Although midterm elections too often receive less attention than presidential elections, this November, voters nationwide will cast ballots to elect significant state and national leaders. In addition, important ballot measures will be decided by voters in a number of states. Oregon has a number of significant measures on the ballot. As you can read further below, MALDEF has reviewed the measures and urges you to vote YES on Measures 86, 88, and 89. In particular, MALDEF endorses a YES vote on Measure 88, a measure placed on the ballot by opponents of immigrant integration. I hope that the position endorsements and brief explanations set forth below help you in deciding how to vote on these three important ballot measures. But, however you decide, what is most important is that every eligible voter take the time to decide and VOTE. Thank you.

Sincerely Yours,

Thomas A. Saenz
President and General Counsel

Oregon Measure 86: YES

This proposed constitutional amendment would create an Oregon Student Opportunity Fund to support students attending higher education, including career training.

This measure would provide much-needed additional assistance to students in college. College affordability is increasingly an obstacle to students from all but the wealthiest of families, and in particular is an obstacle for Latino students. This measure would create one means to begin to address affordability concerns.

Oregon Measure 88: YES

This referendum measure would approve the Legislature's decision to provide a driver card to eligible persons who are undocumented and unable to prove legal presence.

This measure would increase public and traffic safety by ensuring that all drivers are registered and have met the requirements to demonstrate safe driving knowledge and ability. This referendum was placed on the ballot by anti-immigrant forces seeking to overturn the Legislature's decision to create safer roads in Oregon. A YES vote ensures that the law adopted by the Legislature and Governor to increase public safety will go into effect.

Oregon Measure 89: YES

This proposed constitutional amendment would add an express prohibition on governmental discrimination based on sex, while ensuring that all other protections against discrimination remain in place.

This measure would ensure that women are accorded equal rights by all levels of government in Oregon. By placing an express provision for such equal rights in the state constitution, the measure ensures that no change in interpretation of the existing constitution could threaten equal rights for women. The measure would protect against the incremental cutting back of women's rights that seems to be occurring sporadically across the nation.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund