At the Central Committee Meeting on November 14, 2019, the Multnomah County Democrats unanimously passed Resolution 2019-28
Emergency Moratorium on Homeless Sweeps
Whereas, The City of Portland is experiencing a long-term and continuing Housing State of Emergency caused by an affordability crisis.
Whereas, Every year unhoused people die of exposure during the winter months. Last year at least 92 people died on the streets of Portland.
Whereas, The City of Portland does not allocate sufficient resources to city-contracted service providers to adequately serve the number of clients who are housing insecure or houseless.
Whereas, The recent closure of several public and private family shelters and warming shelters in the greater Portland Area ensures that the number of available city and county shelter beds is and will continue to be greatly inadequate to address the need.
Whereas, The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that unhoused people are protected from ordinances that punish them for being unable to obtain shelter. This means that if shelter space is unavailable, people’s survival means should not be criminalized.
Whereas, 52% of Portland Police arrests in 2017 were of unhoused people. Nationwide, 82% of arrests of unhoused people were for “sleeping”.
Whereas, Research indicates that sweeps of unhoused people are ineffective and harmful both to communities and individuals. Sweeps separate individuals from life sustaining items like medications, hygiene items, and cold-weather protection causing deterioration of mental and physical health up to and including death. Unhoused people are not “camping” but rather attempting to survive.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Multnomah County Democrats
Call upon our Mayor, Ted Wheeler, our city council and Multnomah County to issue a moratorium on sweeps of houseless camps and individuals for 1 year or as long as the city and county are unable to provide reasonable alternatives to unhoused people.
This Resolution will be sent to each of the officials named below, along with a meeting request to discuss this Resolution.
Adopted by the Multnomah County Democratic Party on the 14th day of November, 2019
Send to: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler
Portland City Council
Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury
Joint Office of Homeless Services Director Marc Jolin
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum
Lurelle Robbins, Chair, Democratic Party of Multnomah County
- Rachelle Dixon,VC1
- Michael Smith, VC2
- Leigha LaFleur
- Graham Parks
- Sam Kalhl
- Kyle Huth
- Kevin Fitts
- Melisa Crosby