May 2003 Special Election - Multnomah County - Measure No. 26-48

Three-Year Income Tax For Schools, Human Services, Public Safety

QUESTION: Should Multnomah County enact three-year 1.25% income tax for county schools, health and senior care and public safety?

SUMMARY: The state has cut funds for county schools, health and senior services and public safety. School districts have cut programs and instructional days. Senior citizens and low income families have lost necessary medications and housing assistance. Inmates have been released from jail early.

This measure enacts a three year 1.25% County income tax for services such as:

* Teachers, programs and instructional days for Multnomah County public schools, including Centennial, Corbett, David Douglas, Gresham-Barlow, Parkrose, Portland, Reynolds, Riverdale Districts;
* Prescription drug benefits for low income seniors;
Restore housing and independent living assistance for the elderly and disabled;
Health and mental health care for low income people;
* Reduce early release of inmates;
Offender drug and alcohol treatment.

For single filers, $2,500 of taxable income is exempt. For joint filers, $5,000 of taxable income is exempt. ‘Taxable income’ is taxable income under Oregon law (after deductions) of Multnomah County residents.

This measure will raise an estimated $135 million annually. Independent performance audits will be conducted. The only administrative costs are for tax collection.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

State funding for schools in Multnomah County have been severely cut. The County has also suffered cuts to local services. This measure allows Multnomah County to assist county public schools with their funding gaps and to restore some of the local services cut.

The Measure will provide funds for county public schools, health and senior services, and public safety. It enacts a temporary, three year 1.25% personal income tax.

About 75% of revenues from this measure will provide funds for the 2003-2004, 2004-2005, and 2005-2006 school years. Multnomah County schools may use the funds for services such as:

* Retaining teacher positions to maintain or improve student-teacher ratios;
* Maintaining instructional days to help ensure a full, 180 day school year;
* Funding programs and services that prepare students for college and the workforce;
* Communicating with citizens about achievement and accounting for the use of these tax dollars.

Independent performance audits will be conducted on funds generated by this measure.

This measure creates a School Efficiency and Quality Advisory Council to review expenditures by county school districts.

It will include parents, educators, taxpayers, and business, labor, and government leaders. It will oversee the new local tax revenues for the benefit of students.

About 25% of revenues from this measure will provide funds for health care, mental health, senior services, and public safety. These funds will be used for services such as:

* Housing and living assistance to seniors and the disabled;
* Prescription drug assistance for low-income seniors;
* Emergency mental health services;
* Health, mental health and addiction treatment for offenders to help reduce recidivism;
* Prosecution of identity theft, stolen vehicles, theft, vandalism, criminal trespass and possession of controlled substances;
* Support for community courts;
* Restoration of jail beds;
* Juvenile justice and gang services - day reporting center, juvenile diversion, skill development, probation, gang outreach, receiving center/homeless youth;
* Community supervision of adult offenders;
* Restore alcohol and drug treatment for repeat offenders.

If the State reduces base funding allocation for county schools, or funding for public safety or human services, the County Board of Commissioners will consider immediate termination of this County income tax.

If the State restores funding for county public schools, public safety, or human services during the next three years, the Board will consider immediate termination or reduction this tax.

Beginning with the 2003-2004 fiscal year, all revenues generated from this tax are subject to independent reviews by the County Auditor. Any time after July 1, 2003, the County Auditor may audit the revenues generated from this income tax or any program that receives funds from this tax.

The measure will raise an estimated $135 million annually. A taxpayer with Oregon taxable income (after deductions) of $30,000 would pay about $21 a month for three years as a result of this measure. This estimated payment takes into account changes in deductions on federal and state taxes.

For more information, visit Multnomah County’s website at: http://www.co.multnomah.or.us

Submitted by:
Board of County Commissioners
Multnomah County


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

VOTE YES ON 26-48
PROTECT LOCAL SCHOOLS, SENIORS AND PUBLIC SAFETY

The Legislature’s inability to solve Oregon’s urgent problems has meant state funding cuts that threaten the basic services on which our community relies.

