Community Action

New Resolution 2020-12 2020‌ ‌–‌ ‌12‌ ‌Accountability‌ ‌for‌ ‌Unemployment‌ ‌Compensation‌ ‌

Multnomah Democrats pass resolution calling for accountability in Oregon’s unemployment insurance compensation

At the Central Committee Meeting on July 9, 2020, the Multnomah County Democrats passed this resolution.

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/2/folders/1xActUuQoLkPB8yf7E9nggXNWzksU5BEb

Multnomah‌ ‌County‌ ‌Democratic‌ ‌Central‌ ‌Committee‌

Resolution:‌ ‌2020‌ ‌–‌ ‌12‌ ‌Accountability‌ ‌for‌ ‌Unemployment‌ ‌Compensation‌

Whereas‌ ‌‌the‌ ‌continued‌ ‌delays‌ ‌in‌ ‌processing‌ ‌of‌ ‌Unemployment‌ ‌Insurance‌ ‌(UI)‌ ‌assistance‌ ‌has‌ ‌exceeded‌ ‌100‌ ‌days,‌ ‌

Whereas‌ ‌‌at the present time nearly 70,000 ‌Oregonians‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌denied‌ ‌the‌ ‌right‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌timely‌ ‌review‌ ‌of‌ ‌their‌ ‌UI‌ ‌applications,‌ ‌

Whereas‌ ‌‌those‌ ‌same‌ out-of-work ‌Oregonians‌ ‌face‌ ‌dire‌ ‌economic‌ ‌hardship,‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌their‌ ‌denial‌ ‌of‌ ‌rightful‌ financial‌ ‌support‌ ‌as‌ ‌guaranteed‌ ‌by‌ ‌state‌ ‌law,‌ ‌

Whereas‌‌ ‌Governor‌ ‌Brown’s‌ ‌limited‌ ‌action‌ ‌toward Department restructuring has‌ ‌not‌ ‌gone‌ ‌far‌ ‌enough‌ ‌to‌ ‌resolve‌ ‌the‌ ‌ongoing‌ ‌crisis‌ ‌at‌ ‌Oregon‌ ‌Employment‌ ‌Department‌ ‌(OED),‌

Whereas Speaker Kotek’s one-time $500 Emergency Relief proposal is a much-needed step toward financial relief but is ultimately insufficient to the mounting financial desperation of unemployed Oregonians,

Whereas Senator Wyden’s American Workforce Rescue Act is a bold step to redefine the Unemployment Crisis, but will not take effect until August 2020 at the earliest,

Whereas‌‌ ‌OED’s‌ ‌failures‌ ‌are‌ ‌in‌ ‌violation‌ ‌of‌ the ‌Basic‌ ‌Rights,‌ ‌Economy‌ ‌and‌ ‌Equity‌ ‌Articles‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Multnomah‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌2020‌ ‌Platform,‌ ‌

Now‌ ‌therefore‌ ‌the‌ ‌Democratic‌ ‌Party‌ ‌of‌ ‌Multnomah‌ ‌County‌ ‌resolves‌ ‌that,‌ ‌

‌Immediate‌ ‌action‌ ‌and‌ ‌accountability‌ ‌is‌ ‌required‌ ‌at‌ ‌OED‌ ‌to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌that:‌ ‌

‌(1)‌ ‌the‌ ‌current pace‌ ‌of‌ ‌processing‌ ‌of‌ ‌UI‌ ‌applications‌ ‌improves‌ ‌significantly,‌ with restructuring of department staff and additions from agencies such as Department of Administrative Services to assist with processing,

‌(2)‌ all ‌Oregonians‌ ‌who‌ ‌have‌ ‌filed‌ ‌for‌ ‌benefits‌ ‌with‌ ‌OED‌ ‌prior to and during ‌the‌ ‌COVID-19‌ ‌pandemic‌ ‌emergency‌ ‌and‌ ‌whose‌ ‌applications‌ ‌remain‌ ‌unprocessed‌ ‌shall‌ ‌be‌ ‌paid‌ ‌full‌ ‌benefits‌ ‌immediately,‌ ‌with ‌a‌ ‌subsequent‌ ‌review‌ ‌of‌ ‌eligibility once all claimants have been paid. Processing of these claims shall be kept to the minimum required to prevent organized fraud, focusing on confirming identity and employment status. The Department shall be directed to adopt a default position of paying benefits should there be any doubt as to eligibility. The Department shall also default to extending existing benefits wherever possible over requiring applicants to re-apply or apply for new claims or programs.

