On Aug. 23, the Urban League of Portland brought legislators and community members together virtually to share victories and unfinished business from this year’s last legislative session. The one-hour event was streamed on the Urban League's Facebook and YouTube platforms.
After a warm welcome by President Nkenge Harmon Johnson, Esq., Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, Jennifer Parrish Taylor, weighed in with the Urban League’s priorities for the 2023 session of the Oregon State Legislature. Tayor noted that the Urban League tracked more than 100 proposed bills and gave testimony nearly every week of the six-month session. Key issues including added funding for indigent legal defense and affordable housing across the state were just two of the victories that the Urban League says it delivered. During this community briefing the Urban League highlighted both successes and challenges. Community members who missed the live stream can watch the full event on YouTube, Facebook or public television. The Urban League will share airtimes with newsletter subscribers and social media followers.
President Harmon Johnson said, “For the first time we are honoring legislators with the Midge Purcell Award. Purcell was the founding director of our Advocacy and Civic Engagement department. She made landmark contributions toward combating inequities in employment, health care, education, economic opportunity, housing, criminal justice and child welfare systems. The award was created in her name to recognize leaders who demonstrate similar ambition and courage to make Oregon a place where we all may thrive.”
Special guest Margaret Carter, Oregon’s first Black woman state legislator and past Urban League president, amplified the benefit for viewers to become Urban League members. She said that while the Urban League’s staff fight for the community each day, the community is most successful when all join together to support the work.