Oregon SolarPAC's First Year a Big Success
Thanks to generous contributions from OSEIA members and solar supporters, Oregon SolarPAC raised $9,845 ahead of the 2017 election--and spent nearly all of it exactly as we'd planned: in support of key candidates for the Oregon State Legislature.
We held meetings and made campaign contributions to Oregon's Governor, Kate Brown and 14 legislative candidates, all of whom won their 2017 elections and are now serving in Salem. Several OSEIA members joined in our candidate meetings, where we discussed issues crucial to Oregon's solar industry: Renewing the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC), creating a RETC for community solar, preserving the solar property tax exemption, and ensuring the Oregon's new large scale solar incentive will work as planned. The meetings allowed us to brief the candidates on these priorities, identify champions we can work with, and gain lots of valuable intel, tips and offers for help negotiating legislative session, which starts on February 1st.
Our meetings included legislators most crucial to Oregon's solar's future, including: the chairs and several members of the House Energy & Environment and Senate Environment & Natural Resources committees, the two Revenue committee chairs whose jurisdiction includes solar tax credits: Sen. Mark Hass and Rep. Phil Barnhart, and legislative leaders including Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, House Speaker Tina Kotek, House Republican Leader Mike McLain, and House Way & Means Co-Chair Rep. Nancy Nathanson.
Oregon SolarPAC's efforts in 2016 amounted to the Oregon solar industry's first foray into Oregon electoral politics, and it was a great start. Oregon SolarPAC gave a huge boost on building support for solar priorities in the 2017 legislative session.
While 2016 was a great start, we aim to do even more for the next election. A year-end fundraising push brought Oregon SolarPac’s 2016 fundraising total up to $10,920 (A huge thanks to everyone who gave near year's end!). Those funds will start us off in the next campaign cycle in 2018. Collecting donations little by little over time means we'll have the ability to have even more impact. Please consider giving either a one-time or even a monthly contribution to Oregon SolarPAC in 2017.