Joel Barker

Multnomah County Democrats Postpone 2020 Celsi Celebration

As part of the international and local efforts to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Multnomah County Democrats will postpone their annual Celsi Celebration, originally scheduled at the Oregon Convention Center on Saturday, March 21st.

The postponement decision was made due to recommendations from Oregon Health Authority, Governor Brown,  Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization — along with concerns for our diverse communities. While there is a high level of uncertainty as the pandemic spreads around our city, state and the world, it is clear that everyone has a responsibility to institute various mitigation practices of social distancing to help stem that spread.

“We are not going anywhere. The need in our community for activism is only greater now, and we will continue to serve. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on our activism in these times,” says Lurelle Robbins, chair of the Multnomah County Democrats.

For more information about the work of Multnomah County Democrats, please visit To get updates on Celsi, visit and subscribe to the email list at

March Central Committee Meeting is Cancelled

We have received numerous inquiries about whether we would have a CC meeting tonight. We had planned an interesting program with County Commissioner Jayapal and numerous candidates for office, but everyone’s health and comfort is more important.

The Governor’s press release and efforts to respond to the corona virus were reported around 10 pm. The Governor is scheduled to speak today at 11am.

At this time it is best that we exercise an abundance of caution in light of the unfolding situation.

The March 12 Central Committee Meeting is Cancelled.

Thank you for your understanding. We will provide timely updates of our next meetings.

Lurelle Robbins, Chair
The Democratic Party of Multnomah County

PS.  We are developing messaging about the Celsi Celebration and will be communicating about that event later today.

Announcing the March 2020 Multnomah Democrats Central Committee Meeting

The Central Committee meeting of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County will take place:

Thursday, March 9th, 2020

Hollywood Senior Center

1820 NE 40th Avenue, Portland 97212


Our schedule is as follows:

6:00 PM Doors open.  

6:30 PM Registration and Sign In

7:00 PM Business Meeting begins

9:00 PM Scheduled end of Business Meeting

Important Notice to all SCC Delegates – We will elect a Delegation Chair.  Thank you to Eileen Reevey for doing a great job. Due to new work obligations and travel she is not able to complete her term.

Minutes of Previous Meeting 

Donald Trump is still President – we have work to do in 2020.

Join us to learn from Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Elect 1 or 2 female or non binary delegates to the State Central Committee

You may nominate yourself or another PCP.

Resolution Resolution: 2020-6 Save Columbia Pool

Its election season! – meet local candidates at our Central Committee meeting.

Other Topics

Non-affiliated voter outreach

Candidate Forums and GOTV

The Celsi Celebration

We will vote to fill vacancies for Precinct Committee Persons.

SCC Delegates – Meet immediately at the adjournment to elect a Delegation Chair. 

A Note on COVID-19 

Per the CDC Website do not attend events if you are feeling ill. Avoid contact with anyone who is ill. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces. While we love networking and greeting each other, avoid shaking hands.

Two Important Upcoming Events

  1. City Council Candidate Forum March 18 hosted by Multnomah County Democrats and Portland-Metro People’s Coalition (PMPC) Coordinating Committee.
  2. SOS Debate March 21 11 AM Oregon Convention Center.  Hosted by Multnomah County Democrats and media partner KBOO
  3. Celsi Celebration March 21  

Thank you for everything you do.

Lurelle Robbins, Chair

Democratic Party of Multnomah County

Deadline to get on the May Ballot to be elected a Precinct Committee Person (PCP) is Tuesday March 10th

It is time to get involved for 2020 and beyond! Become a precinct committee person (PCP) and help move progressive causes forward in your community, your state, and your nation.

More information and details about registering to be a PCP.

Fill out your SEL-105 and return it to:

Multnomah County Elections Division
1040 SE Morrison Street
Portland OR 97214

Or email it to

DO NOT SEND IT TO THE MULTNOMAH COUNTY DEMOCRATS – we might not be able to process it in time now!

REMEMBER to put your PRECINCT NUMBER in the “Precinct Information / Number” field. You can look it up here.

Don’t delay, file today!

Fact Check: Walkouts are very unpopular.

