Thinking Outside the Box

Past criminal history shouldn’t limit job opportunitiesEmployment app

We strongly support the "Ban the Box" bill - HB 3025 , which helps to remove roadblocks to employment for formerly incarcerated individuals. This bill would prevent employers from asking prospective employees about past criminal histories on job applications until after a conditional offer of employment is made.

After serving their debt to society, many ex-offenders are denied the opportunity to work based solely on their conviction. This makes it difficult if not impossible for individuals with a criminal record to re-enter society successfully and be able to earn a living. With a criminal justice system that is dominated by racial disparities, people of color are disproportionately harmed by employers’ criminal background check procedures.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), more than 650,000 individuals are released from prison every year. One of the key elements they identified for successful re-entry into our communities is helping these individuals find and keep a job. If ex-offenders are to succeed as law-abiding, taxpaying citizens, they must have an honest shot at finding employment – particularly in this tough economic climate.

READ MORE >>

A Trailblazing Bill for Women's Health

March 6, 2015 - As part of a diverse coalition of organizations committed to expanding access to women’s health care, we are thrilled to announce that Senate Bill 894 has been introduced in the Oregon Legislature.

This groundbreaking legislation is an important step in ensuring that more Oregonians – regardless of their income, type of insurance or location – have access to safe and affordable reproductive health care.

We believe every Oregon woman should have access to the full range of reproductive health care, starting before she ever becomes pregnant and going through childbirth. This basic right is a foundation of freedom and opportunity for women and their families.

READ MORE >>

Thank You For Being a Friend!

March 4, 2015 - Thanks to the generosity of our friends and community, our February 27th Liberty Dinner was a tremendous success. Funds raised will support our work to ensure that Oregon is a place that represents and values the rights of all people.  View more photos on Facebook.

READ MORE >>

Oregon's Privacy Laws Need an Update

by Sarah Armstrong, Outreach Director

Privacy Equals FreedomWe are asking lawmakers to update Oregon's privacy laws and we need your help! Join us for ACLU’s Privacy Day in Salem on Monday, March 16 to help strengthen Oregon's privacy protections and limit the use of dragnet surveillance. 

We have worked with bipartisan support on package of bills to curb mass surveillance. Help to ensure that these important bills have a voice in the legislature by joining us in Salem for ACLU's Privacy Day. 

REGISTER TODAY! 

Face to face meetings with legislators are incredibly powerful – and incredibly effective. We need your help to advocate for:

•    SB 639 - Strict guidelines for the use of automatic license plate readers (ALPR) 

•    SB 640 - A warrant requirement to access email, phone, and location records 

•    SB 641 - A warrant requirement to search cell phones


READ MORE >>

Consistent with the National Trend, Governor Brown Maintains Moratorium on Executions

February 20, 2015 - During her first news conference since taking office as governor, Kate Brown said that Oregon's death penalty system deserves broader discussion and she intends to continue the moratorium on executions that has been in place since 2011.

“There needs to be a broader discussion about fixing the system. Until that discussion I am upholding the moratorium . . . imposed by Gov. Kitzhaber.”

David Fidanque, executive director of the ACLU of Oregon, said Gov. Brown’s announcement represents a common sense approach to a difficult and emotional issue. 

“Oregon’s death penalty system is riddled with both practical and constitutional problems,” Fidanque said, “not the least of which is that our state’s method of execution – lethal injection – has led to botched executions elsewhere in the nation and is currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Regardless of the outcome of that case, Oregon’s system provides neither dependable outcomes nor justice.”

READ MORE >>

ACLU Urges Gov. Kitzhaber to Commute Entire Death Row

February 17, 2015 - With less than 24 hours before Governor John Kitzhaber’s resignation, we call upon the Governor to commute the death sentences of every inmate on Oregon’s death row to life without parole.

Here's the text of the letter we sent to Governor Kitzhaber:

Dear Governor Kitzhaber,

On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, and our thousands of members and supporters throughout the state, I implore you to use your constitutional authority as Governor to commute the capital sentences of the thirty-four men and one woman currently on Oregon’s death row to sentences of life without the possibility of parole.

READ MORE >>