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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 15 April 2009

Dear friends,
As Attorney General, I have no greater responsibility that to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of our citizens.  Unfortunately, meeting this critical goal is currently very difficult.  The Oregon Department of Justice used to have a civil rights enforcement unit, but back in the 1980s, the funding for this unit was eliminated.  Today, as a result, I do not have a single attorney devoted to civil rights and civil liberties enforcement work.  To me, that is unacceptable. 
To fix this problem, I have proposed the re-creation of a Civil Rights Enforcement Unit at the Oregon Department of Justice. This unit will partner with our colleagues at the Bureau of Labor and Industries to prevent discrimination based on age, race, gender, disability or sexual orientation .  We will also fight to protect important constitutional rights, promote environmental justice, preserve reproductive freedom, and defend the employment rights of Oregon's veterans.     
 If you support reinvigorating civil rights enforcement in Oregon there are three things you can do to help: 
 1.      Attend a public hearing  (see schedule below) . The Joint Committee on Ways and Means will be holding a series of public hearings in different communities in Oregon to take public input on state budget decisions.  We want our supporters to demonstrate, in person, the importance of funding civil rights enforcement. If we can count on you to attend a public hearing near you, please respond to this email and let us know.
      Contact your legislator and let them know that funding for civil rights enforcement is important to you.  Passing both House Bill 5022 and Senate Bill 797 would allow for a small amount of seed money to start the civil rights enforcement unit and allow for it to eventually become partially self-funding.
3.      Sign the online petition at  http://www.doj.state.or.us/civil_rights.shtml
forward this email to your friends and encourage 
 them  to take the action too! 
I hope you that you value protecting our civil rights and civil liberties as much as I do. Together we can make tremendous positive change to the people of Oregon. I hope you will join me.
John R. Kroger 
Attorney General of Oregon 

Monday, April 20 - Lincoln City

Lincoln City Cultural Center
540 NE Hwy 101
Lincoln City
5:30 to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, April 21 - Portland

Portland Community College -Cascade Campus
Auditorium, Moriarty Building
705 N. Killingsworth Street
6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 23 - Salem

Oregon State Capitol
Hearing Room F
900 Court Street NE
5:30 to 8 p.m.
Including Hood River via video link 

Saturday, April 25 - Pendleton

Pendleton Oregon National Guard Armory
2100 N.W. 56th Drive
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Saturday, April 25 - Ontario

Ontario Treasure Valley Community College
650 College Boulevard
3 to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, April 29 - Bend

Central Oregon Community College, Bend
Cascades Hall Room 117
5:30 to 8 p.m. 

Thursday, April 30 - Ashland

Southern Oregon University, Ashland
Rogue River Room
Stevenson Union
1250 Siskiyou Boulevard
5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday, May 1 - Eugene

University of Oregon, Eugene
Prince Lucien Campbell Hall (PLC 180)
1415 Kincaid Street
1 to 4 p.m.


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