Equity and Rights
I benefit from white male privilege, and I'm taking a stand for the importance of recognizing how we participate in systems of oppression and how we perpetuate those systems when we fail to discuss them and take action.
Rights and Equity
Dismantle White Supremacy
Stop the disproportionate, discriminate enforcement of laws against people of color
Employ an equity lens when considering city policies
Stop treating houselessness with a criminal justice response and other classist approaches
Employ restorative justice programs for traditionally marginalized communities
Respect native peoples and honor our treaties
Defend LGBTQ+ Rights
Dismantle White Supremacy
Portland has a history of racism and racist policies. We owe it to ourselves and our children to do what we can to dismantle the architecture of white supremacy, both institutionally and within ourselves. Looking back, I can see instances where my race or gender gave me a leg up in this culture. And I see how that created distance, disconnection and loss that I wasn't aware of at the time. We owe it to the people who are harmed to address the imbalances created by racism, patriarchy, and classism, and we owe it to ourselves and our children to recognize that ALL of us are harmed by these ingrained beleifs and behaviors.
It's important to recognize how we participate in systems of oppression (against women, people of color, queer people, the alter-abled, and others) and also the importance of recognizing how we perpetuate those systems when we fail to discuss them and take action to unwind them and create better systems. These systems are often subtle and our participation mostly unconscious, which is why we need to educate ourselves, work to raise awareness, and be mindful of our actions and how they diminish or reinforce dismissive or minimalizing behaviors so that we can start to behave in ways that feel better for all of us. I support funding a series of conversations hosted across our city on this topic and supporting the initiatives that come out of those conversations.
Dismantle Institutionalized Racism
Dismantling white supremacy needs to happen at all levels of society, and especially within our Portland Police Department where mistreatment of people of color must be addressed and stopped. According to Extra Newsfeed, "in Portland, black people are charged at 27x the rate of white people for spitting, 8x the rate of white people for jaywalking, and 15x the rate of white people for failure to cross the street at a right-angle..." I am committed to working with other commissioners on equity initiatives and implementing ways to reduce racist incidents involving the police, and stop practices like "broken windows" policing, as well as in hiring and human resources across city government and in city policies.
Employ Restorative Justice Programs for Marginalized Communities
Implement policies to help correct historical injustices, such as first-right-of-return programs for members of historically red-lined communities displaced by racist zoning, banking and development communities. Programs like these can be funded from interest earned on more traditional loan programs implemented by a public bank, rather than see that interest leave the state in the form of profits for stockholders and Wall Street. See more about my position in favor of a public bank here.
Honoring Native Peoples and Respecting Existing Treaties
When it comes to defending the rights of all members of our community, that must include supporting restorative justice initiatives with the original peoples of this land we call home. I support working with tribal governments to ensure we are honoring treaty rights at a minimum and doing more to recognize and honor the sovereignty of native peoples.
Defend LGBTQ+ Rights
We must also stay steadfast in defending LGBTQ+ rights. Despite advances, it's still legal to fire employees for being in open and polyamorous relationships. In 2020 Portland, relationship choice should never be a reason to terminate employment, kick a family out of their home or take children away from their parents. I'm committed to defending LGBTQ+ rights, including all of our right to make our own relationship choices without fear of official reprisal.
Getting it Right when it comes to ANTIFA Protestors
Portland Police should be directed to treat white supremacists and fascists that descend on our streets to stir up hatred and violence as unwelcome instigators, and to protect ANTIFA protestors who show up to take a stand for diversity and humanity. Racist officers should be let go due to an inability to protect public safety with fairness and equity. And we must demilitarize our police department. The State of Oregon has a military arm. It is inappropriate and counter-productive to outfit Portland police in paramilitary equipment and train them in military tactics. PDX Resistance has some good ideas which I support for the new police contract.
Real solutions for today's challenges
I believe in what Portland can be.