Some polling numbers on the Republican Walkout

A screenshot from an opt-in poll on KGW’s phone app is being shared on social media to suggest that Oregonians support the Republican walkout. The idea that a piece of clickbait would be used as a proof point is in itself pretty sad. KGW’s advertisers are the real winners there.

Would you like some real polling data on Oregonian’s opinion of a walkout?

In a way, we Democrats should be appreciative of the Republican walkout. Based on polling done with some actual rigor, this walkout is an extremely unpopular move with their constituents.

  • 74% agree: If elected officials don’t like a bill, they should show up and work to improve the bill or simply vote against it. They should make their voices heard rather than shut down the government.
  • 64% agree: The legislators who walked out were collecting a taxpayer-funded paycheck even when they weren’t showing up for work. Regular people don’t get paid when they don’t go to work, and politicians shouldn’t get paid for skipping work either.
  • 62% agree: During the walkout, the Senate couldn’t hold session and was basically shut down. That means the Senate was idle for ten working days, wasting more than 100 thousand dollars of taxpayer money. That’s simply wrong.
  • 63% agree: Good lawmaking comes from consensus and compromise – but this year a Republican Senator has already said he will not negotiate on a bill he doesn’t like, and all Republicans may walk out again to prevent its passage. This is not how to get things done for Oregonians.

Clean Air! Tell TriMet Tell Metro No More New Diesel Buses! (Date Change)

This post is an update to an earlier post on the topic. You can get more information here.

MultDems Climate Action Team continues to lobby for electric buses that can reduce emissions in our communities. They are being heard! Join your voice to the chorus that expects our transit system to walk the talk and fight the climate crisis.

This post is to update everyone and announce a date change for the second Metro Council Meeting.

CAT’s Rachel Rodri gets the prize for most persuasive testimony last Thursday 2-20-20 at the Metro Council meeting! Listen and view Rachel here. at 23:49 into the video, Council President Lynn Peterson responds at 26:50:

Council President Peterson’s words:

We are going to forward your comments along with a cover letter to TriMet, to ask them to respond to us and also to you. We have your names and addresses so we can get that response to you. And I think all of us up here are committed to making sure we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions in whatever work that we do.

And there is a lot of work this council has done prior to my being here. There is a Climate Smart Strategy plan (c. 2015, left out transit) that we are hoping to get funding for from a cap and trade bill if it were to pass this session in the legislature which would be a huge step forward. I also know that you probably know that one of the programs that was proposed in the transportation package that would go to the voters in November…if the proposal continues as foreseen is to accelerate the purchase of electric vehicles according to TriMet’s Plan because they have a long run-out period and we are hoping to reduce that period. So we’re doing everything in our power and we will certainly send this message over to TriMet and get a response.

What Council President Petersen is Referring to

Program Concept: Transit Vehicle Electrification Date: 9-20-19 To: Metro Council From: Tyler Frisbee, Gov Affairs and Policy Development Subject: Staff recommendation re: Programs for a Transportation Investment Measure

A transit electrification program would focus on ensuring that the region’s transit agencies do not need to buy a diesel bus ever again. The region’s Climate Smart Strategy identifies increasing transit service as a key way to encourage more people to ride transit, consequently reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution while reducing inequities built into our transportation system. However, most transit buses run on diesel fuel, which increases diesel particulate matter along key transit corridors. While the overall impact to our air quality and public health is still much better than it would be without that transit service, there is significant interest in the region in reducing our reliance on diesel-fueled buses in order to build a cleaner transit system. Reducing diesel particulate emissions will have significant impacts on public health outcomes and air quality metrics, and since many current transit lines run through the communities of people of color and lower income communities, this program will help advance the Council’s racial equity goals.

Metro’s Actions

They have not challenged TriMet’s “plan” to buy 159 NEW DIESEL buses. Right now, Transit Vehicle Electrification is a Program Concept. That’s it.And because they know that “Reducing diesel particulate emissions will have significant impacts on public health outcomes and air quality metrics, and since many current transit lines run through neighborhoods with many people of color and people with lower incomes, this program will help advance the Council’s racial equity goals.,” They also know that Increasing diesel particulate emissions will have significant impacts on public health outcomes…..for people of color and lower incomes. To achieve the Council’s racial equity goals there must be URGENCY to develop a Zero Emissions Fleet Transition Program!

