DavidDelk's blog

What makes the Oregon Progressive Party different from other third parties?

There are similarities between the Oregon Progressive Party (OPP) and the two other left-leaning Oregon minor parties, the Pacific Green Party (PGP) and the Working Families Party (WFP). But there are some fundamental differences. You can see many of the positions that the OPP has taken at http://progparty.org. OPP supports multi-third party independent politics, and we look forward to many fruitful collaborations, but here we will focus on some distinctions to help clarify who we are and how we uniquely contribute to Oregon politics.

Both the PGP and the Oregon WFP are local affiliates of national parties that have a larger bureaucratic infrastructure. The local branches sometimes must go through the national structure before taking positions on issues. OPP is an Oregon-only party that is not beholden to any national party, which gives us the ability to respond to local issues more quickly and without filtering by a national political agenda. OPP also tends to take on issues that the other parties do not appear to address, such as drone legislation, institutionalized racism, local police affiliation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), and various international U.S. military and foreign policy actions.

The Working Families Party is a national party with local chapters.  The WFP does great work on ballot measures and usually cross-nominates the Democratic Party nominees but sometimes does run its own candidates in local partisan elections where the Democratic candidate is overwhelmingly favored. The Oregon WFP has supported at least one successful challenge to an incumbent member of the Oregon House of Representatives, in the 2012 Democratic Party primary election. The Oregon chapter is run by a committee comprised mainly of labor union representatives.  WFP takes positions sometimes very different from OPP.  For example, WFP in 2014 strongly supported a statewide initiative to create a “top two primary” system (Measure 90), which was strongly opposed by the PGP and OPP.

The PGP does run local candidates who are usually quite good. Often the same person receives both the PGP and the OPP nomination for the same office. A candidate in Oregon can list up to 3 nominating parties next to her/his name on the ballot, under a law passed in 2009. PGP does not control the selection of Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, who are determined by the national Green Party structure. OPP is not constrained in these nominations and in 2008 and 2012 chose its own nominees (Ralph Nader and Rocky Anderson).

OPP greatly appreciates the work of PGP and WFP. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

OPP is currently leading a campaign finance reform measure in Multnomah County. WFP has provided important support for that effort, and PGP has endorsed it. Oregon is one of only a handful of states that allows unlimited political contributions to candidates.  We favor strong statewide limits. OPP also closely follows the activities of the Legislature when it is in session, providing testimony on nearly 100 bills per session. WFP and PGP do not testify on most of those bills. Oregonians should not need to rely on a single left-liberal-progressive party to perform all possible functions. In Oregon, each of the 3 such parties contributes in its own way.

If you have any questions, please let us know. Monthly public meetings are the second Tuesday of every month, in downtown Portland 7:00 - 9:00 pm.

Updated July 19, 2016
by Alaina Melville
State Council Member

Ending Police Violence and other forms of Violence

The Oregon Progressive Party calls for an end to police violence and killings as well as other forms of violence. During the past couple of weeks, the US has seen the killing of yet two more African American men as well as the killing of 5 police officers in Dallas. While America was focused on these killings, 5 Latinos were also killed in police actions. Violence against and the killing of Black and Brown Americans by police must stop.

All forms of violence are denounced by the Oregon Progressive Party. While our attention is usually focused on police violence and killings, we also are opposed to the killing of police officers, as happened in Dallas. The Oregon Progressive Party stands in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and efforts to address racism and institutionalized violence. As first steps, we need training for police officers that empowers them to resolve conflicts constructively instead of escalating violence with a shoot-first mentality. And we need to de-militarize the police.

We commend the civil servants and police officers who work for justice, accountability, and safe communities. Those who do not work for those ideals must be held accountable. We need gun laws that protect our communities. The police shootings, the mass shootings, and the recent targeting of police are all deeply disturbing events that are rocking our nation to the core. They are symptoms of deeper problems that we must address. We need our political system, our government agencies, and our representatives to recognize the problems we are facing and to start being a part of the solution.

Come back to the Oregon Progressive Party - we need each other

Oregon Progressive Party Still Needs You Back (or will be dissolved in August)

We need another 70 members to return to the warm embrace of the Oregon Progressive Party.

As you know, the Oregon Progressive Party endorsed Bernie in the Oregon Primary. Over 700 members switched from Progressive to Democratic in order to vote for Bernie.

Some members have returned, but we still need 70 more to come home to the party that supports Bernie's policies and principles. Otherwise, the Oregon Progressive Party will be terminated in August under Oregon law.

You can return to the Oregon Progressive Party at Progparty.org/join
or just internet search for "Oregon register vote."

