History

Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water (OCSDW) was founded as a volunteer-run nonprofit organization in 1999 by Lynne Campbell.

In 2007, the Oregon Legislature made a major push to take away the right to vote on fluoridation, and to mandate the addition of fluoridation chemicals to every water district that served 10,000 or more people. 

With a strong grassroots effort, OCSDW was able to defeat the bill.

In 2012, the Portland City Council also made an effort to side-step the voters, and mandated fluoridation for Portland and 19 other districts that purchase water from the City of Portland—despite the fact that Portland voters had already said no to fluoridation three times. As a result of the City Council vote, a group of citizens formed Clean Water Portland (CWP).

Within days, hundreds of volunteers signed on, and in an incredible grassroots campaign, CWP's volunteer team gathered over 43,000 signatures in 30 days, in order to return the council's decision back to the voters. 

The question of whether to fluoridate or not went before Portland voters on the May, 2013 ballot. Despite being outspent nearly 3-to-1 by fluoridationists, CWP effectively spread the word about the risks of fluoridation to clean drinking water, and garnered endorsements from groups ranging from the Columbia Chapter Sierra Club to the local chapter of the NAACP.

Portland voters again rejected fluoridation with 61% of the vote, the fourth time the city has voted against fluoridation.

After the election, the Clean Water Portland PAC was dissolved and OCSDW changed their name to Clean Water Oregon. 

Today, Clean Water Oregon supports education and advocacy related to the risks of adding fluoridation chemicals to municipal drinking water supplies, and supports alternatives to water fluoridation that help promote children’s dental health in a manner that is more effective than water fluoridation, such as increasing children’s access to dental care and preventative strategies for avoiding childhood cavities. 


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