Editor's note: this story has been updated with additional comments from Rev. E.D. Mondainé, NAACP President and chief petitioner of the clean energy initiative.
Results from Oregon’s November General Election brought big wins for progressive causes and candidates as Democratic Gov. Kate Brown won re-election in a hard fought race, and voters defeated statewide measures that targeted immigrants by revoking sanctuary laws and another that would have placed limits on public abortion funding. In Portland, former Portland NAACP President and former State Rep. Jo Ann Hardesty soundly won election in a runoff race from the May Primary for Portland City Council, defeating Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, 62 percent to 37 percent. Hardesty becomes the first black woman elected to the five-member council. “I’m proud to say this is the Portland I thought it was,” Hardesty said, celebrating the decisive result last week. A historic ballot measure endorsed by the Portland NAACP, the Urban League of Portland and other civil rights groups to fund clean energy jobs in communities of color, won at the ballot box, 64 percent to 36 percent. The measure, considered a first nationally to fund climate justice and jobs is expected to raise over $30 million each year via a 1 percent business license surcharge on billion-dollar retailers. “[I am] overwhelmingly proud of our community for trying to get it right, overwhelmingly proud of the coalitions that came together to make this happen,” the Rev. E.D. Mondainé, the current NAACP President and chief petitioner of the clean energy initiative, told the Portland Observer. “It was voice of the people that spoke. And that's the beauty of it all. It wasn't big money. Big money tried to shut us down, but big people stood up." Mondainé added that he was proud of Hardesty’s victory and thinks his predecessor will do a good job as a city councilor. Portland voters also said yes to taking big money out of future city elections. A campaign finance limit measure for future city elections was approved 87 percent to 33 percent. Voters in Portland and statewide approved a measure to allow local governments to finance affordable housing projects and a Metro regional government bond for affordable housing construction in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties passed with over 50 percent of the vote. A statewide measure to restrict the ability of Oregon lawmakers to raise taxes and fees, requiring a three-fifths majority in both chambers, was defeated 65 percent to 35 percent. Democrats also picked up three seats in the Oregon House in the election, giving them 38 of the 60 seats, a so-called supermajority. Another statewide measure to ban taxes on soda and other groceries was defeated. --Danny Peterson also contributed to this story.