October 1, 2019
Presented by the Platform, Resolution, and Legislation Committee
Deadline for Comments was October 19, 2019. Next draft will be available in early November 2019.
Table of Contents
- Letter to Multnomah Democrats
- I. Basic Needs and Human Rights plus Health
- II. Education
- III. Economy
- IV. Labor and Workers’ Rights
- V. Infrastructure [NEW]
- VI. Natural Resource Protection Recovery
- VII. Election Integrity and Legislative Accountability
- VIII. Equity
- IX. Justice
- X. Immigration
- XI. Abuse of Power [NEW]
- XII. Media [NEW]
- XIII. Tribal Sovereignty [NEW]
- XIV. Oregon’s Anti-Black Foundations [NEW]
Letter to Multnomah Democrats
Dear Democrats of Multnomah County,
The Platform, Resolution and Legislation Committee is proud to present the 2020 Multnomah County Democratic Platform for your consideration and adoption at the Platform Convention held at Portland Association of Teachers Building [Map] November 23, 2019.
The committee has worked for several months on what we saw as important to Multnomah County Democrats and possible actions to secure the community described. We upgraded the 2018 Platform into the 2020 version and have sent a first and second drafts to County Democrats for comments and suggestions, many of which were included in the final document.
The committee guided by the Platform also drafted Legislative Action Items describing work to be done in the up-coming legislative sessions. Convention attendees will discuss and review these items at the convention correcting, adding or deleting to come up with a comprehensive list of actions from which legislators can draw upon to make lives better for the people in Multnomah County, the State of Oregon and the United States.
We believe this Platform will provide a positive foundation upon which the Multnomah County Democrats can work together in the 2020 elections to put more Democrats in office and keep the great ones we have.
Platform, Resolution and Legislation Committee
Faith E. Ruffing, Chair
We, the members of the Multnomah County Democratic Party, stand for equality, justice and opportunity for all. We believe in the strength of diversity and that it is important to treat each other with dignity and respect. We believe in a community of inclusiveness that demonstrates tolerance.
We believe that the future of our society depends on amplifying actions to protect our environment. We are committed to truth, transparency and accountability.
We believe in the right of all persons to live in peace, free from oppression in all its forms. We recognize that not all people enjoy the benefits of these rights equally, and that empowerment, fortified by hope and reinforced by ethical leadership, can lead to change.
The following Articles were selected for the 2020 Platform: Basic Needs and Human Rights, Education, Economy, Social Security and Health, Environment, Energy, and Transportation, Election Integrity, Equality, Justice, Immigration, and Labor and Workers’ Rights. We believe action in these areas will help forge a more equitable future for all.
PLATFORM ARTICLES AND PLANKS
Article I. Basic Needs and Human Rights
We believe all people have the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Barriers to achieving these political rights have prevented their achievement, especially by people who carry the burden of our Nation’s and our State’s racist history and our past failure to mitigate that history. We realize that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.
In President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1944 State of the Union Address, he said that “Necessitous men are not free men. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made”. He also proposed the following second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed, which are the basis for the following Basic Needs and Human Rights Planks:
- We believe in the right to a useful and remunerative job that provides a living wage that provides for food, clothing, shelter, and rest.
- We believe in the right of all family farmers to propagate, raise, and sell their products at a return which will sustain a decent living.
- We believe in the right of every person to trade in an atmosphere free from unfair competition and domination by monopolies.
- We believe in the right of every person, household, and house of worship to privacy.
- We believe in the right of every person to rest, hygiene, and sanitation.
- We believe in the right of every person to clean air, water, private shelter, and healthy food.
- We believe in the right to health care for every person.
- We believe in the right of every person to a quality public education.
- We believe in the right to live in a world at Peace and in our nation’s responsibility to promote that peace.
- We believe in the right to freedom to worship in so far as that freedom doesn’t infringe on the rights of others.
- We believe in the right to access to Civil Justice.
- We believe no permanent residence should house more than 2 adults per 400 square feet and children should have a space of their own.
- We believe HUD funds should be increased for any Housing Authority and Section 8 recipients.
Legislative Action Items
- We recognize that there is a housing crisis in our local communities and across the state. We direct Multnomah County and the City of Portland to develop affordable housing for individuals and families with zero to moderate incomes.
- We direct Multnomah County and the City of Portland to claim the air rights over the freeways in the public domain and develop parks and low and moderate-income housing over parts of them as described in the Central City Plan adopted in 1989, retaining the revenue from development in the public domain.
- We support a ban on no-cause evictions.
- We support protecting pension from corporate defunding.
- We support efficient, single-payer health care managed by our government.
- We direct Multnomah County and its constituent municipalities and Metro government to collaboratively and actively pursue the conversion of all utilities, including but not limited to water, sewer, waste, electric, gas, and internet access from private to public ownership and direction and ensure the full access and provision of these utilities to all officials.
- We support full and equal healthcare access, coverage and treatment for transgender persons of all ages.
- We strongly support women’s rights to reproductive freedom of choice including unfettered access to reproductive health care services regardless of their ability to pay.
- We oppose any federal or state legislation or rules that restrict funding or payment for services based on an organization’s provision of family planning or reproductive services.
- We support the Older Americans Act and the services it provides.
- We support end-of-life freedom of choice.
- We support the Aging and Disabilities Act (ADA) and enforcement of ADA compliance at all levels and in all communities.
- We call for the adoption of a single payer universal health care system in Oregon, by 2020, that includes and covers all necessary mental and behavioral health, dental and vision care, and necessary medications and call for the institution of a pilot inter-state single-payer system to include at least Washington and California.
- We call for expansion of Medicaid; the Veterans Administration; Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); Head start; and housing programs.
- We oppose any legislation which would defund funding of Planned Parenthood.
- We call for enforcement of Americans with Disability Act accommodations compliance.
- We call for all members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to co-sponsor and actively work for the passage of expanded and improved Medicare for All at the national level.
- We call for the adoption of legislation to fully fund community-based addiction services. In particular, we call for full funding to provide community based medical detox services throughout Oregon
- We advocate a diplomacy first policy and believe military action should be limited to the least needed for defense of our nation, never for preventive aggression. Thus, we support a firmer stance against war, promoting a less hawkish foreign policy and less military industrial complex spending.
- We direct our federal government to oppose unilateral US interference in the affairs of other nation states in a manner contrary to Americans’ democratic values or the basic needs of the residents of those respective states. Subsequently, we oppose regime change and foreign policy actions serving to destabilize other sovereign states.
Article II. Education
We believe all public schools should be provided with equitable, stable and sustainable public funding stream that provides all students with a high-quality education and culturally inclusive curriculum from pre-kindergarten through high school and career training. We acknowledge that quality public education for all students not only enriches personal lives but strengthens our economy and is critical to a well-functioning democracy.
- We support fully funding the Oregon Quality Education Model [QEM] which would make robust and varied educational opportunities available for all children in Oregon. While the passage of the Student Success Act will help, full and successful implementation of the QEM remains elusive due to insufficient funding.
