Portland City Council

OPP Halts City Plan for No-Bid Buying of Urban Combat Gear from Policeman's Company

On the morning of May 29, 2012, OPP issued this press release entitled, "Portland City Council Declaring `Emergency' to Buy No-Bid Equipment from Company owned by Policeman." OPP was the only opponent of this item on the agenda. Within hours, the item was removed from the agenda and has not been rescheduled. The Oregonian reported on May 30:

Portland Mayor Sam Adams Wednesday morning [May 30] removed from the City Council's consent agenda an ordinance that would have allowed the Portland Police Bureau and other city bureaus to purchase gear from a company owned by a Portland patrol officer. In the face of opposition from the Oregon Progressive Party, Adams removed the ordinance from the agenda and sent it back to his office.

The press coverage was extensive, including The Oregonian, KXL, KATU, and the Business Journal (with a second article).

Joe Walsh Stands Up for Democracy

Joe Walsh writes:

On May 23rd, many of us who call ourselves progressives/activists attended a Portland City Council meeting to protest the raising of rates on water usage.  We were told, after our arrival,  there would be no testimony and the voting by the members of the Council would be at 2:00 PM.  Many of the members of  Friends of the Reservoirs were there to speak against this rate increase and fight against the EPA’s mandate to change our water delivery system.  The first indicator that the “Fix” was in was the missing sign up sheets.  Mayor Adams had no intention to allow anyone to testify against these rate increases; it was a done deal.  We listened for a time and then, when it was clear what was happening, I stood up and called for a point of order.  The Mayor acted in a dictatorial manner and ordered me to sit or be thrown out of  the hearing.  I stood my ground and two security men arrived at each side of me and ordered me to leave.  I fell to my knees and refused to go until the mayor answered my point of order.  He refused but did indicate that he would now let the citizens of Portland present their views on this outrage.  The confrontation was over.  Someone did call the police and about 6 cops showed up for one old guy on oxygen who was challenging mayor adams. 


We did testify and as a result Commission Fritz, to her credit, requested a meeting with the rest of the Council to work on lowering the rate increase and try to come to some type of compromise.  We applauded her actions, but the fight has only just begun.

It was announced that on May 30 at 9:30 am next week the water rates would be taken up again, this is where you come in.  Will you come and join us at this hearing?  You have taken positions on the covering of the reservoirs, the building of a treatment plant at Bull Run and/or the destruction of a wonderful system to deliver drinking water to the residents of Portland.  I only speak for Individuals For Justice and the Oregon Progressive Party, however I can not imagine any organization that would not be proud if you came and sat during this next hearing.  I for one would be honored if you joined in and raised your concerns about a major mistake by the Water Department.  I know it is difficult to make these meetings, however this issue is of great importance to our city.

Thank you for you time and we’ll see you at the next city council meeting.

PS:  There is another item on the agenda that Oregon Progressive Party has come out against--installation of police spy cameras in the downtown area.  This is item 613 to be voted on sometime in the morning also. Remember that the City Council is meeting in the Portland Building (not City Hall) and will start at 09:30 am.

Open Letter to City Council Opposing the JTTF in Portland

The Portland City Council needs to hear from YOU. Please use the text of the letter we sent to the Commissioners today, and the key points listed after the letter, as a guide to composing your own letter telling the City Council to vote NO on the JTTF. Contact info for each commissioner and the city attorney is below our letter. Send your letter by email now!

Dear Mayor Adams and City Council Commissioners,

We write you with serious concerns about the possibility that Portland City Council may vote to expand the presence of the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in our community.  Fundamental questions have not been answered, and legitimate concerns have not been adequately addressed.

How will assigning Portland Police officers to the JTTF benefit the Portland community?

Portland already suffers from lack of funds for social services.  We see schools (and police stations) closing and fewer facilities providing social services for larger areas with less resources at their disposal.  Rather than assign these officers to the JTTF and open up our city agencies and offices to the FBI, we should be investing our tax dollars and community resources into expanding and strengthening social services for the benefit of our community.

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