Oregon

The U.S. Census Bureau counts incarcerated people where they are confined not where they are from. Using these counts to draw state and county legislative districts enhances the weight of a vote cast by people who live near prisons at the expense of everyone else in the state or county.

Legislation

This session:

  • SB 331, sponsored by Senator Shields, Representative Parrish, and Representative Frederick as chief sponsors and Senator Beyer and Senator Edwards as regular sponsors, was precession filed for the 2015 regular session.

Previous sessions:

  • SB 516, sponsored by the committee on General Government, Consumer And Small Business Protection, and HB 2686, sponsored by Representatives Berger and Bailey, both intorduced in the 2013 Regular Session.
  • Senate Bill 720, Relating to redistricting, February 15, 2011.
  • Senate Bill 1028, sponsored by Senator Shields; Senator Rosenbaum, Representatives Holvey, Kahl, Kotek, February 1, 2010.
  • H2930, introduced by Representative Shields (D, Oregon); Representatives Bruun, Freeman, Greenlick, Kahl, J Smith, directing the Department of Corrections to collect home address information so the legislature can draw districts with inmates counted at their home addresses [PDF].

Select Testimony

Redistricting reports

Reports analyzing Oregon's 2011 redistricting efforts. These reports identify prison gerrymandering as an issue in Oregon and contain recommendations on how to address the problem.

Organizations in Oregon

It’s impossible to include everyone who is working toward fair districting in Oregon, but if you are looking to get involved, these are some of the people and organizations you might want to contact:

Endorsements

  • African-American Chamber of Commerce
  • City Club of Portland
  • Common Cause Oregon
  • Urban League of Portland

Fact sheets

More information

  • Effects of prison-based gerrymandering in Oregon at the state and local levels of government: 50 State Guide - Oregon.
  • Oregon's 2011 Redistricting: Successes, Concerns, and Recommended Improvements by Common Cause Oregon, February 2012. Includes background on prison gerrymandering in Oregon and local analysis:
    The City of Pendleton in Umatilla County provides an Oregon example of the negative effect on democracy of claiming incarcerated people as constituents of the prison location. The Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution is 28 percent of a Pendleton city council district, giving every 3 residents of the ward with the prison the political power of 4 residents in other parts of the city. Department of Corrections statistics show that virtually everyone incarcerated at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution comes from other parts of the state.
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