Lobby Day 2013

Let’s look at the numbers:

  • 125 of PSJ members joined us last Monday in Salem to lobby for public safety reforms that will make Oregon a safer and smarter state. We shattered last year’s record of 68, and packed the largest hearing room in the Capitol.
  • We had 59 face-to-face meetings with senators and representatives, which represents almost two-thirds of the legislature.
  • 127 people who couldn’t make it to Salem with us took the time to call or email their legislator in the days leading up to Lobby Day.

Big numbers are impressive, but what made our 2013 Lobby Day such an incredible success was the courage and commitment of our members, who took a Monday out of their busy lives to lend their voices to a growing call for reform in Oregon.

Special thanks to our ally organizations that helped us enormously. The Oregon Bus Project brought over 30 people down to Salem in their signature bus for democracy. Iron Tribe and the Center for Family Success brought great member advocates, all of whom made lasting impressions on the legislators they spoke with.

Thanks to our actions, those legislators know that their decisions this year are about more than budget priorities, they are about people. The decision to flatline prison growth and reinvest in programs that work will make the difference for thousands of people who need access to addiction treatment, mental health treatment, and re-entry assistance. Members from programs that are working, like Iron Tribe and Center for Family Success, showed them what a smarter system could look like.

The decision to invest adequately in victim services will affect thousands of women, including one who spoke powerfully about her difficulty finding a domestic violence shelter that could provide assistance in her native language.

So many of our members have started a dialogue with their represenative that will carry on through the next several months.

This is what democracy looks like. Thank you PSJ members.