Legislative Committee

• If you are part of the world of social work, you have a unique perspective, and a unique voice that deserves to be heard.
• If you are part of the world of social work, you can make a difference in Oregon politics.

If this is you, please consider connecting with the NASW Oregon Legislative Committee!

The Legislative Committee is a vehicle for social workers and students to learn about the political process and engage with it in the name of our clients, our profession, and our ethics and values. If you desire to strengthen social work’s power to advance social justice in Oregon, the Legislative Committee is a great way to get involved, to empower yourself and even help your clients to empower themselves!

Policy affects our profession, our practice, our lives and those of our clients. As social workers, we are in a position to directly inform policy through our practice-based experience. NASW provides an opportunity for our 1,500+ social work members to use our collective influence to make Oregon a better place to live, particularly those who struggle with poverty; discrimination on racial, gender, or sexual orientation lines; mental and physical illness; abuse, trauma, and neglect; and other challenges.

NASW Oregon Chapter is very active during the legislative session and interim. Our Legislative Committee works closely with our contract lobbyists to develop legislative proposals, set priorities, track bills relevant to social work practice, prepare testimony on key bills, support citizens to communicate important issues to law-makers, take other creative actions as inspiration allows, and make key connections.

We also work to build a community of empowered and engaged social workers, supporting one another to understand the legislative process and how we can act to influence its direction for the benefit of our clients and our profession.

The NASW Oregon Legislative Committee is exploring ways to become a living community, one which can represent the diverse aspects and interests of both the social work profession and the people that it strives to support. In this way we hope to expand and democratize our profession’s access to the halls of power, to offer opportunities for both NASW membership and our clients to achieve empowerment through political action.

Who We Are
We are social workers and social work students who care about the impact of policy in Oregon. Many of us have a direct service focus and the Legislative Committee provides a structure for us to engage at the macro level of social work without becoming overwhelmed with time and energy commitments. We are guided by our lobbyist and social worker members who have a deep understanding of the legislative process. Because we care deeply about social justice, inclusion, and progressive social work values, we are always looking for new committee members who can bring compassion, creativity, courage, diversity, and therefore practiced expertise. We strive to bring authentic perspective and experience to the work. To avoid the imbalance that perpetuates systemic social injustice we strongly encourage NASW members with personal experience of marginalization or oppression - in particular members of color - to get involved and help lead our progress.

How We Work
During the legislative session each year we meet virtually or in Portland every other Saturday at 9am to discuss the legislative process, track progress, and plan our actions. The rest of the year we meet virtually on a monthly basis to work out future ideas and plans for policies and proposals. You are welcome to attend and observe meetings in person or via Zoom, however only NASW members appointed to the Committee by the Chapter President are allowed to vote. Meetings usually run 1 to 1.5 hours.

Alternatively, if you don’t feel able to commit to ongoing group involvement, but are passionate about a specific area of practice or client population, please contact us and we’ll keep you in mind if and when bills specific to your interests come up. We need experts who can step in to guide us, and even prepare written or oral testimony to be delivered to Oregon lawmakers.

Stay up to date with all of the legislation NASW Oregon is following. If you have feedback on any legislation, please let us know. We are always looking out for social workers and social work students and the impact our legislature is making. Please join us to engage in the political process. These are the bills we are tracking:   CLICK HERE

Upcoming Legislative Committee meetings for 2023: 
Saturday, June 10th 
Saturday, July 8th 
Saturday, August 12th 
Saturday, September 9th 
Saturday, October 14th 
Saturday, November 11th 
Saturday, December 9th

Connect with Us
We want and need your enthusiasm, passion, and knowledge so we can continue to win victories for ourselves and our clients in the Oregon legislature!
Please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NASWOregonLegislativeAction
Please email us at nasworegonlegislativeaction@gmail.com