Announcements

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 elections@multco.us

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!

Three diverse people on a roof holding an American flag. "Be a Primary Voter"

Activists Needed to Help Non-Affiliated Voters “Be A Primary Voter”

Thousands of newly registered voters won’t have the option to choose the Democratic Presidential candidate in the May primary election — unless you let them know. 

The 2015 motor voter law that registers voters when they get a new driver license means Oregon has added nearly a million new voters. This is great news, except most of them have not chosen a party. These Non-Affiliated Voters (NAV) won’t have party races on their ballot this May if they don’t choose by April 28, 2020. 

Of course, the Multnomah County Democrats want these new voters to choose the party with candidates who share values for human-need causes like healthcare, climate, civil rights and economic justice. We also know, once someone participates in a primary election, they are more likely to vote in the general elections. 

Our goal is to increase civic engagement by encouraging citizens to exercise their RIGHT to vote for the candidate who they think could best support the issues important to them. 

That’s why we’re reaching out to community organizers and activists like you. The Multnomah County Democrats have created a voter registration program called “Be A Primary Voter.” Check out the easy action kits to help you to reach out to non-affiliated voters with voter lists; scripts, flyers and instructions. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Decide what kind of event you want to have. Choose from hosting a postcard party, a walk party canvass event or a call-and-text party. You could even combine them.
  2. Learn how to use MiniVAN here or attend an action party at Multnomah Democrats HQ and download your list of voters to contact.
  3. Once you have your action kit and your contact list, you are ready to host your event. Your volunteers will contact non-affiliated voters who are likely Democratic voters to let them know only registered Democrats get to choose who will be our Presidential nominee. And show them how to update their registration.

We know you’re working hard to beat Trump in 2020. Volunteering to register NAVs will make a huge difference in voter participation. That effects critical issues like our Secretary of State election, post-census redistricting, and ballot measures. Oregonians deserve to have a choice and Be A Primary Voter. Can we count on you to organize a group of activists? Learn more or go here to sign up.

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.

""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: elections@multco.us

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 DPO.org/pcp

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.

Flyer with MultDems logo and colors: Transform TriMet - Buy Electric Buses. Dates of meetings

Call to Action: Tell TriMet, Tell Metro No New Diesel Buses

Greta Thunberg said, “Act as if your house is on fire – because it is.” This is an emergency!

TL;dr What is Happening?

TriMet, the local transit operator, is planning to buy 159 diesel buses. In the face of a climate emergency, putting 159 polluting buses with a lifespan of 16 years each is just not acceptable.

What to do: Testify or Email for Clean Air and Climate Action

  • February 20th 2:00 p.m. Public Comment section of Metro Council’s agenda. 600 NE Grand Ave, Portland OR
  • February 26th 9:00 a.m. Public Forum section of TriMet Board’s agenda. 121 SW Salmon St., Portland, OR
  • February 27th 2:00 p.m. Public Comment section of Metro Council’s agenda. 600 NE Grand Ave, Portland OR

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.

Send an email to boardtestimony@trimet.org.

Make Way for Electric Buses

Last fall, TriMet authorized a diesel bus buy of 159 buses over a 5 year purchase contract.

That’s 159 NEW DIESEL Buses, each with a lifetime of up to 16 years, on our roads – adding more CO2 to the planet’s atmosphere, and spewing more unhealthy diesel fumes into our already historically stressed neighborhoods.

We need to STOP this ‘Business as Usual’ NEW DIESEL bus buy! It is unacceptable!

Tell TriMet, Tell Metro – Clean Air! No NEW DIESEL Buses

Why are we going to the Metro Council? Metro has a fiduciary role in receiving Federa thel tax revenue spent on our transportation infrastructure.

TriMet gets funding from Metro and the State of Oregon.

Governor Brown appoints the TriMet Board. Metro Councilors are elected by the public.

Climate Change is a Public Health Emergency

Tell TriMet, Tell Metro – Clean Air! No NEW DIESEL BUSES.

On February 4, 2020 500 Oregon Health leaders from the Oregon Public Health Association (OPHA) declared that Climate Change is a Public Health emergency.

Their policy recommendations include meeting and strengthening Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, and rapidly transitioning to renewable energy and zero-carbon emissions transportation systems.

