Observer: 'Now is the Time to Act'

Moved by gun violence, faith leaders call for action

Dana Lynn Barbar, Portland Observer | 4/3/2018

Protecting children and teenagers from gun violence is the driving force of a new grass roots effort to regulate semiautomatic weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines in Oregon.

A diverse group of faith leaders in Portland are working together to gather signatures for a proposed ballot measure that if approved by voters would require that existing semiautomatic weapons and large capacity magazines be registered by their owners, as well prohibit the future sale and transfer of these weapons and magazines statewide.

Rev. W. J. Mark Knutson, senior pastor of Augustana Lutheran Church in northeast Portland, is chairing the ballot initiative campaign, along with chief petitioners Rev. Alcena Boozer, director emerita at St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church in northeast Portland and a former principal at Jefferson High School, and Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana of Congregation Beth Israel. Imam Muhammad A. Najieb, director of the Muslim Community Center of Portland, is campaign treasurer.

At this time, the initiative is called “Lift Every Voice, Oregon Measure 43.” If the required number of signatures are gathered and approved, it will be on the ballot in November.