Measure 26-48 is our chance to do what the Legislature has not - restore the basics for our schools, our seniors and disabled, critical low-income health care and public safety.

Measure 26-48 is a three-year, 1.25% income tax for Multnomah County residents that:

Provides Funding for Schools

* Restores funding towards a full school year for all students in Multnomah County public schools. Funds will be distributed fairly to all local school district on a per-pupil basis.
* Prevents the loss of teaching positions. Without Measure 26-48, 600 teachers would be lost in Portland Public Schools alone.
* Reduces class sizes.
* Provides a challenging and varied curriculum to prepare students for college and the workplace.

Protects Seniors and the Disabled

* Restores prescription drug relief for medically needy seniors who cannot afford the drugs needed to stay alive.
* Restores crisis treatment and medication for poor residents with severe mental illness that poses a danger to themselves or others.
* Restores funding for Oregon Project Independence, for seniors to continue living independently, instead of being forced into nursing homes.

Restores Public Safety

* Prevents the early release of convicted prisoners.
* Re-hires Sheriff’s Deputies.

STRONG ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES,
USING TAX DOLLARS WISELY.

* Measure 26-48 has built-in annual audits, public reports and citizen oversight.
* The only administrative costs are literally those relating to collecting the tax.
* Measure 26-48 is written so the tax increase can be terminated earlier than three years if the State finds a way to solve the funding problem.

We cannot wait for others. Measure 26-48 provides immediate help for the basic needs of our local schools, seniors and community.

It makes sense. It’s the right thing to do.

VOTE YES ON MEASURE 26-48

(This information furnished by Nancy Hamilton, It’s Our Future Committee)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

PTAs URGE A YES VOTE ON MEASURE 26-48

PTA’s are one of the reasons our schools succeed. They represent all the elements of good schools: parent volunteers, dedicated teachers and a joint commitment to an education that builds successful futures, good citizens and a strong community.
But the greatest PTA in the world cannot replace the basics of a good education.

* To learn, kids need to be in school enough days of the year.
* They need classes small enough so the teacher can spend some time with them.
* They need the basic educational programs that will challenge them, and will give them the tools the need for their future.

That is what Measure 26-48 means for schools. No more, no less.

This measure will fill the gap left by state funding shortfalls. It gives us time to find a statewide solution without destroying our local schools. And we know the money will go into the classroom - the only administrative costs are literally the costs of collecting the tax, and the audits we need to make sure the money is spent as advertised. The rest of the money it generates for schools goes directly to the kids.

In a sense, we are all the PTA for our community’s schools. And we all have an interest in their success, whether or not we have children or grandchildren in them right now.

So please join all the local PTA’s of the
Portland Council of PTA’s
by
voting YES on Measure 26-48!

(This information furnished by Sharon Meigh-Chang, Portland Council of PTA’s)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

A message from our local classroom teachers

Measure 26-48 Will Protect the Two Most Important Elements of a Good Education:

Time in the Classroom and Individual Attention

As teachers, we spend every day in the classroom with one goal - to give young people the education they need to become successful adults and productive citizens. Of the many elements of a good education, two are absolutely indispensable: days in the classroom and individual attention.

That is why Measure 26-48 is so important.

Days in the Classroom

We are proud of the varied and challenging curriculum we offer our students. It takes time in the classroom for them to be able to master the work. Measure 26-48 restores funding for a full school year for all students in Multnomah County. It is one of the basics of education. Without Measure 26-48, we won’t have it.

Individual Attention for Students

A basic quality education also requires that teachers spend individual time with the students. That’s especially true when a child needs some extra help because he or she is struggling with a subject, or wants to learn more. It’s impossible, however, when class sizes become so large that teaching becomes more of an exercise in traffic control than giving children the attention they need. Measure 26-48 will prevent crippling class size increases.

Giving young people a good future gives our community
a good future. By protecting the basics of a sound education, so will Measure 26-48.

PLEASE VOTE YES ON MEASURE 26-48!

