Joel Barker

The Chair’s comments opening September 2020 Central Committee


We are experiencing what may seem like a nuclear endtimes.  Our friends and families suffer from smoke and or fire while we have:

A President incapable of empathy, truth or leading this nation

A smoke filled city and county with friends and family at risk.  The result of climate change and resulting fires has caused our Governor and Mayor to declare a state of emergency.

A city with citizens willing to stand up for freedom from government overreach, for freedom of speech and for black lives matter and against police brutality.

A pandemic and an economic disaster

Feelings, created by President Trump’s failure to lead, of distress, mistrust, anger, and overwhelm.

TOGETHER, we must and will create hope through action.  We will Get Out The Vote and elect our Democratic neighbors that are running to make us better.

This week we have had in depth conversations about:

Sexual harassment 

Slate cards and neighborhood leaders


Contract with Black America

$2000 Now and PDX Basic Income

Legislative and platform alignment

Among other issues of justice and elections

And we are planning for 3 BIG EVENTS that require your participation:

  • The November 3rd Election and GOTV in 54 days
  • Our slate card program and GOTV

All of the activities are designed by volunteers whom we should thank often for the benefit of all of us.  Please participate in the FUN and the important work of electing our good Democratic neighbors and Shemia Fagan (SOS) and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on November 3rd, 2020. 

Our country depends on YOU!

Multnomah Democrats: Reading Group- Anti-racist Focus: 2020-2021

Organizing meetingMonday, September 14, 2020, 4:00 PM,  RSVP to to get ZOOM invite.

   Convener:  Dannelle D. Stevens, PCP and Neighborhood Leader, District 41

   Objectives: Bring calendars to set regular monthly meetings for now…

                              October, November, December

                       Peruse this book list from Ibram X. Kendi’s Atlantic magazine article. Listed below.

                       Be ready to decide on first three books for October, November, December

Books recommended by Ibram X. Kendi and Georganne Wingerson           

Georganne Wingerson recommends Rising Out of Hatred, The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by local author Eli Saslow.  There are some fascinating videos of author and subject done after the book was written that are worth viewing.  I wouldn’t put it first (written by a white about a white), but a fascinating history and read.

Ibrahim’s recommended books

Central Committee September 10, 2020 Zoom Meeting for PCPs RSVP for Details

September 2020 Central Committee Meeting Thursday 10 September

The Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County meets

Thursday, September 10, 2020


RSVP HERE for details

Without the endorsement process we went through in August, this will be a very different meeting!

The meeting convenes at 6:30 and is called to order at 7.

The meeting is open to members of the Central Committee (PCP’s)

You must RSVP for the CC meeting above.

Our schedule is as follows:

6:30 PM Registration and Sign In to be credentialed. There will be no break out rooms.

7:00 PM Business Meeting

Meet Our Democratic Candidates

Please read and be prepared to vote on the question:

Shall the Democratic Party of Multnomah County endorse this Contract with Black America

PCP Appointments. Meet the candidates for appointment to fill PCP vacancies. The CC votes to accept or reject these candidates.

9:00 PM Scheduled end of Business Meeting

The CC working agenda

Precinct Committee Persons are The Central Committee

Our action determines elections. We need to not just affect the critical national elections but work for candidates who can overcome the anti-democratic Republican Walkouts here in Oregon. Local and national: there is volunteer action that suits you. We can help connect you. Visit to find out.

There remain vacant PCP positions across the county. Invite Democrats to join us! Apply to fill vacant positions here.

Regular monthly donations to the Party support all the things we do to work locally for our communities.

Oh wait, did you say you wanted lawn signs?

Our own Lisa Dorn has designed our Oregons for Biden Harris lawn signs. Order now to get in on the first batch arriving September 12! Biden Harris Bumper stickers and MultDems shirts, too!

Thank you for everything you do.