Tell TriMet, Tell Metro – Clean Air! No NEW DIESEL BUSES. Climate Change is a Public Health Emergency

Historically underserved communities require equitable transit service – they do not need dangerously increased levels of pollution in their neighborhoods. An Equity lens places the first electric buses available on the Division Transit Project route.

We must STOP the Diesel Bus buy! No More Business as Usual, No NEW Diesel Buses! Electrify the Fleet!

There are two upcoming Metro Council meetings and a TriMet Board meeting in the next two weeks where we need to come together and take action and to shine a bright light on this bad decision. Provide testimony or come and support those who do. Can’t attend? Write to the TriMet Board, write to the Metro Council.

Do you or does someone you know take the bus? Live near a busline? Breathe the air? Do you or someone you know have asthma? Do you or someone you know work in a social justice, or healthcare field? Forward this to your friends or friendly organizations who might distribute to their members. THANK-YOU for your participation and involvement!

Debbie Gordon and Tracy Farwell, co-leads Natural Resources Protection and Recovery Work Group, aka the Multdems Climate Action Team

The attachments include:

TriMet FAQ and Call to Action

Call to Action on the backside of the TriMet FAQ sheet:

Clean Air! No More New Diesel Buses Climate Change is a Public Health Emergency

Greta Thunberg said, “Act as if your house is on fire – because it is.” This is an emergency!

Buying New Diesel Buses is going backwards. You can’t say your goal is to reduce emissions on the one hand and buy diesel buses which will produce emissions for 16 years on the other.

No more business as usual! We must put our resources into electrifying the fleet NOW!

Join Us to Take Action

Multnomah Democrats, led by the Climate Action Team

  1. Demand that TriMet’s regional peer authority, the publicly-elected Oregon Metro Council, acknowledge the call to action from the Oregon Public Health Association.

The TriMet management resolution for the 159 diesel bus buy (2019 Resolution -78) omitted public health criteria from any Source Evaluation Committee criteria or its weighted scoring.

  1. Reverse the $200M TriMet Board authorization for 159 New Diesel buses since it dismissed any consideration of Portland’s ongoing diesel public health threats. Moreover, regional transit operations that consume fossil fuels clearly constitute Portland public infrastructure and expanding the diesel fleet contradicts the court supported Portland ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure.
  2. Develop a formal Zero Emissions Fleet Transition Program, prioritize and secure funding (include in bond on the November ballot) and establish a program management office to get this job done on an emergency basis. TriMet can execute the program under close supervision.
  3. Require first electric buses on the Division Transit Project, relieving already stressed communities.

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

Come Testify and/or support others who do!

February 20th 2:00 p.m. Public Comment section of Metro Council’s agenda. 600 NE Grand Ave, Portland OR

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

February 27th 2:00 p.m. Public Comment section of Metro Council’s agenda. 600 NE Grand Ave, Portland OR

Presenting Testimony

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

Can’t attend? Write emails and submit online comments for the TriMet Board and Metro Council, which will be part of the public record:

Subject: Clean Air! No More New Diesel Buses

Body of email:

  • State your support for no new Diesel Buses, and for a plan for a Zero-Emissions Fleet ASAP!
  • 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).

Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about TriMet Diesel vs. Electric Buses

What is the size of TriMet’s fleet of buses?

The TriMet fleet is made up of 694 buses (10 electric), and diesel consumption is 6+ million gallons annually. TriMet plans to have 900 buses by 2040.

Why is TriMet Acquiring New Diesel Buses?

They say it is for normal replacement and for extending services. TriMet authorized a diesel bus buy of 159 buses over a 5 year purchase contract.* (A diesel bus purchased in 2024 would have a life of up to 16 years on the road.)

Didn’t the City of Portland ban new fossil fuel infrastructure?

Yes. December 18th, 2019, the Portland City Council voted to re-adopt a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Do we need more buses in East Portland?

Yes. The first 31 diesel buses are targeted for the Division Transit Project. An Equity lens requires both better, increased service to those historically underserved AND public health consideration.

Are there Non-Diesel Alternatives?