‌(3)‌ The Oregon Employment Department must address the underlying reasons for delays in processing benefit claims, and must change its focus as a Department. By the end of the 2020 legislative session, the state shall engage in a review of the Department’s technological assets and evaluate options for updating these assets to current standards. Priority shall be given to replacement systems which comply with industry standards, and preference shall be given to open source technologies as solutions. In addition, the state must also evaluate the policies, processes and guidelines of the Department on all levels. All such policies, processes and guidelines shall be evaluated from the perspective of ensuring that Oregonians receive benefits, with all other priorities being distinctly secondary.

4) We recognize that the proposed actions are not a complete solution, and that the issues with employment benefits are both far reaching and long-term. These actions are only intended as an emergency solution to an immediate problem. As such, we also direct the Multnomah County Democrats to form an ad hoc committee to formulate a permanent solution to the long-term problems faced by Oregonians needing COVID-related assistance, including economic hardship. This committee shall form a report detailing known issues and formulating suggested solutions to be presented to the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session.

Adopted‌ ‌on:‌ ‌July 9,2020

Resolution‌ ‌Submitted‌ ‌by‌ ‌Platform‌ ‌Resolution‌ ‌and‌ ‌Legislative‌ ‌Committee‌ ‌

Aaron‌ ‌Levine,‌ ‌Technology‌ ‌Officer,‌ ‌Democratic‌ ‌Party‌ ‌of‌ ‌Multnomah‌ ‌County‌ ‌

Send‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌following‌ ‌Legislators‌:

Oregon Governor‌ Kate ‌Brown‌ ‌

David‌ ‌Gerstenfeld,‌ ‌Acting‌ ‌Head‌ ‌of‌ ‌Office of Employment D‌ivision

Katy Coba, Director, Department of Administrative Services ‌

Oregon State House Speaker Tina Kotek

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden

‌ ‌

Contact: 

Faith E Ruffing platform@multdems.org  

Resolution 2020-13 The Debt: The Case for Reparations

Multnomah Democrats pass resolution calling for reparations to American Descendants of Slaves

At the Central Committee Meeting on July 9, 2020, the Multnomah County Democrats passed this resolution.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Hn11XHZ0k_ePIa6DCFhqxKijrKTmsaSD4QuIsuQ4o4U/edit?usp=sharing

Democratic Party of Multnomah County Central Committee

Resolution: 2020-13 The Debt: The Case for Reparations

WHEREAS the American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) community’s claim for restitution anchors on the U.S. government’s failure to deliver the promised 40-acre land grants to their newly emancipated ancestors in the aftermath of the civil war,

WHEREAS today’s ADOS-white wealth gap originated with that unfulfilled promise of 40 acres. If the land allocations had been made to the freedmen and freedwomen, and had that ownership been protected ADOS would be in a much better position materially today.

WHEREAS ADOS have borne and continue to bear the undue burden of the cumulative effects of slavery, the near-century-long epoch of legal segregation in America known as Jim Crow, as well as the ongoing atrocities associated with the period following the Civil Rights Act of 1964: mass incarceration; police executions of unarmed black people; sustained credit, housing, and employment discrimination; and the immense ADOS-white wealth disparity. All of these chapters in American history must be considered for redress within a program for reparations,

WHEREAS while the 40 million eligible recipients of ADOS reparations constitute about 13 percent of the American population, they possess less than 3 percent of the nation’s wealth. This translates into an average (or mean) differential, per household, of about $800,000 in net worth,

WHEREAS, eliminating the ADOS-white (pre-tax) wealth differential should be a core objective of the redress component of a plan for reparations. We estimate that this will require an allocation between 12 trillion in 2016 dollars to eligible Black Americans.

WHEREAS, A reparations program for ADOS is a matter of national responsibility insofar that the multigenerational plunder and oppression of ADOS were and are products of the legal and authority framework established by the federal government. The federal government further sanctioned racial atrocities by silence and inaction.

WHEREAS, Article 9- Historical and Ongoing Anti-Blackness in Oregon, plank 5 of the 2020 Democratic Party of Multnomah County Platform states, “we strongly support corrective and restorative justice for past racial harms inflicted by local, city, and state governments against ADOS in Oregon

NOW, THEREFORE, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF MULTNOMAH COUNTY RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1 We urge Congress to establish a Congressional Commission on Slavery Reparations, which would be responsible for addressing the questions that must be considered so that restitution can be made.

