Update on the Oregon Worker Relief Fund

Dear Friends,
As we transition to spring, we are invited to shed our previous ways of understanding and operating in the world, and move into something new. While we are still carrying grief, uncertainty, and fear, we are also collectively demonstrating incredible resilience and adaptability. We are so thankful to be on this journey alongside you as we seek to honor this collective strength and work to support immigrant communities who are experiencing higher rates of exposure and illness with less resources. 
We’ve been inspired this week watching our Jewish friends celebrate Passover with Seder tables extended over Zoom, seeing Christians print out and hang the stations of the cross on their fences this Good Friday, and hearing from Sikh friends about phone trees being set up for the continuous recitation of scripture. This isn’t what you had planned a month ago. So, thank you for the ways you are teaching us to do new things while simultaneously leaning on the timeless truths, stories, and rituals of your traditions. You remind us that as we learn how to adapt, organize, and advocate in this time, our foundation is still built on values, stories, and relationships! Our prayers are with you in the days and weeks to come.
Screenshot of the Zoom meeting with Central Oregon leaders and Sen. Tim Knopp 

Last week, we shared some updates on the Oregon Worker Relief Fund (OWRF), a policy that would provide financial support to undocumented Oregonians who do not qualify for unemployment. In our previous email, we called for you to contact Governor Kate Brown and ask for the passage of OWRF in an emergency session. We also encouraged you to call your legislators, and boost our clergy sign on letter. Since then, we received news that the Governor is likely not to call for an emergency session until May. This means that OWRF will not be reviewed and voted on the timeline we hoped for. Despite this shift,  we must not lose momentum! 
In the meantime, IMIrJ continues to meet with partners to talk about OWRF and strategize ways to raise important money for both the fund and critical systems-level organizing. Look for more information soon. As we move towards the emergency session, we’ll be setting up virtual meetings between IMIrJ leaders and legislators to amplify the experiences of the immigrant community and ask them to support the OWRF. Earlier today, some of our leaders in Central Oregon met with Sen. Tim Knopp and Rep. Cheri Helt over zoom. As you can see, we are learning new ways to adapt, organize, and advocate in this time of social distancing!
We will continue to update you on ways to support OWRF and the incredible community efforts to ensure Oregonian immigrants receive the financial support they deserve. Until then, thank you for your continued energy and commitment to this work.
Take care in this meaningful season!
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