November 2020 Voter’s Guide

Multnomah County Democrats

November 2020 Ballot Initiative Endorsements

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For the November 2020 Election, the Democratic Party of Multnomah County Central Committee, following the research of the Endorsement Task Force, recommends the following votes on the November 2020 ballot measures.

Important dates and ballot drop sites for the November 2020 Multnomah County Election

Quick Links

Ballot Measures

State Measure 107

Jurisdiction: State of Oregon

Allows laws limiting political campaign contributions and expenditures, requiring disclosure of political campaign contributions and expenditures, and requiring political campaign advertisements to identify who paid for them

In Brief: The Oregon Supreme Court has interpreted the Oregon Constitution to prohibit limits on expenditures made in connection with a political campaign or to influence the outcome of an election. Limits on contributions are allowed if the text of the law does not target expression. The proposed measure amends the Oregon Constitution to allow the Oregon Legislative Assembly, local governments, and the voters by initiative to pass laws that limit contributions and expenditures made in connection with a political campaign and contributions and expenditures made to influence an election. The measure would allow laws that require disclosure of political campaign and election contributions and expenditures. The measure would allow laws that require political campaign and election advertisements to identify who paid for them. Laws limiting campaign contributions cannot prevent effective advocacy. Measure applies to all laws enacted or approved on or after January 1, 2016.

Originator: Legislative Assembly

Multnomah Democrats Recommendation:  YES

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State Measure 108

Jurisdiction: State of Oregon

Increases cigarette and cigar taxes. Establishes tax on e-cigarettes and nicotine vaping devices. Funds health programs.

In Brief:Under current law, a tax of $1.33 is imposed on each pack of 20 cigarettes, cigars are taxed at 65 percent of the wholesale price, up to a maximum of 50 cents per cigar, and nicotine inhalant delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes and vaping products, are not taxed. Measure increases the cigarette tax by $2 per pack and increases the maximum tax on cigars to $1 per cigar. Measure provides for smaller cigars (sold commonly as”cigarillos”) to be taxed like cigarettes. Measure establishes tax on nicotine inhalant delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes and vaping products, at 65 percent of the wholesale price. Tax on nicotine inhalant delivery systems does not apply to approved tobacco cessation products or to marijuana inhalant delivery systems.Revenue from increased and new taxes will be used to fund health care coverage for low-income families,including mental health services, and to fund public health programs, including prevention and cessation programs, addressing tobacco- and nicotine-related diseases.

Originator of Measure: Legislative Assembly

Public Supporters:

Public Opponents:

Financial Impact: This referral increases taxes on cigarettes and cigars and establishes a tax on e-cigarettes and vaping devices and dedicates the revenues to health programs at the Oregon Health Authority. The measure will increase net state revenues by $111.1 million in 2019-21 and $331.4 million in 2021-23. The measure dedicates 90 percent of the revenue from the increased cigarette tax and the e-cigarette and vaping device tax to support the Oregon Health Plan and other medical assistance programs and 10 percent to tobacco use prevention and cessation programs. Funds spent on the Oregon Health Plan are eligible for ederal matching funds. The direct expenditure impact of the measure is the cost of administering the tax increases, estimated at $1.0 million in 2019-21 and $1.3 million in 2021-23.Local governments, the state’s General Fund, and mental health programs at the Oregon Health Authority could see a decline in revenue if the measure passes. The current cigarette tax and the proposed tax are dedicated to different purposes.Beyond the cost of administration, the impact of the revenue increases and decreases on state and local government expenditures is indeterminate and will depend on decisions made by the governing bodies of those governments.

Multnomah Democrats do not take a position

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Ballot Measure #109

Jurisdiction: State of Oregon

Psilocybin Mushroom Services Program Initiative

In Brief: Currently, federal and state laws prohibit the manufacture, delivery, and possession of psilocybin (psychoactive mushroom). Initiative amends state law to require Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to establish Oregon Psilocybin Services Program to allow licensed/regulated production, processing, delivery, possession of psilocybin exclusively for administration of “psilocybin services” (defined) by licensed “facilitator” (defined)to “qualified client” (defined). Grants OHA authority to implement, administer, and enforce program.Imposes two-year development period before implementation of program. Establishes fund for program administration and governor-appointed advisory board that must initially include one measure sponsor;members are compensated. Imposes packaging, labeling, and dosage requirements. Requires sales tax for retail psilocybin. Preempts local laws inconsistent with program except “reasonable regulations” (defined). Exempts licensed/regulated activities from criminal penalties. Other provisions.