- We oppose high-stakes standardized tests that falsely and unfairly label students of color, students with disabilities and English language learners as failing. In addition, we oppose the use of standardized test scores to fund or close schools and in evaluating teachers and principals. We strongly encourage the State of Oregon to withdraw from the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC), as well as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), at every grade level, and to adopt its own high-quality standards and assessments that keep Prek-12 education student-centered.
- We support the implementation of smaller class sizes based on quality research which will meet the needs of the individual students and takes into consideration the impact of disruptive learning to the classroom.
- We support full funding of a full-day, full-year universal public preschool program for all 3 and 4 year olds that is high quality, play-based, culturally responsive, developmentally appropriate for young children, and that ensures that early learning professionals receive wages similar to kindergarten teachers and elementary school paraprofessionals. It should be a top priority, since research is clear that, dollar for dollar, investment in PreK-3 yields huge rewards leading to student success.
- We are against efforts to privatize education and weaken public education, such as for-profit schools, vouchers in the form of student savings accounts and student scholarships, social impact bonds, and use of non-certified teachers in publicly funded classrooms.
- We believe that all students should be taught to high academic standards and support investment in high-quality STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math) classes, computer science education, civics, school libraries and career pathways. We support increased investments in after school and summer learning programs which help working families.
- We are concerned about the amount of personal student data being collected and accumulated by the Statewide Longitudinal Database (SLD) system, so we recommend that parameters be set on the types of personal student data collected and stored in the SLD.
- We believe Multnomah County schools should strengthen their partnerships with business, unions, and industry to better prepare students through career technical classes and trade apprenticeship programs.
- We recognize that with the rising cost of higher education, which leaves many qualified students without access to higher learning, it is necessary to provide every qualified student the opportunity to attend tuition free public college or university.
- We support safe schools. School districts need to ensure that students are provided with safe learning environments that protect them from lead paint, lead in water, WiFi radiation, excessive screen time on computer devices, and other threats that may endanger their physical, mental, and emotional health.
- We support having racially diverse and professionally licensed teachers in the classroom, the mentoring of all teachers new to the profession, and meaningful professional development for all teachers. In addition, we support fair, rational evaluation of educator effectiveness by other educators, and support assisting educators in meeting performance expectations.
- We support teacher unions and staff rights to collective bargaining.
Legislative Action Items
- We support full funding of the Oregon Quality Education Model (QEM) and recommend support for corporate tax revisions and financial services transaction fees that dedicate monies to secure full funding of the QEM. We urge large corporation recognize their social responsibility and pay their fair share of taxes toward full funding to insure the future of Oregon education.
- We strongly encourage the State of Oregon to withdraw from the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC), at every grade level, and adopt its own high-quality standards and assessments that keep PreK-12 education student-centered. In addition, we strongly encourage the state of Oregon to withdraw from the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and establish developmentally and culturally appropriate educational standards at all grade levels.
- We recommend reducing class sizes to numbers based on reliable age-based research studies. In addition, the state funding formula needs to be adjusted to promote more equitable class sizes across the state.
- We support public funding of a full-day, full-year universal public preschool program for all 3 and 4-year olds in Multnomah County that is high quality, play-based, culturally responsive, and developmentally appropriate for young children.
- We support universal public preschool that is focused on providing early learning experiences for children of color, children living in poverty, children that speak languages other than English, and children experiencing developmental delays and disabilities. It should ensure that early learning professionals receive wages similar to kindergarten teachers and elementary school paraprofessionals.
- We recommend that Oregon direct education funding to strengthen our public schools and deny public funding for the expansion of private charter and for-profit schools, vouchers of all types, social impact bonds, experimental Edtech programs, virtual schools and other schemes that weaken public schools while accelerating the privatization of public education.
- We support adequate funding of a full range of programs and services for all grade levels, including art, music, physical education, library services, civics, counseling, health services, and alternative education opportunities.
- We recognize that poverty is a systemic problem embedded in society at large and that schools can be responsive in addressing poverty-related traumas, including the effects on highly mobile students. Therefore, we recommend that funding be invested in PreK-12 wrap-around services including mentoring, after-school programs, counselors, culturally relevant curriculum and instruction, and critical race theory initiatives, and other programs that have been proven effective in assuring student success.
- We recommend that parameters be set on the types of personal student data collected and stored in the Statewide Longitudinal Database (SLD), that data be adequately protected, and that an audit be performed to establish a baseline and monitor the rising cost of maintaining the SLD in future years.
- We recommend that adequate funding be appropriated for every qualified student to be able to attend a public college, university or other post-secondary training tuition-free.
- We recommend legislation that requires school districts to protect our children from the following: lead paint, lead in water, WiFi radiation, excessive screen time on computer devices, and other threats that may endanger their physical, mental, and emotional health.
Article III. Economy
We believe our economy should work for everyone, that it is strong when it employs our people in good-paying jobs, underwrites secure households, and advances society. We believe the U.S. economy has the capacity for fairness in rewarding work, so that wealth produced is shared broadly, not just with those at the top. To this end, we are committed to organizing our economy so that it prioritizes long-term investment over short-term profit-seeking, rewards the common interest over self-interest, and promotes innovation and entrepreneurship.
We believe that today’s extreme level of income and wealth inequality—where the majority of the economic gains go to the top one percent and the richest three people in our country own more wealth than the bottom 150 million—actually makes our economy weaker. As Democrats, we believe that Social Security and Medicare can and must be safeguarded, that climate change needs to be corrected, and that Americans will benefit from jobs and security that derive from becoming the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.
Our U.S. economy today is a system of contradictions: unemployment at record lows and inflation under control while critical infrastructure is depleted, wealth more and more concentrated at the top while half our workforce is struggling to make ends meet. Part-time employment is too widespread. Technological innovation and trade imbalances threaten middle class jobs. This calls for a reorganization based on sound principles of advancing the public good
We must constantly invest to shift into more advanced phases of work. Thus, we must also focus on the future, decades ahead–organized through our public education, apprenticeship training, scientific research and development, and advancement in the arts–all precursors to an ever-stronger economy.
We believe that:
- Government investment is necessary to advance innovation and provide good-paying jobs.
- Critical to this mission is a public-school system which develops the full range of comprehension, skills and civic engagement possible in the human condition.
- The U.S needs 21st Century infrastructure, recognizing assessments by the American Society of civil Engineers and Army Corps of Engineers.
- It is necessary to commission, safeguard and publicly manage a banking system – and to assure essential projects are funded through public institutions, if necessary.
- Institutions trading in financial instruments such as stocks, bonds and derivatives – so-called investment banking – needs to be separated from commercial banking and regulated under a different criterion outside the protections afforded the commercial-banking sector.
- Critical to infrastructure development are investments in efficient, safe, environmentally preferred and inclusive transportation, communication, power and water systems.
- Some services are vulnerable to the marketplace’s incentives to cut costs and maximize profits, so they ought to be removed from the forces of a market economy. Foremost among these is the prison system but this analysis could apply to other areas as well, including postal services, firefighting, etc. Other services must be publicly provided because the marketplace will not provide the universality that is required, such as Social Security, health, and other forms of social insurance.
