Hot off the Press
Oregon has an opportunity to have a fantastic State Senator for District 2, Democratic Candidate, Jerry Allen. The Republican candidate running against him is Art Robinson who has extremist Alt-right beliefs and has worked with unregistered foreign agents to clean up his campaign after losing in every previous election he has ran in.
Although Robinson is a five time loser in the congressional elections when faced against Peter DeFazio, the Oregon State Senate District 2 has a MUCH different demographic. The congressional district he ran for against DeFazio had the liberal base of Eugene, Senate District 2, does not.
Art Robinson is known throughout the community for collecting urine from strangers, he thinks nuclear waste can be diluted and spread over the ocean, and thinks Social Security and public education should be abolished (just to name a few reasons).
How do all you parents currently forced to homeschool because of COVID, feel about this abolishing public schools?
There are so many other reasons Robinson would be dangerous as a government leader – so please join Jerry tonight at his Volunteer Strategic Planning Session and consider donating to his campaign to help give him a fighting chance. Not only do our senators represent us here in Josephine and Jackson Counties, but they have a large impact on what happens in the entire state. When they walk out of the job like current District 2 Senator, Herman Baertschiger Jr. has done numerous times, it halts ALL work in Salem. We need a representative who will stay in Salem and get the work done.
Participants need to pre-register for tonight’s event:
Date: Monday August 3, 2020
Time: 6:00 pm
Another priority his campaign has, is the need to collect 200 valid signatures from registered voters in Oregon State Senate District 2. This will allow him to get his candidate statement into the Voter Information Pamphle without having to spend $750.
The signature petition and instructions can be downloaded from here. Even if you don’t make it to the Zoom meeting, if you live in Senate District 2, please help him by completing this form and returning it ASAP. Additional information and instructions are included in the document.
The petition can have one signature or up to 10 per sheet. We will have them available at our office, or you can drop off any that you have done on your own, Tuesday or Friday between 12-3. (Upstairs at the corner of 7th and C Street) We have until THIS Saturday to get the 200 signatures.
If you aren’t sure what district you live in, visit https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/ and enter your address.
We hope you will join him on Zoom tonight.
If you have any specific questions or suggestions, you can send them in advance to email@example.com
According to the 2018 Census Reporter, Josephine County is 87% white. It is no wonder many of us may struggle with knowing how best to support minority Americans, as our own local population gives us few community members to engage with. Just because we don’t see the systemic racism on a regular basis, does not mean it doesn’t exist.
The best thing we can do to become better allies, is educate ourselves and learn more about what brought this movement forward, and how to become true anti-racist allies.
Timeline of Events that led to the 2020 “fed-Up” Rising (This timeline is not all inclusive and is missing many events, but a good place to start.)
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (Hint, it has nothing to do with socioeconomics or class status)
Boston Globe – Housing Racism – Researcher expected ‘outrageously high’ discrimination against Black renters. What they found was worse than imagined.
Madam President, Donald Trump has deployed a paramilitary squad to my hometown of Portland. His secret police are terrorizing my friends and neighbors. And people across this country need to understand, yesterday Donald Trump announced to America that your friends and your neighbors are next.
Unmarked vans full of armed men in military gear are snatching people off the streets. They take people away, hold them and interrogate them without justification, and ultimately without charges.
Over the weekend a close personal friend, Sharon Meieran, an ER doc and a mom was out protesting peacefully and was tear-gassed without provocation.
Millions have seen the video of a local Navy veteran who was repeatedly beaten, pepper sprayed and left with broken bones. What was his offense? He was standing motionless, hands by his side, speaking up for the liberty he served to protect.
We’ve seen reports of agents ripping a mask off of a protester who was obeying commands with hands in the air, only to pepper spray the protester’s face.
The secret police even threw flash bangs and tear gas at a “wall of moms.”
You can see right here. Over the last couple of days, moms and dads with their kids are peacefully singing songs and protesting for justice. Portland is standing up for what’s right.
Only the cowards of the Trump administration would try to convince the country that these peaceful protesters, the “wall of moms,” represent some kind of anarchist threat. It’s nonsense.
Folks, I condemn violence by anybody. And I spent much of the last week in Portland working to reduce tensions. The fact is, protests in Portland have been overwhelmingly peaceful. Crime in Portland and across Oregon was down before Trump sent in the secret police.
Donald Trump did not send in this paramilitary force to keep people safe. Trump is doing this to create images of chaos, to air them on far-right television and in campaign ads, and scare the country into reelecting him.
But these are the people Donald Trump’s paramilitary forces are attacking and terrorizing. He says it is a great success, and he plans on doing it in other cities, specifically targeting those with Democratic leadership and voters.
This kind of abusive exercise of power by a rogue president would have horrified our founders.
They wrote our Constitution to prevent exactly this behavior, because democracy cannot survive in a country that tolerates it. These tactics were used throughout the world a century ago to turn elected politicians into tyrants.
Colleagues, the president’s first and most important job is to keep Americans safe.
Residents of Portland are less safe and less secure since Donald Trump deployed the secret police on our streets. The same thing will happen anywhere else that Trump chooses to send his paramilitary forces.
