by Kathy Wai
Policy Advocacy Coordinator
Healthy, thriving families lead to strong, resilient communities. When we are healthy, we are more likely to live fulfilling lives and contribute to a vibrant and productive Oregon. Every Oregonian, regardless of the color of their skin, their place of origin, their gender identity, their sexual orientation or financial resources–deserves the chance to be healthy.
Oregon has made great strides in extending health insurance to Oregonians but there are still gaps. Over 383,000 Oregonians are uninsured due to systemic exclusions or because the cost of coverage is too high for working families. Yet others who have health insurance cannot access services due to cost, discrimination, or citizenship status. Our Families, Our Health is our vision for affordable, culturally competent healthcare for all families. We center our work around the voices and experiences of those who are uninsured. Our focus is on addressing barriers and exclusions for undocumented Oregonians, legal permanent resident immigrants who face the Federal 5 Year Bar, LGBT individuals, and residents from the Compact of Free Association (COFA) nations of the Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia who face a lifetime ban.
We know that real change requires incremental steps; this means working with individuals to collect stories and empower them, to changes at the systemic level so that policies can reflect the needs of our communities. Changes in policy can have a real impact on the lives of thousands of people in our state. In order to achieve our vision of healthy families, we are working towards short and long term goals. Our members can help in the following months through a variety of ways:
- Share a story of being uninsured currently, or in the past (Read Sandy, Tram and Jean’s stories).
- Collect 500 pledges from our communities in support of our campaign
- Educate our elected officials at Lobby Day on Feb. 15th
- Volunteer on our campaign team
If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Wai at [email protected] for more information.