Policy for the People, a production of the Oregon Center for Public Policy (ocpp.org), explores the public policies that can advance economic justice in our state.
This show builds from the premise that all Oregonians deserve to live in dignity. Everyone — no matter the color of their skin or where they live in Oregon — should be able to enjoy economic security and the possibility to thrive.
But right now, economic insecurity is widespread. Many Oregonians struggle to afford food, rent, health care, childcare, or college tuition. Such insecurity is especially common among Black, Indigenous, Latino, and other Oregonians of color. Rural Oregonians also face high barriers to opportunity. And even solidly middle-class families are but one serious illness or job loss away from economic ruin.
This widespread economic insecurity is not for lack of resources. Oregon is a prosperous state in one of history’s richest nations.
It is, instead, the result of wealthy elites — and the multinational corporations they control — rigging the system. Through campaign contributions, control of the media, and well-paid lobbyists, wealthy elites use their power to push through policies that benefit them — to the detriment of everyone else, especially people of color.
Our show examines how public policy choices designed to benefit the few got us into our current, inequitable reality. And it explores different public policy choices that can take us in a new direction, toward an Oregon where everyone — white, Black, and brown — enjoys economic security and the possibility to thrive.