Frankly, I wish Donald Trump would attack the coronavirus with the same zeal he’s attacking peaceful protesters.
While Donald Trump’s secret police are out there terrorizing Portland’s moms and doctors and other peaceful protesters, the country is facing a raging pandemic and record high unemployment. Donald Trump isn’t keeping Americans safe from those crises – he’s making both of them worse, too.
He’s attempting to cut resources for COVID testing and treatment. His administration is covering up data that public health professionals rely on to do their jobs. He wants to cut the lifelines of 30 million jobless Americans, sending them tumbling over an economic cliff right in the middle of the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression.
Donald Trump is not doing his job. He’s ignoring his responsibilities. Instead of keeping Americans safe, he’s putting them in danger.
As I said, and as I will repeat as many times as necessary: He ought to attack the pandemic, not the people of Portland.
For now, Senator Merkley and I are offering an amendment that would block Trump from using these paramilitary forces in Portland or other cities where they are unwanted.
What we’re seeing in my hometown are authoritarian brutality unleashed against peaceful protesters – moms and veterans and doctors and activists who are standing up for liberty and justice.
What Donald Trump is doing is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy laid out by our founders and expanded through the generations. What Donald Trump is doing is totally out of control. The Senate cannot allow it to happen.
That’s why Senator Merkley and I are calling for the Senate to act. And we’re going to keep pushing and fighting until this changes. I yield the floor.
America is a constant work in progress. What gives each new generation purpose is to take up the unfinished work of the last and carry it further — to speak out for what’s right, to challenge an unjust status quo, and to imagine a better world.
John Lewis — one of the original Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the youngest speaker at the March on Washington, leader of the march from Selma to Montgomery, Member of Congress representing the people of Georgia for 33 years — not only assumed that responsibility, he made it his life’s work. He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise. And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example.
Considering his enormous impact on the history of this country, what always struck those who met John was his gentleness and humility. Born into modest means in the heart of the Jim Crow South, he understood that he was just one of a long line of heroes in the struggle for racial justice. Early on, he embraced the principles of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience as the means to bring about real change in this country, understanding that such tactics had the power not only to change laws, but to change hearts and minds as well.
In so many ways, John’s life was exceptional. But he never believed that what he did was more than any citizen of this country might do. He believed that in all of us, there exists the capacity for great courage, a longing to do what’s right, a willingness to love all people, and to extend to them their God-given rights to dignity and respect. And it’s because he saw the best in all of us that he will continue, even in his passing, to serve as a beacon in that long journey towards a more perfect union.
I first met John when I was in law school, and I told him then that he was one of my heroes. Years later, when I was elected a U.S. Senator, I told him that I stood on his shoulders. When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made. And through all those years, he never stopped providing wisdom and encouragement to me and Michelle and our family. We will miss him dearly.
It’s fitting that the last time John and I shared a public forum was at a virtual town hall with a gathering of young activists who were helping to lead this summer’s demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Afterwards, I spoke to him privately, and he could not have been prouder of their efforts — of a new generation standing up for freedom and equality, a new generation intent on voting and protecting the right to vote, a new generation running for political office. I told him that all those young people — of every race, from every background and gender and sexual orientation — they were his children. They had learned from his example, even if they didn’t know it. They had understood through him what American citizenship requires, even if they had heard of his courage only through history books.
Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders — to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.
— Oregon Public Broadcasting
Democratic Party of Oregon
Shemia Fagan joined us at our July 14th meeting to tell us more about her background, legislative experience, and vision for the Secretary of State. Here is a video from that meeting. Also included is getting to meet Vanessa Ogier, candidate for Grants Pass City Council and motions that we took to endorse her and Amanda Thorpe, candidate for judge.
Here is a link to the latest from the Oregon Legislature approving funding for small businesses, community venues, workers not eligible for paid sick leave, those waiting for unemployment, and others.
Also included is a graphic showing least risk to most risk activities.
If you do not receive these newsletters, sign up for them in the upper right corner. Stay informed!
Community Members Meet With Grants Pass Police Chief to Discuss Current Political Climate and Department Policies
July 8, 2020 – Grants Pass Public Safety Chief, Warren Hensman, recently met with members of the Josephine County Democratic Central Committee and Indivisible Southern Oregon to discuss the current national outcry for accountability in policing. Click on this link to view KOBI-5 news coverage of the meeting.
“We wanted to meet with Chief Hensman to learn more about the department,” said Deb Harpster of Indivisible Southern Oregon. “We felt it was important for us to learn what policies and practices our local peace officers are using, and how they engage with community on different issues,” added Geri Ventura, Josephine County Democratic Party member.
The group came prepared with a long list of questions relating to the use of excessive force, militarized equipment obtained through the 1033 Department of Defense Excess Property Program, how they handle calls relating to mental health and the homeless, as well as the local militia presence at community events.
Barbra Villona of Indivisible Southern Oregon asked if the department had implemented any of the “8 Can’t Wait” policies recommended by Campaign Zero as immediate preliminary measures that have been shown in some cities to reduce harm to both civilians and police officers.