- Free trade is desirable, but most be consistent with U.S. consumer, labor and environmental laws.
- Gross Domestic Product is no longer adequate to quantify the value of our economy. We also need a General Welfare Index that measures the extent that the science, culture and health of our people are improving.
- Given the impact of trade and technology on the working and middle-class, innovative programs must be considered to assure that all citizens have access to well-paying jobs and the American Dream.
- The top 1% of Americans may pay 37% of federal taxes, but they earn far more than 37% of discretionary income after necessities. Progressive taxation is efficient, fair—and essential. Any taxation scheme or proposal that shifts tax burdens to the poor and/or middle classes will undermine the fabrics of communities and yield deficits or scarcity in either public funds or physical resources.
- Perhaps the most obvious marketplace flaw is the failure of the marketplace to force polluters to clean up after themselves. This is critical when it comes to climate change and the amount of man-made carbon entering the atmosphere. Governments must enact programs that will reduce the amount of carbon to acceptable levels, as the marketplace alone will not remedy this.
- White households’ median wealth is 7-10 times greater than African American household wealth, so steps need to be taken to redress this disparity.
Legislative action Items
State of Oregon
We call for:
- Creating a public bank in Oregon.
- Continuing with the effort to make the Oregon state “kicker” more progressive.
- Auditing the State corporate gross receipts tax to determine whether the tax should be graduated for companies with gross sales of more than $25 million annually.
- Auditing the state minimum wage to determine whether it is a geographical living wage, tempered by a teenage wage.
- The need to reduce carbon recognized either through a cap-and-trade proposal or a carbon tax with dividend that adjusts fossil fuel prices appropriately but returns the revenue to the taxpayers.
We call for:
- Enacting public works and comprehensive infrastructure projects like the Works Projects Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps of the New Deal Era as a means of providing every American employment in an economy transformed by 21st century scientific advances.
- Reenacting the Banking Act of 1933, currently proposed under Return to Prudent Banking and 21st Century Glass-Steagall bills, “to prohibit banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) from acting as or affiliating with investment banks” and redirect the commercial banking system to advancing real means of production.
- Increasing the national minimum wage law to $15.00 and indexing it to inflation.
- Preserving and dedicating the Estate Tax: the American people accept certain taxes that are dedicated to funding popular programs, like gasoline taxes and Social Security taxes. Dedicate Estate Tax revenue to an important goal (i.e. Universal Trust Funds, providing every American with a share of the stock market).
- Reforming the Alternative Minimum Tax (ATM) by graduating it and dropping lower- and middle-income earners off the ATM completely.
- Instituting a Graduated Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax.
- A Federal Permanent Fund modeled after the Alaska Permanent fund to provide every American with an annual check based on the income from lease of federal assets: nothing in this Legislative Action Item should be construed as supporting the non-sustainable use of public assets.
- Enacting only trade agreements which provide for sufficient environmental, labor, legal and financial protections for the citizenry of every interested party involved in the agreement.
- Removing the Maximum Taxable Earnings Cap for Social Security taxes, taxing all incomes at the same rate to assure financial stability.
- Adopting a Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment that reflects the actual cost of living for retired and disabled people.
- Creating a Commission to determine the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the labor market and jobs.
- Creating either a cap-and-trade program or a carbon tax with dividend to recognize the need to reduce fossil fuel use to fight global warming.
- Since, a new minimum wage law should not need to be passed just to get the minimum wage back to what it was in 1968 or to provide small investors the same $3,000 cap on writing off losses against income that they had in 1986, every economic figure should be indexed for inflation.
- Breaking up monopolies, starting with barring Internet common carriers (i.e. Google, Facebook) from competing with businesses that use them.
- Supporting a commission to examine Reparations/The Racial Wealth Gap, with a focus on compensating for the discrimination in housing and mortgages that followed World War II.
Article IV. Labor and Workers’ Rights
All people have the right to organize to address common needs and interests in their work environment. The best means of growing the middle class is to invest in its people via the promotion of living wage jobs and businesses that support families and the community. We recognize the work unions do to increase wages and benefits for everyone and to win concrete improvements in their everyday lives.
- We support local small business, independent workers and unions.
- We support creation and funding of safety net programs, including worker retraining programs.
- We believe in collective bargaining and the right to organize. We defend the rights of workers to representation and self-representation through voluntary association. We support union contracts, union activities and union organizations.
- We recognize the contract that state and local entities made with public employees and support the funding and benefits of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) at the pre-2003 levels. We condemn any attempts to cut public employee benefits.
- We support legislation repealing all right to work laws while protecting collective bargaining and the right to organize without fear of reprisal, intimidation, termination or discrimination.
- We understand technology development and transition from a fossil fuel-based economy may cause some jobs to become obsolete. Recognizing that workers will be displaced, business and industry must provide job retraining and job replacement at a comparable or higher wage for those jobs being replaced.
- We recognize that all workers are entitled to participate in a fully funded pension program, in addition to Social Security.
- We believe employees must be paid livable wages or higher.
- We believe accrued paid-time off and vacation for terminated employees must be paid.
- We recognize the value of uncompensated housework and believe that those workers should be allowed to reap the same benefits, such as Social Security, as other workers.
Legislative Action Items
- We call for full funding and benefits of PERS at pre-2003 benefits levels.
- We call on the legislature to investigate the occurrence of wage theft, in all its forms, in the State and to enact legislation to end instances of wage theft.
- We support legislation requiring retraining of displaced workers. We call for state and federal legislation to provide transition plans as technology and innovation change the workplace.
- We call for the decriminalization of paid sexual acts between consenting adults and legislation allowing sex workers to organize.
- We call on Multnomah County and all cities that contract with any private company to require living wages and benefits to their employees and subcontractors.
- We demand that Multnomah County, all cities and school districts, including private schools accepting public tax money, within the county contract with local businesses and require livable or prevailing wages (whichever is higher) and benefits in the contracts for all workers.
- We call for the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act which greatly restricts the activities and power of labor unions.
Article V Infrastructure [NEW]
Infrastructure embodies the fundamental facilities and systems that allow the economy to function. As a society we have and continue to construct facilities and systems upon which our communities and people can thrive. The systems must allow for business growth and a strong economy and ultimately be designed by and for the benefit of local communities. Locally preferred alternatives chosen by the citizens who live in our communities are imperative. Strong infrastructure and the projects that create and maintain it are essential to a vibrant economy, peaceful living and environmentally effective communities.
- We support targeted investments in infrastructure to improve opportunities for small enterprises to grow.
- We support comprehensive capital improvements maintain, preserve, upgrade or replace infrastructure in compliance with the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Army Corps of Engineers assessments.
- We support projects that use local companies, workers, and materials in all phases of the projects and place small businesses on equal footing with larger companies when comparing services or products.
- New infrastructure investment must be spent on a multimodal inclusive transportation system focused on safety, efficiency, usage and environmentally friendly techniques.
- We support renovation and reuse and recycling of building materials
- We support the restoration of public works and infrastructure projects such as the WPA and New Deal.
