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Extreme Gerrymanderers

February 22, 2022

Gerrymandering is the intentional practice of manipulating the boundaries of congressional districts to provide an unfair advantage for a specific party or group. The practice has increasingly created barriers to representative democracy and allows politicians to select their voters, rather than allowing voters to pick their politicians.New maps that create the boundaries between congressional districts are drawn every 10 years, following each decennial census. In the wake of the 2020 Census, state legislators crafted a number of hyperpartisan and discriminatory gerrymanders. This report highlights a dozen of the worst.

Designed to Deceive: A Study of the Crisis Pregnancy Industry in Nine States

October 28, 2021

This report sheds light on the activities and funding sources of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) -- centerpieces of an extreme anti-abortion strategy that has been quietly unfolding for decades, behind higher-profile legislative and legal battles.The report shows that, rather than offer legitimate healthcare and resources, CPCs target pregnant people of color and pregnant people with lower incomes with deceptive marketing; provide few or no real medical services; and systematically mislead clients about services they do provide, potentially resulting in delayed care and unnecessary risks to their clients' health.

Moving the Needle: A Reflection on Five Years of Investment in Oregon’s Affordable Housing Landscape

July 19, 2021

What did five years and $16 million in investment in affordable housing mean for Meyer Memorial Trust and its partners active in affordable housing efforts across Oregon?In our report, Moving the Needle: A Reflection on Five Years of Investment in Oregon's Affordable Housing Landscape, Meyer staff reflects back on the challenges, setbacks, clear "wins" and lessons learned from designing and implementing a strategic philanthropic initiative.  In addition to robust and lively discussions among the team about what we take forward from this work, we reached out to dozens of key partners in nonprofits, other funders and government to get more perspective on how the Affordable Housing Initiative was received.  

Journeys in Building Community Philanthropy: How an Eight-year Initiative is Changing People, Organizations and Communities

July 6, 2021

This report captures the impacts and experiences of part 1 of the Building Community Philanthropy (BCP) initiative: eight years of convening, reflection, peer support, continuous learning, community engagement and challenging conventional wisdom to center community for better philanthropy across Washington state. 

The Power and Problem of Criminal Justice Data: A Twenty-State Review

June 30, 2021

Despite accounting for a substantial portion of local, state, and federal budgets, our criminal justice institutions are among the least measured systems in our country. In an effort to bring transparency to this sector, MFJ has collected, standardized, and made public 20 states' worth of criminal justice data.The purpose of this report is to share what we have learned through this effort, including: (a) what we cannot see when data are missing, and (b) the value that data can provide when they are available and comparable. In particular, we identify patterns around the following:There is a substantial lack of data around pretrial detention and release decision-making, as well as individual demographics (particularly indigence).New data privacy laws are also making it needlessly difficult to obtain certain data. This poses challenges to understanding how individuals experience the system in cases that do not result in conviction.There is great variation in how counties dispose of and sentence nonviolent cases; how financial obligations are imposed on individuals; and the collateral consequences that individuals face when convicted.Across many of these findings, where demographics are available, we have an opportunity to identify and respond to significant disparities in group outcomes.This report challenges stakeholders and policymakers to dig deeper into these patterns and missing data. It also implores policymakers and legislators to improve criminal justice data infrastructure to ensure a more transparent, fair, and equitable implementation of justice.

Alternative Dispatch Programs: A Strategy for Improving Emergency Responses and Reducing Police Violence

June 4, 2021

Approximately 240 million calls are made to 911 every year in the United States. Only a small fraction of these calls are for serious or violent crimes. Even in communities with high homicide rates such as Baltimore, Camden, New Haven, and New Orleans, fewer than 4 percent of 911 calls are related to violent crimes. Instead, the majority of these calls are related to incidents of disorderly conduct, noise complaints, suspicious people or cars, mental health issues, substance use, and homelessness.Programs that deploy public health professionals and crisis workers to situations involving mental health, substance use, and homelessness—referred to as alternative dispatch programs—offer an emerging solution that can save lives and provide critical services to those in need. Alternative dispatch programs utilize first responders who are specifically trained to resolve the emergencies that most commonly arise in communities with methods that address root problems and minimize the risk of force or deeper involvement with the justice system. These programs provide communities with a critical means for addressing crises, while also freeing police to focus on preventing and solving serious crimes.

TOP (Tracking Oregon's Progress) Report 2020: Cornerstones: Economic Mobility and Belonging in Oregon

November 30, 2020

Cascading crises in Oregon in 2020 have compounded existing inequities, resulting in disproportionate impacts on Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), low-income Oregonians and rural communities. Every sector of society that OCF supports is grappling with the need for systems change: education, arts and culture, housing, business infrastructure, health care and more. How we are working to address these disproportionate impacts is informed by the findings in our newly released report, "Cornerstones: Economic Mobility and Belonging in Oregon." Working with Harvard-based research group Opportunity Insights, the report combines Census tract level data of economic opportunity with qualitative examinations of what helps kids in high opportunity neighborhoods succeed. OCF has identified key areas of investment and policy change needed to create more high opportunity neighborhoods in Oregon: economically integrated neighborhoods, high-quality schools, living wage jobs and increased social capital.

Black Funding Denied: Community Foundation Support for Black Communities

August 1, 2020

In light of the national uprising sparked by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (and building on other recent tragic movement moments going back to the 2014 murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri), NCRP is analyzing grantmaking by community foundations across the country to find out exactly how much they are – or are not – investing in Black communities.We started by looking at the latest available grantmaking data (2016-2018) of 25 community foundations (CFs) – from Los Angeles to New Orleans to New York City to St. Paul. These foundations represent a cross section of some of the country's largest community foundations as well as foundations in communities where NCRP has Black-led nonprofit allies.

Parents And Children Thriving Together: A Framework For Two-Generation Policy And System Reform

January 1, 2020

This brief explores the lessons learned from the 2016 Parents and Children Thriving Together: Two Generation State Policy Network (PACTT Network), a collaboration between the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Through this initiative, five states explored how to use the two-generation approach to improve their state systems that serve children and parents. This brief summarizes the lessons learned from the two-year initiative and provides a framework to help guide state leaders trying to implement two-generation strategies.

Multnomah County Lead Poisoning OR Prevention Program

January 1, 2019

The Multnomah County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is jointly funded by the Portland Water Bureau (PWB), State of Oregon Health Authority, and Multnomah County. The program works in partnership with other community groups and government agencies in the greater Portland metropolitan area to eliminate lead poisoning and make Multnomah Countyhousing lead-safe. Services provided include The Leadline, a telephone information and referral line for questions about lead, lead testing, and lead in drinking water; Community outreach and education, including participation in community health fairs and community presentations; Home investigations for families who have children with high blood lead levelsto assist with identification and reduction of exposure to lead; Lead screening for children and those at greatest risk for lead poisoning; and Coordination of services with other agencies to create an efficient program designed to prevent lead poisoning from all sources.

Creative Stretch: Findings from Oregon Community Foundation's Creative Heights Initiative

December 1, 2018

What happens when cultural organizations and artists/creatives receive early investment to stretch their practices and work in new ways when developing new work? This report documents the lessons learned from the first four years (2014-2017) of projects supported by Oregon Community Foundation's (OCF) Creative Heights Initiative. We hope that insights gained from these projects will build the capacity and confidence of other artists, creatives, and non-profits looking to stretch their creative practice, and encourage support for promising new work.

Giving in Oregon 2018

November 20, 2018

Oregon Community Foundation Report on Charitable Giving Trends