Joel Barker

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  

Resolution 2020-13 The Debt: The Case for Reparations

Multnomah Democrats pass resolution calling for reparations to American Descendants of Slaves

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

Democratic Party of Multnomah County Central Committee

Resolution: 2020-13 The Debt: The Case for Reparations

WHEREAS the American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) community’s claim for restitution anchors on the U.S. government’s failure to deliver the promised 40-acre land grants to their newly emancipated ancestors in the aftermath of the civil war,

WHEREAS today’s ADOS-white wealth gap originated with that unfulfilled promise of 40 acres. If the land allocations had been made to the freedmen and freedwomen, and had that ownership been protected ADOS would be in a much better position materially today.

WHEREAS ADOS have borne and continue to bear the undue burden of the cumulative effects of slavery, the near-century-long epoch of legal segregation in America known as Jim Crow, as well as the ongoing atrocities associated with the period following the Civil Rights Act of 1964: mass incarceration; police executions of unarmed black people; sustained credit, housing, and employment discrimination; and the immense ADOS-white wealth disparity. All of these chapters in American history must be considered for redress within a program for reparations,

WHEREAS while the 40 million eligible recipients of ADOS reparations constitute about 13 percent of the American population, they possess less than 3 percent of the nation’s wealth. This translates into an average (or mean) differential, per household, of about $800,000 in net worth,

WHEREAS, eliminating the ADOS-white (pre-tax) wealth differential should be a core objective of the redress component of a plan for reparations. We estimate that this will require an allocation between 12 trillion in 2016 dollars to eligible Black Americans.

WHEREAS, A reparations program for ADOS is a matter of national responsibility insofar that the multigenerational plunder and oppression of ADOS were and are products of the legal and authority framework established by the federal government. The federal government further sanctioned racial atrocities by silence and inaction.

WHEREAS, Article 9- Historical and Ongoing Anti-Blackness in Oregon, plank 5 of the 2020 Democratic Party of Multnomah County Platform states, “we strongly support corrective and restorative justice for past racial harms inflicted by local, city, and state governments against ADOS in Oregon


SECTION 1 We urge Congress to establish a Congressional Commission on Slavery Reparations, which would be responsible for addressing the questions that must be considered so that restitution can be made.

SECTION 2 We support direct cash payments to victims equal in size rather than apportioned according to families’ or individuals’ “economic value.”

SECTION 3 We support the proposal in H.R.40 to develop a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations for ADOS. A body of commissioners appointed by congress must be established to provide congress with a detailed template for legislation that will activate a comprehensive plan for ADOS reparations. This will include specifying criteria for eligibility and specifying precisely how the amount and deployment of a reparations fund will raise ADOS net worth sufficiently to eliminate the (pre-tax) ADOS-white wealth gap within a specified amount of time. Commissioners shall not be paid, but they will be reimbursed for expenses associated with the fulfillment of their responsibilities.

SECTION 4 We support the development and application of a rigorous and accurate curriculum, fully integrated into public school instruction across at least three generations at all grade levels, telling the story of America’s racial history.

SECTION 5 We support the designation of a protected group status known as ADOS or American Descendants of Slavery, not to be mixed with a general Black designation.

SECTION 6 We strongly support providing potential claimants with free genealogical services to assist them in establishing that they are the descendant of an ancestor enslaved in the US, anti-fraud guidance, and access to free financial management instruction.

SECTION 7 Establishment of a monitoring system to ensure the wealth gap is closing.

Adopted on July 9, 2020

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

Send to Multnomah County Legislators



What is the purpose of a reparations program?

In the book From Here to Equality, Dr. Sandy Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen advance a general definition of reparations as a program of acknowledgement, redress, and closure.

Is it illegal to allocate funds specifically to ADOS?

No. There’s no intrinsic illegality to group specific or race specific policies. Japanese American reparations, for example, were group specific.

How will we be able to tell who is eligible for reparations vs. who is not?

Two criterion can be advanced for eligibility. First, an individual must establish that they have at least one ancestor who was enslaved in the US. Second, an individual must demonstrate that they have self-identified as Black, Negro, or African American on an official document-perhaps making the self-report of their race on the US Census—for at least 12 years before the enactment of programs tied to the funds. This criteria was created by Duke University economist William “Sandy” Darity.