Donna Newcomb, teacher
Parkrose Faculty Association

Ann Nice,
Portland Association of Teachers

Dennis Storey, teacher
Kelly Creek Elementary School
Gresham-Barlow Education Association

Steve Palumbo, teacher
Gregory Heights Middle School
Portland Public Schools

Reed Scott-Schwalback, teacher
Centennial School District
Kelly Nakano, Teacher
David Douglas School District

Margaret Peoples, Teacher
Tubman Middle School
Portland Public Schools

Eadi Popick, teacher
Riverdale Elementary School

Tammy Sykes, teacher
Reynolds School District

Steve Roseneld, teacher
Jason Lee Elementary
Portland Public Schools


(This information furnished by Ann Nice, Portland Association of Teachers)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

The Multnomah County and Portland Auditors say:

ACCOUNTABILITY IS IMPORTANT.
AND MEASURE 26-48 DELIVERS IT.

As your elected auditors, we have two jobs:

* To ensure that government is accountable for your tax dollars; and,
* To give the public the information about how your money is being spent.

We believe government has an obligation to be accountable, and Measure 26-48 is written with important safeguards.
Measure 26-48 is designed to ensure the money it generates goes directly to the people it is meant to help.

* The money for schools will be directed to the classroom. It cannot be spent on administration.
* The money for human services must go directly to the services for people in need.
* The money for public safety must be spent to end early release of inmates, supervise those that are in the community, and for the services proven to prevent crime.

The only other ways the money may be spent is on the costs of actually collecting the tax, to fund audits of how the money is spent, and to let you know the results of those audits.

We want to emphasize those last two items. We will conduct regular audits and report to you what we find. It is important that you have the information. You, as the public, have a right to know and to be confident that your priorities are understood and met.

We will also work with the City, County, and school districts to see that audit recommendations are implemented and assure that citizens receive reports on the results accomplished with this money.

We are confident that Measure 26-48 will deliver what it says. But you won’t have to take anyone’s word for it. You will get the facts, throughout the duration of the Measure, should it pass. That is written into the law, and we will make sure that happens.

Gary Blackmer
Auditor, City of Portland

Suzanne Flynn
Auditor, Multnomah County

(This information furnished by Suzanne Flynn, County Auditor)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

ELDERS IN ACTION COMMISSION
SUPPORTS MEASURE 26-48:

It’s the right thing to do to protect senior citizens
AND the community!

It shouldn’t be surprising that senior citizens would be strong supporters of Measure 26-48. The Legislature’s cuts have been especially cruel to older people in our community. There are stories every day about frail elderly people losing prescription drug coverage or housing assistance.

It’s simple common decency to keep a commitment to senior citizens that need our help.
Measure 26-48 does that:

* It restores relief for costly prescription drugs. Since the cuts, many seniors have simply been unable to afford the drugs they need to live, and they are doing without.
* It restores funding for Oregon Project Independence. This cost effective program is the only thing that has kept many seniors living independently in their homes. The loss of this program has been devastating.
* It also restores funding for prosecuting crimes like identity theft, which target vulnerable seniors.

Measure 26-48 speaks to our values. Seniors helped build this community, and we don’t want to see it’s basic services dismantled because the Legislature didn’t do its job.

But there is another important reason for seniors to support Measure 26-48: it makes good financial sense - especially for seniors who are careful with their money.

Measure 26-48 is especially fair to those on fixed incomes. This isn’t a property tax - it’s based on the ability to pay.

There are very strong accountability measures. There are regular audits with public reports, and citizen oversight. We know the money will be spent wisely, on what we voted for. And the money raised in this community will stay in this community.

And Measure 26-48 is written so it can be ended earlier than three years if the legislature provides the funding we need for our community’s basic services.

IMPORTANT TO SENIORS.

IMPORTANT TO THE COMMUNITY.

ELDERS IN ACTION COMMISSION SAYS
PLEASE VOTE YES ON MEASURE 26-48.

(This information furnished by Charles Kurtz, Chair Elders in Action Commission)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Multnomah County’s Sheriff and District Attorney
Urge a Yes Vote on Measure 26-48

Over the last several months, shortfalls in state and local funding have required us to make cuts to our community’s public safety that we would once have thought unthinkable.

