Community Action

Christian Burgess, New Chair of Community Action Committee

Written by Gloria Geiser

“Simply bring some passion and energy and life into our collective volunteer work.”

Join Community Action Committee

As 2019 ends and the challenge of the 2020 elections draws near, we have new committee chairs with new energy and visions infusing the Multnomah County Democrats. One of these is Christian Burgess, new head of the Community Action Committee (CAC), which he views as a force for “fostering and sustaining a sense of community within the party.”

But the CAC is much more. Christian sees it as “the group within our party that presents opportunities to build alliances with other progressive community-based groups; engage with Democrats and Democratic voters across the county via street fairs, parades, and other community events; and simply bring some passion and energy and life into our collective volunteer work.”

Emphasizing empathy

Christian remembers watching the 1988 DNC convention when he was 15. As the convention went about the process of nominating Michael Dukakis, Christian thought these are my people. He recalls the excitement, energy, diversity, and the wonder of an inclusive, forward-thinking platform. As an Irish-American from a white, Catholic, Southern background, he credits Catholics for Kennedy and his diocese, which emphasized “the peace and love Jesus over the scary and judgmental one” for his identification with Democrats at an early age. This was strengthened after he came out in his late teen years, which further cemented his “sense of self and ‘other’ — of empathy and a desire to understand other lives and struggles….”

He followed through with this empathy to attend social work graduate school at Hunter College in New York City where he majored in Community Organizing and Planning. After graduation, he worked in program development and advocacy work, making the Community Action Committee a natural fit. In addition he has organized a local social group, Portland Queers and Craft Beers for almost five years since moving to the Portland region in 2014, which currently has 1300+ members and involves a great deal of creativity and logistics.

Presently, he is Director of the national Disaster Distress Helpline, a crisis hotline dedicated to supporting survivors and responders of natural and human-caused disasters struggling with distress or other mental health concerns. This project is 100% federally supported and administered by his parent company, the not-for-profit Vibrant Emotional Health. Since Vibrant also administers the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, of which DDH is a sub-network, he works in both suicide prevention and disaster mental health.

Mixing creativity and hard work

His vision for the Community Action Committee is “to create a vibrant, diverse group of committed folks who want to help our party realize its progressive platform via engaging with the communities we work alongside and serve.” To accomplish this, Christian is seeking individuals with creativity and a desire to work with other folks to support DLs/ADLs/PCPs in organizing participation in local neighborhood events. A love of details, logistics, and event planning are also helpful skills. Essentially, the Community Action Committee is about “rolling up your sleeves, working hard, while also having fun.”

In his spare time, Christian runs, is an avid reader of print media, loves attending live music concerts, travels when he can, practices yoga, and gets out into nature as often as possible. He tries to maintain a healthy balance of time alone and with family and friends.

Help to connect the dots

“All of the Multnomah Dems’ committees are inter-twined and essential, and the role that the Community Action Committee plays is connecting the dots,” said Christian, “between Fundraising, Communications, Campaigns, Platform, etc.—with the communities we stand alongside and serve as Democrats. “Hashtag ‘#ItTakesAVillage’”

Will you join Christian to “help us energize, expand and sustain our Village?”

Are you one of those people who have a knack for connecting people or organizing events? Do you want to help grow the reach and activity of the local Democratic Party in advance of 2020? Join Christian and the Community Action Committee. Email Christian: action@multdems.org

Join Community Action Committee
MultDems Democratic Debate Watch Party July 30 and 31

Join us for Democratic debate watch parties, July 30 & 31 – RSVP now!

You’ve probably seen the second Democratic presidential candidates debate lineups for July 30 & 31 in Detroit. (If you haven’t yet, check them out here.)

Since friends don’t let friends debate-watch alone, Multnomah County Democrats is hosting debate watch parties at its office.

That’s right. Both nights. Come to watch, listen, snack, and socialize.

Multnomah County Democrats office, 3551 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland 97232

Doors at 4:30 pm; Debates will air from 5 pm-7 pm PT (8 pm-10 pm ET)

Lineups: Who is debating when?

