state legislation

Group delivers petitions to force vote on driver-privilege cards

Volunteers and others supporting Oregonians for Immigration Reform tried to pile seven boxes laden with signed petitions onto a hand-truck Thursday and then gave up.

They could only get four on the handled dolly, so they grabbed the remaining three boxes and headed for the fifth floor of the Oregon Public Services building because they weren’t going to give up on their mission – delivering 60,000 signatures to the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s office one day before the deadline.

The heavy lifters included the group’s president, Cynthia Kendoll and her husband, Jerry, volunteer Jim Ludwick, Lee Vasche of the Signature Gathering Company of Oregon and Oregon Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford. Their delivery, they said, was the first of two. The group expects to deliver another 10,000 to 12,000 signed petitions today, about 60 minutes before the elections division closes.

The OIR goal, Kendoll said, is to overturn a new Oregon law granting driver-privilege cards to residents without documentation. If the group does not have enough valid signatures to qualify Referendum No. 301 for the November 2014 ballot, the new law will go into effect in January.

Kendoll estimates the group will have more than 70,000 signatures to ensure it meets the state’s 58,142 valid-signature requirement. As the group exited the building, additional volunteers were still offering clipboards with petitions to passers-by on the steps of the state Capitol.

Motivating them is Oregon Senate Bill 833, which Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law in May in front of thousands of supporters at the Capitol. The bill authorizes driver’s cards for those lacking documents to obtain a regular driver’s license. Kitzhaber said at the time that SB 833 ensured that thousands of Oregonians could drive to and from work, school, church and errands.

OIR contends, however, that the law gives driver privilege cards to people who are in the country illegally. It wants voters to decide the issue, not lawmakers.

Cynthia Kendoll said she’s confident the group will qualify the measure for the ballot. The group has had four months to collect the signatures, and used a combination of paid signature gatherers and volunteers. She’s optimistic, she said, because the group has had requests for referendum sheets from 134 Oregon cities and communities, and more than half of the petitions are what she calls “single-signer sheets”

“That means that people are going to their own computers and printing off a petition from our website, signing it and then mailing it to us,” Cynthia Kendoll said. “These carry a high validity rate.”

Summer Davis, a compliance specialist with the SOS elections division, confirmed that e-sheets, as they’re officially called, have a higher validity rate.

“Think about it: when people print out a petition, they then give it to someone they know, there is no stranger coming at them asking them to sign something. It’s true they tend to be valid more often,” Davis said.

After getting a “letter of receipt” from the elections division, the group watched as a worker locked the boxes in a cage. They were told the others will be added to the cage when they’re received, and then the elections department will have 30 days to certify the petitions. If the group meets the 58,142 signature threshold, the law will not go into effect as planned.

The certification will begin between 1 and 1:30 p.m. Monday in the building’s basement. Observers are welcome with advance notice, the group was told, to which Cynthia promptly asked, “Can I ask to attend now?”
 

Drive-thru democracy, it doesn't get any easier!

Alert date: 
2013-09-18
Alert body: 

PODL will be hosting another drive-thru signature gathering event. This time at the famous Oregon landmark - The Bomber Restaurant in Milwaukie, this Thursday, September 19, noon to 7:00.  Drive in, sign the referendum petition, drive away - you don't even need to get out of your car!

We will be back again on Monday, September 23, noon to 7:00.

The Bomber Restaurant is located at: 13515 SE McLaughlin Blvd in Milwaukie.

Look for the B-17 bomber! Thursday, noon to 7:00.  See you there!

Legislature OK's driver's licenses for immigrants who are in the country illegally

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - After years of setbacks, Democratic lawmakers and Latino activists are on the verge of seeing immigrants who are in the country illegally granted the right to a driver's license in California. Read the full story.
 

Making himself at home

If one were to drop in at one of La Grande’s various advisory committee meetings, there’s a new face in town.

He’s been at City Council meetings, the big Main Street meeting, even an Urban Renewal Advisory Commission meeting.

Eddie Garcia moved to La Grande in June — and it hasn’t taken him long to get to work for his new home. He was appointed to the city’s parking, traffic safety and street maintenance advisory commission earlier this summer and will launch a radio talk show Thursday.

“It’s just an opportunity to invigorate people to have a discussion,” Garcia said of the show, “Speak Your Mind,” which airs from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays on 1450 AM in Union County and 1490 AM in Baker County.

“I’m asking questions because if I’m going to be here and be productive, let’s bring in business,” Garcia said.

