Oregonians voted YES on Measure 101!
Oregonians voted YES on Measure 101!

A right wing assault on health­care fund­ing in the Pacif­ic North­west fit­ting­ly end­ed in fail­ure tonight with the con­clu­sion of Ore­gon’s Jan­u­ary 23rd spe­cial elec­tion, in which vot­ers were asked to decide whether new rev­enue need­ed to secure Med­ic­aid match­ing funds should be retained or repealed. The ini­tial results for Mea­sure 101 — which are quite con­clu­sive — showed that Beaver State vot­ers have over­whelm­ing­ly cho­sen to pro­tect Med­ic­aid funding.

That’s great news for our region.

With turnout so far of 32.71%, the Yes side has about three-fifths of the vote, or 60.78% (521,482 votes), while the No side has 39.22% (336,465 votes).

The Yes side dom­i­nat­ed in the north­west quar­ter of the state — where most Ore­go­ni­ans live — while the No side large­ly pre­vailed else­where.

Vote-rich Mult­nom­ah, Wash­ing­ton, Clack­mas, Mar­i­on, and Lane coun­ties pow­ered the Yes camp — although they weren’t alone in vot­ing yes.

Ore­gon’s coastal coun­ties backed Mea­sure 101 too, save for Coos Bay and Dou­glas coun­ties. Deschutes Coun­ty, in cen­tral Ore­gon, also vot­ed yes, as did Jack­son Coun­ty, an inland coun­ty that bor­ders California.

In Mult­nom­ah Coun­ty, home to Port­land, the mar­gin of vic­to­ry was near­ly four-to-one, with the Yes side net­ting near­ly 80% of the vote.

“Vot­ers have spo­ken, and law­mak­ers now have a clear man­date. Ore­go­ni­ans believe every­one deserves access to afford­able health­care,” said Yes on Health­care’s Pat­ty Wentz, speak­ing on behalf of the coali­tion that came togeth­er to suc­cess­ful­ly defend Med­ic­aid. “The oth­er big mes­sage from this cam­paign is health­care should not be a polit­i­cal pawn, and Ore­go­ni­ans are going to band togeth­er against any­one who tries to take it away.”

NPI took a posi­tion in favor of a YES vote on Mea­sure 101 last year and joined the Yes on Health­care coali­tion to cam­paign in favor of today’s out­come. We’re absolute­ly thrilled to have pre­vailed by such a large margin.

So is the Ore­gon Demo­c­ra­t­ic Party.

“Tonight, the Repub­li­can forces that sought to dis­man­tle our hard-won health care ben­e­fits for chil­dren and fam­i­lies went, once again, down in defeat,” said a jubi­lant Chair Jeanne Atkins. “Ore­go­ni­ans made it known, loud­ly and clear­ly, that every­one deserves access to afford­able health care, and that Med­ic­aid is essen­tial for chil­dren, seniors, peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and work­ing fam­i­lies. In Ore­gon, we believe ALL chil­dren should have health­care coverage.”

“The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty of Ore­gon was proud to unan­i­mous­ly pass an emer­gency res­o­lu­tion in Novem­ber to sup­port Mea­sure 101. Work­ing along­side the Yes for Health­care Coali­tion, we are now even more proud of the work of our coun­ty par­ties to Get Out the Vote and help deliv­er this deci­sive pro­gres­sive vic­to­ry. Across Ore­gon, neigh­bor­hood lead­ers and par­ty vol­un­teers pound­ed the pave­ment, talk­ing to their com­mu­ni­ties about why we need­ed to pass Mea­sure 101.”

Atkins went on to note that the DPO knocked on 35,000 doors across the state as part of its efforts to sup­port tonight’s victory.

“Democ­rats’ enthu­si­asm and effec­tive­ness dur­ing this Spe­cial Elec­tion is just a pre­view of what we are ready to accom­plish in Novem­ber,” Atkins added.

“Our ded­i­ca­tion to pro­mot­ing the val­ues that unite us is stronger than ever and we will use it to sup­port Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates across the state. This means re-elect­ing Gov­er­nor Kate Brown — a vocal cham­pi­on for Mea­sure 101 — and pro­gres­sive can­di­dates up and down the ticket.”

“This past week­end Ore­gon showed up — at march­es, demon­stra­tions, and doorsteps across the state — to fight for a bet­ter future. The ener­gy and excite­ment that so many feel about tak­ing back our nation is pal­pa­ble. Today, we cel­e­brate our vic­to­ry. Tomor­row we get back to work.”

“Thank you to every­one for their hard work to pass Mea­sure 101.”

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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