Educators Rush to the Ballot Box to Help Determine Outcome on Measures 66 & 67

Jan 12, 2010, 09:27 ET from Oregon Education Association

PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Oregon educators are among some of the first voters to return their ballots in the special election that will determine whether corporations and the rich should pay their fair share to ensure vital public services are protected. The deadline for returning ballots is January 26.

  • Linda Reuteler is a second year special ed teacher in Eugene who has voted already and is encouraging her Facebook friends to get their ballots in early as well.
  • Bruce Adams, a retired educator who taught in Coos Bay and ended his 32 years in teaching in Beaverton voted on Saturday.  
  • Doug Smyth, an academic and career counselor for 12 years at Lane Community College in Eugene voted today.
  • Beth Ann Pope, a high school Spanish teacher and volunteer for a  food pantry in McMinnville voted already.  Her Facebook page encourages her friends to vote yes as well.

"Across Oregon, educators are stepping up to ensure students and their families don't take another hit during this recession," said Gail Rasmussen, an educator from Eagle Point and president of the Oregon Education Association. "It's not too much to expect that corporations and the rich do a little bit more when times are hard."

With Oregon's increased foreclosures and high unemployment, educators are seeing a group of students new to poverty.

As Oregon's economy has worsened, more and more children are sleeping in shelters, motels, spare bedrooms and family vans as parents struggle to keep them in school.

More students are coming to school hungry. A recent study sites Oregon as ranking second in the nation for hunger. Food stamp use in our state has skyrocketed 36 percent over the past year. Today, 650,000 Oregonians -- one in six -- rely on food stamps, a clear indication of the hard times many Oregonians are experiencing.

Measures 66 and 67 make Oregon's tax system fairer and protect critical services for working families. Measures 66 and 67 will protect nearly $1 billion in funding for schools, health care, and public safety in Oregon by raising the corporate minimum tax from $10 to $150 for the first time since 1931, and increasing the tax rates on household income above $250,000.  Currently more than two-thirds of corporations doing business in Oregon pay just $10 a year in the corporate minimum income tax.

This past weekend educators across the state went door-to-door to talk with their neighbors about the impact on schools and other public services if Measures 66 and 67 aren't passed.

For more information, visit  Follow OEA on Facebook:  Reporters interested in interviewing educators who have already voted may contact Cynthia Kain at 202-213-5971,

The Oregon Education Association represents 48,000 educators statewide, including K-12 classroom teachers and education support professionals -- school secretaries, counselors, nurses, custodians and other school employees, as well as faculty at Oregon's community colleges.

SOURCE Oregon Education Association