El Hispanic News endorses the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Initiative 2018

By Carlos Zeta

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El Hispanic News, ProudQueer.coms' sister publication fully endorses the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Initiative 2018 and recommends Portland voters support the fund with a yes vote on Measure 26-201 this November.

After careful review of the twelve-page ballot initiative, we believe this measure reflects the green and inclusive values of Portland’s residents. This measure was drafted with direct input from minority and underserved community-based organizations whose missions directly reflect the immediate needs of their communities. We hold this piece of legislation in the highest possible regard.

The measure would serve to guarantee a continuous space in Portland’s green future for all residents regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. At a time in history when Portland’s local values are clashing with those of the national political climate, we must stand up and assert our right to demand a fair and long-lasting future for the health of our city.

Our understanding of the measure is it would impose a 1% surcharge on corporate retailers who generate over $500,000 annually in profit by doing business in the City of Portland and who also must be generating at least $1 billion nationally. The funding received from this surcharge would then be placed in an account to be distributed through grant funding to qualifying organizations by a committee comprised of Portland citizens and experts. Organizations and programs keeping with the mission of providing clean energy job training, employment, and services to underserved populations - including women, people of color, persons with disabilities and the chronically underemployed - will be provided funding support through the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Initiative 2018. Grant funding decisions will be made transparent to all residents through the preservation and maintenance of a webpage by the grant committee through the City of Portland. This webpage will provide not only information on the grant funding decision-making processes but also the progress of organizations and programs receiving funding through the Portland Clean Energy Initiative.

This measure was created at a time when business in Portland is booming and requires only the highest circles of the business community chip in for a Portland that is sustainable, inclusive, and democratically controlled by its local residents. El Hispanic News supports this initiative and recommends that Portland voters vote YES on 26-201.


What People Are Saying:

“[The Initiative] creates visibility for communities and people that have faced a history of disenfranchisement, and puts them first in the conversation around how to create equity while transitioning to a green economy.” Portland could make big businesses pay to protect communities of color from climate change, Fast Company, October 18, 2018