Multco Dems

Announcing Re-Org 2021: Election of your Democratic Party representation

Highlights

PCPs: You will get a snail mail USPS letter soon to confirm your email address so that you can be credentialed for the very important reorganization election January 23rd, held via Zoom. We must have a correct email for you by January 12th for you to participate.

All Multnomah Democrats: Elections on January 23rd will decide your leadership and representation in the county and state parties. 

Declarations are due JANUARY 9 at 8:00 PM. For information on the duties of Officers, SCC Delegates, and CD Delegates, please consult the Party Bylaws at https://multdems.org/bylaws

Be excited!

The Multnomah County Democrats 2021 Reorganization Meeting is coming up on January 23rd. 

Why should I be excited? What does this have to do with me?

Every two years the Democrats of Multnomah County, represented by precinct committee persons (PCPs), vote on who holds important roles in the organization. These people represent you and serve the party at the local and state level. These jobs have a huge impact on our issues, our candidates, and our success as a party.

What happens at this meeting?

This year, it is via Zoom. If you are a PCP, you get credentialed and join the meeting. More details will be mailed to you. We have two series of votes:

We vote for the Democratic Party of Multnomah County Administration Officers

These are the people who operate your all-volunteer, grassroots party. As per the bylaws, the roles are

  • Chair
  • Vice Chair 1 (PCP Training)
  • Vice Chair 2 (Credentialing)
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Communications Officer
  • Technology Officer

Those eligible to vote are elected PCPs (not those appointed by the Central Committee).

Who can run and be elected to these positions?

Not just PCPs are eligible: Any Democrat who has been registered for 180 days in Multnomah County can run and serve.

What do I have to do to run?

Soon, an online and printed form will be available. As soon as you fill that out, the Re-org team will put your candidacy up on the MultDems website. At the reorg meeting, you can speak or present a short video. Then, PCPs will vote.

What about the State Central Committee?

Then, we vote for State Central Committee and Congressional District Delegates

MultDems also send representatives to the State Central Committee (SCC) of the DPO. These representatives manage organization and policy initiatives for the Democratic Party of Oregon (DPO).

Oooh. That sounds cool. How do we elect those people?

The SCC members are elected by PCPs both elected and appointed, so some who could not vote in the County Admin vote can vote for SCC.

In addition, we will elect Congressional District Delegates. Our Congressional Districts (Such as CD 3, represented by Earl Blumenauer or CD 1, represented by Susan Bonamici) are our conduit for these representatives and for their constituents. The voters for these roles are a subset of the total county, so the elections will be held in break out rooms or similar.

What is the next step?

If you are running, start campaigning! If you are a PCP eligible to vote, put January 23rd on your calendar. You have important work to do!

Thanks and stay tuned!

Important dates to know

  • December 26:
    • Web and Paper forms made available for Officer Candidate Declarations
    • Web form made available for Delegate Candidate Declarations
    • First notice of meeting snail-mailed to PCPs
  • January 2: First notice of meeting emailed out to PCPs
  • January 9, 8pm: Officer and Delegate Candidate Declarations due
  • January 9, midnight: Officer Candidate Information emailed out to elected PCPs
  • January 12, midnight: PCP Email Address Corrections Due
  • January 13: Second Notice emailed to PCPs
  • Saturday January 16: Zoom Training Session 1
  • Saturday January 17: Zoom Training Session 2
  • 23rd January, noon: Reorganization Meeting for Multnomah Democrats 2021
  • January 25, before noon: New MultDems Officers inform DPO and County Elections Office of election results

What if Trump tries to steal the election?

WHAT DO WE DO IF TRUMP TRIES TO STEAL THE ELECTION?

While Democrats must focus all of our remaining energy on getting out the vote, it’s important to start preparing in the event that Trump claims victory before all votes are counted.

Trump has already widely circulated the false narrative that the election will be fraudulent to the point where it has become part of the national conversation, and his base believes it. Barring a Biden landslide (a much preferred peaceful and orderly option), we need to be ready for the President to try to hold on to power not just through continued viral disinformation but also by wielding the power of his government – and, some would argue, of his courts – to disrupt and prematurely halt ballot counting at the state and local levels.