Your next opportunity to provide Testimony – Note DATE CHANGE

Take ACTION Tell Metro Council, Tell TriMet – NO NEW Diesel Buses

Come Testify and/or support others who do!

February 26th, 9:00 a.m. Public Forum section of TriMet Board’s agenda. 121 SW Salmon St., Portland, OR

March 12, 2:00 p.m. Public Comment section of Metro Council’s agenda. 600 NE Grand Ave, Portland OR

How to present testimony — even if you have never participated in a public meeting before

Present Testimony – Come early to sign up. Bring 10 copies of your testimony. 2-3 minutes max. Read your comments or letter and leave Board and Council Members copies for the public record.

Can’t attend? Send emails

…to the TriMet Board and Metro Council, which will be part of the public record. You may submit testimony to Metro Council through this online form. If you submit by 10 am the day of the meeting, it will be in the minutes.

Alternately, create an email to the TriMet Board, send to

Subject: Clean Air! No More New Diesel Buses

  • State your support for no new Diesel Buses, and for a plan for a Zero-Emissions Fleet as soon as possible.
  • Say who you are and why you care about cleaner air and stopping carbon emissions. “I am (a parent, grandparent, high school student…..) and I (have a child with asthma….am very concerned about climate change, want Oregon to lead on climate actions, etc.)Ask for a response.
  • Sign with your name and location (city and zip code).Thank you for your involvement!
""One can expect there will be accelerated opportunities for job creation in clean energy, technology, forest and agriculture activities."

Fact Check: The Arguments Against The Climate Bill SB1530

Now that the Republican Senators have walked off their jobs to deny quorum and prevent the Democratic process from moving forward, social media and press releases are awash with the “reasoning” talking points that they have been provided.

“SB 1530 will bankrupt rural Oregon.”

  • We know that we are one Oregon, but we also know that we are a state of many regions and many needs.
  • SB 1530 includes many changes that will enhance the benefits to rural Oregon and protect rural Oregonians from any disruptions.
  • We are now gradually phasing in any impacts on gasoline prices by region, so that rural residents on the West side of the state won’t see any impacts until 2025 and those east of the Cascades won’t see them at all. 
  • We can include 85% of the state’s gasoline emissions in 2025 without touching the vast majority of the geography of this state.
  • Low- to moderate income residents everywhere will receive a tax credit that will fully offset any increased driving costs.
  • Recognizing that they drive more, residents of rural counties will receive larger tax credits. 
  • There will be full refunds for increases in the cost of fuel used for off-road agricultural and forestry operations.
  • The amended version of SB 1530 simplifies the way the geographic phase-in is done.  For the most part, it will now be done by county, making the administration of the program easier and simpler.  As a result, the Fuels Association has removed its objections.
  • We have modified the way that manufacturers are handled in order to protect rural jobs.  As a result, rural manufacturers (e.g., in the food processing industries) have removed their opposition to the bill.
  • In addition changes to the bill have increased its economic benefits for rural Oregon.
  • Most of the investments of the program are geared to benefit rural Oregon and tribes (making our forests healthier, improving irrigation and weatherizing rural homes).
  • Through its “offsets” provisions, the bill will generate big investments in dairy biodigesters and forestry projects, keeping forests as working forests.
  • Rural Oregon is already benefiting from renewable energy projects (wind, solar, biofuels, geothermal) and is poised to benefit much more with the incentives and training dollars in SB 1530.  Thousands of jobs will be created.
  • Outside analyses (including one done by AOI) have shown that the economic impact of earlier versions of SB 1530 would actually benefit rural and frontier Oregon more than other parts of the state.  SB 1530 makes that even more true.
  • Experience in California, Québec, and the northeastern states (who use cap & trade for their power sector) has not shown economic or employment harm to their rural regions.  On the contrary, investments in the rural parts of California and Québec as a result of their program have benefited those regions in many ways.
  • Finally, rural and frontier Oregonians live in the front lines of climate change (fires, loss of snowcap, drought, rising sea levels, ocean acidification). If Oregon’s actions encourage climate action in other states and slow down the pace of this crisis, they will benefit most of all.

“SB 1530 will hurt low-income Oregonians.”

