In the coming weeks, the newly elected PCPs of Multnomah County will gather (via video conference) to elect new district leaders and assistant district leaders.
Thank you all who are coming forward to make a difference in our communities. District Leadership is a wonderful way to increase that impact, working with your PCPs to connect with your legislators and the Democrats in your district.
Every House District (HD) in Multnomah County has a Multnomah Democrat District Leader (DL) who organizes the work of their local precinct committee persons (PCPs).
In July of 2020, as in every even numbered July, each HD call a reorg meeting and elects their district leader and assistant district leader. We want you to know what these jobs are and consider running for this important position.
The Job Description
District leaders help convey information to and from Democrat legislators and to their PCPs and other constituents. The District Leaders are voting members of the MultDems Executive Committee. They also appoint PCPs to represent their districts on most standing committees and help coordinate outreach at events. That’s the basic job description but what does it look like IRL to be a DL?
Beyond meeting the basic requirements outlined in the bylaws, it’s a people-person role you can make your own. Have fun with it! Build community within the party, create pathways for newcomers to find their voice, their political power, and their own style of democrating in MultDems. The job will pay you back with lifelong friendships and the satisfaction of being a participant in leaving the world better than you found it.
Organize the work of their district PCPs
It starts with the District Organizing Meeting every even year after Mult Co Elections certifies our elections. We gather together to vote for our district leadership – District Leader and Assistant District Leader – and appoint representatives to the County Party committees that keep MultDems humming. Beyond that, organizing work means getting to know the PCPS in each precinct and connecting them to activities, events, committees, and caucuses throughout the year, as well as encouraging and supporting grassroots efforts any PCP wants to initiate that furthers the platform and mission of MultDems. Of particular importance is the Neighborhood Leader Program. Every district should strive for an NLP Coordinator who can recruit and support NLs in each Precinct.
Convey information between Democrat legislators and their PCPs and other constituents
If you are lucky enough to live in a district like HD 46 whose State Legislators practice regular, open communication with their constituents, you’ll
Keep in touch with them on a one-to-one basis
Read and promote their newsletters
Attend their town halls and coffees to see them in action with their constituents
Provide feedback on their work
Help to rally support for their legislative agendas.
These are especially good opportunities to monitor how your electeds’ work and priorities mesh with the MultDems Platform.
You’ll also stay in touch with your district PCPs. In HD46 we use several tools to accomplish this including a members-only Facebook page, a sporadic newsletter called PCP Power Lines, text alerts, and phone calls. Twice a year you’ll invite everyone together for a district meeting to share ideas, work, and camaraderie. These meetings can include updates from your legislators, visits with candidates, updates on local campaigns or previews and recruitment for MultDems activities.
Voting members of the MultDems Executive Committee
District Leaders are voting members of MultDems Executive Committee which meets once a month, the week before the All-PCP Central Committee, to conduct the business of the organization. Assistant District Leaders are also voting members but only vote if if the DL is absent. Ultimately, the direction of the Party is in the hands of the Central Committee. Exec Committee is there to keep the organization functioning and oversee that together we are all implementing plans and programs that meet our responsibilities.
Appoint PCPs to represent their districts on standing committees.
Every district helps to staff the Standing Committees that keep Mult Dems running, so DLs search out and appoint the people with the interest, time, and skills to contribute. Those committees are:
Platform, Resolutions, and Legislation
Coordinate events in-district – Most years we’re hosting booths at local street fairs, marching in parades and when we have contested races, hosting candidate forums for voters. This year with the pandemic, we’re primarily virtual – zoom forums, phonebanks and candidate meet and greets. As DL, you’ll call on all kinds of skills from your PCPs to make your events a success.
It is what you make of it
This all sounds like a lot. The thing I found is that the work fuels me. Connecting PCPs to ways to contribute, connecting our reps to their constituents. It just feels good to be a part of it. I hope you will consider taking up the role!