With these sobering truths in mind, we must stand united with our messaging and our actions if Trump tries to undermine the will of voters. Here are three things you can do to help prevent Trump from stealing the election:

We need to all be prepared with this simple plan

  1. Remind everyone now that election night is likely the beginning, not the end. November 3 is “election day” not “announce the results of the election day.” There actually isn’t a single state that certifies its results on Election Day. And this year we have an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots. Every vote must be counted. That takes time.
  1. Rally around the key message that every vote must be counted. It will take time to process all of the ballots. About half of states allow absentee ballots to be received and counted after Election Day as long as they are postmarked by November 3rd. And in some states, ballots cannot even be counted until Election Day. There will be a lot of pressure to declare an outcome prematurely, but together we must refuse to accept the results until every vote is counted.
    1. Finally, be prepared to resist. lIn the case of an un-democratic power grab, in the worst-case scenario, we should all be prepared to march, in huge numbers, until democracy prevails. Protect the Results and Choose Democracy are two organizations that are already preparing to mobilize protestors as early as November 4th. Stopping what is essentially a coup could be dependent on the size and scope of the resistance.

GM García on the Racial Inclusivity Work Group

We connected with GM Garcia, the 2020 Dick Celsi Award winner and co-chair of the Racial Inclusivity Work Group, to discover how the work of building inclusiveness in the Democratic Party of Multnomah County can happen.

Garcia’s impact on the Multnomah Democrats is seen in the organization’s Platform, which was shaped using the Racial Equity Lens designed by RIWG’s Policy & Platform Sub Committee, as well as the ongoing activities among all PCPs. The PCP and retired education administrator who once served as the Oregon Association for Bilingual Education president is trainer and coach at the consultancy she co-founded, Gemini Consulting. She also contributes to the County Democrat Reader

The Work Group aims to advise MultDems as the organization develops common knowledge, practices, and norms necessary to operate in ways that are culturally responsive, racially inclusive, and continuously reflective of equitable policies and practices. These guidelines can prove to be a model for other Democratic Party organizations around Oregon.

Here is an abbreviation of the conversation:

MultDems: What are some of the key issues right now for the Racial Inclusivity Work Group?

GM Garcia: We were about to celebrate the one-year anniversary in March when the pandemic hit.  Some members had already ended a year-long term, so our plan was to recruit new members at the annual Celsi Celebration fund-raiser. After the cancellation of this event, we embraced the challenge for creative outreach. We aspire to maintain a membership of 75% people of color while avoiding “singletons”. Our current recruitment priority is Latino/a, Asian-American/Pacific Islanders, and Indigenous people to become Active Members.

Within the Work Group, we have a subcommittee charged with membership recruitment and retention. Not only are they bringing new people in, they want to  support members and make their involvement in Multnomah County Democrats a productive experience.

A lot of our discussion has been how to keep the meetings open, and to create an agenda with an action plan and specific timelines, and to do so in a way that there isn’t just one person in charge. Especially with meetings all online now, it can be problematic if we are too loose with air time. That can result in not having a BIPOC voice in the room.

Another key subcommittee is Truth & Reconciliation, and Greg Burrell brings his expertise as a philosopher to the role of leading us toward a healthy path of forgiveness, healing, and growing together in a more racially inclusive way of being. 

MultDems: What are some of the issues of race here in Multnomah County?

GMG: My perception is that the makeup of our organization does not currently parallel or represent the diverse people of Multnomah County. The culture of MultDems is centered around white middle class members whose roles (whether they realize it or not) carry a higher level of power. That has been painfully clear to Black and Brown people who try to become involved. We know there are plenty of good intentions, but they are irrelevant when there is a direct negative impact on those who hold less power.

MultDems: What do you think about the recent racial justice protests in Portland?

GMG: My stance can be expressed in 3 words: Black Lives Matter.

Some people in marginalized groups may buy into the idea that this is pie to be divided. If somebody else gets a bigger slice of pie, our group may get less. 

Zero-sum theory does not apply, as a rising tide lifts all sails. When there is racial justice for Blacks, we will all benefit greatly. Let’s avoid the “Oppression Olympics”, “BWAME” (But What about Me?), and center the movement on Blackness. Black people have been standing up for oppressed groups all long. It is time for all of us to listen, follow, and step up for Portland’s Black community. 

