The Republican candidate for governor is getting some unwanted attention for his position on sanctuaries for immigrants.
The Portland homelessness nonprofit New Avenues for Youth canceled on plans to have state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend) serve a meal to homeless teenagers this Friday.
The decision came after Buehler publicly supported eliminating the state provision prohibiting state funds from being used to enforce federal immigration law.
"Our general stance has been, that there is always value in educating people about the issues faced by youth we serve," wrote New Avenues for Youth executive director Sean Suib to all staff on internal email obtained by WW.
"That said it also just surfaced that Knute has taken a position in favor of eliminating the Sanctuary Status in Oregon, a policy that protects some of our most marginalized community members."
A ballot measure on the sanctuary question is headed to voters in November. Buehler told radio host Lars Larson last week that he would support Measure 105, which repeals the state sanctuary provision.
It was a notable position for Buehler to take, after many observers expected he'd run as a moderate in deep-blue Oregon. But instead Buehler has taken a position on immigration policy more in line with the far right.
And the nonprofit's cancellation is the first indication that at least in Portland, people are paying attention to that position.
Suib told staff as much in the email.
"His policy stance does not match values I hold, nor that of the broader organization," the email says. "Thank you to staff who expressed concern about this, particularly in regards to ensuring the youth we serve feel safe in their space. It helped us to slow down and make a more thoughtful decision."
Suib notes he hopes to find another way to meet with Buehler.
Suib declined to comment further when contacted by WW. "It was an internal email. It's self-explanatory," he tells WW.
UPDATE, 6:56 pm: Buehler's spokesperson, Monica Wroblewski, says she's saddened by the cancellation.
"New Avenues for Youth does great work," Wroblewski says. "I'm sorry that the politics of Knute's visit have made some people uncomfortable. This was not Knute's intention. We were looking forward to learning about the good work, good people are doing. We look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.