Why is the ADOS distinction necessary?

ADOS is a necessary distinction because if reparations do in fact gain traction nationally, people who are opposed to reparations could make the argument that Black immigration to the U.S. has increased significantly since the 1980’s, they were never enslaved in the U.S. so why should they be paid reparations? From a legal standpoint, a reparations claim against the federal government must be specific and requires inclusion and exclusion.

How will the effectiveness of a reparations program be measured?

According to Dr. Darity, the goal of a reparations program for ADOS should be to close the racial wealth gap in its entirety. Therefore, it is essential that the mean gap be erased, rather than setting a far less ambitious goal such as closing the ADOS-white median differential. Establishing a monitoring system to evaluate whether the ADOS-white wealth gap disparity is closing will be desirable.

How to calculate the cost of reparations?

There are a variety of strategies for calculating the size of social debt that is owed. Professor Thomas Craemer has calculated the cost of reparations through a stolen labor framework. In today’s dollars, he arrives at an estimate of $14 trillion for the cost of American slavery to the enslaved. The central argument of Dr. Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen, which I tend to agree with is that the elimination of the ADOS-white wealth gap should provide the foundation for the magnitude of the debt owed.

Where will the money for reparations come from

As journalist Matthew Yglesias has proposed, Congress could direct the Federal Reserve to fund ADOS reparations either in part or in total. Given the overnight transfer of 45 to 1 to $1.5 trillion without any difficulty—and this funding mechanism would not have to affect tax rates for any American. Moreover, the Federal Reserve is a public bank charged with conducting a public responsibility.

Why should I have to pay reparations? My ancestors didn’t own any slaves.

The culpable party is the U.S. government. Often, the federal government further sanctioned racial atrocities by silence and inaction. ADOS reparations are not a matter of personal or individual institutional guilt; ADOS reparations are a matter of national responsibility. Furthermore, The poverty created by slavery and Jim Crow are still in the system, just like the wealth created by slavery and Jim Crow are still in the system.

White ethnics such as the Irish and Italians came here and were discriminated against by the U.S. government, yet they still rose in spite of their handicaps why didn’t ADOS do the same?

It is important to note that in some respects, the Irish were treated worse than Blacks for the most part when they first arrived in the U.S. However, they were eventually absorbed into whiteness due to their willingness to inflict violence against ADOS and by expressing anti-ADOS sentiments. The Democratic Party and early labor unions also eased the assimilation of the Irish into whiteness. Whitness is a social construct that is dynamic. It expands and changes based on its need. I suggest everyone read Noel Ignatiev’s How the Irish Became White.

White people have never received “handouts” from the government, why should Black people get governmental “handouts”?

Framing reparations as a handout or a one time check rather than a debt is a conservative, right wing talking point that is untrue. A program of reparations is much more than a check. It must include multi-pronged policies and laws, protections, therapy, and training to fill the void of knowledge gaps. Also, white America has in fact recieved numerous handouts from the federal government including 160-acre land grants through the Homstead Act, access to New Deal and Fair Deal programs, the G.I. bill and much more. While white America received these handouts ADOS were denied access to them and were never given their 40-acres, which is partly why the ADOS-white wealth disparity is so vast, entrenched, and unshakeable. The wealth ADOS managed to accumulate in the nineteenth and twentitieth centuries was far too often plundered via white mob violence, lynching, redlining, and credit discrimination.


Faith E Ruffing  

Racial Inclusivity Work Group Open House Monday July 13

This Monday: Interested in the Racial Inclusivity Work Group?

Democrats who identify as People of Color are invited to an overview 5 – 5:30 PM on Monday, July 13th. After a screen break, you can join us for the first part of our 6 PM  monthly meeting!

Multnomah County Democrats have a Work Group (special committee) known as Racial Inclusivity Work Group. You are invited to learn more, meet active members, and decide if you’d like to join us!

Monday July 13 5pm

Zoom Video Call (link)


Email the co-chairs at

Native Sovereignty Study Group next meeting July 21 via Google Hangouts.

Tribal Sovereignty Study Group to Meet Monthly

Indigenous people, advocates, and allies: You are all welcome to work on the Tribal Sovereignty article of the platform as well as related resolutions and legislative actions.

