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Ben Lavine and Alexandra Byers are 2019 winners of the Sue Hagmeier Scholarship

Congratulations to the 2019 winners of the Sue Hagmeier Scholarship, Ben Lavine and Alexandra Byers.

The Sue Hagmeier scholarship was established to assist young Democrats to attend the biennial Oregon Summit, held this year October 18-20 in Sunriver, OR.

“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,” says John Vandermosten who created the scholarship along with his wife Shirley Vandermosten in honor of Hagmeier, their longtime friend.

Deeply involved with the Multnomah County Democrats, Lavine has worked on the Neighborhood Leader Program for his house district. He also works with the very active Campaign and Candidate Liaison Committee.

“I’m really looking forward to the workshops and the speakers, and getting to know my fellow Democrats at the Oregon Summit. I am deeply thankful for the opportunity that this scholarship has given me.” says Lavine.

Byers is a Secondary Spanish Immersion teacher at Lakeridge High School. She also coaches a variety of sports throughout the year and is an Instructional Coach for EdForce, a national education start up. She is an active volunteer with the Multnomah County Democrats and is a graduate of Lincoln High School and Bryn Mawr College.

“I plan to continue to be involved with politics and activism after the Summit. I plan to travel to Ohio next summer and help with the Democratic campaign efforts in 2020. I also would like to continue to help disenfranchised voters or non-voters become involved and have access to voting stations,” says Byers.

The Sue Hagmeier legacy

Sue Hagmeier, who passed away in 2017, was a long time Democratic and community activist. Born and raised in Portland, she graduated from Jackson High School and Reed College. Hagmeier was elected to the Portland Public Schools school board and served two terms, from 1995-2003. Continuing her political dedication, she served as the Multnomah County Democrat’s communications chair for many years, attended the 2012 Democratic National Convention as an Oregon delegate, and worked in the state legislature. She believed strongly in the power of government as well as individual action to make people’s lives better.

The premier gathering of Oregon Democrats

The 10th Biennial Oregon Summit, Featuring Congresswoman Sharice Davids. October 18-20, 2019. Sunriver, Oregon.

Held every other year, the 10th Oregon Summit will be held October 18-20 at Sunriver. Along with Congresswoman Sharice Davids of Kansas, attendees will hear Oregon and national leaders speak. Workshops will brim with ideas and inspiration.

Workshops offered include

  • Injustice: Race, Bias, and Disparity in the Criminal Justice System
  • Building a Future-Ready Transportation System
  • The Road to Milwaukee: Delegate Selection for the 2020 Democratic National Convention
  • Organizing in Rural & Red Districts: Building a Bench in CD 2 and Beyond

The Mission of the Multnomah County Democrats is to engage and share our resources with the people of our county to empower them to raise their voices through their votes and community actions. We invite all registered county Democrats to join our Party. Together we all work to provide opportunities for voters to learn about and influence local and statewide politics. To learn how to get involved, visit


MulDems Resolution 2019-26: Addressing Recent Turkish Incursion into Kurshish Syria

Multnomah Democrats pass resolution calling for UN Involvement in Kurdish Syria

At the Central Committee Meeting on October 10, 2019, the Multnomah County Democrats unanimously passed Resolution 2019-26, Addressing Recent Turkish Incursion into Kurshish Syria

Download the full resolution as a PDF

WHEREAS Syrian Democratic Forces fighters have been instrumental in rolling back the black-flagged tide of the so-called Islamic State.

WHEREAS ethnic Kurds make up a large percentage of Syrian Democratic Forces’s personnel;

WHEREAS the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw U.S. Military forces from the Turkish-Syrian border has invited a massive Turkish incursion into Syrian Kurdish Territory;

WHEREAS an invasion of Kurdish Territory would put civilians at risk of death at the hands of Turkish, Syrian Arab Republic, and ISIS forces;

WHEREAS Thousands of Kurdish, civilians have already been displaced.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Multnomah County Democratic Party condemns and deplores this craven, callous betrayal of a regional ally;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED The Multnomah County Democratic Party calls upon Oregon’s Congressional delegation and the Trump Administration to exert diplomatic and economic pressure, including sanctions on the Republic of Turkey to withdraw its armed forces from Northern Syria;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Multnomah County Democratic Party calls upon the United Nations to send a peacekeeping mission to Northern Syria to protect civilians there from acts of aggression and terrorism.