Lurelle Robbins, Chair

The Democratic Party of Multnomah County

The Democratic Party of Multnomah County strives to be welcoming and accessible to all. If you or someone you know require ADA or any other accommodations to attend one of our events please contact us to tell us how to make your attendance possible.

“Governor, to help keep the pandemic under control, we ask you to release all those prisoners that do not threaten public safety.”

Contact the Governor: Safety in Oregon Prisons During the Pandemic

Help free those threatened by COVID.

Support our Resolution 2020–8 Safety in Oregon Prisons During Pandemic 

“Governor, to help keep the pandemic under control, we ask you to release all those prisoners that do not threaten public safety.”

Help bring about prisoner safety called for in the Resolution overwhelmingly passed on June 11 by MultDems Central Committee.

Please write and mail a postcard to Governor Brown or send a message through the form on her website.

Key points to cover

  • Thank you for protecting Oregon residents during the pandemic.
  • Oregon prisoners not safe because social distancing in Oregon prisons requires early release of  about 5700 prisoners.
  • The scheduled release of 400 who will finish their sentences within the next 2 months is good, but inadequate.
  • Many prisoners can be released without jeopardizing public safety.
  • Here are top categories to consider for early release:
    • People whose sentence will end within next 6 months
    • Elderly and disabled
    • People convicted of non-violent crimes
    • Those in danger of COVID due to medical conditions
  • Prisoners with mandatory sentences, who otherwise would be eligible for early release, should be furloughed until pandemic ends.

Post to 

Mail to

Governor Kate Brown
Office of the Governor
900 Court Street NE, Suite 254
Salem, OR 97301-4047 

Additional Information

Governor Brown did decide in June to release 57 medically endangered prisoners. But this of course had no safety effect on the rest of the approximately 14,500 Oregon prisoners, since, according to the Oregon Department of Corrections, it would take release of about 5,700 to allow for real social distancing in our 14 prisons. DOC can do only so much to keep the current environment safe. 

One prisoner died in May, and 4 more died in August. There have been at least 636 cases of coronavirus, and at least 185 prison staff have tested positive for the virus.

Finally in late August the Governor has decided to allow early release of 350-400 more prisoners, mainly about half of the individuals who are scheduled to be released anyway within the next two months, with irrational criteria used to select who is eligible. It is not based on either community safety or housing available for the released individual.

Even if you already lobbied the Governor on this, do it again, so that she will know that releasing 400 more will not be sufficient.

MultDems Statement on violence and protest "We join with Black leaders in condemning the violence of agitators who claim they are committing violent acts in BLM's name. It does not serve Democracy or the causes of justice."

Multnomah Democrats statement on violence and protest

We support the work of the Black Lives Matter movement and its mission of re-imagining police and ending systemic racism. 

We join with Black leaders in condemning the violence of agitators who claim they are committing violent acts in BLM’s name. It does not serve Democracy or the causes of justice. 

We condemn both the police over-reaction and the right wing violence in our community, both of which have gone ignored for years, damaging our communities.

We wholeheartedly support and unanimously endorsed the ballot measure to change how the Portland Police Bureau is held accountable.

Rep. Defazio chained to a USPS mailbox.

The Case of the Missing Mailboxes

Last week, Democrats sounded the alarm about the apparent attempts by the Trump Administration and the USPS to cut back on staffing, hours and accessibility ahead of the November elections. Willamette Week confirmed that mail boxes were being removed around the state. By August 18th, the US Postmaster announced that cutback plans were suspended until after the election. We recommend that all Democrats and voters complete and mail (or drop off at an official drop box) their ballots well ahead of November 3rd, to ensure that they are counted! Oregon is one of few states allowing voters to track their ballots. And, the Election Integrity Study Group will be our local watchdog in November.

Multnomah Democrats 2020 Ballot Measure Endorsements

At the August 13 meeting of the Multnomah Democrats Central Committee, the Endorsement Task Force chaired by Jason Allen, submitted 10 Measures with Recommendations for Adoption. Each of the proposed ten Party endorsements were discussed, and votes were taken to Endorse, Don’t Endorse or Take No Position.