Business and moving La Grande forward will be a broad topic Garcia plans to cover on his show. But stemming from that is the parking issue raised at the August public meeting for La Grande Main Street, the presence of Eastern Oregon University,and the Blue Mountain Humane Association.

“I just hope I can be a part and do something,” Garcia said.

Already Garcia has met with the sheriff, police chief, other community leaders and residents.

“There’s a bunch of folks I’ve met that have good ideas,” he said.

But not all of them are willing to go on the air to voice them.

Garcia’s civic involvement isn’t necessarily new.

“I do political consulting for a living,” he says.

He moved to La Grande from Nashville, Tenn., where he was a consultant and wrote Christian music.

“I was able to balance music with politics,” he said.

And fortunately, he can work from wherever there’s Internet, making him flexible to make it to afternoon meetings of the Urban Renewal Advisory Commission. As he continues working on races in Florida and Tennessee, he says he’s pulling from those experiences.

“If I learn something about the mayoral race there, could that apply here?” he asks.

The flexibility also provides some time to plan his show.

The first topic for the Thursday show is the new law that will allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s cards in Oregon. Jim Ludwick, with Oregonians for Immigration Reform, will be Garcia’s first guest.

Immigration is a hot topic nationwide, but for Garcia, it’s personal. He and his parents immigrated to the United States when he was 2 years old. But Garcia isn’t convinced that undocumented people should be granted driver’s cards.

Garcia’s hope is for “Speak Your Mind” to become a place of discussion for the community about the topics that matter to the community — be they La Grande Main Street, parking, immigration, law enforcement or whatever else may come up.

His new home is getting better as each day passes.

“It’s growing on me as I meet new people,” he said.

And he understands that people may not always see eye to eye.

“In the end we may agree to disagree,” he said.

A novel approach to get petition signatures: the drive-through


A group dedicated to overturning a new Oregon law that grants driver-privilege cards to people without conventional documentation has come up with a quick way to gather petition signatures.

It’s encouraging motorists to participate in drive-through democracy.

“You don’t even need to get out of your car,” said Jim Ludwick, the group’s communications director. “Just drive up, sign the petition and drive away.”

From noon to 8 p.m. today, Oregonians for Immigration Reform will set up cones and signs in a parking lot near its billboard at Market Street and Savage Road NE, which is west of Interstate 5 in Salem.

Volunteers will be ready with petitions for motorists to sign as well as supplies for those who want to gather additional signatures among their friends, neighbors and family, Ludwick said.

The group is trying to overturn Oregon Senate Bill 833, which Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law in May in front of thousands of cheering supporters at the Capitol. The bill authorized driver’s cards for those lacking documents to obtain a regular driver’s license.

OFIR contends that the law gives driver privilege cards to people who are in the country illegally.

Kitzhaber said at the time that SB-833 ensured that thousands of Oregonians could drive to and from work, school, church and errands.

Ludwick said his group needs to collect 58,142 valid signatures to submit to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office by the Oct. 4 deadline.

“We are very optimistic we’ll meet the number,” Ludwick said. “We have had an amazing number (121) of unsolicited requests for these petitions from cities across the state.”

Jan Flowers, a compliance specialist with the elections division of the Secretary of State’s office, said she wasn’t aware of other groups collecting signatures via a drive-up queue, but she said it was a legal signature-gathering technique.

“As long as they witness the signature, it’s no different than if someone walked up and signed,” Flowers said.

Oregonians for Immigration Reform also will staff a booth outside of the southeast corner of the Columbia Exhibit Hall at the Oregon State Fair, which opens today.

Petition drive

What: Drive-through signature gathering
Where: [West of I-5 Exit 256] Market Street and Savage Road NE
When: noon to 8 p.m. today
Why: To qualify ballot measure to overturn Senate Bill 833

Oregon immigrant driver’s license law opponents get creative

Faced with collecting 58,000 signatures by Oct. 4, opponents of a new Oregon law that gives driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and others who cannot prove they are living here legally are sharpening their tactics.

From a drive-through petition drive on Friday to a booth at the Oregon State Fair through Sept. 2, advocates are seeking the thousands of valid signatures needed for a referendum that would challenge a new state law that gives “driver privilege cards” to those who do not have the documents required to get a driver’s license. The driver’s card will be restricted from being used for identification or voting.

But advocates with Oregonians for Immigration Reform say the new law, which goes into effect in January, is a way for people living here illegally to get a driver’s license.