Submitted 10 October 2019

Sponsored by:

  • Spencer Trumm
  • Jil Heimensen
  • Graham Parks
  • Michelle Risher
  • Bing Wong
  • Henry Exerjian

    Transcribed by Patch Perryman, MCD Recording Secretary


Faith E Ruffing  

Register now for the platform convention and guide the next two years of party policy

You must register to attend the Platform Convention. See below.

The Platform Committee of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County has completed the Second Draft of the 2020 Platform which is now ready for review and comment. The comment period will end on October 19th. Focus on the ones you are interested in. Please let us know if anything should be added, revised or removed.

The preambles are a statement of what we believe and are the principles of the article. The planks further delineate these principles by identifying current important issues. The Legislative Action Items support or oppose legislative concepts and give us direction in future legislative work.

The draft platform features two additional articles: Tribal Sovereignty, and Oregon Anti Black Foundation. The order of the Articles has been changed putting like topics together which may change again in the final as we continue to refine it.

A lot of work and many interesting discussions were had with the individual Study Groups to come up with this draft. Editing removed a lot of verbiage for clarity and brevity which some of you may feel should not be removed. If you think thoughts removed should be returned please go to the link above to make your comments.

We know there is duplication both within and across the articles. In some instances the point may be important enough to have in both. The planks and LAI will be grouped according to topic and local, state or federal impact. These are some of the things to consider as we review and comment on the Second Draft.

After the comment period ends the Platform, Resolution and Legislative Committee (PRLC) will prepare the Final Draft of the 2020 Platform for submission to the Convention for adoption. The Convention is on November 23 at the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) offices.[ Map]

In order to attend the Convention you must register and indicate your preferences for the Short Sessions. There will be 2 Sessions at the Convention but indicate the top three in case the article group is overloaded and we need to shift some to another group. Register here.

Have fun reading and many thanks to all who put this together,

Lurelle Robbins, Chair, The Democratic Party of Multnomah County

Faith E Ruffing, Chair, Platform, Resolutions and Legislative Committee

And now for something REALLY serious. Tonight is your last chance to buy discounted tickets to our much-acclaimed Comedy, Candidates, and Cocktails fundraiser. Saturday (that’s tomorrow!) night, four top local comics will join local candidates for a fun-raiser of bigly proportions. Get your tickets now!

Learn more.

Cat in a biketown basket riding across Tillikum Crossing

Comedy Night Tomorrow: Today is your last chance to save $10

Today Friday, October 11, is your last chance to save $10 on your ticket to Comedy, Candidates, and Cocktails. They are only $35 at the door, but by clicking this here button, you can get all your tickets for just $25 each

So what will you do with your ten bucks?

We know you love Oregon and our region, so we put together a little Etsy shopping list for you:

Or you could buy some snacks at the food carts on hand tomorrow night. You could buy Nariko Ott, one of our featured comics, a snack. He seems kinda skinny. Maybe he is not getting enough protein.

Regardless, we will see you there, where we will all enjoy the organic, grass-fed Multnomah County-local Comedy of Nariko, Shain, Becky, and Adam.

Get your tickets now and save $10 from the door cost. Heck, tickets at the door are only $35 and goes to elect Democrats. Its a great way to spend your money.

Of course, if you buy them NOW, you can use that extra $10 and order a print of the Dragon of St. Johns Bridge. And that, along with a night of comedy with your fellow Democrats, just might make your life complete.

See you tomorrow!

Follow us on Facebook and check our events calendar to keep up with MultDems.

Donate to Multnomah Democrats

Our party runs on your energy. Thank you for contributing!

Thank you for all you do!

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.