Yes. Seattle has committed to transitioning their fleet to battery electric buses, while still operating the legacy electric trolley buses. New York’s MTA is retiring all diesel buses, transitioning to an electric fleet. California has mandated electric buses.

Why is Diesel Bad? Why should I care if TriMet buys 159 New Diesel buses?

The transport sector (40% of Portland’s carbon pollution) is the fastest growing contributor to climate emissions that contribute to global warming. Diesel produces long-lived carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, short-lived black carbon, and ground level ozone – all producing very unhealthy air, with increased levels of asthma and other breathing disorders.

What do the Scientists and Health Professionals say?

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Special Report 15 (SR15) states that it is too dangerous to reduce carbon emissions any less than 45% in ten years’ time. On Feb. 4th 500 Oregon Health leaders from the Oregon Public Health Association declared that Climate Change is a Public Health emergency. Their policy recommendations include meeting and strengthening Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, transitioning to renewable energy and to zero-carbon emissions transportation systems. **

What is TriMet Doing About the Transition to Clean Fuels?

TriMet is duplicating the same kind of clean fuel evaluation other transit operators have already completed. TriMet’s few electric buses are being evaluated.

Has the TriMet Set a Target Date for Retiring the Diesel Fleet?

Their commitment is for zero diesel buses in 2040, not zero emissions.

What is the relationship between TriMet and Metro?

Metro has a fiduciary role in receiving Federal tax revenue to be expended on transportation infrastructure. TriMet gets funding from Metro and the State of Oregon.

Clean Air! No More New Diesel Buses Climate Change is a Public Health Emergency

Greta Thunberg said, “Act as if your house is on fire – because it is.” This is an emergency!

Buying New Diesel Buses is going backwards. You can’t say your goal is to reduce emissions on the one hand and buy diesel buses which will produce emissions for 16 years on the other. No more business as usual! We must put our resources into electrifying the fleet NOW!

MultDems Debate Watch Party February 19 at MultDems HQ

Join us February 19 for a Critical Democratic Presidential Debate

Debate Season Continues!

Candidates continue to qualify for the upcoming Democratic Presidential Debate. It is getting down to brass tacks, and you can join a lively group of Democrats to watch the action.

RSVP Now

Co-sponsored by the MultDems Climate Action Team

These folks make things happen.

Multnomah County Democrats Community Action Committee has been holding full house watch parties, co-sponsored with other committees and Democratic groups. It is a vibrant place to witness history in the making.

There will be pizza and soft drinks. Feel free to bring your favorite debate-watching snacks to share.

Click here to RSVP

Multnomah County Democrats office, 3551 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland 97232 [Map]

Doors at 5pm

See you there!

Facebook event

For public transportation options to/from the event location, visit http://trimet.org/. The Multnomah County Democrats office is wheelchair accessible. If you have any access or functional needs that you feel may prevent you from joining us at this event or that, if they can be addressed, might make the event more accessible [and therefore more enjoyable] for you, please email action@multdems.org.

Chair Lurelle Robbins, HD 43 District Leader Brandon DeWeese, and Vice Chair 2 Michael Smith

Brandon DeWeese Elected as District Leader for HD43

Please offer a rousing, appreciative round of applause for Brandon DeWeese. Brandon has stepped forward and been elected to serve as District Leader for HD 43 in North and Northeast Portland. As District Leader, Brandon will coordinate his district PCPs, serve on the MultDems Executive Committee, and connect with his elected Democrats Tawna Sanchez & Lew Frederick,

Are you interested in getting involved? Join your community members as PCPs. You can seek appointment now or run in the May election. Now is the time to get involved so we can join together for this critical election.

Approximately 150 people watching the Portland Mayoral Forum January 2020

View video of Portland Mayoral Debate

Multnomah Democrats, in co-sponsorship with BerniePDX and East County Rising, hosted a forum for Portland Mayoral candidates January 21, 2020. Around 150 attended.

Video from the Facebook Livestream is available for those who missed the event. It has that live, Facebook feel to it.

Candidates Cash Carter, Ozzie Gonzalez, Sarah Iannarone, and Teressa Raiford participated. The incumbent, Ted Wheeler, was unable to attend as he was in Washington DC for the United States Conference of Mayors.

Read MultDem Austen Lethbridge-Scarl’s take on the event.