UFCW lines up possible reform initiatives


Having seen the legislature shut down a third time in a row, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 is considering taking a handful of legislative proposals directly to Oregon voters. 

On June 12, the union filed five separate initiative petitions aimed at the November 2024 ballot. 

Each initiative petition lists three chief petitioners. Local 555 president Dan Clay is listed as chief petitioner on all five and he is joined variously by Local 555 staff members Michael Selvaggio, Madison Walters, Fiona Yau-Luu, and Miles Eshaia.

  • IP 31 – the Lawmaker Accountability Act would make the Oregon Government Ethics Commission more independent and give it tougher sanctions when lawmakers violate ethics rules. The commission would be made up of seven retired judges appointed by the chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, whereas under current law commissioners are named by the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Oregon House and Senate and by the governor. The initiative would also require legislators to report misconduct by other legislators if they know about it. And it makes records of ethics investigations publicly accessible.
  • IP 32 – the Legislative Transparency Act would end the right of lawmakers to meet and deliberate in party caucus meetings that aren’t open to the public, require that party caucus rules be made public, and prohibit the “selling” of public committee positions through political contributions.
  • IP 33 – the Hospital Transparency Act would require hospitals to disclose their income, costs, and investments, and would restrict their ability to invest in the stock market.
  • IP 34 – the Smart Campaign Finance Reform Act would set up a publicly financed matching fund system for small campaign donations, and would set limits on contributions to candidates and political committees.
  • IP 35 – United For Cannabis Workers would require cannabis enterprises to sign a labor peace agreement committing to remain neutral when union organizers talk to workers, as a condition of receiving a license to operate.

The filings, submitted to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office, are the first stage in getting approval to circulate. Next, the petitioners would gather and submit 1,000 valid signatures from registered voters, then wait until a ballot title is decided before collecting the 120,413 signatures needed to qualify to appear on the ballot. 

“Oregonians deserve a more transparent, more accountable, and more functional state government than what we’ve got today,” said Clay in a press statement announcing the initiative petitions.


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