Captain Todd Moran, who was also in attendance at the meeting, expressed pride in working for the department. “Choke-hold procedures haven’t been taught at police academy for over 15 years, and we train regularly on de-escalation of incidents, and comprehensive reporting,” he said. “The new laws signed by the Governor after the Special Legislative Session last week will also put additional components into effect as well.”
In the past month, Grants Pass has seen multiple events that have had members of the public on all sides of the political spectrum on edge about the safety and well-being of the community.
On May 31st, there were heavily armed citizen militias posted at the Union Avenue flag pole to take a stand and “protect” the city against false reports of “ANTIFA” looters and rioters coming from out of town in busses. Seeing armed citizens perched as snipers on business rooftops, was of great concern to many in the community.
“Isn’t protecting the community the job of our sheriff and police departments?” asked Ms. Ventura. “I do not feel safe with community members acting as our law enforcement, knowing nothing of their training, experience or motives.”
Following that event, there were also several rallies and marches held downtown to bring attention to the Black Lives Matter movement. Given that there had been rioting and looting in larger metropolitan cities, some were concerned with that happening in Grants Pass. Fortunately, the local youth organizers had spoken with Chief Hensman prior to the events, and assured him that they would be peaceful gatherings.
Chief Hensman said that having armed militias and citizens show up to these kinds of gatherings can complicate the job his officers are tasked with. Hensman reminded the group that Oregon is an open carry state, so they cannot prevent lawful gun owners from showing up with their weapons. He added that he had also met with members of Liberty Watch, a non-profit branch of the Constitution Party of Oregon as well, and asked its members to consider leaving their long rifles in their vehicles.
By meeting with representatives of the differing ideological organizations, he has been able to keep the community informed and confident that his officers would be there to protect all parties involved.
As the two-hour meeting came to a close, Chief Hensman said “My goals are to continue to build trust amongst the department and the public, remain neutral and keep the peace.”
Sitting (L-R) Kay Cortapassi-Whipp, Eva Voris Avery.
Standing (L-R) Captain Todd Moran, Barbra Villona, Geri Ventura, Chief Warren Hensman, Dave Eye, and Lesley Miller.
Click on this link to view KOBI-coverage.
Resources for information relating to Grants Pass Police Department:
Grants Pass Proposed 2020/21 Operating and Capital Budget (Public Safety – Pages 115 – 132)
Note, these are not JoCo Dems events, but we support the Black Lives Matter Movement, and support our BIPOC communities.
Please WEAR YOUR MASKS and practice SOCIAL DISTANCING at all events.
Friday July 3rd, beginning at 9:00 pm in Ashland at the Black Lives Matter memorial at Railroad Park there will be a “Say Her Name” vigil for the women lost to police brutality. Bring candles and signs and let’s all remember them together. Come dressed in black because we are in mourning.
Saturday July 4th at 11:00 am, beginning at Vogel Plaza, the event will begin with a protest to defund the police and fight for the end to systemic racism. Again, come dressed in black. Please click on these links for more information on the “defund the police” movement.
Sunday July 5th at 11:00 am This event is to show support to our fellow POC and allies in Coos Bay! It will begin at the Coos Bay Boardwalk to protest for black lives and for an end to police brutality and the racist actions that have been taking place there!
Monday July 6th at 4:00 pm Meet on 6th Street in front of the Josephine County Court House in Grants Pass to hold a protest and show our support for our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
Tuesday July 7th is a nationwide blackout encouraging supporters to use ‘economic power’ to fight racial injustice. That means we WILL NOT be stimulating the economy with our hard earned money, in recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement. Do not spend a single penny for the entire day! Let’s stand together!
RESOURCES AND TOOLS REGARDING RACISM AND ANTI-BLACKNESS
Use these resources to learn more about some of the issues, and how we can support our BIPOC communities to be better allies. Information and education can make a big difference in understanding what the protests are about and why we must stand united to make our country better for ALL of our citizens.
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (Hint, it has nothing to do with socioeconomics or class status)
Governor Brown announces indoor face covering requirement is extended statewide
Governor Kate Brown announced today that Oregonians statewide will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, beginning this Wednesday July 1. The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces. Face covering requirements are already mandated in eight counties.
“The choices every single one of us make in the coming days matter,” said Governor Brown. “Face coverings that cover your nose and mouth play a critical role in reducing the spread of this disease because droplets from our breath can carry the virus to others without us realizing it. If we all wear face coverings, practice six feet of physical distancing in public, wash our hands regularly, and stay home when we are sick, then we can avoid the worst-case scenarios that are now playing out in other states.” The statewide mask requirement comes after continued increases in the spread of COVID-19 since reopening. COVID-19 cases have increased each week for four straight weeks statewide, and it is spreading faster in the community. While large workplace outbreaks have driven increased cases in recent weeks, sporadic cases (those with no clear link to another case) account for a growing percentage of new cases.
Oregon can stay safe if we all do our part to keep COVID-19 under control and protect our friends, family and neighbors from this virus.
For more information, read today’s press release.
Click here for Statewide Mask, Face Shield, Face Covering Guidance