Note: All of the following have Central Committee acceptance with one exception – the Central Committee took “No Position” on 5 “Yes for a Healthy Future,” tobacco tax increase. 

1. Universal Preschool Now 

EDF Recommendation: Endorse.

MultDems Endorses UNANIMOUSLY.

Universal preschool addresses a fundamental social inequality by ensuring all children begin their educational and social educational experience with a guaranteed a strong foundation.. Multnomah County can join other communities across the nation, including Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago who extend this right to all young children.

Preschool for All

2.  2020 Portland Public School Bond Renewal  

EDF Recommendation: Endorse.

MultDems Endorses.

As stated by the School Board, “Every student in the district is going to benefit from the investments that we’re making in technology, in updated textbooks, in the culturally relevant curriculum and increased building accessibility for students, staff and families…” The $1.2 billion bond will include funds to renovate Jefferson High School and finish modernizing Benson High School.

Portland Public School Renewal

3.  Strengthen Our Libraries  

EDF Recommendation: Endorse.

MultDems Endorses.

Significant deficiencies exist in our library system now. This measure will enlarge and modernize eight county libraries across the area.  The East County will get the flagship – comparable to the downtown Central Library – that it has long been needed. Seven branches will be built, expanded or renovated – Albina, Belmont, Holgate, Midland, North Portland, Northwest, and St. Johns. All libraries will have gigabit speed internet.

Multnomah County Ballot Measure 26-211

4. Let’s Get Moving – Metro Transport Measure  

EDF Recommendation: Endorse.

MultDems Endorses.

Investments generated by this measure will significantly improve safety for everyone on all neighborhoods.  It will be easier to get around. Communities of color will be protected from further displacement. The measure provides opportunities for economic growth, improvements to foster healthy ecosystems with clean air and water, and greater resiliency from disasters and emergencies.

Let’s Get Moving

5. Yes for a Healthy Future – Increased Taxes on tobacco and other nicotine delivery systems such as e-cigarettes. 

EDF Recommendation: Endorse.


After administrative and enforcement maintenance costs, remaining revenue would be dedicated to the Oregon Health Authority for medical and healthcare-assistance programs, including mental health services, tribal health providers, including Urban Indian Health Program, and other programs concerning tobacco and nicotine health issues.

Yes for a Healthy Future

6. Yes for Fair and Honest Elections

EDF Recommendation: Endorse.

MultDems Endorses.

Oregon is one of five states with no limits on campaign contributions. Committees are not currently required by Oregon law to include disclaimers stating who paid for a communication or advertisement, but they may do so by choice. This will to authorize the state legislature and local governments to enact laws and ordinances to limit political campaign contributions or other contributions that could influence the outcome of an election without impeding candidates or political committees from obtaining resources necessary for to run a campaign or advocate for an issue; limit political campaign expenditures or expenditures that influence the outcome of any election to the extent permitted under the Constitution of the United States; require disclosure of contributions and expenditures; and require that political advertisements identify the people or entities that paid for them.

Ballot Measure 107

7. Police Oversight Charter Change 

EDF Recommendation: Endorse.

MultDems Endorses UNANIMOUSLY

The mission of the City of Portland Community Police Oversight Board (Board) is to independently investigate Portland Police Bureau sworn employees and supervisors thereof promptly, fairly, and impartially, to impose discipline as determined appropriate by the Board, and to make recommendations regarding police practices, policies and directives to the Portland Police Bureau and with a primary focus on community concerns A Board is hereby authorized and it shall comply with any legal obligations the City may have under the Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act, other state and federal laws, and upon adoption by City Council of an implementing Ordinance . 

Police Oversight Charter Change

8. Drug Addiction and Recovery Act

EDF Recommendation: Endorse.

MultDems Endorses.