November 2019 Ballot Measure Endorsements

Multnomah County Democrats

November 2019 Ballot Initiatives

For the November 2019 Election, the Democratic Party of Multnomah County Central Committee will vote at the 10 October meeting on whether to endorse, not endorse, or take no position on each of these ballot initiatives.

Endorsement Task Force Recommendations


Bull Run Watershed Protections

In Brief: Solidifies protections for the Portland Metro Area’s drinking water.   Prohibits land uses that would impact the ecosystem where our water originates and restricts public access thereto. 

Originator of Measure: Portland City Council, specifically Commissioner Amanda Fritz as head of the Portland Water Bureau.

Public Supporters: Portland City Council.

Public Opponents: There are no notable public opponents.

Analysis: Common sense protections for our most critical natural resource.   Water is life and protecting it is real homeland security.



Emergency Mutual Aid Agreement

In Brief: Gives City Council authority to fund the use of Portland city emergency responders, equipment and expertise in the case of an emergency interruption of water services for nearby government entities, tribes and utilities.

Originator of Measure: Portland City Council, specifically Commissioner Amanda Fritz as head of the Portland Water Bureau.

Public Supporters: Portland City Council.

Public Opponents: There are no notable public opponents.

Analysis: Codifies the golden rule of mutual aid: allow us to provide the aid we would wish to receive in the case of an Emergency.   Allows Portland staff to gain valuable experience helping with emergencies elsewhere. 



Troutdale Old City Hall Renovation

In Brief: 21 year Bond taxing property values to fund $7 Million deep renovation of the currently uninhabitable historic city hall building.  Would also make building earthquake-ready, ADA accessible and create parking lot.

Public Supporters: Troutdale City Council, Troutdale Historical Society

Public Opponents: Paul J. Wilcox, retired truck driver and former Troutdale City Council candidate narrowly defeated by City Councilman Nick Moon in 2018.

Analysis: An issue local to Troutdale property tax payers and citizens about whether to continue to pay rent for city service offices or renovate a historic building up to current code and safety standards.   Price tag for renovation is estimated to be $7M plus maintenance costs while current rent is stated to be $75k per year. Given the FFA Architecture estimate the the usage life of the renovated historic city hall would top out at 30 years, construction of a new city hall would be more cost-effective.

Recommendation:  NO POSITION.



Metro Parks Bond

In Brief: Issues new bond paid for by property taxes at the rate currently provided by expiring bonds (from 1995 & 2006) to protect and provide new access to clean water, natural areas and parks. Uses funds to acquire land from private sellers in 24 target areas including local river headwaters, creeks and wetlands for restoration and protection. Uses funds to award neighborhood capital grants, take care of Metro parks and maintain or create 39 new trails for biking & walking.    Bond centers indigenous, historically marginalized and communities of color in awarding contracts, determining priorities, awarding grants and designing nature access.

Public Supporters Include: East County Rising, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Unite Oregon, Verde, Portland Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Depave, Urban Greenspaces Institute, The Sierra Club, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Portland Business Alliance, The Main Street Alliance, AFSCME 3580, Metro President Lynn Peterson, APANO.

Public Opponents: Cascade Policy Institute ( which in 2009 produced “Climate Chains,” a climate change denial video, and whose funding is tied to ALEC and Charles Koch) and Taxpayers Association of Oregon of Measure 37 fame (whose funders include Grover Norquist and ALEC).

Analysis: Visionary nature access bond centering racial justice in its decisions.  This is the kind of measure/bond that represents a broad approach to transforming our relationship with the land, land stewardship and broadens the Metro community’s access to nature in a manner that specifically seeks to decouple nature recreation from privilege.




Teachers Levy Renewal

In Brief: Renews expiring 5-year levy funding Portland Public School teachers from 2014.  

Public Supporters Include: PPS Board, Earl Blumenauer, Ginny Burdick, Michael Dembrow, Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Robert Wagner, House Speaker Tina Kotek, Rob Nosse, Tawna Sanchez, Barbara Smith Warner , Susheela Jayapal, Ted Wheeler, Nick Fish City, Amanda Fritz & Chloe Eudaly.