Here are just some of the impacts:
• We have had to close down jail beds, and lay off Sheriff’s Deputies, which have resulted in the early release of offenders that neither of us feels comfortable with in the community.
We have had to stop prosecutions. Instead of being taken off the streets, many who are arrested are simply being asked to come back in July, when we might be able to do something with them.
We have had to discontinue drug and alcohol treatment, which is the only thing that keeps many from re-offending.

We are aware that this list of problems may sound overly dramatic. But we have an obligation to be straightforward with you, our employers. We are supposed to be running your public safety system. Right now, we cannot tell you honestly that what we have is a system. And criminals know it.

Measure 26-48 will restore the basic functioning of our criminal justice system. It will:

* Prevent the early release of prisoners by reopening jail beds.
* Re-hire laid off Sheriff’s Deputies and prosecutors.
* Restore drug and alcohol treatment.
* Restore supervision of offenders in the community.

Measure 26-48 will not do everything. But we worked very closely to design a responsible, coordinated plan that will keep our community safer until the economy recovers. It’s our job to keep you safe. We need Measure 26-48 to do it.

Sheriff Bernie Guisto
Multnomah County

Michael Schrunk
Multnomah County District Attorney

(This information furnished by Bernie Guisto, Sheriff)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

We Can’t Vote, So We Hope You Will Read This

We are students in public schools in Parkrose, Portland Public, and Gresham-Barlow and David Douglas School Districts. We aren’t old enough to vote, but this election is very important to us.

We are in high school, and we have brothers and sisters who are in elementary and middle school.

We work hard, and our teachers are very dedicated to us. But when there are too many kids in a class, they can’t get to everyone who needs some extra help. And we have to cover a lot of material in our classes. It really does take an entire school year to learn what we are supposed to learn.

If Measure 26-48 doesn’t pass, our school year will get shorter and there will be many more kids in a classroom. We will also lose some of the subjects that are important to us. For those of us in High School, there is also the issue of getting into college. People all over the country have heard about what is happening to our schools. If we don’t do something, we can only imagine what people will be thinking when they review an application from a student from our schools.

Our schools really, really need this measure.

We also wanted to say that we are glad that this measure will also help others in trouble, like seniors and those with serious illnesses. We are being taught to be good citizens. We can’t imagine that good citizenship includes abandoning people who desperately need our help.

Thank you for reading this. Please remember to vote, and please vote yes for Measure 26-48.
Joshua Springer,
Cleveland High School

Olivia Cutler,
Grant High School

Lieu Than,
Marshall High School
PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS


Scott Schilmoeller, Brandon Maggs, Troy Brant, Heidi Smith,

PARKROSE HIGH SCHOOL

Ken Ortega,
DAVID DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL

Jake Wiederrich
GRESHAM HIGH SCHOOL

(This information furnished by Vicki Conable, It’s our Future Committee)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

An Open Letter To Our Community

As a non-profit agency serving residents all across the community, we work to bring assistance to those of our neighbors who are struggling, whether it is with physical or mental illnesses, addiction, homelessness, or any of the other calamities that can strike any of us, at any time.

And as you consider your vote on Measure 26-48, we wanted to let you know something. We are being overwhelmed.

State funding cuts have devastated those who have no way to respond. Every day, we see mentally ill people who have been cut off from the treatment and medication that enables them to keep it together. And then they have been turned into the streets.

We see seniors who have been told they must leave their homes. They have no place to go.

And we are seeing families, sick people and seniors lose their medical treatment and prescriptions they need to live.

This may sound incredible. Please understand that it is true, and it is happening right here, in our community.

We are trying our best to help. But the reality is that all the charities, non-profits and houses of worship working together cannot come close to closing the gap between what is happening, and the minimum level of decency we should expect from ourselves.

That is why we are taking the unusual step of commenting on an election issue, and asking you to vote Yes on Measure 26-48. It will help our community to fill the gap for the next three years for those in greatest need. Frankly, it is not all we could do. But it is the least we should do.

Please reaffirm the most basic values of humanity, and reach out to those with no one to turn to. Please vote Yes on Measure 26-48.

