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Oregon Special District Elections for Every County

On May 16, 2017, Oregon will hold Special District Elections in every county.  While some counties will have measures to vote on, most will only be deciding positions on local School, Water, and Fire District Boards.  
Find out which positions are open in your area, and consider running or sharing this information to help identify qualified, progressive candidates to fill these positions.  

Educate yourself or others:

Regardless of whether or not you run this year, you are a part of and will be able to vote for the open positions in any special district that serve the area where you live. Property tax statements list the districts that serve you. Contact your County Assessor or Elections office if you have questions about the special districts that serve you, here:
The May 16th election is not a State-coordinated election (where everyone in the state votes on a single measure, for instance), instead each is done by county or city.  Voter turnout in these are historically very low.  For instance, Multnomah County’s 2015 Special District election turnout was 18%.... Despite ballots being mailed to 435,000 voters, only 76,416 ballot were cast.
Although this action focuses on School Board positions, most counties also have open positions on Fire, Park or other districts.  Special district like these manage large budgets funded by your tax dollars.  John Oliver did a fun and informative segment on this a few years ago:


  • Research open positions in your county – find a list of Oregon counties and Election information [size=15]in the table below.   Many counties do not post this information publicly but we think they should.  If your county clerk has not published the list, we’ve provided a phone number for you to call and request that they do so.
  • Consider running. According to the Oregon School Board Association (OSBA), “The May 2015 election saw the lowest number of school board candidates in a decade, even though these locally elected positions can have profound effects on young people – our future.”
  • OSBA prepared 2 webinars to help prepare prospective school board members to run. Watch them online, to learn how boards work: [size=15][/size]
  • Research what positions already have candidates and what their positions are, starting with [size=15]the table below. You don’t want to run against someone who is doing things you like.[/size]
  • Learn about the district, what is important, current and on the horizon. You can start by googling “(town) school board” and most school boards will have a website with public documents about priorities / upcoming agendas.
  • The OR Secretary of State’s office has the basic information for how to file to run for various positions: [size=15][/size]
  • File by March 16 to run.
  • Remember: You are making a commitment. It may be for a long time. It may have real life consequences. Take it seriously.
  • and good luck!

  • Educate your community about the upcoming election.  Most Special Districts have websites with board members listed and past meeting minutes available.  Choose one and do a little googling: you don’t have to become an expert on everything!
  • VOTE!!!  Mail in your ballot.

Supplemental Actions:

If you are interested in running for office, but not this year, you can learn a lot about how to run for office from Emerge (if you are a Democratic woman), at, or via our recent Daily Action.

Encourage others:

Make sure everyone is aware of the upcoming election - ballots are due by 8pm on May 16 - and that the voter registration deadline is April 25. Share or tweet this page, to get the word out!

Report Back:

Comment “Done!” on this post to let us know about your experience when doing this action, or to let us know about follow-on actions!
#dailyaction #YouShouldRun #SheShouldRun
Open Positions by Oregon County
CountyOpen Position DetailsSpecial District Elections
Baker CountyCindy Carpenter, (541) 523-8207Link
Benton Countycall and ask: 541-766-6756Link
Clackamas County100+ Open PositionsLink
Clatsop County20 school board, many othersLink
Columbia County50+ Open PositionsLink
Coos County25 school board, many othersLink
Crook County(541) 447-6553Link
Curry County3 school board, many othersLink
Deschutes County14 school board, many othersLink
Douglas County(541) 440-4252Link
Gilliam County(541) 384-2311Link
Grant County(541) 575-1675Link
Harney County38 school board, many othersLink
Hood River Countybrian.beebe@co.hood-river.or.usLink
Jackson County45 school board, many othersLink
Jefferson County15 school board, many othersLink
Josephine County13 school board, many othersLink
Klamath CountyKlamathCountyElections@klamathcounty.orgLink
Lake CountyStacie Geaney, sgeaney@co.lake.or.usLink
Lane County61 school board, many othersLink
Linn County31 school board, many othersLink
Malheur County39 school board, many othersLink
Marion County41 school board, many othersLink
Morrow Countybchilders@co.morrow.or.usLink
Multnomah County90+ Open PositionsLink
Polk County14 school board, many othersLink
Sherman CountyJenine McDermid, (541) 565-3606Link
Tillamook CountyTassi O'Neill, (503) 842-3402Link
Umatilla County90+ Open PositionsLink
Union CountyCall and ask: (541) 963-1006Link
Wallowa CountySandy Lathrop, (541) 426-4543 x158LInk
Wasco County19 school board, many othersLink
Washington CountyCall and ask: (503) 846-5800Link
Wheeler Countycall and ask: (541) 763-2374
Yamhill County21 school board, many othersLink
by Brian
on Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:03 pm
Search in: State of Oregon Elections
Topic: Oregon Special District Elections for Every County
Replies: 0
Views: 74

Oregon Redistricting in 2020

Monday, Feb 13, 2017
Daily Action:
After the 2020 census, Oregon will likely need to redraw its voting districts.  Learn more about this issue and weigh in with Secretary of State Richardson regarding how to set districts fairly.
Educate yourself or others:
Redrawing districts to allow fair representation of people in each district is important, and often happens around the country when new census data becomes available – to make sure that voting areas represent populations as they grow and change. However, it’s a highly political process that includes some risks, mainly that partisan politics will draw districts unfairly to change the political majority vote for an area. (Also known as gerrymandering.)
To learn why redistricting matters for fair elections, check out the Brennan Center for Justice’s 7 Things to Know About Redistrictin, ,or Oregon Legislature’s Redistricting summary.
Oregon was most recently redistricted in 2011, after the last census. Oregon Common Cause presented a report on the process and recommendations for fair redistricting in the future, Oregon’s 2011 Redistricting: Successes, Concerns, and Recommended Improvements.
The Willamette Week has noted that new Republican Secretary of State Dennis Richardson has developed a panel to review Oregon redistricting processes, to prepare for 2020. It’s possible the intention is to change Oregon law to use an independent redistricting process, as California does, instead of redistricting by the legislature.
The panel convened by Richardson will meet every Wednesday during February and March, and those “Independent Redistricting” meetings are available to watch online:

Contact Sec. Dennis Richardson (503-986-1523;​​​​​​) and ask him to commit that his redistricting panel will be representative of our state’s diversity, and to specifically recruit members if it is not.

Call your Democrat state legislator (you can find them on Who Represents Me in Oregon?) and ask them to attend the Secretary of State’s redistricting commission meetings during February and March. Thus far, Democrats have strategically refrained from joining the panel, but a nonpartisan process should include Democrats at the table.

Play the Redistricting game, to get familiar with how the process works!

Encourage others:
Suggest that others take action by sharing this link to your personal page.
Report Back:
Comment “Done!” on this post to let us know about your experience when doing this action, or to let us know about follow-on actions!
#dailyaction #oregonredistricting
by Brian
on Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:39 am
Search in: Redistricting in Oregon
Topic: Oregon Redistricting in 2020
Replies: 0
Views: 78

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