News and Commentary

Oregon Dems Use Recycling Bill To Codify ‘Equity’ Definition
A man puts a deposit bottle into a deposit bottle machine in a supermarket. Photo: Monika Skolimowska/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB
Monika Skolimowska/picture alliance via Getty Images

Democrats in the Oregon state Senate are attempting to codify the definition of “equity” into an amendment on recycling. 

According to a copy of the amendment obtained by The Daily Wire, Democrats are pushing for a taxpayer-funded commission to issue an “equity study” related to recycling. The commission will assess how Oregon’s recycling system can help redistribute wealth and power based on race. 

“The Department of Environmental Quality, in consultation with local governments and the Oregon Recycling System Advisory Council, shall conduct a study of equity in Oregon’s recycling system to determine conditions and make recommendations, including goals to achieve continuous improvement,” the amendment reads. “The department shall provide public involvement opportunities for under-served communities during the study.”

The amendment has not received a fiscal impact statement yet, so taxpayers remain unsure what the study will cost them. 

If the amendment passes, it would codify the definition of “equity” into law. The amendment defines equity as “the effort to provide different levels of support based on an individual’s or group’s needs in order to achieve fairness in outcomes and the acknowledgment that not all people and communities are starting from the same place due to historic and current systems of oppression.” 

“Equity requires the redistribution of resources, power, and opportunity to communities most impacted by systemic oppression,” the bill reads.  

The Democrat’s proposed equity study would also assess the “availability of opportunities in the recycling system for women and minority individuals,” particularly in reference to company ownership in the recycling industry. The amendment text said the study will explore recycling education programs and their relative “equity outcomes” as well. 

The bulk of the amendment calls on manufacturers to pay for the state’s recycling programs. Manufacturers would be forced to comply with the findings of the government’s equity study, including the Democrat’s foregone conclusion that women and minorities are greatly impacted by the alleged “inequity” of the recycling industry. 

Republicans in the state Senate see this as an opportunity for Democrats to force manufacturers to turn over businesses to women and minorities, bypassing the system of meritocracy entirely.

The amendment is sponsored by state Sen. Michael Dembrow (D), the chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. The state senator has been a leader in the state-wide push to increase the minimum wage. Dembrow did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication. 

Oregon’s state government has pushed the theme of “equity” in nearly every facet of legislation. The Oregon Department of Education recently sent teachers an 82-page instructional guide that lists ways in which white supremacy is perpetuated in math class. 

The Daily Wire reported:

The guide offers a year-long framework for “deconstructing racism in mathematics.” It calls for “visiblizing [sic] the toxic characteristics of white supremacy culture with respect to math.” 

Examples of classroom actions that allegedly perpetuate white supremacy include asking students to show their work, focusing on getting the right answer, tracking student success, and grading students. 

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Oregon Dems Use Recycling Bill To Codify ‘Equity’ Definition