Public Opponents: There are no notable public opponents.

Analysis: 825 Teacher salaries are dependent on renewal of this levy.



Sauvie Island Firefighter Levy

In Brief: Renews Sauvie Rural Fire Protection District’s five year levy to fund general operations allowing the continuation of emergency medical and fire services to the residents of Sauvie’s Island.

Public Opponents: There are no public opponents.

Analysis: Common sense continuation of a basic public service.


Comparing Democratic Humor and Republican Humor

As Democrats, we own comedy. Let’s just compare.

Republican funny

Richard Nixon saying "Sock it to me."

Democrat funny

Barack Obama saying "Obama out" and dropping the mic.

So join us to flex our laugh muscles as we warm up for 2020! This is a fundraiser for your hard-working county Democratic party, but you will hardly notice.

Comedy, Candidates, and Cocktails on October 12

Comedy and politics go together. The Multnomah Democrats, with the help of some of our funniest friends, are going to celebrate that bond at our second annual Comedy, Candidates, and Cocktails.

The name says it all: along with four great comics, local politicians and will mingle and share the stage at the North Portland Eagles Club [Map]. Doors at 7pm.

Comedy, Candidates and Cocktails flyer. Tickets are on sale now, show is October 12. Hosted by Senator Shemia Fagan.

“Unfunny presidents only serve one term, if they win an election at all.”

– Senator John McCain, 2008 (How did that work out, Senator?)

Hosted by Senator Shemia Fagan, who is not always exactly strait laced herself.

Donate to Multnomah Democrats

Our party runs on your energy. Thank you for contributing!

Announcing the October 10 Central Committee Meeting

This update includes information on the vote on Standing Rule “Control of Online Assets” and Resolution 2019-25 “Opposing Standardized Testing.”

We will also vote on new PCPs

The Central Committee meeting of the Democratic Party of Multnomah is this Thursday

October 10, 2019

  • Hollywood Senior Center
  • 1820 NE 40th Avenue, Portland 97212 (Map)

And thanks to the Community Action Committee, it will be a little different!

Community Action Committee cutting out fish for Central Committee
Community Action Committee preparing for their new take on Central Committee Meetings. Come see what they have in store!


  • 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

Standing Rule “Control of Online Assets”

We will vote on a new standing rule: Control of Online Assets

Precinct Committee Person Appointments

We will vote to fill vacancies for Precinct Committee Persons. Applicants are listed here.

Resolution: Opposing Standardized Testing

We will be voting on Resolution 2019-25 Opposing Standardized Testing.

Click here to read the resolution

Lastly, buy your tickets for comedy night NOW. Before they are sold out!

MultDems adopt STAR voting

Multnomah County Democrats Adopt STAR voting for internal party elections

The Democratic Party of Multnomah County will use STAR Voting for races with more than 2 candidates.

At our September meeting, the Multnomah County Democratic Party Central Committee became the first county party in the nation to adopt STAR voting.

“We are excited to implement STAR voting for our internal party elections,” said Lurelle Robbins, Chair of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County. “We have heard the call for elections that allow voters to vote their conscience. STAR voting seems particularly suited in our elections that choose 10-20 winners from a potential field of 30 or more candidates.”

Elections using STAR Voting include Party Officer elections, Congressional District Delegate elections, Central Committee Delegate elections, and District Leader elections as well as elections for alternates to all of those positions.

STAR stands for Score – Then – Automatic – Runoff, and that’s exactly how it works. Voters score candidates on a scale from 0 – 5 stars, then an automatic runoff between the two highest-scoring candidates determines the winner. Because each ballot already shows voters’ preferences, voters don’t need to vote a second time. The finalist preferred by a majority wins. For Multnomah County Democrats STAR Voting will be used for both single and multi-winner elections.

STAR Voting provides the benefits of a primary and a general without the need for separate elections. STAR Voting eliminates vote splitting and is highly accurate with any number of candidates in the race, so no candidates are excluded, and there’s no need to winnow the field. STAR guarantees that winners are preferred by a majority.