The Tribal Sovereignty Study Group will meet monthly on the third Tuesday from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. via Google Hangouts starting July 21. The proposed agenda for the first meeting is as follows.

6:15 p.m. Check in and agenda approval with changes, if needed
6:20 p.m. Planning: next steps for Legislative Action Items
6:50 p.m. Discussion: strategy for the 2021 Legislative Sessions
7:05 p.m. Next steps for Study Group including recruitment of more Study Group members
7:15 p.m. Adjourn

We would love your participation! Email Ruth Jensen to get involved.

Congrats and thanks to new District Leaders

As of tonight, the following PCPs have stepped forward to be the district leaders for this critical year.

PCPs, as your organizational meeting comes up (check the schedule here), consider stepping forward to be District Leader, Assistant District Leader, or Neighborhood Leader Coordinator.

To Be a District Leader

HD 44

District Leader Gary Lietke

Assistant District Leader Eric Delehoy

HD 44 will select an NLP Coordinator after PCPs complete a survey that is in process.

HD 46

District Leader Jack Hanna

Assistant District Leader Leigha LaFleur

Neighborhood Leader Coordinator Henry Werch

HD 48/51

District Leader Marcia Schneider

Assistant District Leader Deborah Siscarelli

HD 50

District Leader Pat Delaquil

Assistant District Leader and Neighborhood Leader Coordinator Heath Curry.

HD 52

District Leader Julio Castilleja

Assistant District Leader Matthew O’Connell

Neighborhood Leader Coordinator Stephanie Nystrom

July Central Committee, PCPs, join us at 6:30 for special interest Breakout Sessions. Resolutions: 2020-11 Police Brutality and the Criminal Justice System 2020-12 Unemployment Compensation 2020-13 The Debt: an Argument for Reparation

July Central Committee Meeting and Interest Breakout Rooms

The Central Committee meeting of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County.

Thursday, July 9, 2020


Precinct Committee Persons: RSVP for details

The meeting will be open to members of the Central Committee (PCPs)


6:30 PM Registration and sign in to be credentialed


More details will follow as we approach the day and time of the meeting.

Traditionally, our July meeting is a picnic, a chance to socialize and get familiar with each other. That is not to be this year, but we want to have a virtual equivalent.

We will have Zoom breakout rooms for particular interests in the party. Meet with others who share your interest and learn about the party functions. Learn about our climate action team or the campaign committee. Learn about how our meetings work.

7:15 PM Business Meeting begins, this will be an abbreviated meeting

8:15 PM Scheduled end of Business Meeting

Minutes of Previous Meetings

April – Canceled Meeting
May – Full Meeting
June – Full Meeting

Please register for this meeting here. A list of registrants (updated occasionally) may be found here.

Resolutions for Consideration

Resolution 2020-11 Police Brutality and the Criminal Justice System

Resolution 2020-12 Unemployment Compensation

Resolution 2020-13 The Debt: an Argument for Reparation

The working agenda

Precinct Committee Persons = The Central Committee

You, the elected PCPs, began your new terms of office as the governing body of The Democratic Party of Multnomah County on June 12th, 2020. There remain vacant PCP positions. Invite Democrats to join us! They can apply to fill vacant positions here.

PCPs of each House District elect their District Leader and Assistant District Leader

2020 District Re-org meetings are coming up

June 23, 2020

In the coming weeks, the newly elected PCPs of Multnomah County will gather (via video conference) to elect new district leaders and assistant district leaders.

Thank you all who are coming forward to make a difference in our communities. District Leadership is a wonderful way to increase that impact, working with your PCPs to connect with your legislators and the Democrats in your district.

Learn more from District Leader Superstars Lisa Morrison and Marcia Schneider.

Find your district here

Questions about elections overall? Contact Vice Chair 2 Michael Smith.

Upcoming District Reorgs

If there is no date below, the current district leadership has not yet scheduled the event.

Expect meetings to last about 2 hours.