The first night’s candidates

  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Beto O’Rourke
  • Steve Bullock
  • Tim Ryan
  • John Hickenlooper
  • John Delaney
  • Marianne Williamson

The second night’s candidates

  • Joe Biden
  • Kamala Harris
  • Cory Booker
  • Julián Castro
  • Andrew Yang
  • Michael Bennet
  • Bill De Blasio
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Jay Inslee

Pizza and beverages will be provided. RSVP required prior to entry, due to limited space.

See you there!

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.

MultDems co-sponsor Lights for Liberty, July 12 Vigil against human concentration camps in America

Download this statement as a PDF

As human beings, we should all be against the inhuman caging of men, women and children in concentration camps.

I invite you to join in solidarity opposing the camps by attending Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps on July 12, 2019. Become part of this nationwide statement of values in opposition to ripping families apart. Our America welcomes immigrants and does not put those seeking asylum into concentration camps. 

The Democratic Party of Multnomah County calls upon all Americans to join the massive outcry for an end to the human concentration camps that are established and maintained by the Trump administration. We as a country welcome those that experience injustice elsewhere. We as a nation value human rights both within our borders and across the globe. Democrats will not accept that this administration represents us when it takes children from their families, locks people in pens, and denies them basic human rights like access to water and family. Our government’s treatment of children and families seeking asylum is reprehensible.

Multnomah Democrats are proud to join with fellow sponsors of Lights for Liberty including Dolores Huerta and United Farm Workers Foundation who continue their noble advocacy for justice in America. We share their outrage at the policies of the Trump administration and at the suffering of vulnerable people at the Southern border. We thank the organizers, both national and local, for making this event happen.

Join Multnomah Democrats at the event we are co-sponsoring at Terry Schrunk Plaza (SW 3rd Avenue, between Madison and Jefferson St) at 8:30 pm Friday July 12, 2019 or at other events in the area:

  • Terry Schrunk Plaza, on SW 3rd Ave, between Madison & Jefferson St 8:30 pm
  • ICE Detention Center, 4310 SW Macadam Ave, Portland 7:30 pm
  • Hillsdale Food Carts on SW Sunset Blvd 9pm
  • Unity of Portland, 4525 SE Stark St, Portland, Oregon 97215, 8pm

For other locations around the state and nation, visit https://www.lightsforliberty.org/localevents

Signed,
Lurelle Robbins
Chair, Democratic Party of Multnomah County


July 11: MultDems Picnic at Red Sunset Park

MultDems Picnic Thursday July 11, 2019 5:30 - 8pm Red Sunset Park 2403 Red Sunset Drive Gresham, Oregon

Every year, Multnomah Democrats skip the Central Committee meeting for July and instead gather in Red Sunset Park for food and togetherness. Join us!

Thursday, July 11 2019

5:30-8:00pm

Red Sunset Park, 2403 NE Red Sunset Drive, Gresham

Join fellow Democrats and elected officials for a potluck barbecue. Feel free to bring a dish to share! Bring your family, friends, and neighbors.

The Park is wheelchair accessible

Bring a potluck dish to serve 10 people. We especially welcome vegan/ vegetarian/ gluten-free/ kosher/ halal items.

Join us in reducing waste: bring re-usable serving utensils and containers.

We will have burgers & dogs (meat & veggie) grilling for you as well as beverages.

To RSVP email: 49leader@multdems.org

Details

  • The picnic will be in the Lakeview and Sunset shelters, which are adjacent and directly next to the parking lot (look for the Multnomah Dems banner)
  • The picnic shelter sites are wheelchair accessible; if you have questions or concerns regarding any personal access & functional needs which you would like addressed in order for you to safely and fully participate in this event, please reach out to 49leader@multdems.org
  • For nearby public transportation options, visit www.trimet.org
  • Need a ride or able to offer one? Click here!

The Greenest Barbecue

This year we are making waste reduction a priority. Join in!

  • Biodegradable forks/knives/spoons will be provided, but you’re encouraged to bring your own re-usable utensils if you have them!
  • The park does have water fountains, so you’re encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle
  • Please bring any home-made dishes in reusable vs. disposable containers
  • If you’re an omnivore, choose to bring a vegetarian or vegan dish, and/or choose to consume the veggie vs. meat options that will be available!

If you are interested in volunteering to help make this event a success, or if you have any questions, please email 49leader@multdems.org

Join us for the 2019 Pride Festival and Parade

Share in the celebration of the Portland Waterfront Pride Festival and Pride Parade 2019!

