education; and
 
Whereas, United States Congressional Bill HR 899 has been introduced to the 115th Congress to terminate the Department of Education on December 31, 2018; and

Whereas, United States Congressional Bill HR 861 has been introduced to the 115th Congress to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency on December 31, 2018; now
 
Therefore Be It Resolved, AFT-Oregon will advocate for state funding in support of science research, scientific hiring, science educators, and agency application of science to management; and
 
Be It Further Resolved, AFT-Oregon will oppose HR 861, 899, and any similar bill in the Oregon legislature; and
 
Be it Further Resolved, AFT-Oregon will advocate for legislation that will protect scientists and science educators against retaliation; and
 
Be It Finally Resolved, AFT-Oregon will direct our national affiliates to oppose HR 861, 899, and any similar bill in the national legislature, to advocate for funding to agencies that empower scientific understanding and communication, and to advocate for legislation that will protect scientists and science educators against retaliation.
Resolution Calling on AFT to support DACA and DACA Recipients

Whereas, all sentient beings share Earth and have an unalienable right to free movement and can therefore never be “illegally” anywhere on the planet; and
 
Whereas, the laws of the government of the United States of America do not permit people without official documents to legally reside within the political confines of the United States; and
 
Whereas, the lawful channel for immigrating to the United States requires years of waiting and background checks before documentation is issued; and
 
Whereas, people who want to immigrate to the United States for the sake of their lives and wellbeing may not be able to wait for documentation while their lives are at risk; and
 
Whereas, there are currently people who are determined by the United States government to be in the United
States “illegally”, which includes children who have not known any other home; and
 
Whereas, these children brought to the United States often do not have any choice in the matter; and
 
Whereas, in June 2012, the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, announced the immigration policy known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA); and
 
Whereas, since 2012, approximately 750,000 people have submitted personal information to the United States Citizen and Immigration Services under the DACA program; and
 
Whereas, these 750,000 people are concerned that the information the United States government possesses about their whereabouts may be used to target or discriminate against them under jingoistic laws and law enforcement; and
 
Whereas, these concerns may lead to participants in the DACA program to hesitate to contact public services, such as law enforcement, when these public services are necessary; and
 
Whereas, these hesitations may lead to abuses and hardships in communities determined by the United States government to be “illegal”; and
 
Whereas, the new United States executive branch has demonstrated its hostility toward DACA, including claiming in August 2016 that “We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties, in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants.”[1]; now
 
Therefore Be It Resolved, that AFT-Oregon supports legislation protecting participants in the DACA program; and

Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon supports the continuation of the DACA program; and

Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon supports legislation to expand DACA; and
 
Be It Finally Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will recommend that AFT-National protect and expand DACA and support legislation that protects participants in the DACA program and the free movement of humans on Earth.

 

 

Resolution to Lobby for Removing Restrictions on Strikes

Whereas, AFT-Oregon’s mission recognizes the mutual interests of its locals and the labor movement regardless of industry; and

Whereas, Collective action, especially the strike, in all its forms, is the source of power and the tactic responsible for building the labor movement and,

Whereas, strikes, in all their forms, are not only an effective tactic but allow disparate laborers to combine their voices in a cohesive political expression; and

Whereas, strikes are essential to democracy as they are a form of protest that grant workers voice in the workplace, the community, and the legislature; and

Whereas, the ability of corporations to engage in political action has been drastically expanded since the Citizen’s United ruling in 2010 while the ability of laborers to engage in political action remains diminished by the severe restriction of the strike;

Therefore Be It Resolved, AFT-Oregon will promote legislation and bargaining efforts that would repeal Taft Hartley and legalize secondary strikes, wildcat strikes, general strikes, no crossing picket line clauses, secondary boycotts, and any other form of union solidarity through direct action;

Be It Further Resolved, AFT-Oregon will distribute to the locals information on how to successfully execute secondary strikes, wildcat strikes, general strikes, no crossing picket line clauses, and secondary boycotts;

Be It Further Resolved, AFT-Oregon will encourage and support locals to remove all no strike clauses in their contracts;

Be It Finally Resolved, AFT-Oregon will advance this resolution to AFT-National.

 

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