  • The bill includes MANY protections for low-income Oregonians, whose needs are kept front and center.
  • Low-income natural gas customers will see no rise in their bills.
  • Low- to moderate income residents ($65K for a family of 4) everywhere will receive a tax credit that will fully offset any increased driving costs.
  • Most investments are geared to benefit low-income Oregonians everywhere.
  • Extensive investments in training and retraining for the clean-energy economy will provide new pathways to opportunity for low-income families all over the state.

“SB 1530 exempts government from public records laws.”

  • The program is subject to ALL the usual public records and open meetings laws.
  • Section 32 does protect confidential business information that would be considered “trade secrets”; this is absolutely usual and necessary when government needs to regulate the private sector.
  • This is something that all journalists are used to.

“The emergency clause in SB 1530 is intended to deny the people’s ability to challenge this law.”

  • The emergency clause is there because we ARE in a climate emergency and the work on the program must begin immediately.
  • A 2019 opinion from Legislative Counsel makes it clear that the Emergency Clause does nothing to impair the people’s ability to put any piece of legislation on the ballot through the initiative process.
  • The reason we have a Legislature is to work on tough, far-reaching, crucial issues that require extensive research, discussion, debate, and compromise.
  • SB 1530 is a balanced, carefully crafted, highly researched bill, incorporating work that has been going on for years, and including ideas suggested by legislators from both parties.
  • On the ballot, it will be reduced to a series of sound bites and slanted TV ads, funded by tens of millions of special-interest dollars.
  • The people have voted—they voted to send Legislators to Salem to work hard on their behalf. Every one of the Democrats elected in 2018 ran with climate action as one of their main priorities, defeating Republicans who unfortunately took a contrary position. Legislators are doing what they were elected to do. 

“SB 1530 puts all the power in the hands of un-elected bureaucrats.”

  • Amendments will make it clear that the appointed Board’s budget decisions are advisory only.  They will still need to go through our normal Ways and Means process and receive approval from elected legislators.  So will the state agencies implementing the program. That’s how good government should work.

“SB 1530 is not based on settled science,” or “Climate change is natural, not human-caused.”

  • Legislators need to rely on the best science that’s out there.
  • That’s why the Legislature in 2007 created the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, based at OSU, to scan the scientific literature, evaluate its validity, summarize their findings, and report and make recommendations to the Legislature every 2 years.
  • They’ve told us that climate change is real, we’re already feeling its consequences, it can be mitigated, but if we don’t, the future consequences will be catastrophic and hugely expensive for Oregon.
  • SB 1530 is based entirely on their recommendations.

“We shouldn’t be doing this in a short session.”

  • One of the purposes of the short session has always been to continue work on bills that had been thoroughly worked on in the previous session, but didn’t quite make it over the finish line.  The short session is designed to finish up that work.
  • The earlier version of SB 1530 had hundreds of hours of public testimony in Salem and around the state, thousands of pages of written testimony and studies, passed the House after six hours of open debate, and only failed to advance in the Senate because the Republicans walked out.
  •  SB 1530 is the result of many hours of bipartisan discussion since November.
  • Despite this being a short session, we will have more hours of public testimony on this bill than we normally have in a long session, not counting all the hours we’ve already spent hearing from the public on this issue in the past.

“Other countries are the real culprits.  They’re the ones who should be stepping up.”

  • In the absence of national action, states must step up and act together.
  • As legislators, we learn from other states.  What works, what doesn’t.
  • It’s not just about Oregon.  If Oregon acts, other states such as Washington will step up and join us.
  • If we join California, Washington, and British Columbia (both CA and BC already have economy-wide climate programs) in this effort, we will be part of the world’s FIFTH largest economy.  We can make a real difference.

“This bill will make Oregon less competitive.”

Dr. Dallas Burtraw, senior fellow at Resources for the Future and a member of the American Academy of Sciences, was asked to provide an assessment of SB 1530 before amendments were made.  His lengthy assessment concluded with the following:

“When carbon pricing is implemented in 2022, the anticipated emissions reductions will be achieved without any specific impacts that are noticeable to the vast majority of Oregon households and businesses. There should be virtually zero disruptions in employment, but over time one can expect there will be accelerated opportunities for job creation in clean energy, technology, forest and agriculture activities. Oregon’s legislative decision is likely to influence policy outcomes in other states and internationally.”