Bernie says that his supporters should get involved in politics at the state and local level. That is what the Oregon Progressive Party does. If terminated, we will no longer be able to:

Come Home to the Progressive Party.

Thank you!

David Delk
Chair, Oregon Progressive Party
delk@progparty.org  503-232-5495

450+ organizations call for rejection of Trans Pacific Partnership & TTIP

Over 450 organizations, mainly enironmental, have written Congress calling for No votes on both the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP - 12 Pacific Rim nations) and the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP - US-European Union).  From the report:

"The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), as proposed, would empower an unprecedented number of fossil fuel corporations, including some of the world’s largest polluters, to challenge U.S. policies in tribunals not accountable to any domestic legal system. There, the firms could use the trade pacts’ broad foreign investor rights to demand compensation for U.S. fossil fuel restrictions. These “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) cases would be decided not by judges, but by lawyers who typically represent corporations. 
 
"We strongly urge you to eliminate this threat to U.S. climate progress by committing to vote no on the TPP and asking the U.S. Trade Representative to remove from TTIP any provision that empowers corporations to challenge government policies in extrajudicial tribunals."
 
Among the Oregon organizations are the Alliance for Democracy, 350PDx, 350 Eugene,350 Salem, Fair World Project and Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Portland Rising Tide.
 
WHAT CAN YOU DO to stop the TPP?
Make a copy of the letter and mail it to your US Representative with a note that they should listen to the people and reject more new agreements which are extensions of the NAFTA trade model.
Find your Representative and Senators contact info here.
The letter is available here.

Oregon voters Tuesday in Hood River County delivered a stunning defeat to Nestlé.

In the epic battle between Nestlé and people around the world to protect their access to water, little Hood River County in Oregon just achieved a major and unique victory. It's a win for the public water commons and the protection of water for nature. And Oregon Progressive Party was part of this victory having supported the initiative campaign.

Oregon takes major step for transgender equality

I never expected to post an Oregonian article but good news needs to be shared. Transgendered youth in Oregon today received important protections from the Oregon Dept. of Education: Oregon lays out sweeping protections for transgender students

OPP Endorses Brad Avakian in Sec. of State Primary

Avakian Endorses IP-77 Statewide Measure for Oregon Campaign Finance Constitutional Amendment

Brad Avakian, a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for Secretary of State of Oregon, has sought and received the endorsement of the Oregon Progressive Party (OPP) in the primary election.

Avakian has endorsed IP-77, a proposed statewide ballot measure that would amend the Oregon Constitution to allow limits on campaign contributions and expenditures and mandatory “taglines” on political advertisements, identifying their major funders.

While Oregon has the same "free speech" clause as 36 other states, the Oregon Supreme Court is the only state court anywhere in America that has concluded that it somehow prevents governments from adopting limits on political contributions. Further, the Oregon Legislature's attorney ("Legislative Counsel) last year called into question whether requiring political ads to identify their funders is somehow also negated by the same "free speech" clause -- again a unique interpretation. Eight states already require political ads to list their major funders, including California and Washington.

"Among the Democratic candidates, Brad Avakian is most attuned to the value of minor parties and the competition they provide for the Democrats and Republicans," said Jason Kafoury, Secretary of the Oregon Progressive Party. "He is also the only one who has endorsed IP-77, and that is very important to us."

Oregon Progressive Party members cannot vote in the Democratic primary, unless they change their registrations to Democratic by April 26. Doing that, however, can jeopardize the continued existence of the Oregon Progressive Party, which needs to maintain a certain level of membership in order to be recognized as a political party under Oregon law. "If you switch your registration to Democratic in order to vote for Bernie Sanders, please switch it back to Progressive Party after the May 17 primary," added David Delk, Chair of OPP.

Public Bank in Portland?

Is a municipal public bank in Portland's future?

Too-Big-To-Fail banks are tied to high risk speculative investing for the benefit of the bank's major stock holders.

Currently, the city's deposits are held by private banking establishments. What could happen if, instead of supporting those banks via our city's use of those banks, we created a locally owned public bank to cycle city revenues back into the local economy? How much additional revenue from such a cycling of city revenues into a city public bank would be generated for investment in affordable and low-income housing, infrastructure and community-based economic development?

Walt McRee, chair of the Public Banking Institute, will address how public banking is being explored around the nation, including in Seattle and Santa Fe, and how Portland could benefit from exploring the options and opportunities presented by formation of a municipal public bank.

