Oregon Ballot Measures

CLP Current Event: October 30, 2018

The environment. Taxes. Affordable housing. How would your students vote on this year’s ballot measures? Help them better understand the issues and Oregon’s ballot measures with this week’s CLP Current Event!

Brought to teachers by Susie Marcus, CLP consultant, with CLP staff.

News Sources

Voter’s Guide, League of Women Voters, 2018

Both Sides to Ballot Measures this Midterm, by Chloe Collins, The Advocate, October 25, 2018
“On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Oregon residents will vote on a variety of topics. Oregonians will decide who the governor should be for the next four years, as well as who should represent them in the U.S. House. In addition to voting on who should represent Oregon at the national level, citizens will also make the final call on five statewide measures appearing on the ballot this year.”
CLP: Opinion

The Skanner News Endorsements for Statewide Elections 2018, The Skanner, October 12, 2018
“Polling is tight in some races this year, notably the governor’s race between Democratic incumbent Kate Brown and incumbent Knute Buehler, and as always, turnout is critical. In Oregon, voters’ pamphlets for the November 6 election will be delivered this week (Oct. 10-12). Oregon voter registration deadline is Oct. 16.”

Could Ore. Ballot Measure Loosen Housing Affordability Squeeze?, by Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service – OR, October 11, 2018
“Passage of Measure 102 could affect a metro housing bond in Portland. According to the campaign Yes for Affordable Housing, bond Measure 26-199 is estimated to fund homes for 7,500 people and would increase to 12,000 people if the constitutional amendment passes.”

Why Was it So Easy For Republicans to Crowd Oregon’s November Ballot With Measures?, by Aaron Mesh, Willamette Week, September 19, 2018
“That’s a reversal from the past few election cycles, which mostly featured proposals from progressives. And it suggests that beneath this fall’s much-anticipated “blue wave” is a red riptide.”

Editorial Endorsements, by The Oregonian Editorial Board, The Oregonian, various dates
Measure 102
Measure 103
Measure 104
Measure 105
Measure 106

Questions to Consider

  • What is a ballot measure?
  • How is an initiative ballot measure different from a bill referred from the legislature?
  • What is a constitutional amendment? Is adding measures to the Oregon Constitution helpful or hurtful? How do you remove a measure from the Oregon Constitution?
  • What are the key verbs used in the 2018 ballot measures?
  • How do voters find information about the effects of ballot measures?
  • Are commercials helpful in determining how to vote? If so, why? If not, why not? Are the ballot titles helpful in making decisions?
  • How many measures involve money? How does an increase or decrease in revenue for a ballot measure affect policy decisions?
  • Are initiatives a way of curbing the power of the legislature? Are they an effective expression of direct democracy? Are they responsible for voter fatigue?
  • Which of the ballot measures demonstrate love, caring, and compassion?
  • Which demonstrate fear of others and an unwillingness to be “helpers”?

Background and More

Oregon 2018 ballot measures, Ballotpedia
“As of October 26, 2018, six statewide measures were certified to appear on the Oregon ballot in 2018. One measure—Measure 101—was on the ballot for a special election on Jan. 23, 2018. It was approved. The other five were certified for the November 2018 ballot.”

Measure 105 seeks to overturn ‘Sanctuary State’ law in place for 30 years, by Mark Brennan, Sisulaw News, October 23, 2018
“Measure 105 would allow any law enforcement agency to use agency funds, personnel and equipment to detect and apprehend people whose only violation of the law is a violation of federal immigration law.”

The Most Important Ballot Measures of 2018, by Simon Davis- Cohen, The Nation, October 24, 2018
“Statewide ballot initiatives were established in the early part of the 20th century as a way to counter the influence of corporate monopolies and moneyed interests. Some of the first citizen initiatives abolished poll taxes, gave women the right to vote, and funded public higher education.”

Oregon ballot measures at 30-year low. Here’s why., by Hillary Borrud, The Oregonian, August 4, 2018
“This fall, Oregonians will decide just five ballot measures. That is the fewest since Ronald Reagan sat in the Oval Office and marks a significant drop-off from the flurry of initiatives that defined state elections in the 1990s and 2000s.”

Oregon Constitutional Amendments Over the Decades, Oregon Secretary of State
“Voters immediately used the new tool that blacksmith William U’ren had so skillfully forged for them. Many reform ideas that had persisted in society for decades but had been blocked in the legislature by powerful interests now enjoyed real chances of becoming law.”

Lesson Plans

The Ballot and Questions, Citizens, Not Spectators (Center for Civic Education)
CLP: Grades 10-12

Constitutional and Legal Connections

Initiative Process 101, National Conference of State Legislatures

Oregon State Social Science Standards

8.8 Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
8.17 Examine the development activities of political parties and interest groups and their affect on events, issues, and ideas.
8.26 Examine a controversial event, issue, or problem from more than one perspective.
HS.28 Evaluate how governments interact at the local, state, tribal, national, and global levels.
HS.29 Examine the structures and functions of Oregon’s state, county, local and regional governments.
HS.30 Analyze the roles and activities of political parties, interest groups and mass media and how they affect the beliefs and behaviors of local, state, and national constituencies.
HS.33 Explain the role of government in various current events.
HS.35 Examine the pluralistic realities of society (e.g., race, poverty, gender and age), recognizing issues of equity, and evaluating need for change.
HS.59 Demonstrate the skills and dispositions needed to be a critical consumer of information.
HS.60 Analyze an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon from varied or opposing perspectives or points of view.

We the People Lesson Connections

Middle School, Level 2

  • Unit 6, Lesson 29: What are the rights and responsibilities of citizenship?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 30: How might citizens participate in civic affairs?

High School, Level 3

  • Unit 6, Lesson 33: What does it mean to be a citizen?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 34: What is the importance of civic engagement to American constitutional democracy?