The measure would reclassify personal/non-commercial drug possession offenses. Possession of a controlled substance such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines, would be reclassified from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E violation resulting in a $100 fine or a completed health assessment. Individuals who manufacture or distribute illegal drugs would still be subject to a criminal penalty. The health assessments would be conducted through addiction recovery centers and include a substance use disorder screening by a certified alcohol and drug counselor. Health assessments must be completed within 45 days of the violation.

Oregon Measure 110

9. Oregon Psilocybin Services Program

EDF Recommendation: Endorse.

MultDems Endorses.

This would establish a Psilocybin Services Program, which would manage, regulate, and enforce policies related to the licensure, production, sales, and purchase of products containing psilocybin. The authority would also keep informed about emerging research, clinical trials, and public policies to consider their impact on the program’s rules and guidelines.

10. Decriminalize Natural Psychedelics in Portland – Psilocybin Service Initiative  

EDF Recommendation: Endorse.

MultDems Endorses.

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms. The program established under this measure will allow for the licensed production and distribution of qualified and licensed individuals, and the dispensing of this substance to consumers by qualified and licensed individuals.

The Psilocybin Service Initiative of Oregon

Social Shares

Multnomah Democrats Join DNC Council on the Environment & Climate Crisis

DNC Environment and Climate Crisis Council: MultDems join the voices in support

The Multnomah County Democrats have been added to the growing list of Democratic, NGO, faith, and Indigenous organizations that are voicing their support for the bold recommendations of the DNC Environment and Climate Crisis Council.

The DNC Environment and Climate Crisis Council, a permanent entity of the DNC, was established to push the Democratic Party to take bold and urgent action addressing the climate crisis and other environmental issues. The council is recommending a sweeping set of policies for inclusion in the new four year 2020 Democratic Party platform, which will be approved at the August convention.

MultDems statement of support:

The Multnomah County Democratic Central Committee passed Res: 2019-24 declaring a Climate Emergency on Sept. 12, 2019.

The Multnomah County Democrats support the recommendations of the DNC ECCC, which are commensurate with the enormity of the Climate Emergency we face.

#DemPlatform2020 #DNCClimate

MultDems pass Resolution 2020-11 Police Brutality and the Criminal Justice System

Multnomah Democrats pass resolution calling for structural changes to policing to end police brutality

At the Central Committee Meeting on July 9, 2020, the Multnomah County Democrats passed this resolution.

Read and download the full text

Multnomah County Democratic Central Committee

Resolution: 2020 –11 Police Brutality and the Criminal Justice System

WHEREAS We affirm our support for the recent amendments to the City of Portland’s fiscal year 2020-2021 budget, which divests a total of $15 million from the Portland Police Bureau,

WHEREAS Efforts to address police malfeasance and brutality have been ongoing for decades, with limited success, 

WHEREAS Reimagining policing and in some cases, scaling back police departments is necessary,

WHEREAS According to the Sentencing Project, Black American men are six times as likely to be incarcerated as white men, Black Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to face stiff sentences,

WHEREAS Incarceration, cash bail, and fines generate incomes for suppliers of the prison system, corrections officers, wardens, local municipalities, and private corporations that rely on prisoner labor, 

WHEREAS Article 9, plank three of the 2018 Democratic Party of Oregon Platform states, “We believe no one should profit from criminal incarceration which creates perverse incentives to underserve inmate populations and results in increased recidivism rates,”

WHEREAS Article VII (Justice), Plank 14 of the 2020 Democratic Party of Multnomah County Platform states, “We oppose private prisons. We believe no one should profit from the incarceration of others and decisions about prisoner conditions should not depend on the decision makers’ profit,” 

WHEREAS the medical and mental health professions exist within a system of white supremacy, and anti-Black practices within those professions have contributed to deep historical and ongoing trauma in the Black community.  


SECTION 1. Of the $4.8 million reallocated to Portland Street Response from defunding specialty units in the Portland Police Bureau, a certain amount of those monies must be earmarked for establishing and improving anti-racist training as a job-embedded, permanent workplace requirement for all Portland Street Response staff.

