Who We Are
We are Oregon was originally launched by Oregon’s SEIU Locals 49 and 503, with the intention of broadening the fight on issues that affect working class Oregonians beyond the workplace, and into the communities hit hardest by the current economic crisis. We Are Oregon is part of the national Fight For A Fair Economy program.
We know that Oregon isn’t just what we see in the media. It’s not all outdoor sports, scenic vistas, high tech businesses and art festivals. Oregon is the people who work here, of all backgrounds, who raise families and struggle to make ends meet. Oregon is immigrants, elders, people of color and the disabled, janitors and bus drivers, farm-workers and food service workers. “We Are Oregon” reminds us that a successful Oregon must include success and opportunity for all.
We’re fighting for a fair economy, where working class people determine our own future and how our own communities are run. We see the current economy as inherently unfair, because the priorities of banks, corporations and the rich take precedence in almost every situation over the needs of our families and communities. We are working to build the power to change that.
In the last two years we have worked on fighting wage theft, bringing together youth in East County, organizing for food justice and food security, supporting community organizations and labor unions with direct action trainings and solidarity actions, and building a movement for housing justice in Portland.
During this time, our focus was on working with organizations and groups of people to develop programs that could be completely controlled by the community. We Are Oregon offered skills development and resource support to launch programs with community organizations that either existed previously or were developed through the organizing work. The vast majority of WAO’s programs are completely community controlled and led, with the remainder transitioning fully in due time.
We Are Oregon is now focusing on strategic direct action and campaign trainings, campus justice campaigns that organize across workers, faculty, students, and community to restore public education, and supporting worker struggles throughout Portland.