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CANDIDATES SEEKING ENDORSEMENT

Pro-Choice Oregon PAC will be announcing our endorsement process and sharing our candidate questionnaire for the Primary 2022 Election soon. Our process for considering early endorsements is currently by invitation only. 

 

If you are thinking about running for office in 2022, please email: christel@prochoiceoregon.org to join our list of candidates who will receive our candidate questionnaire when we open our process in November of 2021. 

 

Established in 1982, Pro-Choice Oregon PAC has played a critical role in state elections, endorsing, cultivating and supporting an estimated 1,000 pro-choice candidates campaigns for public office.

We work within the political process to support both first-time and incumbent candidates who will use the full power and authority of their positions to be champions for health equity and expand access to essential care. By electing and cultivating champions who lead with our shared values, we can effectively defend our communities from threats to abortion access, advance access to the full spectrum of reproductive and gender-affirming services, reduce barriers for those who face the greatest disparities, and ensure the next generation of young people who can become pregnant are able to access the information and support they need to make the best decisions for their bodies and their futures, without stigma or shame.

Our PAC works in coalition with community organizations committed to broad access to quality healthcare, reproductive justice, self-determination, bodily autonomy, human dignity and financial security. We support candidates who are proud that Oregon remains the only state with zero legal restrictions on abortion access, but who also recognize that many people in Oregon still face barriers to reproductive freedom including many within communities of color, individuals with lower-incomes, rural Oregonians, students and youth, immigrant communities, Oregonians with disabilities, and LGBTQ2SIA+ Oregonians.

2022 will be a year of unprecedented challenges, and could mark the beginning of a post-Roe America. We know one thing is true: our organization and the candidates for public office we support must embrace change in order to meet the demands of today and tomorrow.

After 40 years of movement building, our PAC board is proud to share the following with our community of supporters and potential candidates: a new framework for our endorsement process centered in our values to guide our decision making in 2022 and beyond.

  • We support candidates at the statewide, legislative, local (counties and municipalities) and school-district level, however, we will prioritize endorsing candidates running for elected offices which have the most potential to advance or defend reproductive freedom in Oregon and beyond.

  • Due to limited capacity, we may not be able to engage in all races and/or proactively reach out to all candidates running for office.

  • Endorsements are made entirely at the discretion of the PAC.

  • We reserve the right to endorse OR not endorse in any specific race.

  • We reserve the right to not endorse if a clear champion cannot be identified by our outlined criteria, or under certain circumstances, we may consider a dual endorsement.

  • Completion of a candidate questionnaire does not guarantee an interview or endorsement.

 

Endorsement Criteria to Reflect Our Values

Endorsements are made at the discretion of the PAC board, based on and with thoughtful consideration of the following decision-making criteria:

  1. Demonstrated leadership and/or pledged commitment to advance reproductive freedom.

  2. Demonstrated support for and partnership with Pro-Choice Oregon and partners, including public support of our policy priorities (see below for requirements for incumbent candidates and candidates seeking new office).

  3. Campaign presents an opportunity to diversify leadership and promote anti-racism values (see definitions).

  4. A campaign plan that will meaningfully contribute to the Primary and/or General electoral process.

 

For transparency, we have outlined specific factors taken in consideration for meeting this criteria below in the “Our Criteria in Action” section.

We respectfully ask all candidates to complete a candidate questionnaire (currently in development) to be considered for our endorsement in the upcoming Oregon Primary Election (May 17, 2022). *Candidates who receive our endorsement in the primary and advance to the general, can expect to receive our endorsement for the November 8, 2022 General Election, unless otherwise notified.

  • Incumbent candidates, in non-competitive races, who are seeking our endorsement must at minimum, complete the following process within our stated timeline to demonstrate they meet our four requirements:

    • Submit a completed endorsement questionnaire to demonstrate, in writing that she/he/they are in support of reproductive freedom, and will work to advance and defend access to abortion.*

  • Candidates seeking new office, incumbents running in a competitive race (against one or more candidates that also meet our endorsement requirements), and any candidates requiring additional considerations for any reason the PAC deems necessary, must complete the following within our stated timeline to demonstrate they meet our four requirements:

    • Submit a completed endorsement questionnaire to demonstrate, in writing that she/he/they are in support of reproductive freedom, and will work to advance and defend access to abortion.*

    • A candidate interview (and/or additional information upon request by the PAC Board).

 

*Please note our candidate questionnaire for the 2022 Primary Election is in development. As a reminder, completion of a candidate questionnaire does not guarantee an interview or endorsement with the PAC.