SECTION 2. Financial compensation awarded from lawsuits against law enforcement officers and agencies for wrongful death, serious injury, and civil rights violations stemming from police malpractice should come out of the pension funds of the law enforcement agency in question, and not out of municipal budgets. 

SECTION 3. The legal doctrine of Qualified Immunity for law enforcement officers must be eliminated.

SECTION 4.  Oregon law enforcement officers should be stripped of military equipment and weaponry and Oregon law enforcement agencies must be forbidden from participating in the so-called 1033 Program and other schemes that provide police with military equipment. 

SECTION 5. Oregon law enforcement agencies should be forbidden from participating in schemes that provide financial incentives for officers or departments based on arrest- or conviction-based quotas.

SECTION 6. We urge all employees of our justice system, as well as public servants and employees of our government at all levels, to engage with activists demonstrating in streets across America for Black lives, and to work together to enact substantive policy changes aimed at disentangling anti-Blackness from American institutions.   

ADOPTED ON July 9, 2020

Resolution submitted by Platform, Resolution and Legislative Committee and Quinton Blanton, Anti Blackness Study Group

For More Information, See

Resolution pertains to the city of Portland’s fiscal year 2020-2021 budget, policing, and the criminal justice system

Send to the following legislators: All Multnomah County elected officials, as well as all state officials, Commissioner Joann Hardesty, Commissioner Amanda Fritz, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, Mayor Ted Wheeler, Governor Kate Brown, Congressman Earl Blumeneaur, Senator Jeff Merkley, and Senator Ron Wyden

New Resolution 2020-12 2020‌ ‌–‌ ‌12‌ ‌Accountability‌ ‌for‌ ‌Unemployment‌ ‌Compensation‌ ‌

Multnomah Democrats pass resolution calling for accountability in Oregon’s unemployment insurance compensation

At the Central Committee Meeting on July 9, 2020, the Multnomah County Democrats passed this resolution.

Multnomah‌ ‌County‌ ‌Democratic‌ ‌Central‌ ‌Committee‌

Resolution:‌ ‌2020‌ ‌–‌ ‌12‌ ‌Accountability‌ ‌for‌ ‌Unemployment‌ ‌Compensation‌

Whereas‌ ‌‌the‌ ‌continued‌ ‌delays‌ ‌in‌ ‌processing‌ ‌of‌ ‌Unemployment‌ ‌Insurance‌ ‌(UI)‌ ‌assistance‌ ‌has‌ ‌exceeded‌ ‌100‌ ‌days,‌ ‌

Whereas‌ ‌‌at the present time nearly 70,000 ‌Oregonians‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌denied‌ ‌the‌ ‌right‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌timely‌ ‌review‌ ‌of‌ ‌their‌ ‌UI‌ ‌applications,‌ ‌

Whereas‌ ‌‌those‌ ‌same‌ out-of-work ‌Oregonians‌ ‌face‌ ‌dire‌ ‌economic‌ ‌hardship,‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌their‌ ‌denial‌ ‌of‌ ‌rightful‌ financial‌ ‌support‌ ‌as‌ ‌guaranteed‌ ‌by‌ ‌state‌ ‌law,‌ ‌

Whereas‌‌ ‌Governor‌ ‌Brown’s‌ ‌limited‌ ‌action‌ ‌toward Department restructuring has‌ ‌not‌ ‌gone‌ ‌far‌ ‌enough‌ ‌to‌ ‌resolve‌ ‌the‌ ‌ongoing‌ ‌crisis‌ ‌at‌ ‌Oregon‌ ‌Employment‌ ‌Department‌ ‌(OED),‌

Whereas Speaker Kotek’s one-time $500 Emergency Relief proposal is a much-needed step toward financial relief but is ultimately insufficient to the mounting financial desperation of unemployed Oregonians,

Whereas Senator Wyden’s American Workforce Rescue Act is a bold step to redefine the Unemployment Crisis, but will not take effect until August 2020 at the earliest,

