Religious leaders in Oregon held a press conference yesterday to urge support for Measure 30. The event took place at First United Methodist Church and was organized by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO). EMO is “a statewide association of 17 Christian denominations working with congregations, ecumenical and interfaith organizations, and people of faith to improve the quality of life for all Oregonians.”
Religious leaders warned Tuesday that faith-based relief organizations won't be able to take up the slack if the Measure 30 tax hike fails and state funding is slashed for social services. Voter rejection of the $800 million tax next week would trigger cuts in programs that provide in-home care to seniors, health care for low-income people and mental health and addiction treatment for others, the leaders said.
"We know where they will go for help," said Norene Goplen of the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of Oregon. "They won't line up at the offices of well-funded anti-tax activists. They will be at the doors of our churches and agencies and emergency rooms."
Bob Horenstein of the Jewish Federation of Portland, a fundraising agency that gives money to various relief groups, said none will be in a position to increase assistance to the needy.
"Try as they might, our faith-based agencies will not be able to make up the difference," Horenstein said. "Unfortunately, there are going to be a lot of people who will not be served."