- We believe without creating more plastic we should reform and reuse existing plastic in building materials.
- We support Environmental Policy Act that requires Environmental Impact Statements for all actions.
- We support the shift to local small agriculture since industrial conglomerates does not serve the health of the people or the environment.
- We support prioritization of clean renewable energy production and distribution.
Legislative Action Items 
- We support legislation to promote and implement high speed rail or other high-speed technology within Oregon and along the west coast to incorporate improved safe bike infrastructure and inter-city bus and rail systems.
- We oppose the construction of generative infrastructure that produces net positive carbon, end to end, life cycle emissions, including export of fossil fuels.
- We will actively work to prioritize the construction of renewable energy facilities or facilities that include carbon sequestration technology.
- We actively support the funding for electric vehicle infrastructure throughout Oregon, including credits at purchase.
- We support the restoration of public works and infrastructure projects like the WPA and such New Deal projects to provide every American with employment as necessary, including the Columbia River Crossing.
- We call upon our legislators to ensure continuation of 6-day door to door mail delivery for all businesses and residences, and reinstatement of service standards.
- We direct Multnomah County and the City of Portland to claim the air rights over the freeways in the public domain and develop parks and low and moderate-income housing over parts of them as described in the Central City Plan adopted in 1989, retaining the revenue from development in the public domain.
- We support continuing efforts to improve intra city transportation to address inequities and ineffectiveness in current system.
Article VI Natural Resources Protection and Recovery
Our shared natural resources, including the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we stand, are the lifeblood of our county and the Planet. The species and ecosystems that are sustained by these precious resources are now under serious threat due to human-induced global warming. Without protection and recovery of our shared natural resources, humanity will experience the destruction of its own habitat.
There are no economic or legal standards that prevent an economy from destroying the natural resources needed to sustain itself. Oregon can and must assert vital leadership on the global stage to inspire others to join us in the protection, preservation, and recovery of our planet’s natural resources by developing a body of law to protect the Rights of Nature.
- Instituting a body of law establishing the Rights of Nature to protect natural resources.
- Historic racism and systemic environmental injustice have consistently hurt Oregon’s (and the Planet’s) Tribes, communities of color, and the economically vulnerable first and worst. Future legislation and policy must correct this by creating a just transition to address climate change and protect the most vulnerable.
- We support creation of a binding climate test applied to all permits and public spending that includes financial accounting and reporting rules disclosing known liabilities attributed to risks from climate change impacting natural resources. This may be in the form of a new state environmental policy act.
- Legislation to mandate actions guided by best science is the only effective option to preserve, protect and recover critical natural resources.
- Oregon’s forests must be protected, restored and managed for public benefit (especially climate change) rather than short-term profit and employ climate resilient practices.
- Oregon’s living soil resources must be protected and restored to sequester carbon and improve food quality and production, minimizing and ultimately eliminating the use of pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers to protect our water, soil and health.
- Oregon’s agricultural communities must be incentivized to transition to local organic and regenerative farming and ranching practices.
- Oregon should establish itself as a global leader in waste reduction and recycling.
- Oregon must protect remaining wetlands to ensure habitat for migrating birds and other wildlife as well as providing crucial water storage.
- We oppose privatizing public water resources.
- We support providing incentives and mandates to speed up the adoption of advanced technology and infrastructure necessary for rapid transitioning to zero GHG emissions that is consistent with the best science.
- We support issuing State stop work orders against every carbon fuel infrastructure project regardless of permit status, justified by home rule principle.
- Oregon must protect public and environmental health from toxins from industry, agriculture and forestry.
Legislation Action Items
- Work with legislators to create a Declaration of the Rights of Nature to establish guiding principles for laws to protect our natural resources and require State agencies to modify practices accordingly.
- Support implementation of Portland Climate Energy Fund along with the passage of similar initiatives in other cities.
- Support passage of state legislation to reduce Oregon’s GHG emissions to net zero by 2050.
- Support legislation to engage DEQ to develop metrics for food crop security and study the likely impacts of climate change on Oregon’s fertile croplands.
- Support development and passage of a Forest Protection and Restoration Act that will:
- Eliminate clear-cut forestry on all publicly held and managed lands and maximize climate resilient management.
- Eliminate all tax incentives to industrial forests not employing climate resilient management practices that re-establish multi-species and multi-aged forests, including protecting riparian areas that will lower stream temperature for fish habitat, restore intact functioning watershed areas, reduce landslides, protect municipal water supplies, and restore floodplain functioning to Oregon’s rivers and streams. Maintain incentives and subsidize independent landholders who engage in these practices.
- Reduce forest surface area occupied by roads.
- Develop and implement treatments to restore healthy forest soils.
- Accelerate programs to reduce and eventually eliminate forest stream passage barriers in Oregon.
- Re-evaluate the property tax structure for Oregon’s commercial forests.
- Support development and passage of a Soils Protection Act that will incentivize a transition in Oregon’s agricultural sector from practices that compact or erode existing soil resources, mine soil organic matter and kill soil-borne biota, to restorative practices that reduce soil compaction and erosion, contribute organic material to soils, and re-establish and allow native soil biota to flourish.
- Support legislation to regulate industrial agricultural practices, such as combined animal feed operations, which are concentrated sources of air, water and ground pollution as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
- Support development and passage of waste reduction and recycling legislation that will:
- Ban non-recyclable materials and minimize packaging waste
- Incentivize technology and infrastructure to increase product reuse and recycling in Oregon, with the target of establishing a zero-waste society.
- Support development and passage of legislation to strengthen protections for wetlands and streams and prevent the privatization of public water resources.
- Support development and passage of legislation to provide mandates and incentives to:
- Expand public transportation systems
- Advance an early transition to electric and zero-emission vehicles
- Advance weatherization and structural improvements in existing buildings
- Support implementation of solar panels on residential and commercial buildings
- Advance new net-zero-energy buildings and methane-free new construction.
- Incentivize energy efficiency in Oregon’s major industries
- Improve tree canopy and rooftop plantings in all urban areas to reduce heat island effect and to include renewable electricity by 2040, carbon-free transportation, net zero carbon building codes by 2030
- Oregon should identify and clean-up all existing toxic waste sites, and work with our industrial, agricultural and forestry sectors to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of toxic chemicals.
- We support product stewardship programs for all products to encourage better life cycle management of consumer goods and potentially toxic items.
Article VII. Election Integrity and Legislative Accountability
Every citizen deserves full, transparent, meaningful and accountable representation at every level of government along with the fundamental, unencumbered right to vote. We vigorously support convenient, secure, and timely voter registration, casting, counting, and reporting of ballots. We support accountability for elected representatives through timely reporting of positions, and legislative rules that encourage bringing bills to legislative votes.
- We support national motor voter registration, automatic voter registration at age 18, and Federal policies that establish Vote-by-Mail using the United States Postal Service for all elections.
- We stand for the principle of one person, one vote and believe every vote in every state should be counted equally in every election. We support passage of the National Popular Vote across the nation and the abolition of the Electoral College.
