For Southwest Portland political organizers, Measure 110 is personal

October 6, 2020

Bobby Byrd was never a political person. He’s spent the last few decades of his life just trying to keep it on the right track and provide for his family, after a felony drug possession conviction in 1993. Now, he’s one of the most visible advocates for the More Treatment campaign in support of ballot Measure 110, in hopes that what happened to him doesn’t happen to anyone else.

Byrd says having felony drug convictions on his record has haunted him for decades, and prevented him from getting well-paying jobs. He recounts being offered promotions at companies like Wells Fargo and Intel, where he previously worked, only to be terminated once a background check revealed his past charges.

Now, he works with the developmentally disabled making about $15 an hour, not enough to adequately support his family.

Measure 110 would take a less punitive approach to small level drug offenses, instead connecting offenders with substance abuse and rehabilitation programs rather than jail and prison sentences.

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