Jim Ludwick, communications director for the group, also said despite the restriction, he believes the cards will be used for identification and put into the hands of criminals.

Ludwick wouldn’t say how many signatures the group has collected so far. State law requires them to get more than 58,000 valid signatures within 90 days of the end of the legislative session (July 8) to get to referendum, which would let voters decide if the driver’s cards should be handed out, on the November 2014 ballot.

Ludwick said he’s confident they can do it.

“We have people who come see us and before I can say a word they grab the pen out of my hand and they want to sign,” he said.

State Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, is expected to make an appearance at the Oregon State Fair booth on Friday. Esquivel was a strong opponent of the legislation, Senate Bill 833, when it made its way through the Legislature.

Gov. John Kitzhaber pushed for the bill and signed it with fanfare on May Day.

Contact Shelby Sebens at Shelby@NorthwestWatchdog.org

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Group tries 'drive-thru democracy' to get driver cards on the ballot

SALEM, Ore. – A group trying to gather enough signatures in an effort to put the new driver card law on the November 2014 ballot before it begins is using a cue from fast-food restaurants.

The driver cards will allow people to drive who can't prove U.S. citizenship.

The group, Oregonians for Immigration Reform, hoped that Friday's "drive-thru democracy" would make it convenient for voters to sign their petition, because they need a lot of signatures – more than 58,000 by Oct. 4.

So on Friday, not far off Interstate 5, several volunteers brought petition sheets to the drivers and passengers as they pulled into a parking lot at Market Street and Savage Road.

"Our main concern is that our government's role is not and should not be to reward illegal behavior," said Cynthia Kendoll of Oregonians for Immigration Reform.

When Gov. John Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 833 into law in May, supporters called it the biggest victory for immigrant rights in the state.

Luis Guerra of Causa, an immigrant rights organization in Oregon, said he disagrees with the notion that the new law rewards illegal behavior.

"I think it's a public safety issue," he said. "We should make sure that everyone that's behind the wheel, of any vehicles in the state of Oregon, knows the rules of the road."

The "drive-through" signature-gathering effort will continue until 8 p.m. Friday.

Leaders of the effort won't say how many signatures they have so far, but said they hope to collect about 500 Friday night.

If opponents of the new law fail to get the required number of signatures, the new law starts Jan. 1, 2014.

The driver card allows people to drive legally in Oregon as long as they can prove they've lived here for a year, and they pass the driver tests.

It's legal ID for opening a bank account, car insurance, or a gym membership. it is not legal ID for boarding a plane, registering to vote, or buying a gun.

Driver card holders also cannot drive big, commercial trucks.

A novel approach to get petition signatures: the drive-through

Alert date: 
2013-08-23
Alert body: 

A group dedicated to overturning a new Oregon law that grants driver-privilege cards to people without conventional documentation has come up with a quick way to gather petition signatures.

It’s encouraging motorists to participate in drive-through democracy.

“You don’t even need to get out of your car,” said Jim Ludwick, the group’s communications director. “Just drive up, sign the petition and drive away.”

Read the entire article.

Drive-thru signature gathering event Friday, Agust 23

Alert date: 
2013-08-22
Alert body: 

If you haven't had the opportunity to sign the referendum petition to overturn SB833 - the new law giving driver privilege cards to people in the country illegally - it doesn't get any easier than this.  Just drive up, sign the petition and drive away.  You don't even need to get out of your car!

Protect Oregon Driver Licenses will be hosting a DRIVE-THRU signature gathering event this FRIDAY, August 23, from 12 noon until 8:00pm in the parking lot at Market St. and Savage Rd., just west of the freeway at exit 213. Watch for the signs guiding you in.

Volunteers will be available if you have any questions, or if you would like to pick up supplies so that you can collect signatures of your friends, neighbors and family members, too. The deadline of October 4th is rapidly approaching and we need 58,142 valid signatures.

PODL will also be hosting a booth at the Oregon State Fair - just outside the southeast corner of the Columbia Exhibit Hall. Please drop by and say hello!

 

 


 

5 views on immigration reform, Oregon 'driver cards'


Members of Congress may be away from the nation's capital during their August recess, but that doesn't mean the debate about federal immigration debate has simmered down.

Same goes for the Oregon Legislature, which adjourned last month, leaving in its wake strong feelings about a new law authorizing undocumented immigrants to obtain Oregon driver cards.

In recent days, a variety of guest columnists have weighed in on the issues.

Read the complete article.

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