HD 27 & 36 Combined


July 25 10am

HD 31 & 33 Combined

July 18 at 12pm


HD 35 & 38 Combined

July 12 at 2pm

Contact John Murphy

HD 41

July 14 at 7pm


HD 42

July 19 at 1pm


HD 43

July 26 at 12pm


HD 44

June 28 at 3pm (Completed)


HD 45

July 18 at 2pm


HD 46

July 11 at 10am


HD 47

July 16 at 6pm


HD 48 & 51 combined

July 11 at 1pm


HD 49

July 15 at 6:30pm


HD 50

July 7 at 4pm (Completed)


HD 52

June 25 at 7pm (Completed)


New PCP Open House June and July 2020. Get acquainted. Meet fellow PCPs. Anwer questions. Direct your passion.

New PCP Video Open Houses

Congratulations to all the new precinct committee persons (PCPs) elected in our county!

I am sure that we all agree that this is a helluva important year. Together we are going to deal with racial injustice, elevate progressive causes, and elect a new President!

You have signed up for an exciting ride.

Please join us for one of our PCP Open House online Zoom meetings. In about 90 minutes, we will:

  • Get acquainted
  • Meet some of your fellow PCPs
  • Answer your questions
  • Find where in the party we can direct your passion

Events are happening regularly.

Find a day that works for you.

Click the link below to register

Saturday June 27 10am < Completed!

Tuesday June 30 5:30pm < Registration full!

Sunday July 12 at 11am < Registration full!

Tuesday July 14 at 6pm < Registration full!

Tuesday July 21 at 5:30

Saturday July 25 11am

Multnomah Democrats pass resolution calling on ban of tear gas and other area of effect weapons

At the Central Committee Meeting on June 11, 2020, the Multnomah County Democrats passed this resolution with a 4/5ths majority as required for an emergency resolution.

A Resolution Calling On The Portland City Council To Ban The Use Of Area Of Effect Weapons By the Portland Police Bureau

Whereas: The city of Portland has a long history of protesting injustice, and,

Whereas: The Portland Police Bureau has an equally long history of suppressing protest (peaceful or otherwise) with a level of force that can only reasonably be described as excessive, and,

Whereas: This level of force routinely involves the use of indiscriminately targeted, area of effect weapons such as Tear Gas and Concussion Grenades, and,

Whereas: While the possession of Tear Gas is legal for civilians, its deployment within the city of Portland is explicitly limited to law enforcement personnel, and,

Whereas: Concussion Grenades, (AKA Flashbangs) are legal for civilians to purchase, but require that any civilian wishing to own such devices undergo a background check administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. A tax of two hundred dollars per item is also levied against such purchases, and,

Whereas: Police agencies are explicitly exempt from the aforementioned tax requirement, while private citizens are not, and,

Whereas: The platform of the Multnomah County Democratic Party states in its “Abuse Of Power” section, legislative action item 10, “We support ending law enforcement exemptions at every level from gun control laws, and,

Whereas: The availability and legal use of Tear Gas by the Portland Police Bureau and the untaxed availability of Concussion Grenades to the Bureau does constitute an exemption to existing gun control laws that benefits the Bureau over the common people of the city of Portland, granting easy, legal access to and use of such weapons to the police and denying easy, legal access to and use of such weapons to the average Portlander, ergo,

Be It Resolved By The Democratic Party Of Multnomah County That the use of Tear Gas, Concussion Grenades, rubber bullets, sound weapons and any other form of area of effect or area denial weapons does constitute an abuse of power on the part of the Portland Police Bureau, and as a result a letter will be drafted to the Mayor of Portland and all members of the Portland City Council asking for the use of these weapons by police to be formally banned, effective immediately.



Daniel Goetz

GM Garcia

Dean Price

Cynthia Yolland

Michael Smith

Lisa Wolf

Natalie Bloodgood

James Davis


Faith E Ruffing  

Online MultDems Central Committee Meeting Thursday, 11 June 2020

You have to register in advance to attend.

Button in green reading "Register."

RSVP HERE for details (Current PCPs only).

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

Our schedule is as follows:

6:30 PM Registration and Sign In to be credentialed

7:00 PM Business Meeting begins

9:00 PM Scheduled end of Business Meeting


Resolution 2020-7 Emergency Money for People Act

Resolution 2020-8 Safety in Oregon Prisons during Pandemic

Am I a PCP yet/still?

The term of office for all current PCP’s expires on June 12th, 2020. New PCPs will be starting their term on the same day.

Minutes of Previous Meetings:

You have to register to join the meeting! Only valid PCPs can be credentialed

Register Here