Here it is! On June 15 and 16, we celebrate one of the most important festivals of the year in Portland and, with the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, it is a powerful year to get involved. Participate with your local Democratic Party in the event! Join us for the parade or help staff the booth! If you can, read on about being a parade monitor.

Our booth at the Waterfront Park festival will introduce Oregonians to our policies and to the 2020 Democratic candidates.

Give people the chance to register people to vote! It’s really fun to interact with Pride-goers and important for our party to be present at this party!

Parade goers at Portland Pride festival carrying a sign reading "Love is love is love."

When: Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16.

Staff the booth

Saturday choose one of these four shifts:

  • 9 to noon (includes set up)
  • 11:45 to 3:00 pm
  • 2:45 to 6:00
  • 5:45 to 9:00 (includes clean up)

Sunday choose one of these three shifts:

  • 10:30 to 1:00 pm
  • 12:45 to 4:00
  • 3:45 to 7:00 (includes take down).

March in the Parade on Sunday

Be in the center of it all, and come dressed to show your pride! Gather with us at 10am. The parade goes from 11am to 1pm.

Interested?

Reach out to volunteer@multdems.org or just reply to this email and let us know when you can help out. Please include your shift preference, and if you’ll also be marching in the parade. We will send you a confirmation email and directions to the booth and parade.

Be a Parade Monitor

All parade groups must choose Parade Monitors, responsible for knowing and communicating the parade rules.  Be a monitor to encourage a safe experience for all participants.

Let volunteer@multdems.org know if you can be a monitor. We need one monitor for every 25 marchers

Monitor training is MANDATORY, and will be held at Anymeeting.com on the following dates: 

June 11, 2019: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
June 13, 2019: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Need Accomodations?

Anyone needing special attention because of a temporary or permanent disability that makes walking an issue to please contact me at either mearisher@gmail.com or (503) 412-9957. Please don’t hesitate to call with any questions or concerns!

Decal on car reading "House Speaker Tina Kotek" and "Disarm Hate."

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

Opposing SB 1049, Multnomah Democrats call on the legislature to preserve the commitment to public employee retirement

Take action NOW. There is no time to waste. SB 1049 has already passed the Senate, and the House is voting this Tuesday, May 28. Call your Representatives now and tell them to vote no on SB 1049.

Find my representative

The Democratic Party of Multnomah County opposes SB 1049, “Relating to public employee retirement; declaring an emergency.”

We call upon our state legislators to vote no on Senate Bill 1049. This measure is in opposition to the adopted 2018 Platform of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County:

Article X Plank 4 (p15): “We recognize the contract the state and local entities made with the public employees and support the full funding of PERS.”

Legislative Action Items, Article X, Item 2 (p25): “We call on our legislators to fully fund all levels of PERS, including individual annuity program (IAP).”

This measure is also in opposition to the DPO 2018 Platform:

Article 1 Plank 3 (p1): “We believe all Oregon wage workers have the right to a secure retirement, including protections of retirement accounts from corporate bankruptcies. We fully support protections for our public retirement systems.”

We join the Oregon Education Association in opposing PERS cuts. To quote John Larson, President of the Oregon Education Association:

“The Oregon Senate has voted to reduce the retirement security and compensation for educators, firefighters and all public employees. These unfair and illegal reductions are a betrayal of Oregon values. The Oregon House should vote no to avoid another expensive and lengthy PERS lawsuit.”

Please feel free to contact us for further input on the measure or to request assistance from us.

Sincerely,

Lurelle Robbins, Chair, Multnomah County Democrats

Faith Ruffing, Chair, Platform, Resolutions and Legislative Committee, Multnomah County Democrats

Michael Smith, Second Vice Chair, Multnomah County Democrats

Make an Impact: Budget, Community Action, and Fundraising Chairs Needed for MultDems

Do you have skills in budget, fundraising, or event organizing? Are you seeking the volunteer opportunity that can help move your Democratic values forward?

If you are ready to commit the time and skills to making a difference as we prepare for 2020, Multnomah Democrats are looking for enthusiastic, qualified people to serve as chairs and members for three critical committees:

  • Fundraising
  • Budget
  • Community Action

Interested in learning more? Read on. Want to submit yourself for consideration? Email info@multdems.org

In these roles, you can raise the profile and effectiveness of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County.