Originator of Measure: Oregon Psilocybin Society (OPS)

Multnomah Democrats Recommendation:  YES

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Ballot Measure #110

Jurisdiction: State of Oregon

Drug Decriminalization and Addiction Treatment Initiative

In Brief: Measure mandates establishment/ funding of ‘addiction recovery centers’ (centers) within each existing coordinated care organization service area by October 1, 2021; centers provide drug users with triage, health assessments, treatment, recovery services. To fund centers, measure dedicates all marijuana tax revenue above $11,250,000 quarterly, legislative appropriations, and any savings from reductions in arrests, incarceration, supervision resulting from the measure. Reduces marijuana tax revenue for other uses. Measure reclassifies personal non-commercial possession of certain drugs under specified amount from misdemeanor or felony (depending on person’s criminal history) to Class E violation subject to either $100 fine or a completed health assessment by center. Oregon Health Authority establishes council to distribute funds/ oversee implementation of centers. Secretary of State audits biennially. Other provisions.

Multnomah Democrats Recommendation: YES

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Ballot Measure #26-211

Jurisdiction: Multnomah County

Library Bond Issue

In Brief:

If approved, the Library bond would authorize the County to issue up to $387 million in general obligation bonds to update, renovate, construct, and refresh libraries across the county. More space would be provided for Library programs, and public meetings: and to sit, read, study, work and learn. Access to computers, digital devices and high-speed internet would be increased in every branch. More library space would be made available for East Portland and East Multnomah County. Specifically, if approved, the bonds would:

1. Enlarge and modernize eight County libraries, some in each part of the county; including Albina, Belmont, Holgate, Midland, North Portland, Northwest, and St. Johns;

2. Build a ‘flagship’ library in East County similar in capacity to Central Library in downtown Portland;

3. Add gigabit speed internet to all library facilities;

4. Create a central materials handling and distribution center to increase efficiency and cost effectiveness; and

5. Pay for furnishings, equipment, site improvements, land acquisition, and bond issuance costs.

If approved, the 9-year $387 million bond is estimated to cost approximately $0.61 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Actual rates may vary. An independent bond oversight committee, and annual audits, will help ensure funds are used as intended.

Public Supporters Include:

  • Susheela Jayapal – Multnomah County commissioner
  • Sharon Meieran – Multnomah County commissioner
  • Lori Stegmann – Multnomah County commissioner
  • Deborah Kafoury – Multnomah County commissioner
  • Jessica Vega Pederson – Multnomah County commissioner

Multnomah Democrats Recommendation:  YES

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Ballot Measure #26-214

Jurisdiction: Multnomah County

Income Tax to Fund Tuition-Free Preschool Program (Universal Preschool)

In Brief:

Establishes ‘Preschool for All Program’ providing up to six hours per day of tuition-free, developmentally appropriate early learning, reflecting best practices. Mixed delivery model; half-day, full-day, year-round, school-year schedule options. All three, four year olds with parent, legal guardian residing in County eligible. Equitable access provided to people of color, historically marginalized communities. Before, aftercare for qualifying incomes. Board to establish provider credentialing requirements, compensation matrix including teacher pay on par with kindergarten teachers, assistants paid $19.91 per hour in 2022 with adjustments. County neutral on representation, collective bargaining on provider labor relations.


New tax on County residents and taxable income derived within County funds Program: 1.5 percent tax on taxable income over $125,000 (single) and $200,000 (joint), increasing to 2.3 percent tax January 1, 2026; additional 1.5 percent tax on taxable income over $250,000 (single) and $400,000 (joint).

Administration by Department of County Human Services (Program), Chief Financial Officer (Tax). Establishes Board appointed advisory committee for oversight, policy recommendations. Independent performance audits. Other provisions.

