After full public hearings on a seed preemption bill, SB 633 (a.k.a. Oregon’s Monsanto Protection Act), during the 2013 Regular Session, the proposal did not have enough support to pass. Later that year during the 2013 Special Session, this issue was used as a bargaining chip to secure support for the “Grand Bargain” on changes to the public employee retirement program, and Senate Bill 863, a statewide pre-emption on local ordinances concerning seeds, was passed.
In 2013, both Josephine and Jackson county voters were in the midst of the process to pass GE plant ordinances to protect local family farmers from the threats of GE contamination. On May 20, 2014, both ballot measures passed with strong public support.
Jackson County’s vote was honored because their legislators, Senator Bates and Rep. Buckley, managed to exclude Jackson county from the restrictions of SB 863, by carving out a date exemption (namely that the preemption would not apply to local measures that were proposed by initiative petition and, on or before January 31, 2013, qualified for placement on the ballot in a county; and approved by the electors of the county at an election held on May 20, 2014.”)
However, because its initiative petition did not qualify for placement on the ballot until February 19, 2014, Josephine County’s vote was NOT honored, even though their voters passed their measure by 58.2%. That’s more than 16,000 votes that were not honored!
We need your help to correct this injustice!
You can help in 2 ways:
CONTACT SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE TINA KOTEK
Tell Speaker Kotek that the public vote should be honored in Josephine County. Ask the Speaker to provide the legislative means for Josephine County’s May 20, 2014 public vote to be excluded from the statewide preemption.
Please send a letter or email ASAP and follow up with a phone call.
900 Court St. NE, Rm. 269, Salem, Oregon 97301
CONTACT YOUR OREGON STATE REPRESENTATIVE
Urge your Representative to talk to Speaker Kotek in support of a legislative solution so that the Josephine county vote is honored. Find your Representative here: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/findyourlegislator/leg-districts.html
We have a short window of time to make this happen, so please contact Speaker Kotek and your Representative today.
Your letter, your email, your phone call can help restore the voice of the people of Oregon. Please take action today. An avalanche of letters, emails, and phone calls from Oregon citizens to our representatives and Speaker of the House will make our collective voice heard.
The first line of your letter to House Speaker Kotek could say:
I am writing to ask you to find a legislative solution to honor the public vote in Josephine County on May 20, 2014, for a local ordinance to protect against contamination from GE crops.
Samples of other kinds of things you can include:
I am a _______ (farmer, business owner, citizen, etc.) and I live in ___________ County, Oregon.
Please provide the legislative means for Josephine County to have their May 2014 vote honored. The citizens of Josephine County passed Measure 17-58; but because of SB 863, the will of the people is not being upheld.
Stand up for the will of the people.
Right this wrong.
Show that every Oregonian’s vote counts.