Guest Contributor

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Why Winning the Freedom to Marry in Washington matters to Oregonians

The other day, we had a conversation with our friends at Basic Rights Oregon about the Marriage Equality campaign in Washington. We know that members of the Oregon progressive community support marriage equality for everyone, but we couldn't help but get the feeling that some Oregonians were feeling a little detached from what's happening to the north. Maybe it's because they're feeling swamped by our own local and state elections.

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Business Owner, Jim Houser, responds to the ACA

Jim Houser, co-owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic, reflects on what it means to be a small business owner amidst the impacts of the ACA. He recounts the headaches of what it was like to provide health insurance to his employees prior to the Affordable Care Act and shares the many benefits that the Act provides to his business.

When my wife Liz Dally and I opened Hawthorne Auto Clinic 29 years ago, we made the commitment to offer those who worked with us a good benefits package, including comprehensive health care.

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The ACA and the LGBT community

Sasha Buchert, Communications Manager with Basic Rights Oregon, shares her response to the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act and the impact on the LGBT community.

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A Mom's reaction to the ACA

Andrea Paluso, Executive Director of Family Forward Oregon & The Mother PAC, shares her reaction to yesterday 's Supreme Court court ruling and the impact that the Affordable Health Care Act has had -- and will continue to have -- in improving the health and lives of Americans.

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Affordable Health Care Act upheld: A Nurse's Response

Rebecca Tilley, Oregon Registered Nurse, shares her reaction to today's Supreme Court court ruling and the impact that the Affordable Health Care Act has had -- and will continue to have -- in improving the health and lives of Americans.

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Media Watch: Guest Post from Economic Fairness Oregon

Enjoy this post from Economic Fairness Oregon, our partner group devoted to fighting for financial security of all Oregonians by calling for an end to abusive financial practices that have drained our bank accounts and ravaged our economy.

You can't believe everything you read

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Oregon Business Leaders Unite to Talk Economy

This is a guest post by Jennifer Keenan, Defend Oregon Outreach Coordinator.

For too long, the voice of the business community has been dominated by large corporate interests, political consultants, and special interest lobbyists, who've all pushed a narrow agenda of tax cuts and deregulation for large corporations. And it's all been in the name of "job creation" and "protecting small businesses." (See, among others, ALEC.)

Thankfully, that's starting to change, as actual small business owners and leaders have begun to organize in order to tell the real story of small business in America. In Oregon, that movement is being led by groups like the Main Street Alliance, Equity Alliance Oregon, and VOIS Alliance.

To mark National Small Business Week (did you know there was a National Small Business Week?), 20 business leaders came together on Tuesday at Talking Drum Bookstore and Coffee House in Northeast Portland to talk about how to turn around our economy. Rather than the tired talking points you hear on Fox News, these leaders talked about the need for electoral reform, green jobs and sustainability, healthcare reform, and a fairer tax system that supports schools and business infrastructure. The event was spearheaded by Mainstreet Alliance Oregon, with help from VOIS and Equity Alliance, among others. They were joined by Congressman Earl Blumenauer and representatives from Gov. Kitzhaber's office.

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Why is There a War on Women's Healthcare?

This is a guest post by Jennifer Keenan, Defend Oregon Outreach Coordinator

About ten years ago, I was sitting at a bargaining table about to convince my employer why it was necessary to provide birth control coverage under our current health plan. With an early 20s bravado, I squared my shoulders, looked directly at the management team and said, “If you’re going to cover Viagra then you’re going to cover birth control. It would be sexist to do anything less.”

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Guest Post: Foreclosure Reform is a Major Victory for Oregon Homeowners

by Angela Martin, Director of Economic Fairness Oregon

Last week marked a big victory for Oregon consumers. The Oregon Legislature’s passage of SB 1552 shows that big banks can be drowned out by big voices. Thanks to a massive effort by everyday Oregonians to contact their legislators and demand action on foreclosure reform, the financial lobbyists were silenced, and meaningful policy prevailed.

Whether you’re facing foreclosure, your house is underwater or you’re a renter considering the plunge into homeownership – this legislation will protect you once it’s enacted. The bill that passed takes elements of two different concepts we worked on this session and combines them into one.

The amended version of SB 1552 will end the destructive dual track system in which a homeowner negotiating a modification with a bank is simultaneously on the path to foreclosure. It also requires that lenders sit down with homeowners and a neutral third party to discuss foreclosure-avoidance options.

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Guest Letter: Why Marriage Matters to Jill and Donnella

Donnella appears in one of Basic Rights Oregon's videos, and she wrote today's blog post to explain why marriage matters to her.

Donnella is a Movement Therapist in private practice. She and her partner Jill live with their 1.5-year-old son in Southeast Portland. And here is her story.

When I met Jill, I knew I had found my someone special.  As we got to know each other, it was clear she was the person I was waiting for. 

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