As the state Legislature approaches a full workweek without functional government, Oregon Food Bank CEO Susannah Morgan on Friday, Feb. 28, issued a statement on the walkout and its effect on critical programs and the broader democratic process. The statement is as follows:
"At Oregon Food Bank, our mission is to eliminate hunger and its root causes. We pursue this goal in two key ways: we connect people across the state with the nutritious food they need today; and we work to address public policies that drive hunger and poverty. The Republican walkout places both aspects of our mission squarely at risk.
"If the full legislature doesn't show up to do its job, critical services don't receive necessary support. Without a functional and inclusive democracy, more people face hunger and houselessness. There is no other venue to bring these issues or solutions to the table — and walking away from that table over isolated policy differences is an abdication of responsibility to our communities.
"Our statewide network of food banks is incredibly fortunate and proud to have earned the support of a broad, bi-partisan coalition of elected leaders. But we have no hope of achieving our shared mission to end hunger when half that coalition refuses to show up to work. No discussion or decision-making takes place when lawmakers don't show up to make laws.
"Simply put, the Republican walkout jeopardizes critical anti-hunger initiatives — and our democracy. Oregon families deserve better, and it's time for Republicans to return to the work we elected them to do."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.