I have noticed from my own participation as a brown woman participating in the Portland protests, that the presence and leadership of Black people can easily be supplanted by white liberals with cute signs they use to take selfies for Facebook. As the whitest large city in the country, I wonder what the national organization can teach us about the whiteness of our current protest efforts. I often wonder if the quality control, organizational resources, and purposeful centering on Blackness, could be improved if the city of Portland revisits its decision not to have a Chapter in the national BLM organization.

MultDems: How can white allies support the cause of racial inclusivity?

GMG:  The people who started the Racial Inclusivity Work Group were all white. They had a brilliant idea: “We will have people of color leading.” That is still our goal. Both co-chairs are people of color. The spirit behind this is that “We will listen to POC”. We’re better off than we were before, but we have a long way to go. 

Upon request of the co-chairs, white Active Members of Racial Inclusivity started an affinity group for white allies called “DOW” —  Deconstructing Our Whiteness.  It’s designed for people to create a safe place to productively discuss issues of race in a self reflective way that can deepen their knowledge and strengthen their skills around discussing and addressing race in everyday interactions. All whites who apply for RIWG, and each member of MultDems’ Administrative Team are invited to participate. 

Another thing white people can do is join the new Anti-Racist Book Group .  There are also ways for white people to become involved in RIWG, perhaps via participation in subcommittee work, helping with events and even clerical support. We need help right now to maintain our databases and track new and potential members.

It’s important for MultDems (especially whites) to understand the role of RIWG-what we do and don’t do. We are not the equity department that abdicates the responsibility of our leaders. We instead help the leaders better understand different perspectives that empower them to become the stewards of equitable policy and practice. We are not here to recruit people of color to the MultDems. One does not invite guests if the house is not clean. We instead help the current residents learn to see what needs changing in order for POC to feel welcome, included, and meaningfully engaged. This alone has and will continue to increase the number of POC that join us. RIWG is not here to do diversity training. That is something the organization as a whole needs to prioritize and implement. We are a resource that can help guide any of these efforts. 

MultDems: What else do you hope to accomplish?
GMG:  The next action item of importance was a comprehensive needs assessment thorough a racial equity framework. This would help inform the new leaders of 2021 on priority actions, organizational strengths upon which to draw, and resource needs for agreed upon initiatives that align with Officers’ trajectory of Multdems work. 

As the Active Membership is changing during this transition, we are also finalizing our RIWG Charter that defines who and why we are, how we conduct ourselves in meetings, how we mediate conflict, and a complete action plan with measurable goals, specific timelines, and accountability for tracking progress and accomplishments.

For more information about the Racial Inclusivity Work Group, visit: https://multdems.org/riwg/

Contact MultDems Racial Inclusivity Work Group at:  

Reparations Resolution FAQ

On Thursday, June 9, 2020, the precinct committee persons (PCPs) of Multnomah Democrats will vote on Resolution 2020-13 The Debt: the Case for Reparations. The resolution’s primary author, Quinton Blanton, provided this FAQ for PCPs to read in advance of the vote.

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 $1 trillion of funds from the Federal Reserve to investment banks during the Great Recession and monthly outlays of $45 to $55 billion to conduct “quantitative easing,” there can be no doubt that the Fed has vast capacity to provide the funds required for a properly designed and financed reparations program, particularly if the funds are disbursed over the course of three to five years. The Fed certainly could manage an annual outlay of $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.

Reflections on Pride 2020

By Rachelle Dixon and Eric Delehoy

On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a neighborhood gay bay in New York City.  They harassed and brutalized patrons, as they always had.  But this time, patrons had had enough.

Marsha P. Johnson, a Black Trans Woman, and Sylvia Rivera, a Latina Trans Woman, led patrons in resistance, and a resulting riot that lasted six days.  They stood up against the racism and transphobia leveled at them, and the anti-LBGTQ sentiment leveled at their community, so that each of us can now be safe in our own skin, no matter what skin that is.