Whereas‌‌ ‌OED’s‌ ‌failures‌ ‌are‌ ‌in‌ ‌violation‌ ‌of‌ the ‌Basic‌ ‌Rights,‌ ‌Economy‌ ‌and‌ ‌Equity‌ ‌Articles‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Multnomah‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌2020‌ ‌Platform,‌ ‌

Now‌ ‌therefore‌ ‌the‌ ‌Democratic‌ ‌Party‌ ‌of‌ ‌Multnomah‌ ‌County‌ ‌resolves‌ ‌that,‌ ‌

‌Immediate‌ ‌action‌ ‌and‌ ‌accountability‌ ‌is‌ ‌required‌ ‌at‌ ‌OED‌ ‌to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌that:‌ ‌

‌(1)‌ ‌the‌ ‌current pace‌ ‌of‌ ‌processing‌ ‌of‌ ‌UI‌ ‌applications‌ ‌improves‌ ‌significantly,‌ with restructuring of department staff and additions from agencies such as Department of Administrative Services to assist with processing,

‌(2)‌ all ‌Oregonians‌ ‌who‌ ‌have‌ ‌filed‌ ‌for‌ ‌benefits‌ ‌with‌ ‌OED‌ ‌prior to and during ‌the‌ ‌COVID-19‌ ‌pandemic‌ ‌emergency‌ ‌and‌ ‌whose‌ ‌applications‌ ‌remain‌ ‌unprocessed‌ ‌shall‌ ‌be‌ ‌paid‌ ‌full‌ ‌benefits‌ ‌immediately,‌ ‌with ‌a‌ ‌subsequent‌ ‌review‌ ‌of‌ ‌eligibility once all claimants have been paid. Processing of these claims shall be kept to the minimum required to prevent organized fraud, focusing on confirming identity and employment status. The Department shall be directed to adopt a default position of paying benefits should there be any doubt as to eligibility. The Department shall also default to extending existing benefits wherever possible over requiring applicants to re-apply or apply for new claims or programs.

‌(3)‌ The Oregon Employment Department must address the underlying reasons for delays in processing benefit claims, and must change its focus as a Department. By the end of the 2020 legislative session, the state shall engage in a review of the Department’s technological assets and evaluate options for updating these assets to current standards. Priority shall be given to replacement systems which comply with industry standards, and preference shall be given to open source technologies as solutions. In addition, the state must also evaluate the policies, processes and guidelines of the Department on all levels. All such policies, processes and guidelines shall be evaluated from the perspective of ensuring that Oregonians receive benefits, with all other priorities being distinctly secondary.

4) We recognize that the proposed actions are not a complete solution, and that the issues with employment benefits are both far reaching and long-term. These actions are only intended as an emergency solution to an immediate problem. As such, we also direct the Multnomah County Democrats to form an ad hoc committee to formulate a permanent solution to the long-term problems faced by Oregonians needing COVID-related assistance, including economic hardship. This committee shall form a report detailing known issues and formulating suggested solutions to be presented to the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session.

Adopted‌ ‌on:‌ ‌July 9,2020

Resolution‌ ‌Submitted‌ ‌by‌ ‌Platform‌ ‌Resolution‌ ‌and‌ ‌Legislative‌ ‌Committee‌ ‌

Aaron‌ ‌Levine,‌ ‌Technology‌ ‌Officer,‌ ‌Democratic‌ ‌Party‌ ‌of‌ ‌Multnomah‌ ‌County‌ ‌

Send‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌following‌ ‌Legislators‌:

Oregon Governor‌ Kate ‌Brown‌ ‌

David‌ ‌Gerstenfeld,‌ ‌Acting‌ ‌Head‌ ‌of‌ ‌Office of Employment D‌ivision

Katy Coba, Director, Department of Administrative Services ‌

Oregon State House Speaker Tina Kotek

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden

‌ ‌


Faith E Ruffing