Oregon Voters Reject Measure 94


This evening (11/7/2000), the voters of Oregon rejected Measure 94, the repeal of Measure 11, by an overwhelming majority. Here is a statement made by Crime Victims United President Steve Doell.

Tonight the voters of Oregon have reaffirmed the message they sent in 1994. We recognize our obligation to protect our fellow law-abiding citizens, we won't tolerate violent crime, and we aren't taking excuses.

The voters of Oregon have seen through the half-truths, and sadly, the outright dishonesty of the Measure 94 campaign. Just as Oregon jurors are called to decide the guilt or innocence of a defendant, voters had to sift through distortions and misrepresentations to arrive at the truth. They did just that in this election, and the verdict is in.

It's important to note that this was never a Democrat/Republican or liberal/conservative issue. Criminals don't choose victims based on party affiliation. Measure 94 was condemned by every major newspaper in the state, by both the Democratic and Republican candidates for Attorney General, and by both business and labor.

Since Oregon voters overwhelmingly approved Measure 11 in November of 1994, violent crime has been on a steady decline. But we have a long way to go to overcome the increases of previous decades. By reaffirming their support for a criminal justice system that criminals respect, the voters of Oregon have paved the way for continued gains.

Last year, our legislature approved unprecedented funding for juvenile crime prevention. We support effective prevention measures and we hope that this new funding will fulfill its promise of preventing crime in the long run.

But there is also something we can do starting right now. Let's make sure that everyone knows that violent crimes - robbery, assault, kidnapping, sex abuse, rape, manslaughter, attempted murder, and murder - that these violent crimes are not tolerated in Oregon. People who support Measure 11 and people who oppose it can join together to prevent crime and avoid the horrible costs of victimization by sending that consistent message.

Measure 11 has been improved before and it can be improved again. Our organization, Crime Victims United, supports measured and reasonable improvements based on experience. But the voters of Oregon have made it crystal clear - the core principles of Measure 11 are sound and must be retained.

Crime Victims United will continue to fight for the real victims in our society - the victims of violent crime, often the poor, minorities, women, and children.

This has been a long, hard campaign with a lot at stake.

Throughout this campaign, we have received encouragement and support from the people on the front lines - police chiefs, sheriffs, their officers and deputies on the street, parole officers, corrections officer, district attorneys, their deputies and their victims assistants.

We are proud of our partnership with two of the oldest and largest crime victims groups in the state, Mothers Against Drunk Driving - Oregon, and Parents of Murdered Children, Inc. Crime Victims United, MADD-Oregon, and Parents of Murdered Children have a combined 54 years experience in dealing with the aftermath of violent crime.

Many members and grass root supporters of Crime Victims United around the state have risen to the challenge, and I give them my sincere thanks. I would like to especially thank those victims of violent crime, people who have emotional, psychological and physical scars, and those who have lost loved ones, for their courage in taking a strong stand for justice, and for the protection of their fellow citizens.

Steve Doell,
President, Crime Victims United

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