A message from Rosa Colquitt, PhD, Chair, Democratic Party of Oregon Black Caucus
Juneteenth, (“June” plus “nineteenth”) sometimes called “Jubilee,” indicating the year of freedom from enslavement, or even more simply “Freedom Day,” is indeed a remarkable story commemorating the abolition of slavery in the United States.
It was June 19, 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger marched into Galveston, Texas with official news that the Civil War had ended and the enslaved were now free. Granger read General Order Number 3 as follows:
“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”
Amazingly, even in an era of slow communication and a nation at war, Granger was very late with important news of freedom – almost two and a half years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery in the Confederacy, at least on paper. In knowing the dehumanization of even one day of enslavement, I’ve looked for any historical explanations for the delay in delivering and enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation. One version of the story of “freedom delayed, freedom denied” was the tale of the messenger who was murdered on the way to Texas with the news. Another is that the official proclamation was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the “free labor” force on their plantations. And still another is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas. Whether all or none of these versions are true, slavery in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.
My mind can scarcely imagine the depths of the emotions and the fear of the unknown for the “newly freed” Black men, women and children of Texas. Yet, it is within this historical backdrop of delay, confusion and terror that we have the beginnings of one of the most inspiring grassroots efforts of the post-Civil War period – the transformation of June 19 from a day of new freedom into an annual rite called “Juneteenth.”
Today, more than 154 years later, Juneteenth-centered activities are experiencing phenomenal growth and flourishing within communities and organizations throughout the country. The freedom celebrations highlight the tradition of bringing in guest speakers and the elders of the community to recount historical events of the past. Newer Juneteenth traditions focus on education and self-improvement, along with future community development, while cultivating knowledge and appreciation of African American history and culture.
What many Americans remember most about Juneteenth is that it is always a joyful celebration of entertaining the masses with parades, musical entertainment, dance, games, and always food — an abundance of wonderfully prepared food. In Portland, Oregon, Juneteenth is combined with “Good in the Hood” for an unforgettable annual community celebration of young and old, family, friends, organizations and business vendors from every corner of the state, along with southwest Washington, and reflects all of our diverse racial and ethnic groups. For sure, no matter how large the gatherings at “Good in the Hood,” I always make my way from vendor to vendor until I have my soul food dinner of corn bread, black-eyed peas, collard greens and bar-b-que, and I always bring my own bottle of red soda water, just in case they don’t have it. One can’t quite celebrate Juneteenth without this original Texas tradition. (And, unless I forget, there’s always a bottle of hot sauce in my purse.)
Among all emancipation celebrations, we are reminded that June 19 falls closest to the summer solstice, the longest day of the year when the sun, at its zenith, defies the darkness in every state, including those states shadowed by slavery. By choosing to remember the last state in the South that freedom touched, we celebrate the shining “promise of emancipation.” Still, we can never ignore or forget the bloody path America took by delaying freedom and deferring the fulfillment of the simple words in General Granger’s General Order Number 3: “This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves.”
While Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom, Juneteenth 2020 is bittersweet. The recent events of 2020, the witnessing of the wrongful deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, is crushing our spirits and reminding us of the stark reality that the fight for racial justice, equality and freedom for BLACK LIVES continues.
