By DON McINTOSH
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)Local 555 has turned in preliminary paperwork for six initiatives aimed at Oregon’s November 2024 ballot. Local 555 President Dan Clay is listed as one of the chief petitioners on all six, and he’s joined as chief petitioner for one or more of the measures by Local 555 political staff member Mike Selvaggio, Madison Walters, and Fiona Yau-Luu and Local 555 spokesperson Miles Eshaia. The first five were submitted June 12, and the sixth was submitted Oct. 25.
Selvaggio told the Labor Press the union hasn’t yet committed to try to take the measures to the ballot, but it is gathering the first 1,000 signatures on five of them. Local 555 decided not to pursue the sixth measure it filed, which related to campaign finance reform, and will instead support a campaign finance reform proposed by the union-backed group Our Oregon. After the first 1,000 signatures are submitted and verified, the Oregon attorney general would draft a ballot title. After that, Local 555 could decide to move forward gathering signatures on one or more of the initiatives. As statutory changes (not constitutional), they would require 117,173 valid signatures in order to qualify for the ballot. Here’s a summary of the prospective initiatives (IP stands for initiative petition):
- IP 31 would make the Oregon Government Ethics Commission more independent by having its members appointed by the chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court instead of political party caucus leaders. It would also require lawmakers to report misconduct that they know about, and it would make records of lawmakers’ misconduct more available to the public.
- IP 32 would close the loophole that allows lawmakers to meet and deliberate in secret, require that legislative caucus rules be made public, and prohibit the “selling” of public committee positions through political contributions.
- IP 33 would bar hospitals and health care systems from investing assets in stocks, mirroring restrictions that apply to local governments in Oregon. It would also require them to publish information about their income, investments and costs including salary and benefit information for individual executives and each classification of employee.
- IP 35 would require cannabis businesses to sign a labor peace agreement pledging to remain neutral in union organizing campaigns in order to obtain or renew their license to do business.
- IP 50 would repeal Oregon’s recently passed self-service gas law.