Latest Info

Ethics and Grievance Panel Formation

August 18, 2019

The Democratic Party of Multnomah County, under the direction of the Chair, with the goal of achieving a more equitable and accountable organization, has created a special committee known as the MCD Ethics Panel which will carry out several important services to our community and its members.

First, the panel will accept, document, and review internal grievances from members of the party. The panel will investigate the grievances and provide recommendations to the Chair, executive committee or MCD PCP body, depending on the severity of the violation. While the panel will be focused on resolving future conflicts and incidents, members are encouraged to bring forward formal complaints from past conflicts/incidents if they a) have not reported the incident because of a lack of a formal system for submitting grievances b) have submitted a report to MCD leadership but feel the issue has been unaddressed or unresolved and c) the incident occurred within the past five years.

Second, the panel will offer guidance to the body about how to successfully adhere to the MCD Code of Conduct, Behavior and Office Use Guidelines. This may include seminars, training sessions, how-to guides, or reviews of institutional practices that may violate the Code. Our intention is to hold our community to these standards to ensure civility, respect, and fairness between our members.

As an organization that obtains its power from the collective action and support of its community, of particular concern to the Democratic Party of Multnomah County is whether any aggrieved individual or individuals have felt excluded, disenfranchised, or subject to intimidation or harassment to the point of no longer attending meetings or participating in events.

We seek to encourage ALL our members to participate and feel welcome at our meetings and activities. If you feel this basic tenet has been violated, we encourage you to submit a report to grievances@multdems.org and allow our Ethics panel to review it. Our ethics panel Chair, Anna Kanwit, can also be reached directly at ethics@multdems.org.

Details about the panel’s rules and procedures can be found by clicking on the following link:

Overview, Rules and Procedures for the Ethics Panel of the Multnomah County Democratic Party

We welcome any feedback regarding our Ethics panel and related policies, please send questions or comments to feedback@multdems.org.

Results from DPO Election Integrity Caucus Alternative Voting Pilot

Download the report here

DPO Election Integrity Caucus Subcommittee On Alternative Voting Methods

with Multnomah County Democrats –  June 13 and 15, 2019

Election Results

STAR VOTING:
69% Warren
31% Sanders

Total Scores and Averages: 
Warren: 338 (4.1 av.)
Sanders: 286 (3.4 av.)
Harris: 230 (2.8 av.)
Inslee: 217 (2.6 av.)
Buttigieg: 195 (2.3 av.)
Booker: 174 (2.1 av.)
Castro: 154 (1.9 av.)
O’Rourke: 147 (1.8 av.)
Klobuchar: 145 (1.7 av.)
Yang: 139 (1.7 av.)
Gillibrand: 138 (1.7 av.)
Gabbard: 116 (1.4 av.)
Biden: 109 (1.3 av.)
Hickenlooper: 71 (.9 av.)
Kerry: 70 (.8 av.)
Williamson: 68 (.8 av.)
Delaney: 67 (.8 av.)

Finalists:
Warren: 38 (45.8%)
Sanders: 17 (20.5%)
No Preference: 28 (33.7)

“CHOOSE-ONE” 
PLURALITY VOTING:
Warren: 32 (40%)
Sanders: 27 (33%)
Harris: 5 (6%)
Buttigieg: 4 (5%)
Biden: 3 (4%)
Inslee: 3 (4%)
Castro: 3 (4%)
O’Rourke: 1 (1%)
Williamson: 1 (1%)
Klobuchar: 1 (1%)
Kerry: 1 (1%)
Undervote: 1


RANKED CHOICE VOTING:
(ie. INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING)
Warren: 43 (52%)
Sanders: 28 (34%)
Harris: 11 (13%)

VOTING METHOD 
PREFERENCE SURVEY:
STAR Voting: 39
RCV: 17
Plurality: 13
No Preference: 5

Project Outline

On 6/13/19 attendees at the Multnomah County Central Committee participated in a pilot project to compare 3 voting methods: “Choose-One” Plurality Voting (our current system), STAR Voting, and Ranked Choice Voting. All three ballots contained the same list of candidates; the candidates running in the 2020 presidential democratic primary.