Requirements

  • Committee chairs must be precinct committee persons (PCP).
  • Appointment is for a two-year term
  • Attend regular monthly meetings
  • The Chair of each Standing Committee other than the Credentials Committee will be proposed by the Party Chair and approved by the Executive Committee.

The Budget and Finance Committee responsibilities

  • Solicit input from standing and special committees and prepare and submit a proposed budget to the Executive Committee by July 15th;
  • Submit budget to the Central Committee for approval within 60 days of approval by the Executive Committee;
  • Create a multi-year budget plan for the Party;
  • In conjunction with the Fundraising Committee, prepare an annual plan to raise the revenue to finance the activities in each current or proposed budget.

Community Action Committee responsibilities

  • Recommend events that advance the Party’s mission. Coordinate volunteers and materials for approved events;
  • Assist District Leaders and PCPs with local events;
  • Maintain a calendar of events of interest to Democrats;
  • Reach out to individuals, communities, and organizations that share our interests and goals;
  • Assist the Party and other Democratic Party entities with events held in the county.

Fundraising Committee responsibilities

  • In conjunction with the annual budget planning process, develop a fundraising plan to, at a minimum, provide for budget expenditures;
  • Determine annual capacity for Party fundraising events, including a major fundraising event in honor of Dick Celsi;
  • Provide primary leadership and oversight of Party fundraising events and programs;
  • Develop and utilize all available tools to fulfill fundraising goals;
  • Assist House Districts, Party committees, and Party members in organizing local fundraising events;
  • Develop and operate programs to ensure communication with current and potential donors;
  • Maintain a database of past, present, and potential Party donors;
  • Assist Party officers, committee chairs, and District Leaders in making personal contacts for fundraising purposes;
  • Develop and maintain the donor program, including donor recognition.

Interested in learning more or applying? Email info@multdems.org.

MultDems Call to Action: Clean Energy Jobs Bill Moment of Truth

We are so close to passage of the Clean Energy Jobs bill, but we need to continue to pressure our lawmakers to make the bill as strong as it can be! We are targeting the eight Democrats on the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction.

We need your help to ensure a highly effective bill passes out of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction (JCCR) so that it can be voted on by the full Legislature.

Please send emails or messages to the following legislators on the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction. Create  individual messages addressed to each legislator. You can copy/paste all or part of the suggested language. Add your own language and personal experience.

Note that you are writing them as a citizen of Oregon. As members of the JCCR, they are charged with doing the right thing for all of Oregon.

Please do not use the CC email function as legislators dislike being copied along with multiple offices.

Senator Michael Dembrow, email Sen.MichaelDembrow@oregonlegislature.gov

Senator Kathleen Taylor, email sen.kathleentaylor@oregonlegislature.gov

Senator Jeff Golden, email Sen.JeffGolden@oregonlegislature.gov

Senator Lee Beyer, email Sen.LeeBeyer@oregonlegislature.gov

Representative Karin Power, email Rep.KarinPower@oregonlegislature.gov

Representative Ken Helm, email rep.kenhelm@oregonlegislature.gov

Representative Pam  Marsh, email rep.pammarsh@oregonlegislature.gov

Representative John Lively, email Rep.JohnLively@oregonlegislature.gov

Suggested Language

Encourage these legislators by noting that Oregon has the opportunity to once again be a national leader as it once was on environmental issues like the Beach Bill and Bottle Bill and that HB 2020 can serve as a model for other states. Let them know that this legislation has the potential to be a legacy they will be proud of many years from now.

Ask them to pass the strongest possible climate legislation that addresses three essential needs and ensures that that bill:

  • Has a quickly declining cap and that we want that cap to lead to zero emissions in 2050,
  • Makes polluters pay – all major polluters need to be under the cap – no exemptions, and
  • Funds a just transition and ensures funds are targeted to those most impacted by climate change.

Urge these legislators to pass HB 2020 along with the 31 amendments. Let them know that you especially appreciate that HB 2020 now:

  • Includes 40% allocation for impacted communities
  • Keeps Covanta as a regulated entity,
  • Keeps semiconductor F gases subject to the cap,
  • Ensures that offsets must be real, permanent, quantifiable, verifiable, enforceable and additional,
  • Has a specific allocation for the Just Transition Fund to help workers, and
  • Retains the emergency clause so that the Oregon Climate Action Program will be in place immediately.

