Multnomah Democrats article XI: Abuse of Power topics

2020 Platform Now Includes Abuse of Power Article

Your feedback is needed on the new platform draft

Author:  Kate Blumenthal with others

Do you see examples daily of abuse of power? It happens at every level of government, in our educational institutions, in corporations that ignore our laws, and by legislators who fail to protect our rights. It’s everywhere you look.

All power given to federal, state and local government is delegated by authority of the electorate – us. Power can be delegated for good reasons, but we must guard against hijacking. Private, unaccountable agendas and purposes that we the people did not intend seek our power. Abuses of power aid racism and collect power into the hands of the few.

For the 2020 Platform, Multnomah Democrats have proposed Article XI speaking specifically to abuses of power. This draft includes positions on death penalty, police use of force, education policy, and corporate power.

“I saw this as a way to address the double standard that some law enforcement officers and school employees are known to use against people they unfairly view as less deserving of their respect and care, for whatever reason – maybe skin color, maybe politics, maybe evidence of poverty. The worst is when non-threatening people are treated with violence –  forcefully taking children away from parents at our border, and people shot seemingly just for being black.

— Beth Woodward, an originator of Article XI

This article is an important addition to our Platform. There are ongoing study groups that focus on how we want to improve what conditions we want to see in the future. Article XI speaks to the violence, neglect, and disparities practiced under cover of institutional power. We see it as a source of racism, unjust incarceration, and harmful barriers to immigration. It speaks to the behaviors we see from the current White House and will guide our ongoing fight for equity and responsibility.

The 1st Draft of the 2020 Platform is now available and you can Download the draft platform here!

Bring Your Input to Our Platform. Please review the Article XI, Abuse of Power. 

This Draft is a working document. The Platform, Resolution, and Legislative Committee welcomes your feedback and ideas as we prepare for the Platform Convention this November. fill out the forms in the document to provide your input.


  • Are there planks that are too specific or too general?
  • What is missing?
  • What should should be moved to a more logical location?
  • What is redundant with other planks?

Legislative Action Items (LAIs)

LAIs are the directives of the article. They specify what legislation we will work to pass.

  • Can you suggest legislative action or other actions that would implement specific planks?

For example, what legislation would you suggest to correct or prevent abuse? This is our power that’s been stolen; together we can fight to bring it back.

You can also contact with your input.

Get Involved

The 2020 Platform is your document, my document, our document. Be part of the process.  From now until the convention in November, you can participate in crafting this important document.

The new Article XI will let our elected officials know that we want abuse of power to be an integral part of our political discussion. We will hold them accountable to what is in our platform. Help our elected officials by suggesting appropriate legislation or other official action that will address the abuses we all identify.

Keep an eye on the Platform Convention page for an opportunity to comment on specific sections and to join study groups!