Standing up for a Fair Budget:
We must stop pitting funding for community centers and parks against other services and programs every budget cycle. A budget is a moral document that should reflect our communities’ values. In order to tackle our biggest problems, we need to fund essential city services, not just flashy, headline-grabbing capital projects. We’re not going to correct our budget issues in one or two cycles, but if we prioritize shifting money to better match Portlanders’ values and priorities, we will start to get better outcomes for the people of this city. We also need to improve oversight of our spending by auditing to make sure the money we spend is getting the results we intended.
Standing Up for Police Accountability:
According to the Portland Police Association, over 70% of Portlanders don’t trust the police. We must rebuild trust between Portland Police and the community, which starts by increasing police accountability. This means negotiating a more community-centered Portland Police Association Contract. It also means holding the Police Bureau accountable. Right now, the City cannot fire police officers. Anyone who has a license to kill needs to be able to to be fired and disciplined –– whether for racist or abusive behavior, excessive force, and/or for wrongfully killing someone. We need to demilitarize the police –– protecting and serving civilians should not require a militarized response.
Standing Up for Publicly-Owned Internet:
We need fast, reliable, affordable, publicly-owned, fiber optic municipal broadband internet for all! Thanks to the leadership of Multnomah County, we’re in the middle of a feasibility study that’s looking into bringing municipal broadband to the whole county. The City of Portland must be a strong partner in this project to make publicly-owned internet a reality for all residents and businesses who want it.
Internet providers like Comcast, Verizon, and CenturyLink extract $250 million per year from area residents and businesses to provide low-quality internet while raking in massive profits. A publicly-owned internet would be higher-quality, less expensive, and highly subsidized for those who cannot afford it. Plus, it pays for itself through the rate-payers –– just like we have a water and electricity utility, we could also have an internet utility. Whether you’re looking for work, a student trying to succeed in school, or a patient trying to communicate with your doctor online, access to the internet is no longer optional; it is a necessity, which is why we need to ensure access to reliable, affordable, high-quality internet for everyone.
Standing Up for a Public Bank:
A public (or municipal) bank in Portland would enable the city to keep its money locally, so the bank’s capital could be reinvested in local communities, rather than line the pockets of Wall Street investors. If we had a Public Bank of Portland, we could stop banking with large, national corporate banks, and, instead, we could give our business to a bank that operates in the public interest. We must pass the Municipal Bank Bill in the Oregon State Legislature to proceed with this plan. California is ahead of the game, having passed their Municipal Bank Bill earlier this year. California has 10 cities moving forward with forming public banks. Let’s make Portland the first city in Oregon to form a public bank!