Portland DSA is proud to endorse the proposed Portland City Charter reforms. Portland’s dysfunctional and unrepresentative government structure has played a major role in preventing workers and popular movements from taking power in City Hall.
It is the view of Portland DSA that these reforms will create greater opportunities for candidates who represent workers and oppressed communities, allow BIPOC neighborhoods to elect representative and accountable councilors, and challenge the concentrated power of the downtown, westside business elite.
An expanded city council, a more democratic voting system and geographic districts will allow for greater representation on the council for BIPOC, LGBTQ, and immigrant Portlanders. It will allow the working class to run candidates with strong local connections, making it easier to face the financial advantages of conservative business candidates.
These reforms represent just a first step. Ultimately, the inequality in our city is attributable not just to governing structure, but to the governing class. Big business uses city government to offer tax breaks to the rich, spend millions on militarized police, and attack the houseless, while doing nothing to protect the thousands of Portlanders suffering from poverty, exploitation, and food insecurity.
In order to make our government truly representative and put power in the hands of the working class, we need a socialist majority in City Hall operating with strong & militant workers’ organizations in a mass movement. The undemocratic city council is a major roadblock to building socialist power, yet these reforms represent a direct confrontation between the people of Portland and the business association elite.
More information about the city charter campaign can be found at portlandunitedforchange.com/
You can get a link to the next Portland DSA Electoral Working Group meeting here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/portland-dsa-electoral-working-group-october-meeting/
We will soon announce further details on how members can get involved.