Multnomah Democrats Recommendation:  YES

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Ballot Measure #26-213

Jurisdiction: City of Portland

Recreation and Parks Levy

In Brief:
This Measure would allow the City of Portland to levy $0.80 per $1 ,000 assessed value for five years for the purpose of operating the park system. The services and programs to be funded by this measure are planned to include, but are not limited to:

  • Protect water quality and wildlife habitat, control erosion, remove invasive species in 8,000 acres of natural area. *Deliver recreational programs, including, but not limited to, environmental education and access to nature for youth, summer camps, family-friendly movies and concerts, fitness and arts classes, teen- and senior-focused programs, life-saving swim lessons, and a summer playground program serving free lunches to children experienéing hunger.
  • Remove financial barriers for low-income households by ending current dependence on recreation fee revenues, allowing an equity-focused delivery of community events and programs and reducing the likelihood of further cuts to recreation offerings.
  • Clean litter and hazardous waste in parks and natural areas, maintain grounds and landscaping, provide safety checks on play equipment, improve preventative and traditional maintenance.
  • Keep public restrooms open and cleaner.
  • Plant new trees in communities where today canopy coverage is lower, to improve air and water quality, diminish the impacts of climate change, and provide wildlife habitat.
  • Protect Portland’s 1.2 million park trees by performing proactive maintenance, safety checks, hazard removal, and replacement of damaged trees in parks and natural areas.
  • Modernize data systems to improve internal efficiency.
  • Prioritize services for communities of color and households experiencing poverty, including equity-centered engagement and outreach, community partnership grants, and increased engagement with volunteer and partner groups.

A community oversight committee will be appointed to review levy expenditures and to report annually to City Council. The Measure also directs the Bureau to provide for a performance audit to ensure that services funded by the levy are consistent with voter intent.

The City estimates that the levy tax rate of $0.80/$1,000 assessed value would cost a median residential property approximately $13 per month, and would raise approximately $45 million in the first year, with an estimated average of $48 million raised each year for the five-year period. If this Measure is not approved, taxes for Park services will not be assessed.

Multnomah Democrats do not take a position

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Ballot Measure #26-217

Jurisdiction: City of Portland

Police Oversight Board Charter Amendment

In Brief:

Measure 26-217 would add a new section to the city’s charter to establish a community police oversight board. The three primary stated purposes of the board include:[2]

  • investigating Portland Police Bureau,
  • imposing discipline on police personnel, and
  • recommending policing practices and policies.

Currently, the Independent Police Review (IPR), a city agency under the city auditor, investigates complaints against police officers in conjunction with the Citizen Review Committee, its 11-member advisory board. It was created in 2001 and replaced the Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee. It has the power to investigate police misconduct and issue reports, but it does not have the power to impose disciplinary action. The police commissioner is responsible for disciplinary decisions. IPR also has the power to make policy recommendations to the police chief and is required to publish them for public review. On its website, IPR lists 15 staff members as of August 2020.

Multnomah Democrats Recommendation: YES

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Ballot Measure #26-219

Jurisdiction: City of Portland

Uses of Water Fund Charter Amendment

In Brief:
The Water Fund is funded by water service ratepayers and used only to pay costs of providing water service.

A judge recently found that the City Charter does not authorize City Council to spend Water Fund monies on any uses of Water Bureau land not “reasonably related” to providing water service to residents.

Measure would amend the Charter to state explicitly that Council may spend Water Fund monies on general public “incidental uses” (undefined) of Water Bureau lands other than the Bull Run Watershed Closure Area. Measure would allow Council to raise water rates to pay for costs created by such incidental uses.

Measure would also amend the Charter to state explicitly that Council may permit or prohibit such uses.

Incidental uses may include neighborhood green spaces and community gardens. Current examples of such uses include recreational uses of Dodge Park, Powell Butte Nature Park, and other ‘HydroParks.’

Costs related to incidental public uses may include maintaining the lands and facilities, and ensuring compliance with state and federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Multnomah Democrats do not take a position

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Ballot Measure #26-212

Jurisdiction: City of Troutdale

City councilor candidates run against all councilor candidates

In Brief: This measure would amend City Charter, changing the election process for city councilors. Three councilor positions are filled each general election, for four year terms. Occasionally two year terms are also filled. Measure requires candidates to run against all other candidates in one group. Voters cast one vote per open position, maximum one vote per candidate. Three candidates receiving most votes win election to four year terms. Any two year terms are filled with candidate(s) receiving next highest numbers of votes.Current process requires candidates to run for a particular position. Sometimes a candidate runs unopposed,sometimes a new candidate runs against an incumbent, and sometimes a group runs for a particular position.The Oregon Constitution gives city voters the right to adopt, amend and revise their city charter and the structure of their city government. Troutdale charter grants legal authority to City and assigns duties and responsibilities to city officers. Troutdale voters adopted the current charter in 1994, and have amended it several times.The measure would affect elections after November 2020.