- We believe that incarcerated citizens and those convicted of criminal or civil offenses should not lose their right to participate in elections and inform the civil discourse.
- We believe in federal support to improve election supervision and oversight of voting machine integrity. We support strengthening the Federal Elections Assistance Commission.
- We oppose gerrymandering and believe that district lines should be drawn logically and methodically by an independent, non-partisan Oregon citizen’s redistricting commission. We call for gerrymandering to be tracked and measured using Efficiency Gap, with discrepancies over 5% over the subsequent 8 years resulting in a redistricting review of the district or boundary in question.
- We oppose voter suppression and disenfranchisement in all its forms.
- We support the full immediate reinstatement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
- We support nationwide minimal standards for the security of all election systems that assure they are resistant to hacking, tampering, and fraud.
- We support clarification that all U.S. Citizens have the right to elect the office of President and Vice President.
- We believe that any voter roll purges must be carefully considered and controlled by an independent, nonpartisan citizen oversight commission and they must never be conducted right before an election.
- We support rules that encourage legislators to limit their bill submissions.
- We support regulated limits on political contributions.
- We believe in the absolute supremacy of democratic control by the governed and condemn mechanisms that undermine that principle. We demand full transparency of all state and local government and Democratic Party actions and officials.
- We support merit-based selection of judges by a non-partisan commission.
- We support the implementation of systems to create objective presidential debates managed by a non-partisan, non-profit entity.
- We demand the DCCC reverse its policies that hinder consultants from working for primary challengers to Democratic incumbents.
- We believe that no corporate entity may be assigned the rights of natural persons.
- We support the disclosure of any contributions to candidate campaigns that are large enough to suggest the appearance of conflict of interest if a person in that office were to participate in enacting legislation that could enhance the status of the contributor.
- While aware of the problem of dictatorship by the majority, we judge that the quorum requirements in the OR House and OR Senate are too high.
- We support making Election Day a state and national holiday
- We support the counting of our votes on fully voter-verifiable paper ballots, either by hand or by secure machines running open source certified software.
- We oppose the calling of a constitutional convention.
Legislative Action Items
- We demand campaign finance reform. We demand that 1) the state Attorney General challenge corporate personhood, and 2) state and federal legislators pass laws and a constitutional amendment that clarifies that corporations are not people and money is not speech. (HR48)
- We encourage voters to pass an Oregon constitutional amendment to allow the state to regulate political contributions and expenditures. We call for Oregon state legislation to set limits on contributions by individuals, PACS, corporations, and unions to candidates, candidate committees, political party committees and any other political committee.
- We call on the State of Oregon to allow all incarcerated citizens to vote and call for federal legislation to automatically restore voting rights of citizens during and after incarceration.
- We support Federal legislation to establish Vote by Mail for all federal Elections.
- We call for every state to audit all elections in conformance with federal minimum standards that meet specifications as iterated by including risk-limiting audits to a 95% confidence.
- We propose STAR Voting (Score Then Automatic Runoff) for Oregon statewide and local elections to effectively eliminate vote splitting and assure winners are supported by a majority of voters.
- We call for the creation of public funding of candidate campaigns in the State of Oregon.
- We support effective programs to assure all voters a fair and equal voice in elections, especially groups who are currently marginalized by our voting system, such as those deterred due to race, religion, political or cultural group, age, gender, or financial status, third parties, progressives, and non-affiliated voters (NAV). We encourage allowing NAVs to vote in Democratic Party primaries.
- We support granting full voting rights to citizens of Washington, D.C. and United States territories, and statehood to Puerto Rico upon their request.
- We demand the DCCC reverse it’s incumbent-protecting policy and call for the national Platform of the Democratic Party to explicitly support full suffrage for all eligible citizens, not only the right to vote but also the right to run for elected office.
- We demand our state legislature and Congress reintroduce the Fairness Doctrine.
- We support prohibiting campaign expenditures prior to one year before an election.
- We demand that the Oregon legislature pass and refer to voters a constitutional amendment to make the Oregon Senate and House quorum be a simple majority.
- We support continued promotion of essential elements of democratic elections as done by the Federal Elections Assistance Commission.
- We request that the citizens of Oregon collect the signatures necessary to have statewide vote to alter the Oregon Constitution to create a non-partisan commission which would draw Oregon and federal election district boundaries.
- We call on our legislators to enact legislation that will require the listing, in the voter’s pamphlets and other state-issued information and preferably on the ads, the five contributors to that campaign who supplied its five largest donations in excess of $500. If the donating entity received these funds from another party for the purpose of having them donated to political campaigns, then the originator of the funds must be listed even if the funds passed through multiple entities. There should be penalties for failure to accurately supply funding source information to the State sufficient to strongly discourage violations, including public listings of violators.
- We support legislation that requires paper ballots in all elections which are fully voter-verifiable, and on which no non-human-readable markings may be printed other than a barcode that contains only precinct identification, and that these ballots are either counted by hand or by software. If software is used, this legislation (1) guarantees the transparency and accuracy of any software used to count ballots in any election, that requires any such software to be open source and not be declared proprietary by its vendor, and that is available for public scrutiny and analysis. (2) requires the validity of the source code to be verified by qualified third parties independent of any political party or machine vendor and whose methods must be public, as must the results for each software build used to count ballots. (3) guarantees secure chains of custody so that there can be no modifications or patches to the code after its last complete certification and that the open source software presented to the public is precisely what was compiled by an uncorrupted compiler to produce the running object code,
Article VIII. Equity (NEW)
The right to be treated equally is an important precept upon which a free society thrives. This encourages positive interactions within a community and reduces conflict between segments of the population based on unequal treatment.
Equity vs equality
By changing the name of this group to equity from equality, we are supporting a better title to represent our goals within this group. Equality, in terms of social issues, has come to mean equal treatment for all. Equity, alternatively, recognizes that treating all groups the same does not create an equal outcome. When some groups are starting at a deficit, and others are starting out ahead, the groups starting at a deficit should not receive the same treatment, they should receive more attention than those starting ahead to make up for the deficit.
- We believe in human rights for all people and that they should be fully protected regardless of gender, race, national origin, creed, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
- We believe in an unabridged Bill of Rights, Equal Pay Act, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act and Affirmative Action.
- We believe that the rights adopted in the Civil Rights Amendments, (13th, 14th and 15th) should be protected.
- We believe in an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) supporting equal opportunity, equal pay, and equal protection under the law for all women.
- We believe that pay equity is critically important and that legitimate employment opportunities must be available for all in our society, regardless of gender, race, national origin, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
- We believe that all consenting adults should have an equal right to civil marriage.
- We support Roe v Wade, and a woman’s right to choose what is right for her own body.
Legislative Action Items
- Black Lives Matter. We call for legislation that provides meaningful protection for African American at all levels of the justice system as these citizens are bearing the brunt of the racism in America today.
- We call for proactive educational programs for all law enforcement personnel and for all local, city, county, and state government personnel to safeguard black lives and protect them from race-based law enforcement actions that far too often end in death.
- We demand equal pay for equal work for women from all employers in Multnomah County.
