Coming Together on Ballot Measures
Our core mission at Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon is to bring together diverse communities of faith to learn, serve and advocate for justice, peace and the integrity of creation. We ground ourselves firmly in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets who spoke truth to power and advocated for a more just society.
For nearly 50 years, we have used our voice to advocate for policies and legislation that help create an Oregon that works for everyone, not just those at the top. Releasing our biannual “Voters’ Guide to 2022 Oregon Ballot Measures” is an important part of this work. We’re privileged to provide thoughtful guidance to people of faith and goodwill and help connect current ballot initiatives to deeper values.
Today, the political and policy-making sphere can be downright off-putting. Polarization and demonization often pit us against each other. It has become increasingly difficult to engage in the political world without being discouraged and disillusioned.
The Rev. Jim Wallis is famous for saying that the answer to bad politics isn’t no politics, it’s better politics. He defines this as “prophetic rather than partisan, broad and deep instead of narrow, and based on values as opposed to ideology.” Here at EMO, we stand for a lively and respectful body politic. This doesn’t mean we all have to agree and that we don’t have honest differences between us. Rather, we work toward the common good in light of our differences.
In the public square, EMO unapologetically stands alongside Oregonians who—because of their race, wealth or access to power—have been neglected by our society at large. We stand for the aspirations and rights of all, no exceptions.
The positions taken in the voters’ guide are endorsed through a democratic process by our board of directors after the careful recommendation of our volunteer Public Policy Advocacy Committee. We hope our discussion of the four state-wide measures on the November 2022 ballot will provide valuable insights for Oregon voters.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon has adopted a Statement of Social Principles that guides our public policy work. In this statement, we identify core principles and areas of social concern, including:
- Peace and Global Justice
- Human Rights & Religious Freedom
- Environmental Stewardship
- Economic Justice
- Family and Community Well-being
- Public Witness and the Common Good
In our discussions of the individual ballot measures, we identify which area, or areas, of social concern relates to that measure. View EMO's Statement of Social Principles.
As our Public Policy Advocacy Committee engages in a discussion regarding each ballot measure, we consider arguments offered by both supporters and opponents of each measure. We also rely on the Scriptures, our social principles, past positions on similar measures, and rigorous deliberation.
We invite you to prayerfully consider the wisdom of your own tradition and engage in a thoughtful process of discernment in exercising your civic duty to vote. We are reminded by human rights activist, Loung Ung, “Voting is not only our right, it is our power.”