March 18, 2021

We are almost two full months into the legislative session! Time is flying by and we on EMO's public policy team want you to be a part of the faith community's efforts to accomplish big things this session.
There are over 4,000 bills up for consideration this session in the Legislature. Bills have until this Friday, March 19, to be scheduled for a committee vote; those "work sessions" must occur by April 13 for bills to move forward in the legislative process.

Scroll down to learn more about EMO's Legislative Priorities this session, which include bills to:
  • Ensure Police Accountability
  • Welcome the Stranger
  • Give Shelter to the Houseless, and
  • Promote a Just and Climate-Friendly Clean Energy Economy

Our team would not find success without the engagement of our statewide network of people like you.

Keep an eye out for emails from us with action alerts and check out our Advocacy and Action calendar of engagement:

April 6 @ 6:30 p.m.
Advocacy through the Lens of Racial Justice
In conjunction with the larger “Reckoning with Racism” cohort co-facilitated by EMO, this event will teach participants how to use legislative advocacy in the pursuit of racial justice. Please RSVP with The Rev. Michael Ellick for more information and a zoom link:

April 15 @ 7 p.m.
Creation Justice Lobbying 101 and Storytelling Workshop
For those new to advocacy, learn about the lobbying process and craft your story to share with lawmakers. For those who have been doing this for a long time, share your experiences and ideas. Contact Cherice Bock to sign up.

April 16 - 25
Creation Justice Advocacy Week: Oregon Legislature
During Earth Week, advocate with us for creation justice. We will be setting up virtual meetings with your state senators and representatives. Pre-meetings will help prepare you to share your story about the moral basis for care for Creation. Mark your calendar!

April 19 - 23
National Refugee Advocacy Week
Join others from across Oregon and across the country to learn about how the U.S. can be more welcoming to refugees, and to meet with your Member of Congress and their staff.

May 5 - 14
Oregon Interfaith Power & Light Advocacy Week: Congress
Advocate for environmental justice legislation and meet with your Member of Congress and their staff. More information soon!

May 13 @ 7 p.m.
Oregon Environmental & Policy Updates
Find out where our priority bills are in the legislative process and our strategy for the final month of the legislative session. Contact Cherice Bock to sign up.

May 25
Interfaith Advocacy Day
Save the date, and look out for registration info arriving soon about how you can advocate for passage of a moral budget and key reform measures before the session ends in late June.

Thank you!

In solidarity,
EMO's Public Policy Advocacy Team:
Britt Conroy, Director of Public Policy
Olivia Asato, Public Policy Associate
Aaron Salzman, Climate Advocacy Associate
Ella Burke, Public Policy Intern
House Bill 2544: Expands Support Services for Oregon's Houseless Youth
In Oregon, we care about our children and strive to give them every opportunity for a better life. Yet, Oregon has one of the highest rates of K-12 homelessness in the country.

EMO, Oregon Alliance and dozens of other supporting organizations are partnering to advance House Bill 2544 to provide housing supports for houseless youth.

At the March 1 hearing (watch here) for HB 2544, youth, legislators and EMO Board co-chair, The Rev. Linda Jaramillo, shared powerful testimonies in support of the bill. Thank you to the many who submitted written testimony in favor of this essential piece of legislation.

HB 2544 will be voted on by the House Human Services Committee on March 31, then head to the Ways and Means Committee for a deliberation about the level of investment that will be provided to our youth.

And this week, OPB published this story about our coalition's efforts to bring more attention and funding to Oregon's unaccompanied houseless youth!

If you would like more information or be involved with our advocacy efforts, contact Olivia Asato at
EMO's 2021 Legislative Priorities
Ensure Police Accountability
EMO is prioritizing the passage of police accountability legislation being drafted in the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Equitable Policing. Where equal treatment and personal safety should be the most basic outcomes of policing, whole segments of our society live in fear of unwarranted harassment and violence at the hands of their sworn protectors. EMO is supporting legislation that promotes justice and centers equity. The Legislature is considering bills concerning the use of police munitions, qualified immunity, background checks and other measures.

Welcome the Stranger
EMO is helping to lead a coalition to renew the Welcoming Refugees Bill to ensure newly arrived refugees, asylees, survivors of human trafficking and others have access to the health care, education, employment, and other essential services they need to build new lives.
And EMO is helping to lead efforts to pass a $10 million plan for immigration legal services for those in deportation proceedings, frontline workers, DACAistas/Dreamers, asylum seekers and Oregonians who wish to become U.S. citizens. Our collaborative seeks to expand immigration legal services throughout Oregon and increase partnership with the state through direct funding to community-based organizations to provide a holistic supportive process that includes client support, navigation, and legal services. The immediate needs of our immigrant population remind us of the need for this investment. 1 in 7 essential workers in Oregon are immigrants, and immigrant workers are 58% more likely to have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Give Shelter to the Houseless
We continue to co-lead efforts to increase funding for services for Oregon's youth who are homeless and separated from their families. This population is disproportionately comprised of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Oregonians, and provides the opportunity to confront systemic inequities. In addition, we are supporting a variety of housing bills this session. Learn more about Oregon youth experiencing houselessness, and about EMO's UHY advocacy.

Promote a Just and Climate-Friendly Clean Energy Economy
EMO and Oregon Interfaith Power and Light (OIPL) are using our voice to support and prioritize communities most affected by the climate crisis. In this spirit, EMO/OIPL has joined the Oregon Clean Energy Opportunity campaign, Oregon's first energy policy campaign led by frontline communities.
Refugee Advocacy Opportunity
Join us on Friday, March 19, from 9 to 10 a.m. Pacific, for updates on post-inauguration presidential and Congressional actions, and ways over the next few weeks to communicate to Oregon members of Congress that Oregonians of faith stand with refugees and immigrants:
  • National resettlement policy/advocacy 
  • National asylum policy/advocacy 
  • State and local legislative efforts
  • Community priorities 
Creation Justice Advocacy 2021
Want to help EMO/Oregon Interfaith Power & Light (OIPL) strengthen protections for the environment and frontline communities? Join EMO/OIPL's Creation Justice Advocacy Team and receive updates on creation justice-related advocacy opportunities, including virtual visits to your legislators during Earth Week!

And contact your legislators today with our email template in support of SCR 17 "Environmental Justice for Oregon" and HB 2021 "100% Clean Energy for All"!

For more information or details about how to get involved, contact Cherice Bock at
Sign up for legislative updates & events
During each legislative session, EMO’s goal is to empower people of faith with the advocacy tools they need to put their faith into action. To add your voice and your values to our public conversation, sign up for updates on the issues that are most important to you and view current events.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
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