Location: First Unitarian Church, Eliot Chapel, SW 12th and Salmon, Portland OR.
Date/time: Wednesday, Feb. 24, 7 PM, doors open at 6:30 P
Sponsored by Economic Justice Action Group of First Unitarian Church, Alliance for Democracy
Admission: $5-20 donation requested, but no one turned away for lack of funds

Trans Pacific Partnership - LTE

The following letter written by OR Progressive Party State Council member, David Delk, was published in the Oregonian January 1, 2016, and calls for the rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership corporate trade agreement.


Trans-Pacific Partnership:

The Oregonian editorial board thinks "it's tricky to estimate how many jobs are directly tied to trade, much less how many would be created if the (Trans-Pacific Partnership) is signed." Tricky, indeed, when you only account for part of the jobs equation. Missing from this equation is how many jobs will be destroyed as a result of this agreement.

The U.S.-South Korea trade agreement was the last to go into effect. President Obama said that because of increased export opportunities, 70,000 new jobs would be created and that our trade balance with South Korea would improve. Yet since then, our trade deficit with South Korea has grown, meaning that those new jobs never materialized. In fact, during the agreement's first three years, the trade deficit increased by $11.8 billion, meaning the loss of 75,000 good-paying American jobs.

So it is important to ask the right questions. Since the agreement will encourage off-shoring of investments and jobs and will do nothing to stop currency manipulation, the likelihood of a favorable result from the TPP corporate trade agreement is slim. The TPP should be rejected.


Oregon Progressive Party Launches Initiative to GET BIG MONEY OUT OF OREGON POLITICS

Get Big Money OutThe Oregon Progressive Party has begun actively collecting signatures on a new statewide initiative petition (IP 77). This petition would:

  • allow Oregon to join the ranks of 46 other states with limits on money in the political process, and
     
  • ensure that the actual sources of that money are disclosed to the public.

Oregon is the only state whose constitution has been interpreted to prohibit limits on contributions and expenditures to influence the outcome of elections, be they candidate elections or initiatives/referenda. As a result, Oregon elections are among the most expensive in the nation. The Oregonian reports that only New Jersey campaigns are more expensive on a per capita basis.
 
The chief petitioners are:

  • Liz Trojan, State Council, Oregon Progressive Party
  • Rob Harris, IPO Caucus, Independent Party of Oregon
  • Seth Woolley, Member, Coordinating Committee, Pacific Green Party

We Need Your Help

We need to collect 1,000 valid Oregon voter signatures in order to get a ballot title for the initiative. You can help us with this effort. Please contact David e. Delk, Co-Chair of the Oregon Progressive Party, for instructions and petition sheets. David can be contacted at davidafd@ymail.com or 503.232.5495.

How the Petition Reads

It is a model of simplicity.  It reads:

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Oregon, there is added an Article II, Section 25, of the Constitution of Oregon:

Oregon laws consistent with the freedom of speech guarantee of the United States Constitution may:

1. limit contributions and expenditures (including transfers of money or resources) to influence the outcome of any election; and

2. require disclosure of the true sources and amounts of such contributions or expenditures (a)to the public and (b) in the communications they fund.

In spite of supporting nuclear power industry, Wyden should vote Yes on Iran Nuclear Agreement

After much deliberation, the Progressive Party has voted to support the Iran Nuclear Agreement (INA) because it lifts sanctions and is the result of international stakeholder diplomacy. This path to peace outweighs our reservation of supporting actions that promote the nuclear power industry.

We support the peaceful diplomatic resolution of international conflict. We are against any future wars and we are against the current sanctions which are punishing the people of Iran.

We urge Senator Wyden to join Senator Merkley and vote in support of the Iranian nuclear agreement.

OPP Letter to Bernie

Dear Senator Sanders,

The Oregon Progressive Party has been asked by members and non-members alike to endorse your presidential campaign or to even nominate you in the Oregon primary election next year.

We are quite enthusiastic about many of your positions. You clearly understand the American people need and want fundamental systemic reform: Single payer health care to remove the corporate yoke imposed on our health; a $15 minimum wage; opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership and other corporate trade agreements waiting in the wings; Black Lives Matter; Free Tuition; break-up of the Too-Big-To-Fail Banks; imposing a transaction tax on Wall Street; ridding us of the tax havens; and more.

But we seek to know your positions on other issues you have not prominently addressed, at least up to this point in your speeches.

