Tribal Sovereignty Legislative Action Study Group:

Making Lives Better for Indigenous People in Multnomah County and Beyond

by Elisha Big Back (Northern Cheyenne) and Ruth Jensen (Tlingit)

The purpose of the Tribal Sovereignty Legislative Action Study Group is to advance Indigenous priorities and connect with Indigenous cultures. The Group takes collective action monthly to advocate for Indigenous issues. All Democrats and non-affiliated voters are welcome to participate in these ways:

  • Joining an Indigenous-led effort with diverse advocates and allies
  • Activating Democratic networks to advance the causes of tribal sovereignty
  • Advocating for all citizens of tribal nations, both those citizens who reside in Multnomah County and beyond
  • Raising awareness of the sovereignty all tribal nations within the United States: unrecognized, dozens of state-recognized, and the 574 that are federally-recognized

Since its inception in July 2020, this Study Group met monthly for over a year. For more than half of 2021, the monthly meetings featured local Indigenous leaders who shared their perspectives on policy and actions to be taken to advance these policies.

Elisha Big Back (Northern Cheyenne) chairs the Tribal Sovereignty Legislative Action Study Group for MultDems’ Platform, Resolutions, and Legislation Committee.  She serves as the Foster Care Services Manager at the Native American Youth and Family Center, and she owns and operates Sisters Fry Bread, LLC. Her political experience ranges from helping Representative Tawna Sanchez get elected to campaigning for William Miller. She advocates on several coalitions such as Foster Homes of Healing. She has participated in lobby days at the Capitol and believes that all roads lead to policy change. With her wide and powerful network, she is bringing in new Indigenous leaders to participate in the Tribal Sovereignty Legislative Action Study Group.

In 2019, MultDems adopted the Tribal Sovereignty article of the 2020 Platform which led to the inaugural meeting of the Tribal Sovereignty Legislative Action Study Group on July 21 2020. On November 13, 2021, MultDems adopted the 2022 Platform with updated planks and action items for the Tribal Sovereignty Legislative Action Study Group.

All Democrats and non-affiliated voters are invited to join this Group: Indigenous people along with their allies and advocates. Please join the effort for advancing these planks and actions to uphold tribal sovereignty and make lives better for Indigenous people in Multnomah County and beyond. For more information, email .

Climate Action Team Update

by Tracy Farwell and Britton Taylor

The climate crisis is top of mind as the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) comes to a close in Glasgow. A coalition of local environmental and climate groups put together their own programming to align with the UN Conference. On November 1st, the COP26 Coalition Portland called for the Oregon Treasury and PERS to divest from fossil fuels (#DivestOregon). On November 3rd, Nick Caleb from Breach Collective, identified Portland’s worst polluters and offered ideas on how to better protect the city’s residents and climate. And on November 9th the Oregon League of Conservation voters hosted a webinar with Dr. John Perona, who discussed his new climate activist’s handbook. You can find the full slate of community events at

As part of the Multdems Platform Convention on November 6th, a group of dedicated and passionate PCPs from the MultDems Climate Action Team assembled for a National Resources Protection breakout session to identify legislative actions for our counterparts in Salem. 

The team swiftly reached consensus on more than 20 LAI’s, ranging from adopting a national clean energy standard to banning new fossil fuel infrastructure to setting aside 50% of Oregon’s federal forests as a strategic carbon reserve to banning non-recyclable plastics in all food take-out and in-store dining. This achievement was even more remarkable given that many of the participants were brand new to the Climate Action Team. It’s a testament to what’s possible when Democrats work together for a cause they all believe in.

If you want to get more involved with the Climate Action Team, which seeks to educate and inform our community about the science behind climate change and how it affects our lives and economy, please contact Tracy Farwell at .

2022 Platform Process

The Platform, Resolution and Legislation Committee (PRLC) has completed its work drafting the 2022 Multnomah County Democrats Platform for the Convention to be held on November 6, 2021.

Here is the 2022  MCD Platform Final Draft of preamble and planks which will be sent to the Convention for approval. The PRLC has also drafted the 2022 Legislative Action Items.  The purpose of the Platform Convention will be to adopt a Multnomah County Democratic Party Platform, which includes both Planks and Legislative Action Items (LAIs). 

2022 Platform Final Draft 102721

2022 Legislative Action Items 102721

Recommendations for changes to the Platform should be sent to along with 5 signatures. You may also send amendments to the convention chair.  All amendments submitted in writing to the Convention Chair and signed by five (5) registered participants will be considered. This may be a paper or electronic document. The Convention Chair will provide an email address for receiving electronic documents.


Convention Registration

Participation in the Convention requires that you Register and that you are a Multnomah County Democrat. The Deadline to register online is October 31, 2021. (Advance registration is strongly encouraged, but late registration will be allowed at the Convention itself if approved by 2/3 of Convention participants.)

Here are the Approved Convention Rules 

** Recommended Platform Convention Rules – September 27, 2021

Here is the link for Registration for the Convention. 


General information

The Platform is a compilation of statements of our basic beliefs and principles that guides our positions on legislation at the federal, state and local level.

These statements or Planks are organized around themes or Articles such as Education or Economy. Each Article has a Preamble or summary of the Plank ideas. A Preamble for the whole document describes the relationship of the Articles within the document.

The companion to the Platform is the Legislative Action Items. These are suggestions from the PRLC for specific legislation we think would address the ideas described in the Planks and are used to advise and encourage Legislators on the work we would like to see them undertake.

The PRLC is organized into Study Groups, one for each Article, who follow the legislation pertaining to the Planks in their Article and report to the Central Committee on pertinent legislative activity.


Help write the Tribal Sovereignty article for the MultDems’ Platform

You are invited to help re-write the Tribal Sovereignty article of MultDems’ Platform on Monday, August 16 from noon to 1 p.m. The Zoom link is provided below.

Here’s the link to the Tribal Sovereignty article of the current (2020) Platform.…/platform-of…/tribal-sovereignty/

How can the upcoming (2022) version be improved? What needs to stay? What, if anything, could be cut? What needs to be added – like employment, for example?All are welcome: Indigenous people, advocates, and allies.#TSLASG#TribalSovereigntyLegislativeActionStudyGroup#tribalsovereignty

Join Zoom Meeting:…

Meeting ID: 862 5559 3582

Passcode: 421722

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