Board Statement on HB2020

The Clean Energy Jobs bill, HB2020, has generated much debate and dramatically divergent opinions, both within the Oregon climate community and within 350PDX. Our allies, our staff, and our volunteers are sharply divided: some argue that the bill represents an important and realistic step forward, while others hold that its provisions are both inadequate and unjust.

After weeks of discussion and consultation, 350PDX’s Board of Directors has decided not to take an organizational position on HB2020. This decision represents a consensus of the board, as informed by meetings of the organization’s leadership. We believe that our formal organizational neutrality on this issue is both necessary and accurate, given the broad range of convictions, analyses, and strategies within our community.

Many of our volunteers have poured countless hours over a number of years into making HB2020 a reality. We are grateful for the dedication of our State Legislative Team, and we hope they continue their important work to strengthen the bill. At the same time, we fully acknowledge and deeply appreciate the dissenting views of those within our organization and among our allies that oppose this legislation.

As we build a diverse, grassroots movement, we recognize — and celebrate! — that 350PDX is not a monolith. We are a volunteer-driven organization. Volunteer energy gets the work done and makes us strong. We want to continue to foster that energy and to support this organization as a vehicle for a wide range of ideas and strategies to take on the climate crisis.

We also want to acknowledge that the endorsement process around this bill — or, rather, lack of clear process — has been acutely painful for many of our key volunteers and for our staff. The past several months have been emotionally fraught and for some frankly agonizing. We’re grateful for the honesty, vulnerability, and passion that our community has brought to this question, and we hope that a formal position of neutrality will now allow us to move forward together on the many fronts of our important work.

We intend to continue the dialogue around HB2020 as well, and will be inviting both proponents and opponents of the bill to share their reasoning with our community. We believe that when we embrace our differences with empathy and courage, they can in fact make us stronger.

We are neutral on HB2020 as an organization, but we encourage our volunteers and supporters to continue to engage in the crucial work of crafting just, ambitious, precedent-setting climate legislation for Oregon. In addition to this statement, we will be sending out some guidelines to help our volunteers communicate about our neutral position with allies and legislators.

We are not neutral in our commitment to building a diverse grassroots movement to address the causes of climate disruption through justice-based solutions. That is our mission, and — although we may sometimes disagree on how best to realize it — our community is united behind it.

You can read some of the views of our community on the 350PDX blog, in support here and in opposition here.