Around the world people are organizing to take power in their cities.
In the Portland metro area, a municipalist movement is also taking shape. In 2016, a vibrant tenants rights movement galvanized voters to defeat an incumbent City Commissioner. This victory demonstrates an opportunity for grassroots forces to change our region for the better.
Our goal is to create a Portland metro area that’s a healthy and nurturing place for everyone and every community who calls it home, and not just an enclave of the 1%. Toward that end, the Portland Metro People’s Coalition (PPC) is building a cross-issue coalition of grassroots organizations to join forces, amplify our initiatives and begin to strategize how to build a unified and broad-based progressive movement capable of building an urban commons for the 99%.
Since the 2016 elections, we have met with over 35 organizations to find a way forward. Following models of successful municipalist movements in other cities (see our Case Studies page), we began with groups of organizers identifying, debating and approving a Bill of Rights that establishes our ambitious vision for the future. Since these rights have broad support on the left, this would be one way to begin to work together on common ground. Under each right, we added policies that organizations are currently working on to form a single platform in order to have a material goal to struggle for together.
The process is just as important. On April 14, 2018, we held an inaugural People’s Convention to ratify the Bill of Rights and Policy Platform (the Platform) to help us develop mutual respect, trust, healthy relationships—and popular power. Twenty organizations agreed to participate and voted unanimously to support the Platform. We are now circulating the Platform to candidates and elected officials to find out where they stand on our issues, and soon we will begin a public outreach campaign to gain popular support.
A unified Portland Metro People’s Coalition with a clear agenda will allow us to win policies that truly represent our interests. We also need power to hold officials accountable once in office and to counter the biased media, unaccountable corporations, and right-wing billionaires who every day seek to thwart progressive ideas and representatives. Having unity means we can bring pressure to bear in many ways, from drafting legislation and testifying at hearings to creative protest and direct action.
Our goal is to build and strengthen popular movements striving for a just, egalitarian, and liberatory society for all. Please join us.