Reason: We need to treat others with the dignity and respect they deserve, full stop. The houseless epidemic is growing in every large city in America, and we must take this seriously and act with compassion. We must ensure the policies we pass as a city do not continue to cause trauma to our houseless neighbors, and instead focus our resources and energy on pushing for reforms at the state and federal level to address this crisis. Additionally, I believe we need to put resources towards offering the houseless community access to basic needs like water and sanitation services (ie showers, hygiene products, laundry vouchers, etc.) in self governed spaces to help move people towards a more stable housing solution. Sweeps are expensive, ineffective, and inhumane—instead of simply forcing vulnerable people to shuffle their belongings and lives around, we need to invest in helping move people towards sustainable short and long term solutions, not further into the cycle of houselessness and poverty.
FOR A FAIR POLICE CONTRACT THAT SERVES THE PUBLIC
Reason: As the Acting Chair of the Citizen Review Committee (CRC), I am 100% in support of civilian oversight reform, in addition to transparency and community involvement during the police contract negotiations. Recently, the Chair of the CRC resigned due to the frustration she has felt after several years of inaction from City Hall dragging their feet on any of the recommendations we have worked so hard to produce. Therefore as the Vice Chair I am stepping into the Chair role to continue pushing for these reforms despite the obvious challenges. For example, over the last few years we have been trying to push for changing our standard of review, from a “reasonable person” standard to a “preponderance of the evidence” standard to give us the ability to challenge the internal findings of officers reviewing the misconduct cases of their peers. The lack of support for these reforms from the City Council and Auditor’s office, despite having community-wide support, is what led me to run for office. It became difficult for me to continue to believe that the mandate of police oversight given to the CRC is seen by the City as anything more than an empty gesture. Our current system of committees and advisory boards leaves the people without the power to influence change and hold their community leaders accountable. We need citizen oversight that has the authority to recommend changes and city officials committed to making those changes a reality. I believe we must review all advisory boards and assess their efficiency and be prepared to create, disband, or adjust these boards as needed. Finally, I support all of the Portland Police Reform Network’s suggested necessary changes for the Portland Police contract, and as commissioner I will push for these reforms as soon as I enter office.
OREGON DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR THE PEOPLE
Reason: I agree with your position that the District Attorney is the most powerful player in the criminal legal system, and I support the DA For The People platform in its entirety. A recent example of just how much power the DA has on our ability to make legitimate change in police accountability is when they challenged the ability to compel officers to testify on their misconduct. As a result we are unnecessarily hampered by our inability to effectively remove officers that cause harm in our community and do not reflect the values we stand for as a city. As a commissioner I am committed to pushing for reform in the District Attorney’s office as it will help us in our advocacy for the necessary reforms we need in the Portland Police Bureau.
TENANT PROTECTION ORDINANCE
Reason: In a world with growing income inequality, the expectation of homeownership is simply not an option for everyone. As more Portlanders are renting, we must continue to build in protections for tenants in our infrastructure. Rental assistance needs to be fully funded, and the Rental Services Office needs to be fully staffed and funded with the necessary scope and powers to hold predatory landlords accountable. This is essential as we continue to combat our growing houselessness crisis. This is personal for me as a renter with crushing student loan debt which has limited my ability to own a home, and as commissioner I will be vocal in my advocacy for expanding tenant protections.
UP NOW! UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL IN MULTNOMAH COUNTY
Reason: I support the UP NOW Initiative 100 percent! In fact, I recently submitted my name to be an official endorser of the program. The data is undeniable: when children have access to Universal Pre-K it changes their entire life trajectory. When families have access to quality and affordable childcare, it benefits every generation in the family. As an educator, I strongly believe that we must invest in our children because not only do they deserve it, but the future of our country depends on it. I also support Universal Pre-K because it would release a huge burden on the children of low income families who are often tasked with taking care of younger siblings due to the unaffordable cost of childcare. This is something that I can personally relate to, growing up in a Latinx home where my single mother was working multiple jobs to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Being 8 and 11 years older than my two brothers meant I was often left with the responsibility of caring for them, often at the expense of the opportunities I wanted to pursue as a young adult. This burden on working families has a multigenerational impact and it’s time we demand that our basic needs as a society are met—and those who have benefited financially for decades, while the rest of us suffered from staggering income inequality, need to foot the bill. And lastly on that note, an important part of the UP NOW initiative that I support is paying workers a living wage.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
Reason: As a certified candidate in the City of Portland Open and Accountable Elections (OAE) program, I am a strong supporter of campaign finance reform on the local and state level. I believe the OAE program is a good start towards bringing the power of politics back to the people by multiplying their donation by 6, and reducing the impact of special interests that can afford to buy our elected leaders. However, without SJR18 we will continue to be unable to enforce these campaign contribution limits, as has become clear by the multiple candidates for Portland City Council and Mayor that are collecting donations beyond the $500 limit set by the Honest Elections program that had overwhelming support (87.4%) in Multnomah County. In addition, with a population of over 600,000 all of our commissioners are elected at-large, which means the leaders who most often succeed running for office come from wealthy families from the west side of town and do not reflect all of our unique communities. It’s time we end this archaic form of government and bring district representation to Portlanders. We deserve to elect members of our own unique community that understand the lived experiences of our neighbors, and can bring new diverse voices to the table where crucial decisions are being made for our future. Campaign contribution limit reform is an important step forward to ensure the voices our leaders need to be hearing from aren’t heavily influenced by special interests that don’t represent the people.
Reason: A publicly-owned municipal bank will help us keep Portlanders’ tax dollars circulating locally, and I support its creation. Collecting thousands in tax revenue each year and then parking that money in commercial banks that choose the projects and industries in which to invest the city’s money doesn’t put our priorities first. Portland could benefit greatly from having the banks’ priorities set by voters and run by civil servants to benefit local taxpayers.
Reason: In so many ways, we are a society dependent on access to the internet to move through the world. Whether that is paying our bills, studying and doing research, job searching, and more, the internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity to even have the chance to prosper in the 21st century. Unfortunately, internet plans are getting ever more expensive while competition continues to decrease. This is an equity and accessibility issue, and the answer needs to be to partner with Multnomah County in bringing municipal broadband to Portland. As a commissioner I will advocate to bring it to East Portland first, as it will need to be built out in phases. Major companies hoard our hard earned dollars and are the gatekeepers to our access to affordable internet — it’s time we take ownership of the internet and ensure access at all levels of income.
COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT (CBA) FOR THE SUPERFUND CLEAN-UP OF THE WILLAMETTE RIVER
Reason: It’s no secret that we are facing an existential environmental crisis globally and the time for less talk and more action is now. Every person in Portland deserves and needs clean air and water, therefore every policy decision we make needs to be approached from the lens of climate to take comprehensive, local action. Restorative justice is fundamental to this process—fixing historic injustices against black, indigenous, and people of color in our city is not optional. The community benefits movement emerged to challenge conventional thinking and offer a broader vision for how we shape decisions for the communities we serve, and I support the initiatives proposed in the CBA for the Superfund Clean-up of the Willamette River.