Attendees were each given an envelope containing 3 ballots and a survey on which method they preferred. After a brief explanation and a summary of some of the pros and cons from advocates of both alternative voting methods, they were asked to vote.

Preliminary Conclusions

In this scenario all three voting methods produced the same winner and the same top 3 candidates in the same order. 1st place: Elizabeth Warren, 2nd place: Bernie Sanders, and far below in 3rd place: Kamala Harris. What this tells us is that among voters polled there were only 2 truly viable candidates in the race. It’s interesting to note that both front-runners were strongly supported by each others’ voters. Sanders’ voters overwhelmingly scored and ranked Warren highly and vice versa. Though those two certainly split voters between then, there was no “spoiler” candidate strong enough to throw the election, and no other candidate strong enough to win, even with the majority divided between Sanders and Warren. Looking further down the ballot was where some interesting differences were observed. Joe Biden came in tied for 5th place with 4% of the vote in Choose-One Plurality Voting, but did much worse in STAR Voting where he came in a distant 13th place with 109 stars and a 1.3 star average. In contrast, Jay Inslee did much better in STAR Voting, coming in 4th place with a solid 217 stars, scoring close behind Kamala Harris. In Choose-One Plurality Voting, Inslee came in tied with Biden in 5th place with only 4% of the votes after Buttigieg, Harris, Sanders, and Warren. For those curious why Inslee did much better in STAR Voting but worse in Choose-One Voting, and why the opposite was true for Biden, it’s possible that Biden may well have gotten a boost in Choose-One from voters assuming that he was a front-runner while Inslee likely got underestimated. One advantage of STAR Voting is that voters don’t have to worry about who is “viable” and vote strategically. They can safely score the candidates as they choose.

Tabulation

All three voting methods were tabulated by hand on 6/15/19 by a team of volunteers at the MultCo Dems headquarters.

“Choose-One” Plurality Voting

Ballots were sorted into piles for each candidate, and the piles were counted to determine the number of votes for each.

Ranked Choice Voting

Ballots were sorted into piles by 1st choice votes. The candidate with the least number of first place votes was eliminated, and those ballots were redistributed to those voters next choice if possible. This process was continued through 9 rounds until Warren had a majority of remaining ballots. At a few stages in the elimination process there was more than one candidate tied for last place. A coin toss was performed (as is standard for official countywide elections) in order to determine who was eliminated first. There was discussion about whether it was better or more fair to eliminate both last place candidates at the same time, but as this had not been stipulated in advance it was determined to eliminate candidates one at a time. In the elimination process there was also a ballot which was “exhausted” meaning that that ballot was unable to be transferred over to another pile after their candidate was eliminated. That ballot wasn’t counted in the final round where the winner was determined.

STAR Voting

Ballots were counted in two rounds. First, a scoring round to determine the total scores received by all voters for each candidate. Then an automatic runoff round between the two highest scoring candidates. To tally the scores from all the ballots, one person was designated the caller and read the scores out-loud from the ballots. A group of volunteers had tally sheets for each score, 0-5, and when a number was called a tally was made on the corresponding sheet next to the candidate who received that score. Another person observed to ensure that the caller didn’t make any mistakes and also watched to make sure that the score was marked. Scores were then totaled by multiplying the score given by the number of tallies.. The two highest scoring candidates were deemed finalists who then advanced to the automatic runoff. For the automatic runoff the ballots were sorted into three piles: One for Bernie Sanders, one for Elizabeth Warren, and a “no-preference” pile for voters who had scored both finalists equally. Almost all voters who had scored both equally had given both finalists 5 stars.

New Treasurer Dean Price: “My father would say ‘help where you can.’ This is where I can.”

Dean Price was elected as Treasurer for the Multnomah County Democrats at the August 8, 2019 Central Committee meeting. He brings a strong sense of duty, leadership experience, and a distinct diligence to the role.

Raised in rural Virginia, Dean moved to Portland in 2015 after serving four years in the Marine Corps. After working for ADP and running his own bookkeeping firm, he now works for the City of Portland.

Dean says that he chooses to take up the responsibility of Treasurer because, as he said, “I believe this is where I can I help. I believe I can bring the skills I have learned in the civilian sector and use them to help us accomplish our goals as a party. When I think about taking on the responsibility of Treasurer, I think about my father. He would say ‘help where you can.’ This is where I can.”