The next year, the first Pride Parades appeared in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

This year is no different than others.  We understand racism, transphobia, and homophobia continue to impact many lives.  And that’s why we stand with you.  Multnomah County Democrats will continue to fight for your rights to be safe, no matter your identities.  For that reason, we are reaching out to you, to pledge that even though we can’t get together to celebrate with a parade this year, we are with you every step of the way. Pride is about embracing and celebrating difference, about taking a public stand to demand safety and enjoy the freedoms the US Constitution guaranteed for all of us.  Keep being your wonderful selves!  We hope to march alongside you, not just at Pride, but every day ahead.

March PCP Appointment Apps Due March 2, 2020

Have you been waiting to become a PCP? Submit your application TODAY by visiting: https://multdems.org/becomepcp

March PCP Appointment Application Due March 2, don’t delay!
Questions? email

Young Democrats! Apply for the Sue Hagmeier Oregon Summit Scholarship

Sue Hagmeier, beloved friend of the MCD
Sue Hagmeier, longtime Oregon Democratic activist

In honor of the legacy and activism of our friend and long-time Party leader Sue Hagmeier, the Multnomah Democratic Party, through the gracious support of John and Shirley Vandermosten, has established a scholarship for young Democrats in Sue’s memory, to attend the biennial Oregon Summit, October 18-20, in Sunriver, OR.

Apply for the scholarship here.

Applications are due Sunday Sept. 15th. The Sue Hagmeier Summit Scholarship will be awarded to a young Democrat (21-36) who best exemplifies Sue’s spirit of activism and commitment to “making people’s lives better.” The award of $500 will defray the costs of attending the Biannual Oregon Summit, usually $500 and up.

See the list of speakers and events from the previous summit.

Held in October of odd number years, The Summit is the premier Oregon Democratic Party event, featuring outstanding seminars, national Democratic personalities and incredible up-close-and personal time with Oregon’s Democratic leaders.

This year’s Summit will be held from Oct 18 to Oct. 20 In Sunriver, Oregon. If you are:

  • Between 21 and 36 years of age as of Oct 18, 2019
  • A registered member of the Democratic Party (prior to the November 8, 2016 election) living in Multnomah County
  • Experienced in Party/Community activism

then please apply for the scholarship using this form. Applications are due Sunday September 15th at 5PM Pacific time. Once you have applied, stay tuned to multdems.org for the announcement of the winner, along with other information about how you can continue to be involved.

“In 2005 we attended the Summit and were immediately hooked – we got involved. Giving the opportunity for a young leader to participate in all that the Summit offers is a fitting way to both honor Sue and give this informative experience to a young person who couldn’t otherwise afford the Summit costs”

– John Vandermosten

Apply for the scholarship here.

Applications are due Sunday, Sept. 15th.

Contribute to Multnomah Democrats Work

Make contributions to support the fund here. Please consider contributing in honor of Sue Hagmeier to the ongoing growth of the scholarship fund.

Advanced Nominations for Mult Dems Treasurer now closed; Nominations from Floor Still Accepted

CLICK TO SEE THE CANDIDATES

The Role

On August 8, at the Central Committee meeting, we will hold a special election to fill the vacant position of Treasurer of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County. Are you interested in using your knowledge of budget and finance to help Democrats win in 2020? It is time to throw your hat into the ring.

 As Treasurer, you will be a member of the Admin Team and have fiduciary responsibility to:

  • Be custodian of all Party funds;
  • Maintain appropriate financial records;
  • Submit a report to each Central Committee meeting which includes a summary of income, expenses and ending balance;
  • File or cause to be filed all reports required by any government agency;
  • Manage contracted bookkeeping and campaign finance reporting services;
  • Prepare and submit to the Executive Committee an annual report for each calendar year in time for the report to be published by March 31st of the following year;
  • Serve as an ex-officio member of the Budget & Finance Committee.
  • Serve as a member of the seven person Administration Committee which oversees party business.

The term will be until the next party Organizational meeting in early 2021 (Article V Section 5 Part D of our bylaws). 

Opportunity

If you understand that a tight financial ship is key to our success as Democrats, the party needs your vision and effort. 

As treasurer, you will be part of the team that guides our growth. We are working to strengthen the party for impact and influence leading up to and beyond the 2020 elections. You will be involved with fundraising, planning, strategy, and compliance.

