The Oregon Better Together campaign grew out of the need to counter the divisive disinformation and hate we see in certain groups such as Timber Unity. This group comprises two entities – a PAC and a corporation, both with the goals of protecting the timber industry and preventing Oregonians from tackling the climate crisis by taking meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Timber Unity PAC, initially funded and run by timber company owner and right wing political activist Andrew Miller, raised money, claiming they were a “grassroots” group “protecting working families” and “our way of life”. Of course, what they really tried to protect were corporate profits. The Timber Unity PAC has poured its money into supporting legislators (mostly GOP, but also DINO Betsy Johnson) that support its extremist, factually unsupported, and divisive rhetoric, earning its spot as the GOP’s No. 1 affinity group in 2020. Today Timber Unity PAC is run by Angelita Sanchez, a MAGA extremist who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
In addition to having an extremist leading the PAC, Timber Unity has long had ties to hate groups like Proud Boys and continues to welcome them. The Proud Boys have been indicted as conspirators in the Jan. 6 insurrection along with other hate groups, Oath Keepers and 3 Percenters, which have also participated in Timber Unity rallies. We see the same divisive disinformation and hate spread by other groups as well, even including some Republicans who have refused to accept the 2020 presidential election results and question our system of voting.
Even though the “Timber Unity” sign or sticker should be a code word for protecting corporate profits at the expense of families, communities, and our natural resources, their signs have proliferated throughout rural Oregon. Timber Unity and other such groups have posted yard signs, road signs, and banners and stickers as if they are working to help rural Oregonians and their way of life.
The Oregon Better Together campaign wants to counter these divisive, false signs with a message of opportunity, equality and a healthy environment for all. It’s also important to take care of each other. That’s why we developed a program, #WeCare, to help coordinate our support of those in need. During the pandemic, for example, our members distributed gifts of thanks and support to health care workers and teachers and others on the front lines.
Oregon Better Together promotes inclusivity, equality, and the shared positive values of Oregonians. We know when we work together, whatever the problem or issue, the result can mean thriving families and communities in every corner of the state.