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Viewpoint: Hillsboro Does Right

The atmosphere at the Hillsboro Civil Rights Ordinance Hearing Tuesday night was overwhelmingly energetic and inspiring, and makes me grateful to work for Basic Rights Oregon. It's almost too much to write in a short blog entry. The show of support and solidarity was reflected in the shining and triumphant faces, all wearing bright neon stickers reading: "YES! I support the CIVIL RIGHTS Ordinance!"

All together, the months of effort by the Washington County Basic Rights Action (WaCo BRAT) team and the BRO staff really paid off in the sheer number of people who came out to support the ordinance. Our final count was over 90 people in support and NOT ONE in opposition. The room was absolutely packed. Each and every testimony given by Hillsboro and Washington County residents was so moving and poignant that by the end I was almost in tears.

This victory was a year in the making and began before I joined the BRO staff in June. The WaCo BRAT put in countless hours of volunteer time--phone banking, canvassing, meeting with city officials, members of the faith community, business leaders, neighbors, friends, co-workers, writing letters, and more.

There is only one thing I'd do differently. I'd want every member of the WaCo BRAT to share their stories as testimony in support of the Civil Rights Ordinance because each person's work and experience is so valuable.

Hillsboro is the most recent example of our promise to pass anti-discrimination ordinances across the state. We are going to go city-by-city, county-by-county, until the Legislature gets its act together and passes and omnibus statewide anti-discrimination policy.





Written by Hannah Nguyen, BRO Field Organizer (E. Multnomah & Washington County)

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