2021 Children's Agenda
Legislative Wins


This Session Saw BIG Wins
for Oregon's Children and Families

With the close of the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session, we celebrate the legislative wins and new investments secured for Oregon’s children and families! The 2021 Children’s Agenda, a legislative policy agenda for Oregon’s future, was comprised of 11 priorities amid a total of 44 items addressing the holistic, intersectional needs of children. Centered in racial equity, the Agenda was championed by over 115 partners statewide in order to align efforts, work collaboratively, and powerfully show up for Oregon’s children, youth, and their families. 

38 concepts advanced in support of 2021 Children's Agenda Items!
~$1.1 Billon New Investments for Oregon's Families
59 testimony submissions in support of 2021 Children's Agenda Items!
Graphic quotation which says "The priorities of the 2021 Children’s Agenda were my priorities this session. The tireless support and advocacy of Children’s Agenda partners and Our Children Oregon staff ensured we were able to move legislation centering racial equity including the Oregon Indian Child Welfare Act (SB 562), establishing the profession of licensed dental therapists (HB 2528), and the Oregon Foster Youth Connection’s bill to address bias in the foster care system (HB 2505). These efforts will improve the lives of children and families for generations to come."  Rep. Tawna Sanchez (District 43)

This year, unlike any other, presented unique challenges to the typical legislative session. Whereas past sessions saw in-person engagement among advocates, policymakers, and the public in the halls of the Capitol, this year the legislative process was virtual in response to the public health concerns posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We thank our partners and the communities that came together amid these challenging circumstances to advance meaningful legislation and investments for Oregon’s children and families.  

2021 Children's Agenda Priority Wins


Ensure No Worker is Left Behind passed as part of the omnibus tax expenditure bill meaning ITIN tax filers in Oregon will now benefit from the state Earned Income Tax Credit.

Promote Racial Equity in Homeownership had both bills (SB 79 and HB 2007) pass which includes providing down payment assistance and other targeted supports to begin to addressing racial gaps in homeownership.

Strengthen the Oregon IDA Initiative passed as part of the omnibus tax expenditure bill and includes reauthorizing the tax credit and funding the Initiative through the next biennium.


Reduce/Eliminate Suspension and Expulsion in Early Childhood had SB 236 pass ensuring prevention of suspension and expulsion as a key strategy to support children.

Address Racism in Public Schools

Expand Access to Culturally Specific Programs, a budget ask, received $3 million in additional investment to the Early Childhood Equity Fund.


Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis in Oregon was passed as House Resolution 6.

Establish Profession of Licensed Dental Therapists, HB 2528, passed expanding access to basic dental care across the state.


Strengthen the Oregon Indian Child Welfare Act passed (HB 562A) codifying adoption practices and providing technical fixes.

Eliminate Implicit Bias in Child Welfare Responses passed (HB 2505) creating a Child Welfare Equity Committee to recommend actions to ensure equitable treatment of anyone receiving child welfare services.

Graphic quotation which says “The support of the team at Our Children Oregon and our partnership with the Children’s Agenda was invaluable in furthering our advocacy and communications efforts at Latino Network. And as part of the Children’s Agenda Steering Committee, we came together to center racial equity in our priorities to promote the economic well-being and health of families as well as expand access to culturally-specific early childhood education.” Anthony Castaneda (Latino Network)

Additional 2021 Children's Agenda Wins

For more details on the priorities highlighted above and to learn more about the items that advanced this session listed below, follow these links and look for the hearts!

  • Expand Broadband Access for Students and Families
  • Strengthen School Meals Programs
  • Expand ILP Services for Transition-Aged Foster Youth
  • Protect Kids and Families from Eviction and Instability
  • Long-Term Rental Assistance for Youth
  • Reform ERDC 
  • Support Basic Needs Navigators
  • Establish Tribal Early Learning Hub
  • Support Diversification of the Educator Workforce
  • Expand Access to Preschool
  • Establish Cover All People Program
  • COFA Medical and Dental Coverage
  • Increase Funding to Children’s Advocacy Centers
  • Support School-Based Oral Health Programs
  • Fund SNAP Incentives Program: Double Up Food Bucks
  • Fund the Family Preservation Program
  • Remove Barriers to Youth Success: Juvenile Expunction Reform
  • Support Targeted Investments in Child Welfare
  • Expand Supports for Unaccompanied Houseless Youth
  • Allow Children’s Service Districts
  • End Juvenile Administrative Fees
  • Enhance Domestic Violence Support Services
  • Fund Wage Parity for Relief Nursery Teachers
  • Reinstate Funding for Family to Family Networks
Graphic quotation which says "The Our Children Oregon team and the Children’s Agenda  leadership was imperative to the Leave No Worker Behind coalition. Our collaborative communications and advocacy strategies provided each coalition member with effective resources to advocate efficiently. We were able to justify the need for HB 2819 while uplifting the communities we serve. We are so grateful for the Children’s Agenda championing this measure to improve economic stability and equity throughout the state.” Jessica Maravilla (CAUSA)

Looking Ahead

While the 2021 Children’s Agenda was successful across many of our priorities and items, there were misses this session that had the potential to make a real difference for our communities. As we reflect, we acknowledge these lost opportunities and consider how we can advocate for these concepts in the 2022 session and beyond:

As we envision an Oregon where all children thrive, we are reminded of the work that remains to be done, and invite you to join us in building this future together. Sign up for the Advocacy Alerts below to stay connected!