- We support proactive investigation into possible or potential discrimination in hiring, wage, or advancement opportunity.
- We support legislation repealing “Pink Taxes” and prohibiting companies from charging women more than men for similar products and services.
- We demand the reintroduction and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
- We demand legislation enacting DPO Resolution 2016-084: Regarding Transgender Healthcare into law.
- We support funding for transgender programs and services, as well as the establishment of a county commission for transgender issues.
- We call for inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity as federally protected classes that protect against discrimination, persecution, prosecution, and discrimination-enabling bathroom laws, religious freedom restoration acts, and First Amendment Defense Acts (FADAs) or Religion Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs).
- We demand the banning of gay and trans “panic” as viable defenses across the country.
- We support non-binary self-identification on ballots with binary equity goals.
- We call for a plan within the Democratic Party of Multnomah County and within the Democratic Party of Oregon for active recruitment of people of color in membership and leadership.
- We support permanent funding for rape kit processing. Currently rape kit processing relies on special grant money, allowing for rape kits to collect evidence only to sit in storage until funding allows for processing.
- We support legislation that helps to protect those who are sex trafficked and any legislation that focuses on capturing sex traffickers and customers.
- We support any legislation that supports paid maternity leave.
- We support legislation that supports better health care particularly for black pregnant women, as death rates are higher during birth in this population.
- We support legislation that supports the victims of domestic abuse.
- We support legislation that supports a change in social security laws that would capture the loss of social security benefits for women.
- We support legislation that focuses on sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Article IX. Justice
The criminal justice system should be reformed so that it operates fairly and equitably, while respecting the dignity and humanity of those interacting with the system.
We oppose a criminal justice system that discriminates against people of color and poor people, fails to recognize addiction as a public health issue, promotes mass incarceration and punishment instead of rehabilitation, militarizes the police, fails to meet the needs of individuals returning from incarceration, and fails to adequately fund services that help prevent crime.
We call on government to examine the system’s failings and provide laws and funding to prevent its problems.
- We support Community Policing, meaning that local police officers are assigned to a neighborhood in which they get to know its residents, its community groups, and its problems, and work to establish trust. This is particularly important where there has been a history of negative police interactions with and profiling of people of color, minority religious groups, and any other residents.
- We oppose asset forfeiture for anyone who has not been convicted or anyone not responsible for the crime. We oppose the use of asset forfeiture to enrich police departments.
- We support unarmed public safety support specialists, particularly in marginalized communities throughout Multnomah County. We also support non-police first response to low level situations involving mental and emotional health and substance abuse.
- We oppose secretive surveillance that intrudes on personal privacy and is used for crime detection.
- We will add a plank on police accountability (including follow-up on data requirements passed by the legislature, and courts not accepting unfounded fear as a justification for police killings, and probably some other points).
- All law enforcement should be adequately trained to emphasize non-violent methods to resolve conflict, de-escalate situations, and ensure compliance with safety.
- We support a military gear ban for local police.
- We believe no one should profit from the incarceration of others. Therefore, we oppose private prisons. We oppose exploitive systems for prisoner phone calls, video visits, and money transfers; communication with family, friends, and children should be encouraged and facilitated. Money bail should be eliminated because it discriminates against poor people and people of color, and we oppose excessive penalties and fees for inability to pay fines. We oppose involuntary servitude and profiting from prison labor.
- Public Defenders and their staff should have a manageable caseload and receive the same pay as Prosecutors and their staff, in order to be able to provide good legal representation for all indigent defendants.
- We believe police interrogations should be video recorded, in order to avoid intimidation, racial or gender discrimination, coercion, brutality, or any other illegal behavior.
- We support the latest scientifically validated methods used for non-suggestive eyewitness identification of suspects, including viewing photos sequentially and using an administrator who does not know who the suspect is.
- We oppose racially targeted policing, prosecutorial over-charging, coercive plea bargains, biased jury selection, and sentencing practices that result in a disproportional number of people of color and economically disadvantaged people being trapped in the criminal justice system.
- We oppose inhumane treatment of prisoners, including solitary confinement used for punishment, shackling of women during childbirth, and ignoring medical conditions needing attention. Appropriate accommodations should be made for elderly and people with disabilities who are incarcerated. We oppose inhumane living conditions for people detained for possible deportation.
- Our criminal justice system should shift from retribution to a restorative and rehabilitative system, including more access to programs for all, fair compensation for prisoner employment, shorter sentences, more access to sentence reduction, parole consideration for all, adequate medical and mental health care, and more family support opportunities. Oregon should consider the Norwegian model, which is less punitive, more rehabilitative, has shorter sentences, and less oppressive living conditions. A program of Restorative Justice encounters between victim and perpetrator should be initiated.
- We oppose mandatory minimum sentences. Judges should have discretion to apply sentences based on the unique circumstances of each defendant, crime and victim. All individuals sentenced to prison who demonstrate good behavior or whose behaviors can be safely managed in the community should be eligible for a reduction in sentence. We recognize that mandatory sentencing has disproportionally impacted poor people and people of color in our community.
- We believe drug addiction should be treated as a public health issue and managed in the community whenever possible, with more robust funding for treatment. All drug use and possession should be decriminalized, and distribution regulated.
- Juries should require unanimous verdicts in all felony cases in Oregon, as is required in every other state.
- We support funding to end violence against women and transgender individuals, and to stop human trafficking. Un-coerced sex work should not be criminalized.
- We support the strengthening of Oregon guns laws, in part to reduce suicide, homicide, and accidental shootings. We support universal background checks, gun owner licensing, gun registration, classes on gun safety and accuracy, safe storage, liability insurance, and risk assessments.
- We oppose the death penalty and Life without Parole sentences.
- We support more funding of programs that facilitate the integration of the previously incarcerated people into society. We oppose unnecessary discrimination in housing and in educational and job opportunities which unfairly burdens formerly incarcerated individuals.
- We support the 2019 Justice Reinvestment legislation, which focuses funding on often-underserved communities, such as people of color, rural residents, and Native Americans.
Legislative Action Items
- The voters of Oregon should abolish the Death Penalty.
- We call on the State Legislature to repeal all mandatory minimum sentencing in Oregon, substituting Guidelines in its place, and allowing judges’ discretion in all cases.
- We call on the State Legislature to pass pay equity legislation for Public Defenders and Prosecutors and their staffs.
- We call on Legislators to enact a law to allow individuals with a Measure 11 mandatory sentence to earn 10 percent “good time” to match the Federal standard.
- We call on the State Legislature to establish a “permit-to-purchase” system for firearms.
- We call on the Legislature to require registration of firearms.
- The Oregon Legislature should do away with cash bail, which discriminates against poor people and people of color.
- Legislation should be passed to require unanimous jury verdicts in all felony cases.
- We call on the Oregon Legislature to provide funding for assistance to formerly incarcerated individuals, for housing, jobs, job training, education, treatment, and any other needs.
- We call for the decriminalization of paid sexual acts between consenting adults and legislation allowing sex workers to organize.