Volunteers of America - Oregon

(This information furnished by Kay Toran, Volunteers of America)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Parent Volunteers Know Our Schools,
And They Know Our Schools Need Measure 26-48.

As active volunteers, we’re in our schools everyday, in every part of our community. We know from firsthand experience the challenges our schools have been meeting. Without volunteers, without teachers reaching into their own pockets to pay for supplies, and without the extraordinary dedication to kids demonstrated by everybody involved, we wouldn’t be able to deliver the education our kids need to succeed.

The miracle is that our kids are getting that education–a challenging and varied curriculum that has been validated by test scores and by the fact that the overwhelming majority of parents send their kids to public schools. It’s not true in most other cities, and those places have suffered greatly as a result.

BUT WITHOUT MEASURE 26-48, WE COULD LOSE ALL OF THAT.

The cuts in state funding projected for the next two years won’t get rid of “frills” or “extras.” We don’t have those now. They will attack the very foundation of a sound education.

Measure 26-48 will restore and protect the basics:

* The length of the school year;
* The number of kids in a classroom;
* Basic educational programs.

And here is something else that’s very important: the money that Measure 26-48 raises for schools will go directly into the classroom. It will not go towards administration. And there will be regular independent audits, and the public will get the information on how the money is being spent.

There is another reason we support Measure 26-48: we are members of this community. We can no longer wait for the Legislature. This measure is our chance to help ourselves, and make sure this remains a community that is successful, safe and a great place to live.

VOTE YES ON MEASURE 26-48!

Valery Guillory, Parent Volunteer

Gresham-Barlow School District

Thach Nguyen, Parent Volunteer

David Douglas School District

Bobbie Regan, Parent Volunteer
Portland Public Schools

(This information furnished by Bobbie Regan)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

PORTLAND’S FIREFIGHTERS SAY
YOUR VOTE ON MEASURE 26-48 IS CRITICAL

As firefighters, we are proud to be the first line of defense in protecting our community.

When you think of us, you most likely think of people going into burning buildings. But we are also the first responders for medical emergencies and accidents. We are the people that are called when there is a crisis affecting someone’s health or safety.

That is why we have a particularly good view of the critical importance of Measure 26-48. When our community’s safety net is in tatters, we are the ones who must try to catch those who fall through the holes.

How can you be sure that our community really needs Measure 26-48? We are seeing the evidence every day.

* We are answering calls from seniors are cut off from their medication, and the assistance they need to live independently.
* We are answering calls from severely mentally ill people who have lost the medication they need to function, and have been turned onto the streets.
* We are answering calls for children who have lost health care coverage, so that the first time they get medical treatment is from one of us.

We need Measure 26-48 to restore some of the basic services that make a community a community–noting more, and nothing less.

As your firefighters, we are dedicated to keeping you safe, and providing a good example to young people that it is important to do the right thing, even when it is difficult. That is why we urge you to join us in voting Yes on Measure 26-48.

It is a matter of safety, and it is the right thing to do for our seniors, our schools and the people who need us most.

THE PORTLAND FIRE FIGHTERS ASSOCIATION
Tom Chamberlain, President

(This information furnished by Tom Chamberlain, Portland Firefighters Association)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

SMALL BUSINESSES SUPPORT MEASURE 26-48
It’s Accountable, and a Good Investment!

Small business creates most of the jobs for our community. It is also represents the entrepreneurship, energy and hard work that is the key to our economic future.

As small business owners, we know that our success depends on a strong, vital community. And the elements of a community’s success are the same as ours: vision, commitment and wise investment.

That is why we enthusiastically endorse Measure 26-48, and urge you to join us in voting Yes.

We looked at Measure 26-48 the same way we would evaluate an investment in our own businesses. Does it offer a good return? The answer is yes. Strong schools provide a reliable and productive workforce. They mean stronger and safer neighborhoods. And a community with good public schools helps attract the talent and investment we need to thrive.

Measure 26-48 also restores critical cuts to public safety and services to seniors and others. Also good investments, especially in tough times.