Objectives

The PAC will make our endorsement decisions following the criteria outlined above, and in consideration of the following stated goals, ranked in order of importance:

  • As an organization trusted by voters for 40 years, we will uphold our commitment to vet and validate a candidate’s demonstrated record and values as a champion for reproductive freedom.

  • We will practice our anti-racism values by actively embracing, supporting and amplifying these leaders as they consider running for office and throughout their campaigns.

  • We will be good partners to and help further cultivate emerging, transformational leaders, regardless of the current election outcome.

  • We will use our endorsement process to support candidates who center reproductive health issues, equity and justice values in campaign messages, and show public support for Pro-Choice Oregon and our community partners.

  • We use our endorsement process to identify which candidates we believe are likely to work with Pro-Choice Oregon as trusted partners in advancing systems change and support for policy priorities that will expand reproductive freedom and health equity once elected to office.

  • We will ensure for the effective allocation of PAC resources (staff/board time, trusted reputation, issue expertise, as well as direct and in-kind support for candidates).

  • We will work to have an measurable electoral impact. This may include our ability to elect more and/or more impactful champions. This may also be defined as our ability to defeat a resourced anti-choice candidate in a swing district.

Our Criteria In Action

Examples of demonstrated leadership to advance reproductive freedom (criteria 1) and/or partnership with Pro-Choice Oregon to advance policy priorities (criteria 2) include, but are not limited to: 

  • Being proud and vocal about your support for abortion access. 

  • Pro-choice voting record, committee and community leadership (including bill sponsorship and task force participation) on emerging policy priorities to advance reproductive freedom, providing support for constituents experiencing barriers to reproductive care. 

  • History of, pro-active support for, and pledged commitment to reproductive freedom, which may include demonstrated support for Pro-Choice Oregon and other movement partners.

  • Public statements in support of reproductive freedom, which may include testimony, floor speeches, and social media. Willingness to engage other officials and community leaders in conversations re: reproductive freedom and justice. 

  • Participation in community events that center reproductive freedom and justice. 

  • Effectiveness in advancing Pro-Choice Oregon’s policy priorities. 

 

Examples of opportunities to promote diversity of leadership and/or advance anti-racism policies and practices (criteria 3) includes, but are not limited to: 

  • Candidate self-identifies as a member of a community that is most-impacted by barriers to reproductive healthcare access. (See Key Definitions below)

  • Candidate demonstrates a deep knowledge of anti-racism values, shares clear examples of how they have and will continue to implement and advance anti-racism policies and practices using the power of their elected office. 

 

Examples of a campaign plan that supports a path to election (criteria 4) includes, but are not limited to: 

  • Voter engagement (number of doors knocked, calls made or texts sent)

  • Ability to adequately resource the campaign, to support and compensate professional campaign staff (when applicable). 

  • Clear communication of a candidate’s platform and values, previous achievements in office or other positions of leadership, name familiarity, demonstrated support among a large and diverse array of community leaders 

  • Other organizational endorsements, especially those that will effectively communicate the candidate’s values to like-minded voters. 

 

Other factors the PAC may consider in the endorsement process include, but are not limited to: 

  • Legislative voting records and other records of their demonstrated support for policy priorities

  • Voting district analysis (Pro-Choice ID’s, party registration)

  • Contribution and expenditure reports 

  • Completion of a candidate training program (Color PAC, East County Rising, Emerge Oregon, Labor Candidates School)

  • Significant background and training in reproductive justice and anti-racism work 

  • Any evidence of opposition to the advancement of reproductive rights, health and justice 

Key Definitions

“Diversity of Leadership”: We aim to center and increase diversity and representation of our democracy by electing public officials from communities most impacted by barriers to reproductive healthcare access. We are intentionally naming and prioritizing candidates that self identify as members of the following communities, based on evidence of present-day health disparities, due to historic discriminatory or otherwise oppressive policies: Black, Indigenous, and other people of color; gender minority (trans, non-binary, intersex, Two Spirit, gender queer, +);  sexual orientation minority (gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, +); working poor, low income, economically disenfranchised and/or who are experiencing housing or other insecurities; person with a disability, or person who lives with chronic illness; neurodivergent, neuroatypical; rural Oregonians; students and youth; immigrant or refugee communities; and/or people that identify as female or femme. 

Pro-Choice Oregon PAC also recognizes that BIPOC candidates that are white-presenting or passing may have been afforded more opportunities for advancement and leadership, as a common practice that is often rooted in white supremacy. Our organization is actively working to disrupt anti-Blackness and/or colorism by adopting internal and public-facing policies and practices to better support Black and other community members of color who have not been afforded such opportunities.