As Treasurer, Dean’s priorities are bringing stability and transparency to the position.

Dean enjoys sports, movies, history, and politics. On Saturdays during the season, you will find him in a sports bar watching college football — particularly when the Virginia Tech Hokies are playing. “However, I do have a soft spot in my heart for the Oregon Ducks. I love the their fast pace offense,” Dean confessed.

Dean centers the big role of Treasurer around bringing the party together. “What I would love to see from our Democrat party is a party unity. We may disagree on how to achieve our goals but we can agree on those goals. We want every American to have healthcare, we want to face climate change head on can defeat it, we want equality and equity for all! Let not forget why we fight and who the real opponents are to our goals,” he said.

The First Draft of the 2020 Platform is Now Available!

Hey, psst. Yeah, you. Wanna see a Platform?

It’s not officially due until September but if you want to see a preview of the 1st draft of the MultDems 2020 Platform, we’ve got the hookup.

The whole 11 articles are here. Education, Justice, the Economy, you name it. It even has the planks for those new articles on Media and Abuse of Power. All the good stuff that Multnomah Democrats care about.

We even threw in some Legislative Action Items, just to sweeten the deal.

A word to the wise, though: This is just a draft. It’s a long road to the convention in November and this Platform needs to represent all Multnomah Democrats…so if you’re a registered Democrat in Multnomah County, that includes you. Rumor has it there’s a survey you can fill out if you want to make your voice heard.

But, hey, if anybody asks, you didn’t hear about it from us (the official website of the Multnomah County Democratic Party), okay?

Download the draft platform here

Announcing the August 8 Central Committee Meeting

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

Thursday, August 8 2019
Hollywood Senior Center
1820 NE 40th Avenue, Portland 97212

 

(Map)

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

Election of Treasurer

Jil Heimensen resigned from the position of Treasurer on July 2. We thank her for her service and wish her well in her future endeavors. Per our bylaws, the election to fill the vacancy must take place at a Central Committee meeting that takes place between 30 and 60 days after the position becomes vacant. 

We will be conducting an election to fill the vacant office of Treasurer of the Party at the Central Committee meeting of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County. Two candidates have nominated themselves for this election: Dean Price and Deian Salazar. You will find a link to find their biographies at www.multdems.org. We will also accept nominations from the floor.

Standing Rule 12

The Central Committee voted to refer proposed Standing Rule 12, a procedure to engage and provide resources to candidates, to an ad-hoc committee for review and to present to the August CC. The proposed language for Standing Rule 12 may be found here. The Central Committee will consider the proposal and vote on whether to adopt Standing Rule 12.

Proposed Bylaw Amendment

A bylaw amendment proposal was announced at the June CC and is to be considered in August. It provides for the Democratic Party of Multnomah County to Endorse Democrats running against Democrats: “Optional Endorsement of Candidates” 

Committee Reports and Precinct Committee Person Appointments

We will hear reports from the Alternative Voting Methods pilot project and the Racial Inclusivity Workgroup. Also, we will vote to fill vacancies for Precinct Committee Persons. A list of persons eligible for appointment can be found here.

Minutes and Agenda

The minutes of the June Central Committee Meeting may be found here.

Watch this space for the August agenda and live meeting minutes.

 

Thank you for everything you do.

Sincerely,

Lurelle Robbins, Chair

The Democratic Party of Multnomah County

chair@multdems.org

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

Multnomah Democrats Add Media Accountability to 2020 Platform

You’d be hard pressed to find somebody happy with the state of American news media, but it usually seems like there isn’t anything for us to do about it. Multnomah County Democrats want to change that.

At the 2020 Platform Convention this November, one of the most exciting prospects is a new section on the integrity of our news media.

Ethan Scarl and Neil Goodman drafted a list of proposed planks, which they presented at the August 3rd Pre-Platform Convention meeting. Some of the items on their list are likely familiar, such as the consolidation of so many news outlets into the hands of so few companies, fully funding public broadcasting, diversifying the perspectives and opinions in our media, the proliferation of hate speech, and how to tackle the epidemic of “news that is intentionally false.” They also suggested a forward-thinking plank to protect investigative reporting by compensating media for lost advertising revenue, allowing media outlets to bite the hand that feeds them if that hand really deserves to be bitten.

