Meetings

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.

Announcing the August 8 Central Committee Meeting

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

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

 

(Map)

Our schedule is as follows:

6:00 PM Doors open
6:30 PM Registration and Sign In
7:00 PM Business Meeting begins
9:00 PM Scheduled end of Business Meeting

Election of Treasurer

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

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

Standing Rule 12

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

Proposed Bylaw Amendment

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

Committee Reports and Precinct Committee Person Appointments

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

Minutes and Agenda

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

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

 

Thank you for everything you do.

Sincerely,

Lurelle Robbins, Chair

The Democratic Party of Multnomah County

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. 

Announcing the December 13 Central Committee Meeting

We cordially invite you to this month’s meeting of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County. The meeting will take place:

Thursday, December 13
Hollywood Senior Center
1820 NE 40th Avenue, Portland 97212
(Map)

Our schedule is as follows:

6:00 PM Doors open.
6:30 PM Registration and Sign In
7:00 PM Business Meeting begins
8:00 PM Credentialing Ends
9:00 PM Scheduled end of Business Meeting

CREDENTIALING (REGISTRATION FOR VOTING) ENDS AT 8:00PM, when numbers present are reported to the Recording Secretary.

There are no resolutions currently scheduled to come before the Central Committee.

We will be voting on appointment of Precinct Committee Persons. A list of persons eligible for appointment can be found here.

Stay tuned to this post for further announcements.

Announcing the November 8 Central Committee Meeting

We cordially invite you to this month’s post-election meeting of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County. The meeting will take place:

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

(Map)

Our schedule is as follows:

6:00 PM Doors open.
6:30 PM Registration and Sign In
7:00 PM Business Meeting begins
8:00 PM Credentialing Ends
9:00 PM Scheduled end of Business Meeting

CREDENTIALING (REGISTRATION FOR VOTING) ENDS AT 8:00PM, when numbers present are reported to the Recording Secretary.

We will be voting on ALTERNATE SCC DELEGATES. There are openings to the State Central Committee — the governing body of The Democratic Party of Oregon. We will vote to select 4 male and 3 female alternates to fill the remaining terms. Consider submitting your name for consideration at the meeting with the opportunity to attend the 4th Quarter SCC meeting on Dec 1 and Dec 2 as an alternate delegate.

We will be voting on three amendments to the bylaws. You may find these amendments here. These have to do with:

  1. Removing elected public officials as members of the Central Committee, unless they are otherwise members by virtue of being a PCP or officer; and,
  2. Changes to the way the Party Organizational Meeting is run in odd-numbered years.

We will also be voting on one resolution: 2018-16 Regarding Disenfranchisement and Eradication of Transgender/Non-Binary People

It is 5 days until the election! In order to elect Kate Brown and defeat these disastrous ballot measures, we need every PCP in the Party to get involved.

We are running a a sock drive for homeless shelters and the houseless. Please bring new or gently used socks either to the Central Committee meeting or to MCDHQ (3551 NE Sandy). Two-thirds of the socks will go to shelters, and one-third will go directly to the houseless.

Watch this space for minutes and agenda.

October 11 Central Committee Meeting

We cordially invite you to this month’s meeting of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County. The meeting will take place:

Thursday, October 11
Hollywood Senior Center
1820 NE 40th Avenue, Portland 97212
(Map)

Our schedule is as follows:

6:00 PM Doors open.
6:30 PM Registration and Sign In
7:00 PM Business Meeting begins
8:00 PM Credentialing Ends
9:00 PM Scheduled end of Business Meeting

CREDENTIALING (REGISTRATION FOR VOTING) ENDS AT 8:00PM, when numbers present are reported to the Recording Secretary.

We will be voting on the following resolutions:

We will also vote to fill vacant Precinct Committee Person positions. The list of candidates for appointment is available here.

You are also duly informed that there are three amendments to the bylaws being proposed for consideration at the November Central Committee meeting. You may find these amendments here. These have to do with:

  1. Removing elected public officials as members of the Central Committee, unless they are otherwise members by virtue of being a PCP or officer; and,
  2. Changes to the way the Party Organizational Meeting is run in odd-numbered years.

Minutes and agenda:

Venue Change for today’s Central Committee Meeting

Due to flooding damage at the Hollywood Senior Center, the venue for this month’s Central Committee Meeting has changed. The new venue is:

Multnomah County Democratic Party Headquarters
3551 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland OR 97232 (map)
Doors 6, Meeting 7

We have changed the Central Committee Meeting Announcement to reflect this change.

In addition, the proposed changes to the bylaws have been pulled from the agenda.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

September 13th Central Committee Meeting

We cordially invite you to this month’s meeting of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County. The meeting will take place:

Thursday, September 13
Multnomah County Democratic HQ
3551 NE Sandy, Portland OR 97232
(map)

Our schedule is as follows:

6:00 PM Doors open.
6:30 PM Registration and Sign In
7:00 PM Business Meeting begins
8:00 PM Credentialing Ends
9:00 PM Scheduled end of Business Meeting

CREDENTIALING (REGISTRATION FOR VOTING) ENDS AT 8:00PM, when numbers present are reported to the Recording Secretary.

Special guests include Teressa Raiford (Don’t Shoot PDX) speaking on Police Brutality.

The proposed Bylaws changes have been pulled from the agenda.

We will be voting on four resolutions:

We will also vote to fill vacant Precinct Committee Person positions. The list of candidates for appointment is available here.

The adopted agenda for this month’s meeting is here.

The approved minutes for last month’s meeting are here.

The live minutes for this month’s meeting are here.

New Bylaws and Standing Rules Approved

At a special meeting of the Central Committee held on Thursday, July 19, from 7:00-9:00 PM at The Rosewood Initiative – 16126 SE Stark St. in Portland, the revised Bylaws and Standing Rules for the Multnomah County Democratic Party were approved.

The proposed changes were drafted by the Party’s Rules Committee at the direction of the Central Committee. The 63 credentialed PCPs in attendance of the July 19th meeting voted to approve the motion to adopt the documents overwhelmingly after a lengthy session of question and answer over each Article in the Bylaws.

The documents go into effect within 48 hours of adoption with only scrivener’s changes or corrections of typos permitted.

Adopted Bylaws
Adopted Standing Rules
Minutes of the July 19th, Special Meeting

Vote on Bylaws at July 19 Meeting

A Special Meeting of the Central Committee will take place on Thursday, July 19, from 7:00-9:00 PM. We will be voting on revised Bylaws and new Standing Rules, proposed by the Rules Committee. As a PCP, you are eligible to vote on these Bylaws changes.

The location of the meeting is The Rosewood Initiative – 16126 SE Stark St, Portland. (Parking lot in front, and blue MAX on Burnside and #74 bus on 162nd Ave. have nearby stops)

Here are the documents we will be voting on:

Bylaws
Standing Rules

If you wish to view the amendments that were made on and after April 12, contact and a version showing those amendments will be sent to you.