When Democrats win in 2020 because of  good fundraising, budgeting and financial management we will be set up for our future work.

Requirements

 Any citizen of Multnomah County registered to vote as a Democrat is eligible to hold any officer position of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County.

Who votes?

The Democratic Precinct Committee Persons (PCPs) of Multnomah County who are present at the August 8, 2019 Central Committee meeting are eligible to vote.

How Do I Run?

MultDems Call to Action: Keep Clean Energy Funding Intact!

As Oregonians, we shouldn’t have to pit schools against clean energy.

We deserve fully funded schools and clean energy jobs and initiatives. Unfortunately, an amendment to the Student Success Act (HB 3427) could damage the future of the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) and prevent other cities and counties from taking this kind of bold action.

What’s going on? A likely amendment to the Student Success Act (HB 3427) contains concerning language that could hurt the future of the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) and prevent other cities and counties from taking this kind of bold action through gross receipts surcharges or taxes.

Here’s the problem:

House Bill 3427, -15 amendments, Section 12 (scroll to page 17-18):

LOCAL TAX PREEMPTION

SECTION 12. Local taxes preempted.

(1) Except as expressly authorized by this section, the authority to impose, in this state, a tax upon the commercial activity of an entity is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly. A city, county, district or other political subdivision or municipal corporation of this state may not impose, by ordinance or other law, a tax upon commercial activity.”(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to any tax, or to the subsequent amendment of the provisions of any tax, if the ordinance or other law imposing the tax is in effect and operative on March 1, 2019.

If the bill passes with this clause intact, it won’t retroactively impact PCEF, but it could harm our ability to modify PCEF. And, it would take this important funding tool away from future progressive causes and initiatives throughout the state. We need to remove this language that concentrates power in the Legislature and takes it away from local communities.

Use the scripts below to call, email, or write your legislators in Salem.

CLICK HERE to find contact information for your state legislators.

CALL SCRIPT

My name is NAME, and I am a constituent in your district. I am contacting you  because I am concerned about a specific section of House Bill 3427, the Student Success Act.

(Put the following bullet points in your own words)

  • The bill will raise much needed revenue for education, but the 15 amendments contain a concerning provision.
  • SECTION 12 would preempt any local jurisdictions or citizen initiative petitions from raising revenue through gross receipts taxes or surcharges.
  • This sets a dangerous precedent that endangers local control over how to raise revenue and prevents citizens from making revenue decisions for their own communities.

If Section 12 remains in HB 3427, MY COMMUNITY wouldn’t be able to raise needed money for __(INSERT WHAT YOU WOULD WANT NEW LOCAL REVENUE TO FUND).

  • I urge you to protect the ability for our local community to make its own decisions about revenue and remove SECTION 12 from the bill
  • If they push back by saying that this is something other states have done with widespread revenue reform, answer by saying: “Legislative preemption over local jurisdictions is a worrying trend that Oregon should not be a part of. We must stand strong to support allowing our local communities to make  their own decisions about how to raise revenue.”

EMAIL/LETTER SCRIPT

Dear LEGISLATOR,

My name is NAME and I am a constituent in your district. I live (roughly where you live), and I voted for you in (YEAR if you voted for the legislator). I am writing to you today because I am concerned about a specific section of House Bill 3427, the Student Success Act.

Put the following bullet points in your own words:

  • The bill will raise much needed revenue for education, but the -1 amendments contain a concerning provision.
  • SECTION 12 would preempt any local jurisdictions or citizen initiative petitions from raising revenue through gross receipts taxes or surcharges
  • This sets a dangerous precedent that endangers local control over how to raise revenue and prevents citizens from making revenue decisions for their own communities.
  • If Section 12 remains in HB 3427, MY COMMUNITY wouldn’t be able to raise needed money for __(INSERT WHAT YOU WOULD WANT NEW LOCAL REVENUE TO FUND).

Legislative preemption over local jurisdictions is a worrying trend that Oregon should not be a part of. We must stand strong to support allowing our local communities to make their own decisions about how to raise revenue.

I urge you  to protect the ability for our local community to make our own decisions about revenue and remove SECTION 12 from the bill.

(Your Preferred Signoff)

NAME