People of color are running for office — and winning — in record numbers across the country. You’ve probably heard of the groundbreaking campaigns of Stacey Abrams in Georgia or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Bronx. But you don’t need to leave Oregon to find people of color making political history. Get to know some of the candidates and elected officials of color running in Oregon this year:
They come from all walks of life.
The Oregonians of color seeking to represent us in 2018 have some of the usual — Ivy league degrees, lengthy careers in law and public service, impressive oratory skills — and they’re also refreshingly unusual. They are community organizers, educators, entrepreneurs, social workers, and artists. They come from many different parts of the state — rural, urban, and suburban. They’re running for positions at all levels, from city council to county commission to state legislature, and even the Oregon Supreme Court.
They share one thing in common: they are making Oregon’s government more reflective of the people it serves.
Many identify as immigrants and refugees; non-native English speakers; people with disabilities; veterans; people who are openly LGBTQ; people who have experienced poverty or economic insecurity; first-generation college graduates; survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault; parents, caregivers, and elders.
We need more advocates for racial justice in Oregon.
Communities of color live in all parts of Oregon, but continue to face unjust barriers to success. Students of color still experience disproportionately low graduation rates, and high rates of suspension and expulsion. Our criminal justice system is severely broken and unfairly targets Black and Indigenous communities. Oregon leads the nation in rates of hate crime and white supremacist activity. Low-wage workers—disproportionately people of color—lack basic economic protections including paid family medical leave, and affordable childcare. We can and must do better to make Oregon a place where all communities can thrive.
To disrupt the status quo, we need candidates and elected officials of color to be unapologetically bold, effective, and deeply accountable to the communities they represent.
Color PAC Action and its partners uplift people of color to enter public office and govern effectively across Oregon. We envision a racially just Oregon. But we can’t get there alone. If you’d like to support our wide range of programs, donate here.