Fast approaching: deadline to apply for PCP elections is March 10

Precinct Committee Persons define our party. They work to get out the vote for Democrats — and have the opportunity to influence the our policies. If you are looking for a path to political impact, this is it.

Good news: deadline to be on the May ballot is March 10!

You need to have been a registered Democrat since Sept 12 of last year and you need to live in Multnomah County. Fill out the enclosed form and return it to the:

Multnomah County Elections Office

1040 SE Morrison

Portland OR 97214 **email:

Important Tip from MultDems Vice Chair 2, Michael Smith

The form asks for your “Number” near the top. This is your Precinct Number. You can look it up using the Multnomah County Precinct Lookup Application This is not a mobile-friendly page; you’ll want a computer to do this.

More information – much more! – is available from the Democratic Party of Oregon at

Tell Oregon Ways and Means that you support the fight against climate change.

Climate Action: Ways and Means meets Monday for the Climate Bill

Join us to move this critical law forward

As we move closer to a landmark climate bill in Oregon, the week ahead is very exciting. All of your letters and testimony have made a difference for cap and invest. Now is the time to have an even bigger presence in Salem. You can be involved. Read on.

  • SB1530 will be heard in the Ways and Means Committee on February 24th at 9 AM, Hearing Room F. Let’s show our strength by filling the hearing room and overflow.
  • The parallel bill, HB 4167 has also been referred to Ways and Means. The hearing date is not set for HB4167.

This is a great time for more emails and letters to your representatives. Message: Climate change is an emergency. SB1530 (HB4167) is a good start. The cap reduces dangerous pollution. Big polluters will pay their share. The investment in Oregon will go to local communities, benefitting rural Oregon and others hardest hit by climate change.

  • Email to the members of the Ways and Means Committee Click here. You are two clicks away from starting those emails.
  • Email and letters to your Senator and Representative.
    • Please also schedule in-person meetings with them next week.
  • Letters to the editor about the bill.
    • Here’s a link to clear true reporting from the Statesman Journal
    • If you are in a District that walked out last year, please also consider a letter to the editor about the importance of legislators staying at work and doing their job.

Renew Oregon is setting up a meeting room for the week, Monday – Friday 9 – 4:30 next week. Please RSVP to Renew for the dates and times you can attend. Let us know if you can drive or need a ride.

Representatives from MultDems Climate Action Team will deliver cookies and a letter of support for the bill to every Senator and Representative.

Tell Oregon Ways and Means that you support the fight against climate change.

Oregon Ways and Means Committee 2020

On Monday February 24, the Ways and Means committee will hear SB1530, the landmark climate bill for Oregon that will develop clean energy jobs. Send them an email.

Climate change is an emergency. SB1530 (HB4167) is a good start. The cap reduces dangerous pollution. Big polluters will pay their share. The investment in Oregon will go to local communities, benefitting rural Oregon and others hardest hit by climate change.

Position Name and link to OLIS info   District / Community Email link
Co-Chair Senator Betsy Johnson D SD16 Scappose
Co-Chair Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward D SD17 NWPDX/Bvtn
Co-Chair Representative Dan Rayfield D HD16 Corvallis 
Co-Vice Chair Senator Fred Girod R SD9 Stayton
Co-Vice Chair Representative David Gomberg D SD10 Central Coast
Co-Vice Chair Representative Greg Smith R HD57 Umatilla Morrow
Member Senator Lee Beyer D SD6 Springfield
Member Senator Denyc Boles R SD10  Salem
Member Senator Lew Frederick D SD22 Portland
Member Senator Bill Hansell R SD29 Athena
Member Senator Dallas Heard R SD1 Roseburg ​
Member Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson D SD25 Gresham
Member Senator Arnie Roblan D SD5 Coos Bay
Member Senator Chuck Thomsen R SD26 Hood River
Member Senator Rob Wagner D SD19 Lake Oswego
Member House Republican Leader Christine Drazan R HD 39 Canby
Member Representative Paul Holvey D HD08 Eugene
Member Representative Susan McLain D HD29 Hillsboro
Member Representative Rob Nosse D HD42 Portland 
Member Representative Carla Piluso D HD50 Gresham 
Member Representative Duane Stark R HD4 Grants Pass