SECTION 2 We support direct cash payments to victims equal in size rather than apportioned according to families’ or individuals’ “economic value.”

SECTION 3 We support the proposal in H.R.40 to develop a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations for ADOS. A body of commissioners appointed by congress must be established to provide congress with a detailed template for legislation that will activate a comprehensive plan for ADOS reparations. This will include specifying criteria for eligibility and specifying precisely how the amount and deployment of a reparations fund will raise ADOS net worth sufficiently to eliminate the (pre-tax) ADOS-white wealth gap within a specified amount of time. Commissioners shall not be paid, but they will be reimbursed for expenses associated with the fulfillment of their responsibilities.

SECTION 4 We support the development and application of a rigorous and accurate curriculum, fully integrated into public school instruction across at least three generations at all grade levels, telling the story of America’s racial history.

SECTION 5 We support the designation of a protected group status known as ADOS or American Descendants of Slavery, not to be mixed with a general Black designation.

SECTION 6 We strongly support providing potential claimants with free genealogical services to assist them in establishing that they are the descendant of an ancestor enslaved in the US, anti-fraud guidance, and access to free financial management instruction.

SECTION 7 Establishment of a monitoring system to ensure the wealth gap is closing.

Adopted on July 9, 2020

Submitted by Platform Resolution and Legislative Committee, Quinton Blanton, Anti Blackness Study Group

Send to Multnomah County Legislators

Background

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/40

https://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/RI_Report_ResurrectingthePromiseof40Acres_202005.pdf

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1540-6237.2008.00555.x

https://www.vox.com/2014/5/23/5741294/slavery-reparations-are-workable-and-affordable

https://ados101.com

FAQ’s

What is the purpose of a reparations program?

In the book From Here to Equality, Dr. Sandy Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen advance a general definition of reparations as a program of acknowledgement, redress, and closure.

Is it illegal to allocate funds specifically to ADOS?

No. There’s no intrinsic illegality to group specific or race specific policies. Japanese American reparations, for example, were group specific.

How will we be able to tell who is eligible for reparations vs. who is not?

Two criterion can be advanced for eligibility. First, an individual must establish that they have at least one ancestor who was enslaved in the US. Second, an individual must demonstrate that they have self-identified as Black, Negro, or African American on an official document-perhaps making the self-report of their race on the US Census—for at least 12 years before the enactment of programs tied to the funds. This criteria was created by Duke University economist William “Sandy” Darity.

Why is the ADOS distinction necessary?

ADOS is a necessary distinction because if reparations do in fact gain traction nationally, people who are opposed to reparations could make the argument that Black immigration to the U.S. has increased significantly since the 1980’s, they were never enslaved in the U.S. so why should they be paid reparations? From a legal standpoint, a reparations claim against the federal government must be specific and requires inclusion and exclusion.

How will the effectiveness of a reparations program be measured?

According to Dr. Darity, the goal of a reparations program for ADOS should be to close the racial wealth gap in its entirety. Therefore, it is essential that the mean gap be erased, rather than setting a far less ambitious goal such as closing the ADOS-white median differential. Establishing a monitoring system to evaluate whether the ADOS-white wealth gap disparity is closing will be desirable.

How to calculate the cost of reparations?

There are a variety of strategies for calculating the size of social debt that is owed. Professor Thomas Craemer has calculated the cost of reparations through a stolen labor framework. In today’s dollars, he arrives at an estimate of $14 trillion for the cost of American slavery to the enslaved. The central argument of Dr. Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen, which I tend to agree with is that the elimination of the ADOS-white wealth gap should provide the foundation for the magnitude of the debt owed.

Where will the money for reparations come from

As journalist Matthew Yglesias has proposed, Congress could direct the Federal Reserve to fund ADOS reparations either in part or in total. Given the overnight transfer of 45 to 1 to $1.5 trillion without any difficulty—and this funding mechanism would not have to affect tax rates for any American. Moreover, the Federal Reserve is a public bank charged with conducting a public responsibility.

Why should I have to pay reparations? My ancestors didn’t own any slaves.

The culpable party is the U.S. government. Often, the federal government further sanctioned racial atrocities by silence and inaction. ADOS reparations are not a matter of personal or individual institutional guilt; ADOS reparations are a matter of national responsibility. Furthermore, The poverty created by slavery and Jim Crow are still in the system, just like the wealth created by slavery and Jim Crow are still in the system.