- We support reparations for all descendants of all people held against their will as slaves and those who were incarcerated as a result of systemic bias and prejudice.
Article X Immigration
We value our nation’s diversity and recognize the contributions immigrants make to society. We welcome immigrants and refugees from all nations and economic circumstances, and we recognize the hardships people endure as the result of war, famine and climate change. We believe immigration policy should reflect our Constitutional values and repel xenophobic scare tactics, religious tests and racist decision making.
- Children of immigrants arriving at any U.S. border should not be separated from their parents. For those unaccompanied minors seeking asylum, the U.S. should respectfully care for them during their wait for a court hearing, and not imprison them while waiting.
- We believe corporate and land-owner interests have tacitly encouraged undocumented immigrants by relying on their labor for decades. Those exploited, tax-paying workers, their families and other undocumented workers should have a path to legal residence and eventual citizenship.
- The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program should be expanded, implemented and made a permanent part of Immigration Policy.
- We believe the wage exploitation of undocumented workers drives down wages and degrades working conditions for all workers.
- The immigration process should be humane, racially equitable, predictable, and transparent and provide a path to legal residence and eventual citizenship.
- Immigration policy, historically adopted to restrict or deport racially identified groups, should be free of racial disparity, xenophobia bias and religious tests. Neither arriving immigrants nor undocumented residents should be incarcerated or summarily deported without a judge-signed warrant or individual judicial order. Deportation of undocumented residents should incorporate adequate due process and not result from petty crimes.
- No aspect of immigrant relations or regulation should be privatized or operated for profit. For-profit businesses should not be involved in transfer, care or detention of arriving immigrants or undocumented residents.
- We adamantly assert constitutional provisions granting citizenship for people born in the United States to immigrant parents should not be repealed.
- We believe residents of the United States should get access to education, social services, healthcare, and drivers licenses regardless of immigration status. Requiring immigration documentation for these benefits enables exploitation, creating an underclass.
- End criminalization of efforts to help immigrants and undocumented residents.
- We believe border security should be reasonable, humane, and cost-effective. Large walls and fences, para-military law enforcement, and draconian searches do more harm than good, and no one should lose their life seeking a better life.
- We believe state and local government workers should not enforce Federal immigration laws. People should feel free to approach local government agencies for help regardless of their immigration status. Jurisdictions that protect undocumented immigrants from unjust enforcement of unjust policy should not be deprived of funding based on that protection.
- We oppose banning travel based on religion or ethnicity.
- We believe refugees should be welcomed and treated in accordance with International Law.
Legislative Action Items
- Immigration Policy should define care as providing food, beds, humane and sanitary conditions, medical care, education and recreation. We must seek to understand what is causing children to die in concentration camps at our border and intervene quickly.
- We direct the Federal government to review, regulate, and enforce the guest worker program in order to protect worker rights and the health of local economies. The State and Federal governments should regulate industries to prevent exploitation of the undocumented status of workers.
- We direct our federal government to end privatized holding of immigrants.
- We call on the State and local governments of Oregon to adopt policies that protect immigrants from unlawful enforcement of immigration laws. In addition, we call on the institutions to not participate in the enforcement of Federal immigration laws.
- We call on our State and Federal government officials to oppose laws and legislation that bans immigrants and refugees based on religion, race, sexual orientation, gender-identity, or national origin.
- We call on every member of the Oregon Congressional delegation to co-sponsor and actively work for the passage of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
- We call on the Oregon Congressional delegation to pass legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the United States.
- The Judicial Branch should fund sufficient legal judicial structure to handle the refugee caseload to provide judgement in 30 days.
- We call on every member of the Oregon Congressional delegation to co-sponsor and actively work for Senate passage of Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act (H.R. 3239).
Article XI Abuse of Power [NEW]
The Oregon Constitution declares “All power is inherent in the people.” We delegate specific powers to our local, State, and Federal governments founded on the people’s authority, to fulfill our purposes. Abuse of that power has been common in our State and National history, at the highest cost to those of us whose equal rights are still not recognized by all. Many have been forced to leave their land, to work without pay, or have been imprisoned or deported without just cause. Our governments have allowed corporate exploitation to threaten our peace, safety, and happiness, an abuse of the power to regulate business in the public interest. We hold government accountable for abusing power and we value our right to change, reform or abolish government when we see fit.
- We support governmental protection of natural systems that we living creatures are evolved to depend on, by adequate regulation of corporations. We oppose regulatory exceptions that prioritize private profit above public good.
- We oppose the death penalty for any crime, because it makes murderers of us all, because it does not deter crime, because it is cruel and unusual punishment, and because our courts have allowed racially disparate death sentencing.
- We oppose war and genocide.
- Detaining and deporting civilians, refusing to recognize refugees or asylum seekers is an abuse of power that we oppose.
- We oppose the use of military resources and/or economic sanctions to interfere in the internal or external affairs of other nations.
- We oppose the use of military and psychological warfare, especially torture, against people of any nation.
- Every person deserves equal protection from the abuse of power inherent in the power structures of the military and law enforcement and through the power inherent in employee/employer relationships including massive income inequality.
- No unarmed person should lose their life because a law enforcement officer mistakenly fears for their life. Irrational fear is not defensible as a rationalization for killing an unarmed person.
- We support strong, independent and enforceable oversight and transparency to deter disparate treatment and to hold government accountable for employees’ unjust actions, including when associated with cultural or racial diversity.
- We expect all school district personnel to treat students equitably, with respect, understanding, and support for their learning. Recognizing differences in cultural and racial backgrounds presents new opportunities for improving school and teacher curriculum and planning and reducing disparate treatment of students. Inequitable treatment harms students, especially when repetitive or when students are suspended and excluded from school.
- We oppose exclusion of individuals from public places by law enforcement officers based on racial profiling that disproportionately deprives non-dominant members of our society from exercising their rights and autonomy.
- We oppose monetary incentives for private prisons and law enforcement actions. Since the 1980s, high rates of conviction for newly created drug crimes combined with disparately long sentencing of African Americans relative to Whites convicted of such crimes led to private prisons. The federal government monetarily incentivized local law enforcement to focus on drug crimes. While enforcement of white collar and corporate crime diminished, this flagrant abuse of power, combined with misguided and misplaced valuation of community impacts of various crimes, encouraged racist repression and social damage especially to African Americans and our communities.
- We oppose militarized law enforcement in our communities. It is less effective for peacekeeping goals.
- We oppose use of digital surveillance of people, such as facial recognition and voice identification. Use of similar tools for investigative use must be severely constrained and allowed only when reasonable suspicion of a crime exists.
- We oppose legislative criminalization of civil protest and investigative reporting, and physical suppression of protestors by law enforcement officers.
- We oppose physical restraints used to harm or humiliate captives and lawful prisoners, such as during childbirth.
- We oppose financial exploitation of accused and convicted prisoners through private operation of prisons.
- Elected officials should lose their positions immediately upon threatening physically violent actions by militant associates or themselves (as State Senator Boquist did in June 2019).
- Voter suppression is abuse of power.