The Multnomah Democrats are the first to adopt STAR Voting for elections on this scale, but a number of other political parties, including the Independent Party of Oregon and the Progressive Party of Oregon have endorsed STAR Voting. Other parties across the political spectrum have taken steps towards adopting the preferential voting method at the local and statewide levels.

STAR Voting is a proposal from Oregon-based non-profit The Equal Vote Coalition, and is currently the subject of two ballot initiatives in Oregon: STAR Voting for Eugene and STAR Voting for Lane County are currently collecting signatures to qualify for the 2020 ballot.

The effort to adopt STAR Voting for party elections got a recent kickstart at the statewide level when it was found to be the only voting system to meet a vast array of elections criteria with a single ballot. STAR Voting elections are fully auditable, transparent, secure, and precinct summable. STAR is fully compatible with paper ballots, can be counted by hand, or tabulated automatically.

To use STAR Voting in your own election or decision-making process, create your own ballot at

To volunteer or sign up for updates, email

To learn more, please visit

Election 2020: Instructions for prospective PCPs

September 30, 2019 marks the first day that you can submit yourself or nominate another to run to become a precinct committee person in Multnomah County.

All current PCP terms end 24 days after the May primary in even-numbered years. For current PCPs, terms end on June 11, 2020.

Precinct Committee Persons (PCPs) hold office for 2 years. If you are currently a PCP and want to keep your position you need to run for re-election.

Changes for 2019

The Oregon Legislature has changed the rules for PCP elections, and the most important thing to know is that applications open September 30. In addition, there are no longer separate male and female categories for PCPs.

Multnomah Democrats PCP Information

Not sure what we are talking about? Starting with the very good question “what is a precinct committee person (PCP)? Here are some resources.

What is a PCP? Why should I become a PCP?

Resources for PCPs

There are no longer separate male and female categories, making it now one PCP per 250 Democrats in a district.

Three Ways to Run as a PCP

To run as a PCP and be put on the ballot:

  • Fill out the form SEL 105. The county elections office will accept from September 30 until March 10, 2020.
  • You need to be a registered Democrat since September 11, 2019 in order to be on the ballot.
  • Make sure to include your precinct number (you can look it up here) and to sign your application.
  • Mail it or turn it in by hand to either
    • Multnomah Democrats Vice Chair 2 Michael Smith 3553 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland OR 97232
    • Multnomah County Elections Division, 1040 SE Morrison, Portland OR 97214.

Scanned or photographed versions can not be accepted, though we can check you filled it out correctly from just such a thing.

To nominate yourself as a write-in candidate:

  • Fill out the form SEL 105D and deliver it to the county elections office between September 30 and Election Day (May 19, 2020) by 8:00pm.
  • You need to have been a registered Democrat since November 21, 2019.
  • Votes for write-in candidates will NOT BE TALLIED unless such an application is received by May, 19, 2020 at 8pm.
  • Make sure to include your precinct number (you can look it up here) and to sign your application.
  • Fill out the form SEL 105. The county elections office will accept from September 30 until March 10, 2020.
  • You need to be a registered Democrat since September 11, 2019 in order to be on the ballot.
  • Make sure to include your precinct number (you can look it up here) and to sign your application.
  • Mail it or turn it in by hand to either
    • Multnomah Democrats Vice Chair 2 Michael Smith 3553 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland OR 97232
    • Multnomah County Elections Division, 1040 SE Morrison, Portland OR 97214.

Scanned or photographed versions can not be accepted, though we can check you filled it out correctly from just such a thing.

To nominate someone else as a write in candidate:

  • Fill out form SEL 105N, which are accepted by the county election office between September 30 and Election Day (May 19, 2020) by 8pm.
  • Both nominator and nominee must be of the same party
  • If the nominee is elected they need to fill our an acceptance form. The deadline for that has not yet been determined.
  • Make sure to include your precinct number (you can look it up here) and to sign your application.
  • Mail it or turn it in by hand to: Multnomah County Elections Division, 1040 SE Morrison, Portland OR 97214.