White ethnics such as the Irish and Italians came here and were discriminated against by the U.S. government, yet they still rose in spite of their handicaps why didn’t ADOS do the same?

It is important to note that in some respects, the Irish were treated worse than Blacks for the most part when they first arrived in the U.S. However, they were eventually absorbed into whiteness due to their willingness to inflict violence against ADOS and by expressing anti-ADOS sentiments. The Democratic Party and early labor unions also eased the assimilation of the Irish into whiteness. Whitness is a social construct that is dynamic. It expands and changes based on its need. I suggest everyone read Noel Ignatiev’s How the Irish Became White.

White people have never received “handouts” from the government, why should Black people get governmental “handouts”?

Framing reparations as a handout or a one time check rather than a debt is a conservative, right wing talking point that is untrue. A program of reparations is much more than a check. It must include multi-pronged policies and laws, protections, therapy, and training to fill the void of knowledge gaps. Also, white America has in fact recieved numerous handouts from the federal government including 160-acre land grants through the Homstead Act, access to New Deal and Fair Deal programs, the G.I. bill and much more. While white America received these handouts ADOS were denied access to them and were never given their 40-acres, which is partly why the ADOS-white wealth disparity is so vast, entrenched, and unshakeable. The wealth ADOS managed to accumulate in the nineteenth and twentitieth centuries was far too often plundered via white mob violence, lynching, redlining, and credit discrimination.

Contact: 

Faith E Ruffing platform@multdems.org  

Racial Inclusivity Work Group Open House Monday July 13

This Monday: Interested in the Racial Inclusivity Work Group?

Democrats who identify as People of Color are invited to an overview 5 – 5:30 PM on Monday, July 13th. After a screen break, you can join us for the first part of our 6 PM  monthly meeting!

Multnomah County Democrats have a Work Group (special committee) known as Racial Inclusivity Work Group. You are invited to learn more, meet active members, and decide if you’d like to join us!

Monday July 13 5pm

Zoom Video Call (link)

Questions?

Email the co-chairs at equity@multdems.org.

Reparations Resolution FAQ Resolution 2020-13 The Debt: an Argument for Reparation What is the purpose of a reparations program? Why is the ADOS (American Descendants of Slaves) distinction necessary? How will effectiveness be measured? How do we calculate the cost of reparations?

Reparations Resolution FAQ

On Thursday, June 9, 2020, the precinct committee persons (PCPs) of Multnomah Democrats will vote on Resolution 2020-13 The Debt: the Case for Reparations. The resolution’s primary author, Quinton Blanton, provided this FAQ for PCPs to read in advance of the vote.

What is the purpose of a reparations program?

In the book From Here to Equality, Dr. Sandy Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen advance a general definition of reparations as a program of acknowledgement, redress, and closure.

Is it illegal to allocate funds specifically to ADOS?

No. There’s no intrinsic illegality to group specific or race specific policies. Japanese American reparations, for example, were group specific.

How will we be able to tell who is eligible for reparations vs. who is not?

Two criterion can be advanced for eligibility. First, an individual must establish that they have at least one ancestor who was enslaved in the US. Second, an individual must demonstrate that they have self-identified as Black, Negro, or African American on an official document-perhaps making the self-report of their race on the US Census—for at least 12 years before the enactment of programs tied to the funds. This criteria was created by Duke University economist William “Sandy” Darity.

Why is the ADOS distinction necessary?

            ADOS is a necessary distinction because if reparations do in fact gain traction nationally, people who are opposed to reparations could make the argument that Black immigration to the U.S. has increased significantly since the 1980’s, they were never enslaved in the U.S. so why should they be paid reparations? From a legal standpoint, a reparations claim against the federal government must be specific and requires inclusion and exclusion.

How will the effectiveness of a reparations program be measured?

According to Dr. Darity, the goal of a reparations program for ADOS should be to close the racial wealth gap in its entirety. Therefore, it is essential that the mean gap be erased, rather than setting a far less ambitious goal such as closing the ADOS-white median differential. Establishing a monitoring system to evaluate whether the ADOS-white wealth gap disparity is closing will be desirable.

How to calculate the cost of reparations?

