In celebration of Oregon’s 158th anniversary of statehood, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson will reveal Tuesday, a new statewide crowdfunding initiative calling Oregonians into action to preserve the state’s original 1857 Oregon constitution. An ambitious goal of raising $100,000, the Oregon Constitution Challenge calls on Oregonians to go to sos.oregon.gov and contribute to this unique community effort.
“We must act now to save the Constitution from irreversible damage,” Richardson said. “I’m asking for Oregonian’s to become a part of history and chip-in what they can to this critical preservation effort to repair and protect the people’s document.”
The Oregon Constitution Challenge originally started three years ago when then-Secretary Kate Brown called on Oregon schoolchildren to donate to a dime drive. To-date, students across Oregon have contributed more than $6,000. The document’s preservation cost is estimated at $15,000. The exhibit display case will be of museum quality and state-of-the-art to protect against airborne pollutants and micro-climatic changes as well as vandalism and theft. The cost is estimated at $85,000.
“As we celebrate Oregon’s statehood anniversary each year on Valentine’s Day,” said State Archivist Mary Beth Herkert, “we remember the legacy built by the indigenous peoples of the northwest, pioneers of the Oregon Trail and generations of settlers and immigrants who chose to call Oregon home.”
Our Constitution is both an important symbol of our democracy and the founding legal document upon which Oregon was built. Restoration and regular public display of the constitution serves as an important reminder of our history, our shared responsibility to protect our democracy, and as an inspirational beacon for generations to come.