Ask them to not let this vital piece of legislation to be watered down and to resist the efforts of some of their colleagues to delay, mislead or confuse. Summarize by thanking them for their hard work and suggesting that passing this critical legislation by Earth Day would be a wonderful gift for Oregon and the planet.

MultDems Call to Action: Pass the National Popular Vote

Right now, March 2019, The Oregon State Senate has a key National Popular Vote (NPV) legislation bottled up in committee. If you believe in this issue Let them know you want the President decided by the popular vote, not the Electoral College

learn more at National Popular Vote web site which has 14 explanatory videos and answers to 131 myths about the bill.

MultDems Platform Supports the NPV

Under Article VI, Election Integrity and Legislative Accountability;

We stand for the principle of one person, one vote and believe every vote in every state should be counted equally in every election. We support the passage of the National Popular Vote in Oregon and across the nation.

https://multdems.org/resources/platform-of-the-party

Resolution in Support of HB2704 and SB870

On March 14, The Democratic Party of Multnomah County voted unanimously to support, as we did in 2017, the passage of NPV legislation here in Oregon. Download the resolution here to send to your legislators!

Multnomah County Democratic Central Committee Resolution: 2019-5 National Popular Vote

WHEREAS on five occasions the winner of the national popular vote for President of the United States did not become President, notably in 2016 and twice since 2000; and

WHEREAS the Electoral College violates the democratic principle of “one person, one vote,” giving unequal power to voters in different states such that it takes 3.2 times as many votes in California, the most populous state, to elect an elector as it does in Wyoming, the least populous state; and

WHEREAS shifting demographics make such mismatches between the popular vote and the electoral vote likely to happen with increasing frequency in the future; and

WHEREAS state’s winner-take-all laws result in “wasted” votes since any votes cast in excess of a simple majority in a state add nothing to the outcome and are therefore “wasted”; and

WHEREAS this effect is most profound in states that lean strongly toward one candidate; and

WHEREAS winner-take-all laws create “swing states,” in which small differences in voter preference can determine the election outcome for the entire country; and

WHEREAS due to their lopsided importance, swing states receive disproportionate numbers of candidate visits and vastly more campaign spending; and

WHEREAS because swing states are identified years in advance, political operatives have clear guidance on where to concentrate voter suppression efforts, voting machine hacking, and other types of election fraud; and

WHEREAS the current status quo within the Electoral College heightens a “red state/blue state” mentality, reinforcing an “us versus them” attitude and deepening perceived political divides; and

WHEREAS a majority of Americans support the idea that the winner of the national popular vote should be President; and

WHEREAS the Electoral College, as established in the U.S. Constitution would be difficult to repeal and replace with a popular national vote because a Constitutional Amendment requires ratification by ¾ of the state legislatures; and

WHEREAS an alternative that produces the same result is desirable; and

WHEREAS Article II of the U.S. Constitution assigns responsibility for selecting the method of choosing a state’s presidential electors explicitly to the State Legislature; and

WHEREAS In the entire history of the United States, every state winner-take-all statute, (and every other law, in every state, specifying the state’s method for choosing its presidential electors) has been enacted, amended, and repealed by action of the state legislature – not by initiative, referendum, or referral process.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

The Multnomah County Democratic Party supports the passage of HB 2704 and SB 870, which “Enacts Interstate Compact for Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote” and directs their representatives in the Oregon Legislature to pass, and Governor Brown to sign, National Popular Vote legislation this session, with no amendment relating to referring this issue to the voters.

Note #1: The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact has been enacted into law in 11 states and the District of Columbia, representing 172 electoral votes (CA, CT, DC, HI, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, VT and WA). Legislation has passed both chambers in Colorado and New Mexico in the past month and enactment is expected by their Governors. The addition of these states would bring the total electoral votes committed to the compact to 186. Oregon’s seven electoral votes would bring the total to 193.

Note #2:  National Popular Vote legislation, identical to SB 870 and HB 2704, has passed the Oregon House of Representatives during the 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017 legislative sessions.

Adopted on March 14, 2019.