There are a variety of strategies for calculating the size of social debt that is owed. Professor Thomas Craemer has calculated the cost of reparations through a stolen labor framework. In today’s dollars, he arrives at an estimate of $14 trillion for the cost of American slavery to the enslaved. The central argument of Dr. Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen, which I tend to agree with is that the elimination of the ADOS-white wealth gap should provide the foundation for the magnitude of the debt owed.

Where will the money for reparations come from

 As journalist Matthew Yglesias has proposed, Congress could direct the Federal Reserve to fund ADOS reparations either in part or in total. Given the overnight transfer of $1 trillion of funds from the Federal Reserve to investment banks during the Great Recession and monthly outlays of $45 to $55 billion to conduct “quantitative easing,” there can be no doubt that the Fed has vast capacity to provide the funds required for a properly designed and financed reparations program, particularly if the funds are disbursed over the course of three to five years. The Fed certainly could manage an annual outlay of $1 to $1.5 trillion without any difficulty—and this funding mechanism would not have to affect tax rates for any American. Moreover, the Federal Reserve is a public bank charged with conducting a public responsibility.

Why should I have to pay reparations? My ancestors didn’t own any slaves.

The culpable party is the U.S. government. Often, the federal government further sanctioned racial atrocities by silence and inaction. ADOS reparations are not a matter of personal or individual institutional guilt; ADOS reparations are a matter of national responsibility. Furthermore, The poverty created by slavery and Jim Crow are still in the system, just like the wealth created by slavery and Jim Crow are still in the system.

White ethnics such as the Irish and Italians came here and were discriminated against by the U.S. government, yet they still rose in spite of their handicaps why didn’t ADOS do the same?

It is important to note that in some respects, the Irish were treated worse than Blacks for the most part when they first arrived in the U.S. However, they were eventually absorbed into whiteness due to their willingness to inflict violence against ADOS and by expressing anti-ADOS sentiments. The Democratic Party and early labor unions also eased the assimilation of the Irish into whiteness. Whitness is a social construct that is dynamic. It expands and changes based on its need. I suggest everyone read Noel Ignatiev’s How the Irish Became White.

White people have never received “handouts” from the government, why should Black people get governmental “handouts”?

Framing reparations as a handout or a one time check rather than a debt is a conservative, right wing talking point that is untrue. A program of reparations is much more than a check. It must include multi-pronged policies and laws, protections, therapy, and training to fill the void of knowledge gaps. Also, white America has in fact recieved numerous handouts from the federal government including 160-acre land grants through the Homstead Act, access to New Deal and Fair Deal programs, the G.I. bill and much more. While white America received these handouts ADOS were denied access to them and were never given their 40-acres, which is partly why the ADOS-white wealth disparity is so vast, entrenched, and unshakeable. The wealth ADOS managed to accumulate in the nineteenth and  twentitieth centuries was far too often plundered via white mob violence, lynching, redlining, and credit discrimination.

Lisa Morrison holding a Health Care for All Oregon sign.

To Be a District Leader

 

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  

Marcia Schneider, HD 51 District Leader, contributed to this article.

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: 

  • Credentials
  • Fundraising
  • Platform, Resolutions, and Legislation
  • Rules

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!

Multnomah Democrats pass resolution calling on ban of tear gas and other area of effect weapons

At the Central Committee Meeting on June 11, 2020, the Multnomah County Democrats passed this resolution with a 4/5ths majority as required for an emergency resolution.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uObft7cxvpuMEowc_e7bnocHdk2xgfAAkd95GDytZ-8/edit?usp=sharing

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.

 

 

Daniel Goetz

GM Garcia

Dean Price

Cynthia Yolland

Michael Smith

Lisa Wolf

Natalie Bloodgood

James Davis

Contact: 

Faith E Ruffing platform@multdems.org  

PCP Election results should be available by early June 2020

When will PCP election results be available?

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.

Thanks for joining the team!

House District Primary 2020 Forums on YouTube Live!

Precinct Committee Persons (PCPs) in Multnomah County are organizing forums to get to know the candidates in their house and senate districts. Watch them live or recorded on YouTube!

House District 50

House District 46

House District 42

House District 36

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?

What about another race?

Reach out and we will help you set up that forum!

Three diverse people on a roof holding an American flag. "Be a Primary Voter"

Activists Needed to Help Non-Affiliated Voters “Be A Primary Voter”

Thousands of newly registered voters won’t have the option to choose the Democratic Presidential candidate in the May primary election — unless you let them know. 