Multnomah Democrats do not take a position.

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Ballot Measure #26-218

Jurisdiction: Metro District

Funds traffic, safety, transit improvements, programs through tax on employers.

In Brief:
Funds traffic, safety, and transit improvements and transportation programs along roadway and transit corridors in Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington counties within district boundary. Revenue to supplement other transportation funding.

Improvements and programs funded by tax on certain employers; tax rate not to exceed 0.75% of payroll. Tax exempts employers with 25 or fewer employees, state and local governments. Metro may set tax rate lower than 0.75% of wages and increase not more than once per fiscal year up to 0.75%. Tax effective beginning 2022.

Identifies 17 corridors for transportation improvements with approximately 150 projects that prioritize traffic safety, transit efficiency, mobility, and reliability for all modes on roads and transit corridors. Metro to develop agreements with partner agencies responsible for delivery of projects. Improvements include:

  • Rapid bus network
  • Light-rail transit line
  • Bridge repair, replacement
  • Sidewalks, pedestrian crossings
  • Signal upgrades

Identifies 10 programs that prioritize safety, access to transit, racial equity, and community stability. Requirements for public engagement, accountability, and fiscal transparency in implementation.

Establishes independent oversight committee to evaluate progress and implementation. Requires independent financial audits

Multnomah Democrats Recommendation: YES

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Ballot Measure #26-215

Jurisdiction: Portland School District 1J

Bond Issue

In Brief:
Measure authorizes up to $1.208 billion in principal amount of general obligation bonds for facilities and education investments. Measure is not expected to increase tax rates above previous targets, because debt service is scheduled to decline. If approved, this measure would finance capital costs, including projects that:

  • Provide curriculum materials, technology, accessibility improvements;
  • Repair/replace roofs, mechanical systems;
  • Renovate/replace schools, including Jefferson, Benson, a facility for alternative school programs; design renovation/replacement of Cleveland and Wilson; plan and add additional capacity;
  • Develop a culturally-responsive community plan, make targeted investments in facilities in North/Northeast Portland;•Strengthen building security; seismic safety.

Requires citizen accountability/oversight; independent audits of projects and expenditures.Bonds may be issued in one or more series, with each series maturing in 30 years or less.Due to declining debt service, measure is not expected to increase PPS’s bond tax rate above $2.50/$1,000 assessed value, the same rate that has been targeted since the 2017 bond issue. Actual rates may differ based on interest rates and changes in assessed value.

Multnomah Democrats Recommendation: YES

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Ballot Measure #26-216

Jurisdiction: Riverdale School District 51J

Five-Year Local Option Tax for District Operations

In Brief:
This measure authorizes Riverdale School District No. 51J, Multnomah and Clackamas Counties, Oregon, to levy a property tax in the amount of $1.37 per $1,000 of assessed value each year for five years. The taxes would be used to help finance District operations. Without the additional revenue, the District will have to reduce staff and services.An estimate of the total amount to be raised each fiscal year is:

$1,023,379 in 2021-2022
$1,054,081 in 2022-2023
$1,085,703 in 2023-2024
$1,118,274 in 2024-2025
$1,155,822 in 2025-2026

The estimated tax cost for this measure is an ESTIMATE ONLY based on the best information available from the county assessor at the time of estimate and may reflect the impact of early payment discounts, compression and the collection rate.

Multnomah Democrats do not take a position.

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Ballot Measure #26-220

Jurisdiction: Corbett School District 39

Bonds to Construct, Renovate, and Improve District Facilities

In Brief:
District will receive $3,878,367 state grant only if bonds are approved and is on waiting list to receive additional $121,633 if voters approve bonds, funds are available and another district’s measure fails to pass. If bonds are not approved grant will be diverted to another district. Bond and grant funds are expected to finance or refinance the following capital costs:

  • Improvements, renovation and/or construction of facilities for grade and middle schools, high school and District offices and facilities, including high school remodel for additional office space and grade school roof repairs
  • Furnishing, equipping and improvements to facilities, including for CTE, Title IX and ADA
  • Site improvements, refinance loan for land acquisition and improvements, demolition, bond issuance costs.

District would establish citizen oversight committee to ensure proceeds are used for purposes indicated.Bonds would mature in not to exceed 11 years from issuance and may be issued in series. The estimated tax rate is $1.02 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Actual levy rate may differ due to changes in interest rates and assessed value.