And with Measure 26-48, we know we will get what we pay for. The money for schools goes directly into the classrooms. In fact, the only money for administration is the cost of collecting the tax. The rest goes to the things we care about, and that our community needs.

We also like the fact that there are regular independent audits and that the information on how the money is spent will be made public.

Measure 26-48 is money well-spent, wisely invested and tracked with accountability. Voting yes is a good business decision.
Ben Davis,
Grand Central Baking Company

Lon Hoang,
Thanh-Long Bakery & Restaurant

Mike Roach and Kim Osgood
Paloma Cluthing

Marc &Tracy Frankel
Pizzicato Gourmet Pizza Mike Miller,
Gresham Sanitary Service

John Whisler,
Kitchen Kaboodle

Dr. Michael Hill,
Gresham Physicia

Barbara Conable
Andover Educators & Press Publishing

(This information furnished by Mike Roach and Kim Osgood, Paloma Clothing)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

A message from Stand for Children

Our Children Need Measure 26-48.

Stand for Children is a citizens group that speaks up for those who often cannot be heard–our kids. We believe that every child deserves a fair chance at life.

Without Measure 26-48, too many children will miss that chance. We urge you to vote ‘yes’.
The failure of the Oregon Legislature, combined with the weak economy, has imposed cuts that will hurt kids at every stage of their life. Measure 26-48 will restore the most basic needs until the legislature does its job or the economy recovers. Here are some of the most important things it will do for children:

* It will provide funds towards restoring a full school year. Three years is an eternity for a child going through school. Saving the school year for this critical period will mean the difference between success and failure for thousands of young people.
* It will keep class sizes lower. Individual attention is so important, especially for students who are struggling.
* It will restore cuts to the WIC Program, which provides mothers and children with food that they otherwise cannot afford.
* It will restore struggling families to the Oregon Health Plan–the only health care that many children have access to.

Stand for Children is a non-partisan, independent, non-profit organization. We believe that when every child counts, it is important to make every dollar count. That is why we are extremely pleased that the money raised by Measure 26-48 will be directly targeted to the children that need it, not to administrative costs.

Right now, we all have a chance to stand up for children.
Let’s take a stand by saying yes–to children and
to Measure 26-48,

(This information furnished by MaryLynn O’Brien, Chair, Portland Stand For Children)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

An Important Message from
The Citizens Crime Commission

Founded in 1988, the Citizens Crime Commission is a citizens’ organization that has provided leadership in the fight against crime in our community.

Right now, our community faces an unprecedented breakdown of our public safety system. Cuts at both the state and local levels have closed our courts, halted prosecutions and led to the early release of offenders–with a severely reduced ability to monitor them in the community.

The current situation is a clear threat to our community’s safety and livability. That is why the Citizens Crime Commission urges a Yes vote on Measure 26-48.

Measure 26-48 will not provide everything we would like to see in a public safety system. But it will restore critical components of:

* Keeping criminals off the streets;
* Restoring prosecutions;
* Restoring prevention and treatment programs that stop crime before it starts.

We are in challenging times.
But the first challenge is to keep our community safe.
Right now, we need Measure 26-48 to do that.

VOTE YES FOR OUR COMMUNITY’S SAFETY
VOTE YES ON MEASURE 26-48

(This information furnished by Margaret Miller, Citizens Crime Commission)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

A Message from
Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Congressman David Wu

It is may seem unusual for two congressmen to join together to talk about a local ballot measure. But we are deeply concerned about what legislative cuts are doing to our community, and passionate about education. That is why we are urging you to join us in supporting Measure 26-48.
There is no dream we can have of the future that does not somehow travel through our public schools:

* It is how we prepare our young people to go on to higher education and to a successful career.
* It is how we sustain a healthy economy that can support all of us, no matter our age.
* It is how we transmit the values of our community and our nation.

There are many issues we work on in Congress. Any success we could have there would be terribly undermined by failing schools at home.

The good news is that our public schools continue to achieve great things, even under difficult circumstances. Our children are doing well. But the loss of a full school year, basic educational programs and skyrocketing class sizes will end that.

