In order to fulfill ONA’s mission of advocating for nursing and quality health care, ONA regularly endorses candidates for public office and takes positions on ballot measures. ONA makes endorsements based on members’ input, candidate’s voting records and overall viability.
Engaging in the election process gives ONA the ability to affect change and respond to challenges nurses face in their practice, at the bargaining table and throughout our state.
To receive ONA’s endorsement, candidates for the Oregon Legislature or statewide office can complete an interview with a group of nurses from their area, or with members from ONA’s Oregon Nurse Political Action Committee (ON-PAC). The interviews are based on a candidate questionnaire developed by ONA’s Cabinet on Health Policy. Following an interview with nurses, ON-PAC makes an endorsement decision based on the interview, the candidate’s past voting record, and the candidate’s viability. Candidates running for re-election may receive an automatic endorsement based on their voting record and past support of ONA’s legislative priorities. ON-PAC also supports endorsed candidates by allocating financial resources and organizing and supporting grassroots activities such as member communication, phone banks and canvassing.
For federal elections, ONA endorses candidates in collaboration with ANA’s Political Action Committee (ANA-PAC).
ONA’s Cabinet on Health Policy takes positions on relevant ballot measures. ONA’s Nurses United Political Action Committee (NU-PAC) acts to support our positions by allocating financial resources and organizing and supporting grassroots activities around ballot measures, including voter contact, member outreach and coalition building.
In 2012, every candidate and cause ONA endorsed and supported in the General Election won. By electing nurse advocates to the state legislature in 2012, ONA was able to successfully pass our top legislative priority in 2013, the first NP Payment Parity bill in the U.S. Despite ONA’s advocacy, this bill had failed to pass in previous legislative sessions.
In 2014, ONA was proud to endorse and support ONA labor representative Rob Nosse, a state representative candidate who successfully ran and won one of the most contested primaries in the state. Rob was appointed to the Oregon House of Representatives this summer and will be a key advocate for nurses in 2015, when ONA attempts to pass improvements to Oregon’s Nurse Staffing Law.
If you would like to learn more about the endorsement process or how you can get involved, please contact the ONA Government Relations team here.