July 2010: Over 100 people gather at PCC for a community forum to tell their stories about problems with the criminal background check system to legislators.
April 2010: Empower Oregon activists start collecting stories about the implications of recent changes to the criminal background check system, preparing to fix the problems they pose.
Mar 23rd 2010: HB 3698 is signed into law, postponing implementation of some of the criminal background check changes until Jan 2011.
Feb 2010: Empower Oregon continues to build on the momentum from Measures 66 & 67 to make proactive change in the Addictions and Mental Health services delivery system.
Jan 26th 2010: Oregonians overwhelmingly approve both tax measures.
Nov 2009-Jan 2010: Empower Oregon activists join the broad coalition of Yes for Oregon to educate voters and advocate for human services and tax reform.
Oct 8th 2009: new revenue measures are referred to the ballot, and become known as Measures 66 & 67.
Sept 19th 2009: the Oregon State Legislature passes a budget that largely protects human services, but hinges on increased revenue from a nominal income tax increase and raising the corporate minimum tax.
July 28th 2009: Changes to the criminal background check system are signed into law, heavily restricting who can provide care. One of the many unintended consequences is that many addictions counselors who have been through recovery are restricted from practice.
June 4th 2009: Multnomah County final budget is passed with human services largely in tact.
May 6th 2009: New revenue to save services. Multnomah County Commissioners pass an ordinance to raise revenue with an increase in the Motor Vehicle Rental Tax.
April & May 2009: Empower Oregon activists in Multnomah County mobilize to advocate for services through letter-writing, phone calls, public hearings etc.
April 28th 2009: Save our Human Services forum sponsored by broad group of human service advocates is attended by more than 100 people. Multnomah County Chair, Ted Wheeler attends and commits to protect services.
Early 2009: Mult Co faces a severe budget shortfall, county dept’s prepare budgets with 12% cuts. Oregon also faces shortfalls and again looks for places to cut services.