Those are precisely the things Measure 26-48 will restore.

You can also have confidence in how the money will be spent. The accountability measures written into the law include regular audits, public reports and citizen oversight. One of the reasons voters are skeptical about government is that they are rarely given the objective information they need to evaluate the value they are getting from their tax dollars. With Measure 26-48, you will get that information.

Ultimately, Oregon must find a statewide solution to our school funding problems. Until that happens, Measure 26-48 is a way that our community can keep our schools open and providing the basics.

Join us and VOTE YES on Measure 26-48.

(This information furnished by Congressman David Wu)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Involved Parents Support Measure 26-48

Community & Parents for Public Schools is a grassroots organization working to improve Portland Schools through more effective parent and community involvement. We are dedicated to attracting families to public schools and helping parents assume leadership roles. Our philosophy is that parents and community members are owners of the public school system, working as partners with educators in raising achievement for all students.

WE URGE YOU TO VOTE YES FOR MEASURE 26-48.

Less than 4% of Portland School District’s budget goes to administration. The District has cut two-thirds of their administrative positions over the past decade. THERE IS NO FAT LEFT TO BE CUT. Other districts are in the same boat.

VOTE YES for a full school year.
VOTE YES to keep teachers in the classroom.
VOTE YES to keep class sizes from getting any bigger.

Test scores are up. Our schools are improving. We mustn’t lose this momentum!

VOTE YES for fair school funding. Education funds from Measure 26-48 will be split evenly among all districts in the county on a per-student basis.

VOTE YES to support our economy. Without a strong school system, we cannot attract and retain high-wage jobs in our county. STRONG SCHOOLS MEAN BETTER JOBS.

VOTE YES to preserve our democracy. Public schools are the cornerstone of the American Dream, providing a path to prosperity for all. Without Measure 26-48, well-to-do parents will flock to private schools. Public school funding and quality will drop further. Once parents leave the public school system, it is very hard to get them back.

VOTE YES for accountability. Measure 26-48 funds independent performance audits for school districts, helping them to improve management.

AND VOTE YES for vital services for the elderly, for mental health services, for health care for the needy, for public safety.

VOTE YES on Measure 26-48!

Community & Parents for Public Schools

(This information furnished by Scott Bailey, Community & Parents for Public Schools)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Special tax breaks for the well connected

How much property tax do you pay? Some $400,000 Pearl District condos pay less than $500 a year!

Did you know that most of the Pearl district, the Brewery Blocks and the Waterfront district get favored property tax rates? County wide, $27 million tax money will be lost to breaks for development this year.

Urban Renewal Districts, including most of Downtown Portland, diverted $53.5 million away from city and county services last year.

Before they raise taxes on all of us, let them recover this $80 million (total of above) annual tax give away!

No Matter What They Call It, It’s Just Plain Waste

Portland’s Water Bureau fiasco: “ ...city’s losses, estimated to total from $20 million to $30 million.” ( Oregonian, 01/03/03)

They wasted $6-24 million redoing PGE Park for minor league baseball.

There is massive waste throughout government bureaus-they don’t need a tax increase, they need to get rid of waste.

Their Grand Plans...Your Money

“ The city plans to issue more than $30 million in bonds in early 2003 for PDC projects in the River District.” ( Portland Tribune, 11/8/2002)

Portland is planning to spend up to $288 million in public subsidies to redo the North Macadam district.
They already spent $135-150 million to redo the Pearl District.

Even after the PGE Park fiasco, they are trying to find $275 million for a new stadium

They promised $40 million for Clackamas light Rail.

Portland officials are spending your utility rate money and tax dollars to redo the city while your courts, jails, schools, police and fire protection suffer.

Tell Your Portland Officials to Run the City, Not Overhaul it
NO NEW TAXES...send a clear message:

• Quit giving tax breaks for development
• Recover the existing tax breaks.
• Forget the pet projects.
• Cut the waste, cut the pork.

Fully fund our schools, jails, courts, police and fire department with savings, not new taxes.

More information: www.saveportland.org

(This information furnished by Jim Karlock, saveportland.org)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.