Legislative Action Items
- Require our State and National elected officials to prevent, halt, and restore damage to environmental systems that biologically support life and that provide other human values we hold in common, by adequate regulation of corporations that exploit people and natural systems.
- Work to end the interference of U.S. corporations in affairs of other nations, such as exploitation of resources and labor in Central America (Resolution 2019-____ Venezuela).
- Advocate to strengthen censure of POTUS for engaging in military action absent Congress’ declaration of war to defend the U.S. against a specific aggressor.
- We advocate ending policies that make use of force against people part of government process, whether victims are citizens or not.
- Support efforts to stipulate that Corporations are Not People and Money is Not speech.
- Support independence for the position of Oregon Public Records Advocate.
- Advocate in local, State, and Federal government to curtail digital surveillance and severely constrain similar digital tools used in investigations. Support transparency about pseudo-scientific claims for accuracy and benefits of surveillance technology.
- Respond to drug addiction with treatment not imprisonment.
Article XII Media [NEW]
The role of Media in American politics is to provide accurate and relevant information that the public needs to perform its function of governance in a democracy. Where applicable, the following planks would apply to print, broadcast, and social media using public networks.
- We support legislation to promote independent media, free from corporate or government interference.
- We support mechanisms to address hate speech and factual inaccuracies.
- We believe in factually based statements in political campaigns and legislative sessions.
- We support an independent federally funded investigative watchdog agency to monitor and report on social media interactions for potential criminality.
Legislative Action Items
- We support diversity in media ownership, and the prevention or breakup of media monopolies and dominant conglomerates, whether those span different media markets or span different media within a market.
- We support the creation of a non-partisan state office charged with responding to requests for fact-checking, including statements made during political campaigns or in legislative session. This office would also call out use of misleading statements and terminology. Challenges will need to be addressed to assure multi-party oversight, protection from political interference, and the inclusion of dissenting research. University participation and stable non-governmental financing will be encouraged.
- We support existing and future legislation to identify hate speech and procedures for countering it when identified. We support research to develop improved methods for identification and effective counter measures.
- We support the adoption of policies to require broadcasters using the publicly owned electromagnetic spectrum to provide opportunities for response to paid political advertisements. We also support the investigation of extending this to social media such as Facebook and YouTube.
- We support the full funding of Public Broadcasting stations and networks, possibly supplemented by small donations from the public, to eliminate the inhibition of investigative reporting of sponsoring entities. We support the development of ways to assure stable funding well-protected from political interference.
- We support the creation of a state fund to compensate any media for loss of sponsorship demonstrably linked to investigative reporting on political actors or corporate sponsors. This funding shall be sufficient to discourage advertisers under instigation from dropping sponsorship.
- We support the Society of Professional Journalists and Radio and Television Digital News Association Codes of Ethics and the Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters and the call upon them to abide by them.
- We need comprehensive net neutral public utility to provide state of the art internet access to inform and reach end users and power grids that provide service to individual and multiple utility.
Article XIII Tribal Sovereignty [NEW]
Nine sovereign, tribal nations are situated within the borders of Oregon with nearly six hundred within the United States. The Native American Rights Fund states, Tribal sovereignty pre-dates the existence of the United States of America; and the United States recognizes tribal sovereignty in treaties, acts of Congress, Executive Orders, and court case law. Tribal nations are neither a special interest group nor a subset of counties. The Portland Metropolitan area is recognized as the ninth-largest community of indigenous people in the United States representing 380 tribal nations.
- We believe in the sovereignty, self-determination, and self-governance of all tribal nations in the United States.
- We believe in the moral imperative of the United States to fulfill its legally enforceable fiduciary obligation with great care and diligence with regard to health care and education for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.
- We believe in the right to housing that conforms with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- We believe all governmental entities are obligated to determine the extent of racial disparities associated with indigenous veterans and to implement measures to close these disparities in housing, education, healthcare, and mental-health services.
- We believe environmental justice demands policies that protect tribal members and their subsistence way of life from the detrimental effects of climate change such as those impacting salmon and other First Foods
- We believe that all students benefit from an introductory course in Native American studies before graduation throughout the state system of higher education and that all city, state, and county employees benefit from a cultural capacity training on American Indian and Alaska Native people.
- We believe in protecting and promoting tribal languages through the education system.
- We believe school mascots and team names should not be based on Native American stereotypes, images, or tribes and, while elimination of such names is being pursued, teams should be identified only by their school names.
- We believe public officials and agencies must reduce the high percentage of Indian families who are broken up by the removal, often unwarranted, of their children by non-tribal, public, and private agencies and the high percentage of such children who are placed in non-Indian foster and adoptive homes and institutions.
- We believe in the beneficial effects of programs that allow for and promote communication between incarcerated Native Americans and their family members –a practice which reduces recidivism in a system where racial disproportionality must be eliminated.
Legislative Action Items
- We support legislation that mandate enough funding and other resources to comply with the Indian Child Welfare Act.
- We support legislation requiring State courts to honor orders from tribal courts, keep Native children with their families and tribal nations, except in the cases where endangered, and to maintain enough safe, culturally responsive Native homes where Native children are valued and be placed.
- We support legislation to fully fund the implementation of HB including 2625 which “directs Department of State Police to study how to increase and improve criminal justice resources relating to missing and murdered Native American women in Oregon….”, including the deployment of teams of investigators to respond to each murder and disappearance.
- We support legislation that mandates that every State official work with Tribal nations to close jurisdictional gaps in law enforcement on reservations and to consult our treaties to ensure proactive compliance with sacred obligations and trust enshrined in them.
Article XIII Oregon’s Anti-Black Foundations [NEW]
Oregon, from its inception, was made to be a white only state with a focus on expressed exclusion of Black people. To move forward toward a more equitable state, we must confront Oregon’s unique anti-Black history and culture at all levels. Oregon has a unique Anti-Black history that will require a multifaceted approach.
- We support strengthening Oregon’s legislative Racial Impact Statement.
- We urge the Democratic Party to work towards having leadership and officer racial demographics to be a reflective representation of populations in Oregon.
- We support efforts to commit financial as well as talent resources for outreach to Black Oregonians in order to shrink and eliminate disparity gaps.
- We are concerned about the isolation and displacement of Black Oregonians throughout the state.
- We urge there be more holistic and accurate education on Oregon’s true racial, anti-Black exclusionary history.
Legislative Action Items
- We support mandatory inclusion of Racial Impact Statements on all proposed legislation.
- We support allocation of funds to address disparities exposed by Racial Impact Statements.
- We call upon the state of Oregon to tackle issues closing disparity gaps in education, health care, social services, employment and other issues in which Black Oregonians are under-represented and underserved.
- We call for legislation rectifying the over-representation of Black Oregonians in the prison systems.
- We recommend that any legislation that constricts licensing of any kind or further penalizes criminal convictions have a Racial Impact Statement analysis.
- We recommend that Oregon revise its education concerning the history of enslavement and civil rights in the United States and in Oregon.
The 2020 Legislative Action Items were adopted at the 2020 Platform Convention held at PAT on November 23 by the following Democrats in attendance.