November 15, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact: Therese Lang, Communications Director, Oregon Prosperity Initiative firstname.lastname@example.org  503-913-9311
Portland, Or. – Based on their work for the Oregon Prosperity Initiative, Governor Kitzhaber, First Lady, Cylvia Hayes and special guests, Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, and Duncan Wyse, president of the Oregon Business Council, assembled prominent leaders of Oregon’s business and faith communities on Friday, to discuss poverty, prosperity and economic justice.
Although Oregon has taken significant steps toward reforming health care, education, and public safety systems, far too many hard-working Oregonians are still struggling in poverty. Members of the business and faith communities have come together today to collaborate on ideas that will further the goals of Oregon Prosperity Initiative, which aims to ensure that every Oregonian has a pathway to economic security, a healthy life and engaged citizenship.
“Working on the Oregon Prosperity Initiative we found that the business and faith community frequently do not have the opportunity to collaborate on the issue of poverty, but that both groups are eager to find workable solutions,” said First Lady, Cylvia Hayes. “Sister Simone’s visit to Portland was the perfect opportunity to bring these groups together.”
Sister Simone Campbell has served as Executive Director of NETWORK since 2004. She is a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. In 2012, she was instrumental in organizing the “Nuns on the Bus” tour of nine states to oppose the “Ryan Budget” approved by the House of Representatives.
“I am pleased to be here in Oregon and to be part of a discussion that needs to happen everywhere. We the People must find a way forward to reduce income inequality and build up our entire nation,” said Sister Simone. “Oregon is beginning this critically important conversation, and I hope it will be picked up in all the other states as well.”
Duncan Wyse, president of the Oregon Business Council (OBC), a private non-profit, non-partisan organization consisting of 46 leading business executives, offered strategies about how the business community can collaborate with the faith community to find solutions to income inequality and poverty.
The best ideas from today’s event will be evaluated and eventually incorporated into the Prosperity Impact Projects.
Led by First Lady, Cylvia Hayes, the Oregon Prosperity Initiative aims to ensure that every Oregonian has a pathway to economic security, a healthy life and engaged citizenship. This is accomplished by incorporating elements of the Initiative into Oregon’s 10-year budget plan; raising awareness about poverty; executing a coordinated plan for transformational changes in early childhood, education, workforce development, health care and public safety; ensuring that the Oregon economy is producing living-wage jobs and implementing Prosperity Impact Projects. For more information, visit www.oregonprospers.org  .