A Resolution Calling On The Portland City Council To Ban The Use Of Area Of Effect Weapons By the Portland Police Bureau
Whereas: The city of Portland has a long history of protesting injustice, and,
Whereas: The Portland Police Bureau has an equally long history of suppressing protest (peaceful or otherwise) with a level of force that can only reasonably be described as excessive, and,
Whereas: This level of force routinely involves the use of indiscriminately targeted, area of effect weapons such as Tear Gas and Concussion Grenades, and,
Whereas: While the possession of Tear Gas is legal for civilians, its deployment within the city of Portland is explicitly limited to law enforcement personnel, and,
Whereas: Concussion Grenades, (AKA Flashbangs) are legal for civilians to purchase, but require that any civilian wishing to own such devices undergo a background check administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. A tax of two hundred dollars per item is also levied against such purchases, and,
Whereas: Police agencies are explicitly exempt from the aforementioned tax requirement, while private citizens are not, and,
Whereas: The platform of the Multnomah County Democratic Party states in its “Abuse Of Power” section, legislative action item 10, “We support ending law enforcement exemptions at every level from gun control laws, and,
Whereas: The availability and legal use of Tear Gas by the Portland Police Bureau and the untaxed availability of Concussion Grenades to the Bureau does constitute an exemption to existing gun control laws that benefits the Bureau over the common people of the city of Portland, granting easy, legal access to and use of such weapons to the police and denying easy, legal access to and use of such weapons to the average Portlander, ergo,
Be It Resolved By The Democratic Party Of Multnomah County That the use of Tear Gas, Concussion Grenades, rubber bullets, sound weapons and any other form of area of effect or area denial weapons does constitute an abuse of power on the part of the Portland Police Bureau, and as a result a letter will be drafted to the Mayor of Portland and all members of the Portland City Council asking for the use of these weapons by police to be formally banned, effective immediately.
We’ve gotten a lot of questions about when Multnomah County Elections Division will report Precinct Committe Person (PCP) election results. We expect that you will find them at the County Elections website (MCED) sometime in the next week or two; MCED is saying that they expect to post final results by June 8. We will link to those results when they become available.
You should also expect to hear from Multnomah Democrats soon about organization meetings for your House District.
Today in Oregon and in Multnomah County we vote in our Primary Election. Most of us have voted by now, but for all who have not yet turned in your ballots remember to drop your ballots off before 8 PM tonightat an official drop off site.
Bernie Sanders inspired many of us to envision a world where all residents could thrive, a world where a living wage and health care for all were the norm. That vision will continue. It is now up to us to come together, more than ever, at the local party level to demand that we the people, working together, take on the powers and money that would keep us from a better world for all.
In his speech announcing the suspension of his campaign and endorsement of Joe Biden, Bernie reflects powerfully upon the the work we are called upon to continue; making a better world and empowering all people.
Have you considered running for office? Start by running for Precinct Committee Person (“PCP”).
PCPs are elected members of the Central Committee, the governing body of our Democratic Party. Elected PCPs vote for the leaders of the County Party, both on a district level and on a county level, and also vote for delegates to the State Central Committee and the Congressional Committees. They also serve as volunteers when it’s time to get out the vote for President, Secretary of State, State Legislature, and other offices.
There are usually more PCP positions than persons running for PCP, and so you can usually win if you qualify, file the required paperwork, and get at least three (3) Democrats in your precinct to vote for you.
Here are the details
You must be a Democrat who has been registered since November 21, 2019.
You must fill out a form SEL-105D and file it with your County Elections Office. They need to receive this form by May 19 at 8PM. It’s best to mail it in right away just to be safe. You can email this form to email@example.com or mail it to:
Multnomah County Elections Division
1040 SE Morrison
Portland OR 97214
On February 13, the Multnomah County Democratic Party Central Committee unanimously voted to support Resolution 2020-5 Urging Metro to Refer Homeless Services Ballot Initiative. Homelessness in Multnomah County has reached catastrophic proportions. As the late Commissioner Nick Fish aptly noted days before his untimely death, “literally people are screaming at us to do something to address this crisis now!”
That was before the coronavirus, which put an abrupt end to most economic activity. Worse, the virus exacerbated the challenges for those who are already homeless while placing many others at risk of homelessness.
Please support Metro Measure 26-210. Too many people were homeless in Portland before the coronavirus hit and many more will experience homelessness due to COVID-19.
Thursday, April 23rd, MultDems hosted their first online candidate forum. Candidates for House District 36 Lisa Reynolds, Rob Fullmer, and Laurie Wimmer answered questions from HD36 Democratic voters on PERS, climate legislations, and COVID-19 response. This is the only side by side opportunity known of to compare these candidates.
Does your Senate or House District need a candidate forum?