  • Israel/Palestine - Your past support for Israel in their military aggression again the Palestinians troubles us. Last year you appear to have supported Israel's slaughter in Gaza along with 99 other US Senators. Can we expect that represents your future stance on Israel/Palestine?
  • Military Industrial Complex - President Eisenhower's farewell speech warned Americans of the power of the Military Industrial Complex (we now need to add Congressional to the name). That complex's power has only grown since then, and the expense of maintaining that power undermines America's ability to finance many of the other reforms you advocate. Should military spending be drastically reduced?
  • Election Integrity - Voting in America is conducted on privately owned, privately managed voting machines by companies which are owned by major funders of the Republican Party. Prior to the election of Barark Obama, this was an issue, but it has since disappeared from the national conversation. Nonetheless, the issue remains. Do you recognize this as a problem and have solutions in mind?
  • Amending the US Constitution - Your support for a constitutional amendment to overturn the US Supreme Court's Citizens United decision is well known. However, many critics of that decision have noted that it fails to address the problem of corporate domination created by other court decisions. They have called for an amendment to the US Constitution which says that money is not speech (in order to address court decisions prior to Citizens United) and that corporations are not people (to address court decisions going back to 1886 - Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railroad - and even before the Civil War -Dartmouth College v Woodward). Will you support an expansion of your stated position to include advocating for an amendment to the US Constitution to establish that money is not speech and that corporations do not have constitutional rights?

We look forward to hearing your responses. Thank you.

Regards,

David e. Delk, Co-Chair
Oregon Progressive Party

One big win but battle not over

UPDATE: JUNE 18.  Today the House of Representatives approved a "stand alone" Fast Track Authority bill on a vote of 218-208. Democrats who voted in favor again included Rep. Blumenauer, Bonamici and Schrader.

One Win but battle not over.

On Friday, President Obama's corporate driven trade agenda was dealt a serious blow in large part due to the huge grassroots insurgence of phone calls, emails, faxes, meetings, rallies and general rabble-rousing done by all of us and our allies in the labor, environmental, consumer, farmers, internet users, public health, LGBTA and other peoples' movements. Those movements have really stepped up to the plate to say No to Fast Track, the TPP and other corporate trade agreements.

But the fight will continue and so we must be ready ON MONDAY to swing back into action.

What happened on Friday is that the corporatists' plan fell apart. The Senate had passed a combined Fast Track/Trade Adjustment Assistance bill (62-37) last month. But the House split it apart, resulting in two votes, one on Fast Track and one on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). The House voted in favor of Fast Track Authority (219-211, with 28 Democrats voting with the Republicans) but soundly defeated TAA (126-302). Democrats, who typically support TAA, voted against it because of various modifications made to it in order to attract conservative Republican votes and most importantly, because it had to pass for Fast Track to move forward. Not wanted Fast Track to move, Democrats in large number voted No. Note, however, that Oregon Representatives Blumenauer, Bonamici and Schrader, all Democrats, voted wrong on both these pieces of legislation, voting to move Fast Track forward.

Because of differences between the House approved Fast Track and the Senate version, it must either go to the Senate for their approval or the House must try to pass the TAA in another vote on Monday or Tuesday. Speaker Boehner has called for the House to reconsider during that time frame. If the Speaker does not think that a vote would produce the desired result, he might delay the vote. For us, the more delay the better. Or the Fast Track bill could be sent to the Senate as is, without the TAA, for their approval.

So our job now is to CALL, CALL, EMAIL, and CALL more and more often.

Monthly Comprehensive Reporting of Citizens Financial Status

Monthly Comprehensive Reporting of Citizens Financial Status

(by Don Baham on May 12, 2015)

The federal government’s monthly reporting of national employment/unemployment numbers is inadequate to provide a comprehensive picture of citizen’s financial health.

To remedy this, we need the federal government to provide the following additional information to the citizenry at the same time as the employment/unemployment numbers are provided:

a. The combined monthly income of both the employed and unemployed for the last three months.

b. An authoritatively-compiled estimate of a livable monthly income.

c. The monthly income of the employed alone for the last three months.

d. The non-employment monthly income of the unemployed alone for the last three months.

e. The length of time that the unemployed have been unemployed by age group.

f. The length of time that the unemployed have been unemployed by race.

Make the Rich Panic

Chris Hedges recently, writting on TruthDig, quoted Ralph Nader on the need to Make the Rich Panic, which Nader says is something Bernie Sanders' bid for President running as a Democrat will not do.

“The only way you can get the parties’ attention is if you take votes away from them,” Ralph Nader told me by phone. “So,” he said of Sanders, “How serious is he? He makes Clinton a better phony candidate. She is going to have to agree with him on a number of things. She is going to have to be more anti-Wall Street to fend him off and neutralize him. We know it is bullshit. She will betray us once she becomes president. He is making her more likely to win. And by April he is done. Then he fades away.”

Chris goes on to says that only an independent political party dependent on a mass movement can achieve the revolutionary change needed. Read the rest here

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