Critical Information

  • A minimum for 3 votes are required to be elected a PCP, but, If there are more candidates than positions in that precinct, it may not be sufficient. This is an election!
  • PCPs also need to fill out an optional form for the Multnomah Democratic Party so that we can reach you and get you engaged.

The Heart of the Party

PCPs are the heart and soul of our party. Participating at this level engages your passion and values to move the party forward. PCPs connect with their neighbors, are invited to serve on committees, and vote on important party issues.

Introducing Tribal Sovereignty, Article XIII of the 2020 Platform

On September 23rd, 2019, the Platform, Resolutions and Legislation Committee unanimously approved a proposal to add a new Article to the Multnomah Democratic Party’s 2020 Platform on the subject of Tribal Sovereignty—the area of policy describing how the United States and its states and counties relate to Indigenous tribal nations. Ruth Jensen (Tlingit), a member of the Democratic Party of Oregon’s Native American Caucus and our own Racial Inclusivity Work Group, presented her draft and was met with a discussion that was less of a debate over its inclusion and more of a “How have we been missing this for so long?” Needless to say, we’re glad to have it.

The current version of the proposed article can be viewed here. It’s well worth the read!

One crucial difference between Tribal Sovereignty and other issues in the platform is that this sovereignty depends not on the basis of race but on the unique, political relationship between tribal nations and the United States government. Tribal nations are neither a special interest group nor a subset of counties but territories whose relationship with the federal government is defined by formal treaties and the trust responsibility, our Constitutional duty to protect Indigenous nations.

All of that sounds cut and dry but the reality is, to put it politely, messy. America was built on the exploitation of its indigenous people: not just physically on their land but culturally as well. What we call the “melting pot” of American culture, as great as it is, only exists as it does because the hundreds of cultures that were already here were nearly wiped out. To this day, Indigenous children are still being removed from their homes and placed in non-Indian homes, something perilously close to the United Nations’ definition of genocide. Any history of the United States that glosses over these facts is shamefully incomplete.

Multnomah County, in particular, should be a place that focuses on correcting these problems. The Portland Metropolitan area is the ninth-largest community of Indigenous people in the United States, with 380 tribal nations represented, including the nine that are situated within Oregon’s borders. Even our name—“Multnomah”—comes from the Chinookan name for the Indigenous people of the area. We are surrounded by Indigenous culture in both our history and present day, and yet they remain extremely underrepresented in our politics.

This Platform Article intends to correct that. Here are some of the priorities it will be bringing to the table for 2020 and beyond:

  • Closing racial disparities in health outcomes and educational attainment 
  • Providing adequate funding to implement Senate Bill 13 which “directs the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to create K-12 Native American Curriculum for inclusion in Oregon public schools and provide professional development to educators”
  • Getting rid of race-based sports mascots which contribute to a hostile learning environment for all students—not only those who are Native
  • Working with law enforcement to close jurisdictional gaps on reservations
  • Sparing no cost to end the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people and end the removal of Indian children from their homes and their placement in non-Indian homes

This brings the total number of proposed articles in the 2020 Platform to thirteen. While there was originally a tiny bit of hesitation of expanding beyond ten articles (mostly because ten feels like a nice round number), the truth is that the Multnomah Democratic Party has grown so much in the last two years that ten simply wasn’t sufficient. We have so much more involvement from so many people of different backgrounds and areas of interest that our vision must grow to reflect that. With every new perspective, we become stronger.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Ruth Jensen for her amazing efforts, with additional thanks to Beth Woodward, Sally Joughin, Sam Kahl and Bobbi Yambasu for pitching in with encouragement and advice. The 2020 Platform is looking better than ever!

You can help too! There’s still time to give feedback before the Platform Convention in November and we need your thoughts and suggestions.

If you want to help us make a difference for Indigenous communities in Multnomah County and beyond, a regular study group will be forming soon to discuss policy issues and organize lobbying efforts and direct action. You may also be interested in the Democratic Party of Oregon’s Native American Caucus, which can be found on their own webpage or on Facebook.