“Corporate ownership of news has been a problem for decades, with many towns trapped under media monopolies, but the 2016 election proved that we’re in a full blown crisis,” Ethan Scarl said, adding, “American voters didn’t send Trump to the White House. Disinformation campaigns and corporate media did.”

Adding an article on media integrity to the Multnomah County Democratic Party’s platform is a pretty big deal. All articles have ongoing study groups, giving a critical focus on news media an official home within the Party. It lets our elected officials know that we want the issue to be a regular part of our political discussions, makes it easier to advocate for legislation, and gives us a strong footing to write resolutions.

Despite the issue’s obvious urgency and public dissatisfaction, media issues are not usually tackled head on by political parties. “We care about media” is common, but “We care about media in the same way we care about education and healthcare and the economy” is not. This November, Multnomah County Democrats will take that stand.

(Full disclosure: Ethan Scarl is the author’s father.)

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?

  • We accepted new submissions for the website until July 31, 2019 at 11:59pm.
  • At this point you will need a nomination from the floor during the August 8, 2019 Central Committee Mtng. to be included as a candidate
  • You may still email admin@multdems.org to make your intentions of running known.
MultDems are developing drafts and study groups for their new platform from now until the convention November 2019.

Contribute to the Platform: Pre-Platform Convention Meeting August 3rd

Join your fellow Multnomah County Democrats for our Pre-Platform Convention meeting on Saturday, August 3rd from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Party Headquarters at 3551 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland.

We are beginning the process of developing our 2020-21 Platform, and this meeting is the first step in reviewing and gathering ideas that will guide us in the next biennium. This will be an opportunity for you to share your priorities as we collaborate together in preparation for the November Platform Convention.

To get prepared, review the Preambles for the 2018 Platform and the proposed Articles for the 2020 Platform. Take a moment to review and then we welcome your comments on this survey.

The meeting agenda shows the proposed times for discussion of each Article during the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm meeting. Articles will be introduced with comment periods. You will learn how to connect for further collaboration and to let us know your interest. Or email platform@multdems.org. Information and ideas from this meeting will be incorporated into the 1st Draft of the 2020 Platform which will be distributed in September.

If you are unable to attend please fill out the Survey of ideas to be considered for inclusion in the articles of the 1st Draft of the 2020 Platform and send it to platform@multdems.org.

Work Groups and the Platform committee will be reviewing and redrafting the Platform, with your help, over the next few months in preparation for our Platform Convention in November. We value your recommendations and look forward to hearing from you.

Useful Links

Pre Platform Meeting Agenda

Proposed Articles and Planks for 2020 Platform

Survey of Articles and Planks for 2020 Platform

2018 Platform Preambles

Keep up to date on the platform as new events and information becomes available: https://multdems.org/2020-multdem-platform-convention/ 

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.

Join friends marching for peace on Sunday July 28

Download this letter as a PDF.

The Democratic Party of Multnomah County encourages a strong show of support for the July 28th march and rally.

No U.S. War in Iran or Venezuela—Sanctions Kill People Too.  

1pm, Sunday, July 28th 

Waterfront Park at the amphitheater by the Salmon Street fountain (map).

Join us in solidarity with Peace and Justice Works (http://pjw.info).

At our Central Committee meeting in February we voiced our desire for peace by passing a resolution opposing military intervention in Venezuela and decrying the impact of sanctions.  

We thank and Democrats in the House and Senate who continue to oppose White House intervention in Venezuela and Iran, endorsing resolutions prohibiting attacks without Congressional approval. 

Rep. Blumenauer held a town hall, June 15th, with Iranian-Americans, giving them the opportunity to describe how sanctions are hurting the more vulnerable in Iranian society.  At our annual Celsi banquet in March we were honored to host keynote speaker Rep. Barbara Lee, CA, who successfully led the just completed House effort to repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

As Multnomah County Democrats we must continue to support efforts towards a just and peaceful world.

Signed,

Lurelle Robbins
Chair, Democratic Party of Multnomah County