Organizing People Activating Leaders

OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon builds power for environmental justice and civil rights in our communities.

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Highlighted Campaigns:


Youthpass Ballot Measure

OPAL believes a fareless, safe, equitable, just, and sustainable public transit system is possible now, starting with a new generation of younger riders who will define the landscape of transportation justice into the future. OPAL is developing and organizing public support for a 2022 ballot initiative to secure free transit for youth in the Portland Metro region. Through organizing and engaging youth in campaign planning, voter outreach, analysis, community engagement and education, etc., along with working with the Getting There Together coalition and community partners, we will create a measure that is community-oriented, and better addresses our communities’ needs.

Grassroots Safety Table

OPAL and Bus Riders Unite! believe a future of transit safety is possible by connecting community members to advocacy opportunities, political education, storytelling, and direct action. We convene a bi-weekly Grassroots Safety Table of community advocates and activists to strategize about funding alternatives to traditional models of policing. With our partners, we've outlined a Rider Ambassadors position, employees designed to cater to the needs of riders, reduce fears of police violence, and connect community members to resources. The table explores other alternatives from across the nation and internationally, including utilizing the expertise of social workers and healthcare professionals, centering unarmed de-escalation tactics, and developing trainings to reduce instances of racism, violence against the houseless, and gendered discrimination.

Environmental Justice Values

Frontline Leadership – The people most impacted should be fairly treated, and meaningfully involved in decision-making.

Self Determination – No one can claim to represent us. We speak for ourselves: youth, bus riders, renters, everyone.

Solidarity – Our organizing and campaigns must work to end all systems of oppression.

Environmental Justice Demands

Racial Justice – Black, Indigenous and people of color’s (BIPOC) ability to move safely through public spaces, educational institutions, personal spaces and inform decisions that impact them is a human right!

Gender Justice – Trans, non-binary and womxn identified people’s ability to move safely without fear of sexual harassment, assault, or unwelcome and non-consensual actions is a human right!

Accessible Spaces – Ability-centered, green public spaces, culturally-relevant food, and sustainable, thriving-wage employment in our communities is a human right!

Climate Justice – Clean air, water, and soil in communities resilient to climate change is a human right!

Transportation Justice – Safe, accessible, affordable, efficient, and decriminalized mass and active transportation is a human right!

Housing Justice – Safe, accessible, affordable, dignified, and stable housing choice is a human right!

The OPAL office is located in the notable Jade district of the unceded territory of Portland, OR. A comprehensive map of the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island in this area is available here.

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