Reason: A long time ago I went on a bicycle cop ride-along with the Portland Police. They went on trails mostly harassing people that appeared to be houseless. I remember a man (in veteran clothing) who had no camp who was just napping on the grass and they singled him out for harassment. The man said it was public property and he was just resting there. That was literally true. They treated him like a criminal. The officer explanation when I questioned why they did that was that the Rose Parade was coming up and they were instructed to keep the parks free of things the mayor's office felt the public didn't want to see. Their explanation was not about actual criminal behavior, but was solely about appearances. This was just one personal story of my own witnessing and it hasn't improved since. In story after story we've seen more inappropriate mistargeting and more miscarriages of justice. Many Portlanders have also died at the hands of the police, and so I want to see resources focused on non-police interventions. Having always been in favor of decriminalizing non-violent crime and focusing on truly violent and white collar and government official crime instead, explicitly providing for a right to rest is critical. I think also that we should focus on providing for more access to hygiene services such as keeping public bathrooms open for much longer with more full services. In particular one thing I'd like to focus on is providing access to improved forms of heating. I bike along the Springwater Corridor almost every weekend and I often see camps with fires on public property. As I work heavily on air quality issues (and the worst problems are white collar executives making the decisions, not people living outdoors), I know that this is mostly a problem for the people who are trying to stay warm by the fires, as it's not healthy for any person to breath the wood smoke. By not providing insulated housing and access to heat, it is a societal failure that increases risks to everybody, too. But we can't criminalize that type of behavior, as we have to recognize that people are just trying to stay warm or cook food. Life sustaining behavior has to be seen as a right to live or survive. Further, I'm more of a moral subjectivist in line with Clarence Darrow: http://www.bopsecrets.org/CF/darrow.htm
FOR A FAIR POLICE CONTRACT THAT SERVES THE PUBLIC
Reason: This is an obvious yes. I supported JoAnn Hardesty's efforts on this issue and I was extra motivated to pushed hard on election law enforcement because it was indirectly helping Hardesty's campaign. My prior answer goes into much of my rationale on this issue.
OREGON DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR THE PEOPLE
Reason: This is basically a laundry list of Green Party positions we've held since our founding. I've always seen non-violent crime enforcement as doubly harmful because it doesn't just destroy lives without need, but it diverts resources from white collar crime (and e.g. public official bribery) that affect everybody in ways people may not even know they were being negatively impacted by, and those negative impacts often increase what might be called non-violent "crime" through socioeconomic oppression. A more fair and just world eliminates feedback loops that keep people down and oppressed. But those feedback loops exist for a reason. People in power want to stay in power. That's a primary reason I also work on system reform such as campaign finance reform, to ensure that all people have access to the system without needing to spend millions of dollars from major donors.
TENANT PROTECTION ORDINANCE
Reason: These are all evidence-based solutions for ensuring fairness in behavior toward tenants. I would normally not be in favor of public resources being used for so-called "advocacy" directly out of a government office (instead, in an ideal world, one would decentralize it out of the city and allow tenant orgs to fairly get funding based on demonstrated public support, similar to how candidates can get public funding) but there are many parts of the city that "advocate" many things, including for developers. It's only fair to provide an equal subsidy for renters while developers and landlords get their opinions heard in extra amounts. I'm strongly in favor of data collection for policy guidance, and I spent a lot of time dealing with public record data, mining it for insights to further good government reforms and policies. Data is a very compelling tool and helps hold people accountable to what it reveals. It is also useful for legal action for legal assistance mentioned in the proposal. Further, PTU has demonstrated the power of direct tenant organizing to win concessions from landlords that often hold all the cards (and their own proprietary data). This is a universally well rounded proposal.
UP NOW! UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL IN MULTNOMAH COUNTY
Reason: My wife is an elementary reading specialist, my parents retired from careers in elementary school, and many of my siblings and in-laws are also in teaching. So I know the value of early childhood education. At times I've been in the top 5% of income, so I would likely be taxed to help pay for this. But more high income individuals should be willing to help out the next generations. Especially important is the fact that education reaps more benefits than costs in the long run, so it should be seen as a form of community investment rather than as an entitlement program. Plus, if young parents are helped early on, they will reap larger incomes later in life, and thus would be able to pay it forward to future generations as well. It's a sustainable solution for the long term.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
Reason: I've worked with all three groups before on campaign finance reform. I helped to enforce the prior measures, and I continue to do data analysis for the campaigns and campaign auditing to ensure compliance. I built a software system to analyze campaign finance data and have provided reports for media on campaign finance scandals. Much of that has been unattributed. I'm a multiple times plaintiff to enforce campaign finance laws, and I've established a number of complaint precedents to hold elected officials accountable. This is a summary article of one of my efforts: https://www.wweek.com/news/city/2018/01/31/seth-woolley-has-appointed-himself-the-traffic-cop-for-portlands-next-election/
Reason: As a software engineer that has been employed by venture capital, knowing how VC firms operate, I know that it's not ideal for a progressive society to have to rely upon private VC firms for innovation. What usually happens is that VC firms take much of the value created by the engineers while the engineers get tiny equity slices lacking real proportion to the value that they create. Additionally VC firms will get seats on boards, ensuring that the companies have very long contracts that work against workers and customers alike. There is rarely deep emphasis on making society better (it's really about making money, though there are often claims that they are working for the social good). Instead there is an emphasis in societal good created through classical economic theoretic means -- the idea that what they are doing is making this or that market "more efficient." There is a kernel of truth to the value of efficient markets, but what is lacking is a recognition that these new systems of efficiency should be regulated much sooner than they actually are. In many cases regulations are ignored as being in convenient for the new system of efficiency, and progressive cities are caught not able to come up with effective means to regulate new technologies, often by not knowing what they can do or how the new technologies work deep down. So it's important to attack this problem on two fronts: the first is to change how they are funded so that public interests can be taken into account from the funding side. The second front is to actually ensure sensible regulations for new technologies are followed on quickly rather than after major sectors of the economy have shifted dramatically. This is a small component of addressing that problem on that first front.
Reason: I've often used the fastest broadband service I've been able to buy. As a technology worker that has hosted my own services (web/email/etc.) at and telecommuted from my homes for decades, I've had to deal with private network charges, low quality, and unfair (non-net-neutral) services. Plus the Qwest example shows that even private entities can't even comply with the law even if they want to, or the NSA will help destroy them. A democratically accountable municipal broadband service should have the resources and public support to be accountable to the public against attempts to control or monitor by the federal government, plus it can help ensure real network neutrality. The local government wouldn't be in the business of creating content, for example, and so it wouldn't even have the same incentives that modern ISPs have, to try to vertically integrate consumers into a single platform where they get to charge fees for every part of the Internet experience all while they sell consumer data to the highest bidder, including potentially foreign actors keen on influencing our democratic system.
COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT (CBA) FOR THE SUPERFUND CLEAN-UP OF THE WILLAMETTE RIVER
Reason: Fully enfranchised populations are already proportionally represented via the public bodies that are responsible parties directly, so it makes sense to have those who are disproportionately affected to have additional stakeholder input as part of the Portland Harbor Superfund process. As a long time Green Party member, Superfund cleanup has been a national priority. Sustainability plus Social and Economic Justice are key pillars of the Green Party movement, and they have to be built together in balance, not with one emphasized more than the other. A clean harbor just for the economic elite fleeing climate change and pollution impacts of their own creation directly impacting other major cities of the world wouldn't be fair at all.