The Oregon state song could get a rewrite under a bill proposed by Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego) or a resolution proposed by Rep. Sheri Schouten (D-Beaverton), among others.
"The Legislative Assembly finds that the current state song for the State of Oregon, 'Oregon, My Oregon,' has lyrics that are entrenched in racism, that fail to recognize the suffering of Native people who were forcibly removed from this state and that fail to recognize the pain and suffering of Black people who were subject to exclusion laws targeting Black people," reads the text of House Bill 2329, sponsored by Salinas.
Salinas says her bill is part of a larger reckoning.
"It's important to me because we're at a point in time where we as Oregonians are coming to terms with our racist history, and part of that history is embedded in the state song," Salinas tells WW.
That bill would institute a process for modifying the lyrics, which celebrates Oregon as the "Land of the Empire Builders" that is "conquered and held by free men, fairest and the best."
House Concurrent Resolution 11 would rewrite it.
The legislative session, which began Jan. 11, saw the swearing in of an increased number of lawmakers of color, and Schouten has previously said she has support from the BIPOC Caucus for a new song.