The 2015 motor voter law that registers voters when they get a new driver license means Oregon has added nearly a million new voters. This is great news, except most of them have not chosen a party. These Non-Affiliated Voters (NAV) won’t have party races on their ballot this May if they don’t choose by April 28, 2020. 

Of course, the Multnomah County Democrats want these new voters to choose the party with candidates who share values for human-need causes like healthcare, climate, civil rights and economic justice. We also know, once someone participates in a primary election, they are more likely to vote in the general elections. 

Our goal is to increase civic engagement by encouraging citizens to exercise their RIGHT to vote for the candidate who they think could best support the issues important to them. 

That’s why we’re reaching out to community organizers and activists like you. The Multnomah County Democrats have created a voter registration program called “Be A Primary Voter.” Check out the easy action kits to help you to reach out to non-affiliated voters with voter lists; scripts, flyers and instructions. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Decide what kind of event you want to have. Choose from hosting a postcard party, a walk party canvass event or a call-and-text party. You could even combine them.
  2. Learn how to use MiniVAN here or attend an action party at Multnomah Democrats HQ and download your list of voters to contact.
  3. Once you have your action kit and your contact list, you are ready to host your event. Your volunteers will contact non-affiliated voters who are likely Democratic voters to let them know only registered Democrats get to choose who will be our Presidential nominee. And show them how to update their registration.

We know you’re working hard to beat Trump in 2020. Volunteering to register NAVs will make a huge difference in voter participation. That effects critical issues like our Secretary of State election, post-census redistricting, and ballot measures. Oregonians deserve to have a choice and Be A Primary Voter. Can we count on you to organize a group of activists? Learn more or go here to sign up.

""One can expect there will be accelerated opportunities for job creation in clean energy, technology, forest and agriculture activities."

Fact Check: The Arguments Against The Climate Bill SB1530

Now that the Republican Senators have walked off their jobs to deny quorum and prevent the Democratic process from moving forward, social media and press releases are awash with the “reasoning” talking points that they have been provided.

“SB 1530 will bankrupt rural Oregon.”

  • We know that we are one Oregon, but we also know that we are a state of many regions and many needs.
  • SB 1530 includes many changes that will enhance the benefits to rural Oregon and protect rural Oregonians from any disruptions.
  • We are now gradually phasing in any impacts on gasoline prices by region, so that rural residents on the West side of the state won’t see any impacts until 2025 and those east of the Cascades won’t see them at all. 
  • We can include 85% of the state’s gasoline emissions in 2025 without touching the vast majority of the geography of this state.
  • Low- to moderate income residents everywhere will receive a tax credit that will fully offset any increased driving costs.
  • Recognizing that they drive more, residents of rural counties will receive larger tax credits. 
  • There will be full refunds for increases in the cost of fuel used for off-road agricultural and forestry operations.
  • The amended version of SB 1530 simplifies the way the geographic phase-in is done.  For the most part, it will now be done by county, making the administration of the program easier and simpler.  As a result, the Fuels Association has removed its objections.
  • We have modified the way that manufacturers are handled in order to protect rural jobs.  As a result, rural manufacturers (e.g., in the food processing industries) have removed their opposition to the bill.
  • In addition changes to the bill have increased its economic benefits for rural Oregon.
  • Most of the investments of the program are geared to benefit rural Oregon and tribes (making our forests healthier, improving irrigation and weatherizing rural homes).
  • Through its “offsets” provisions, the bill will generate big investments in dairy biodigesters and forestry projects, keeping forests as working forests.
  • Rural Oregon is already benefiting from renewable energy projects (wind, solar, biofuels, geothermal) and is poised to benefit much more with the incentives and training dollars in SB 1530.  Thousands of jobs will be created.
  • Outside analyses (including one done by AOI) have shown that the economic impact of earlier versions of SB 1530 would actually benefit rural and frontier Oregon more than other parts of the state.  SB 1530 makes that even more true.
  • Experience in California, Québec, and the northeastern states (who use cap & trade for their power sector) has not shown economic or employment harm to their rural regions.  On the contrary, investments in the rural parts of California and Québec as a result of their program have benefited those regions in many ways.
  • Finally, rural and frontier Oregonians live in the front lines of climate change (fires, loss of snowcap, drought, rising sea levels, ocean acidification). If Oregon’s actions encourage climate action in other states and slow down the pace of this crisis, they will benefit most of all.