Multnomah Democrats do not take a position.

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Ballot Measure #3-560

Jurisdiction: Clackamas Fire District #1

Merge Estacada Fire District #69 with Clackamas Fire District #1.

In Brief:
Clackamas Fire District #1 has provided fire and emergency services to Estacada Fire District No. 69 since January 1, 2020 through an Intergovernmental Agreement. To provide services more efficiently, the Districts now desire to merge Estacada Fire District No. 69 into Clackamas Fire District #1. The result of a merger is the creation of a new fire district (to be called Clackamas Fire District #1) which will serve the territories of both districts at a tax rate of $2.4012 per $1,000 of assessed value. Currently, Estacada Fire District No. 69 has a tax rate of $2.4029 per $1,000 of assessed value and Clackamas Fire District has a tax rate of $2.4012 per $1,000 of assessed value. All of Estacada Fire District No. 69’s duties, obligations, assets and liabilities shall be transferred to Clackamas Fire District #1 upon successful merger. In order to pass, this measure must be approved by a majority of electors in both Districts.

Public Supporters:

Public Opponents:

Analysis:

Multnomah Democrats do not take a position.

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Candidates

Wondering how to find your district? Visit this page!

These are the Democratic candidates for the November 2020 regular election:

Partisan positions

President and Vice President:
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Oregon Secretary of State:
Shemia Fagan

Oregon Attorney General:
Ellen Rosenblum

Oregon Treasurer:
Tobias Read

US Senator:
Jeff Merkley

US Representative:
Suzanne Bonamici
Earl Blumenauer
Kurt Schrader

OR Senate District 14:
Kate Lieber

OR Senate District 18:
Ginny Burdick

OR Senate District 21:
Kathleen Taylor

OR Senate District 22:
Lew Frederick

OR Senate District 23:
Michael Dembrow

OR Senate District 25:
Chris Gorsek

OR House District 31:
Brad Witt

OR House District 33:
Maxine Dexter

OR House District 27:
Sheri Schouten

OR House District 36:
Lisa Reynolds

OR House District 35:
Dacia Grayber

OR House District 38:
Andrea Salinas

OR House District 41:
Karin Power

OR House District 42:
Rob Nosse

OR House District 43:
Tawna Sanchez

OR House District 44:
Tina Kotek

OR House District 45:
Barbara Smith Warner

OR House District 46:
Khanh Pham

OR House District 47:
Candidate omitted

OR House District 48:
Jeff Reardon

OR House District 51:
Janelle Bynum

OR House District 52:
Anna Williams

OR House District 49:
Zach Hudson

OR House District 50:
Ricki Ruiz

Non-partisan elections

These are the Democratic candidates for non-partisan positions in Multnomah County

Portland

  • Mayor
    • Ted Wheeler
    • Sarah Iannarone
  • City Council – Position 4
    • Chloe Eudaly
    • Mingus Mapps

Gresham

  • Mayor
    • Eddy Morales
    • Travis Stovall
    • Nick Switzer
  • City Council
    • Dina DiNucci
    • Brianna Harris
    • Vince Jones-Dixon
    • Dave Dyk
    • Thomas Stanley

Fairview

  • Council
    • Wendy Lawton
    • Mike Weatherby

Lake Oswego

  • Mayor
    • Joe Buck
    • Theresa Kohlhoff
  • Council
    • Emma Burke
    • Melissa Fireside
    • Massene Mboup

Maywood Park

  • Council
    • Jim Akers
    • Miriam Berman
    • Ron Dickson
    • Robin Wisner Sr.

Troutdale

  • Council
    • Glenn White
    • Paul Wilcox
    • Sandy Glantz

Wood Village

  • Council
    • Jairo Rios-Campos
    • T. Scott Harden
    • Brian Loy

Important dates: When to drop off and mail your ballot

  • September 21: Absentee ballots available in the Elections office
  • October 5: Out-of-state voter ballots mailed
  • October 7 – 10 – Voters’ Pamphlet mailed to all residential households by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office.
  • October 12 – Gresham Voting Center Express opens.
  • October 13 – Voter Registration deadline October 14 – Ballots begin to be mailed to voters.
  • October 27 – Last day to safely return your ballot by mail. After that date voters must use an official drop site.
  • November 3 – General Election date (Ballots due by 8:00 p.m.)

More information

Ballot drop sites

Online voters’ pamphlet