I am a 36 year old working, mother of five, and a full time student. Over the years, my husband and I have struggled to make ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck. At one point we collectively worked 5 jobs to ensure we could put food on the table, pay rent, and keep the utilities on. We have always managed to make it work, but the struggles never seemed to rest. We realized the best chance we had at making a better life was for me to go back to school. Now I am a senior and ready to graduate and hit the ground running! My story of financial struggle while raising a family, is not a new story. In our current economy and political climate, we face a rapidly growing gap between rich and poor. Higher education is our greatest weapon against this country’s plague of generational poverty.
I share this experience with you because November 7, 2017 is voting day in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Columbia or Yamhill Counties. On that ballot is a bond Measure 26-196 for Portland Community College to fund improvement projects on campus. This includes, just to name a few, improve job training facilities, expand childcare services, upgrade current facility features such as hvac, plumbing, etc to keep buildings sustainable and energy efficient, and to improve safety, security, and accessibility so that all students feel safe. This vote is important for our community and there are few things you should know. Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary educational institution in Oregon, serving over 78,00 students each year (www.pcc.edu). PCC is able to offer affordable job training, quality education, and increased opportunities for its students.
So, let’s talk logistics! Why is this important to you?
Business owners need a more skilled workforce and the community needs better paying jobs. This is a vital component to our community’s success and the vitality of Portland’s economy. I am sure the next, natural question is: “what does this cost me?” This bond is renewing a previously voted on measure that passed in 2000. Therefore, it will not increase your taxes. Not only will it not cost you anything, every $1 invested in Portland Community College returns $12.50 directly into Oregon’s economy! This bond is a win-win. Why would you vote “no”?