“SB 1530 will hurt low-income Oregonians.”

  • The bill includes MANY protections for low-income Oregonians, whose needs are kept front and center.
  • Low-income natural gas customers will see no rise in their bills.
  • Low- to moderate income residents ($65K for a family of 4) everywhere will receive a tax credit that will fully offset any increased driving costs.
  • Most investments are geared to benefit low-income Oregonians everywhere.
  • Extensive investments in training and retraining for the clean-energy economy will provide new pathways to opportunity for low-income families all over the state.

“SB 1530 exempts government from public records laws.”

  • The program is subject to ALL the usual public records and open meetings laws.
  • Section 32 does protect confidential business information that would be considered “trade secrets”; this is absolutely usual and necessary when government needs to regulate the private sector.
  • This is something that all journalists are used to.

“The emergency clause in SB 1530 is intended to deny the people’s ability to challenge this law.”

  • The emergency clause is there because we ARE in a climate emergency and the work on the program must begin immediately.
  • A 2019 opinion from Legislative Counsel makes it clear that the Emergency Clause does nothing to impair the people’s ability to put any piece of legislation on the ballot through the initiative process.
  • The reason we have a Legislature is to work on tough, far-reaching, crucial issues that require extensive research, discussion, debate, and compromise.
  • SB 1530 is a balanced, carefully crafted, highly researched bill, incorporating work that has been going on for years, and including ideas suggested by legislators from both parties.
  • On the ballot, it will be reduced to a series of sound bites and slanted TV ads, funded by tens of millions of special-interest dollars.
  • The people have voted—they voted to send Legislators to Salem to work hard on their behalf. Every one of the Democrats elected in 2018 ran with climate action as one of their main priorities, defeating Republicans who unfortunately took a contrary position. Legislators are doing what they were elected to do. 

“SB 1530 puts all the power in the hands of un-elected bureaucrats.”

  • Amendments will make it clear that the appointed Board’s budget decisions are advisory only.  They will still need to go through our normal Ways and Means process and receive approval from elected legislators.  So will the state agencies implementing the program. That’s how good government should work.

“SB 1530 is not based on settled science,” or “Climate change is natural, not human-caused.”

  • Legislators need to rely on the best science that’s out there.
  • That’s why the Legislature in 2007 created the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, based at OSU, to scan the scientific literature, evaluate its validity, summarize their findings, and report and make recommendations to the Legislature every 2 years.
  • They’ve told us that climate change is real, we’re already feeling its consequences, it can be mitigated, but if we don’t, the future consequences will be catastrophic and hugely expensive for Oregon.
  • SB 1530 is based entirely on their recommendations.

“We shouldn’t be doing this in a short session.”

  • One of the purposes of the short session has always been to continue work on bills that had been thoroughly worked on in the previous session, but didn’t quite make it over the finish line.  The short session is designed to finish up that work.
  • The earlier version of SB 1530 had hundreds of hours of public testimony in Salem and around the state, thousands of pages of written testimony and studies, passed the House after six hours of open debate, and only failed to advance in the Senate because the Republicans walked out.
  •  SB 1530 is the result of many hours of bipartisan discussion since November.
  • Despite this being a short session, we will have more hours of public testimony on this bill than we normally have in a long session, not counting all the hours we’ve already spent hearing from the public on this issue in the past.

“Other countries are the real culprits.  They’re the ones who should be stepping up.”

  • In the absence of national action, states must step up and act together.
  • As legislators, we learn from other states.  What works, what doesn’t.
  • It’s not just about Oregon.  If Oregon acts, other states such as Washington will step up and join us.
  • If we join California, Washington, and British Columbia (both CA and BC already have economy-wide climate programs) in this effort, we will be part of the world’s FIFTH largest economy.  We can make a real difference.

“This bill will make Oregon less competitive.”

Dr. Dallas Burtraw, senior fellow at Resources for the Future and a member of the American Academy of Sciences, was asked to provide an assessment of SB 1530 before amendments were made.  His lengthy assessment concluded with the following:

“When carbon pricing is implemented in 2022, the anticipated emissions reductions will be achieved without any specific impacts that are noticeable to the vast majority of Oregon households and businesses. There should be virtually zero disruptions in employment, but over time one can expect there will be accelerated opportunities for job creation in clean energy, technology, forest and agriculture activities. Oregon’s legislative decision is likely to influence policy outcomes in other states and internationally.”