Portland, OR. Ignite 2017, the Black & White Ball, was Oregon’s largest LGBTQ gala and dance party and biggest fundraiser of the year. Nearly 1,000 people attended the November 4th benefit for Basic Right Oregon including COAT Flagging Owner Val Solorazano, Shannon Scott and Morel, Ink Owner Bill Dickey. More than $320,000 was raised at the Black & White Ball to support policy, advocacy and education work statewide to ensure that LGBTQ Oregonians in every community in Oregon experience equality. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus) 

Juan Martinez with Oregon House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson and Byron Beck

Oregon Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer

Andrea Valderama, Aimee Wilson and House Speaker Tina Kotek

Diane Goodwin, PCC Board Chair Kali Thorne Ladd and Johnell Bell from Senator Jeff Merkley’s staff

Emcee Poison Waters

From Basic Rights Oregon:

Basic Rights Oregon is the primary policy advocacy organization for LGBTQ Oregonians. As such, we advocate for public policy that meets the needs of a breadth of our LGBTQ communities. Our policies are constructed with a deep understanding of what they will mean to LGBTQ communities of color, transgender communities, LGBTQ youth and LGBTQ people in every corner of the state.

In order to ensure that policy victories meet the most pressing needs of our communities, Basic Rights engages its board, staff and volunteer leaders in an annual issue selection process to inform both our legislative and administrative agenda. This feedback has led to the passage of critical state laws grounded in the needs of the community.

Our policy work is focused on how to improve the lives of LGBTQ Oregonians in concrete ways. We identify policy solutions that help increase access to needed services in healthcare. We work on legislation that improves the experience of LGBTQ students in Oregon schools. We’ve passed non-discrimination policies to protect LGBTQ Oregonians at work. We worked to ensure that all Oregonians can have the freedom to marry.

Statewide supporters play a critical role in moving our LGBTQ policies throughout the state. Telling your story and contacting elected officials in your area is critical to winning concrete victories for our community. Get involved! Volunteers can make a huge difference by:

  • Participating in phone banks
  • Writing letters to the editor
  • Sharing their story through written or in person testimony at hearings
  • Contacting their legislator
  • Attending lobby days
  • Signing petitions

To volunteer for our legislative work, contact us at [email protected]