Eastside democratic Club Minutes 20160705

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EsdC 20160705

12:12 David Welcomes and asks for announcements.

Harriet announced that Sisters of the Road is doing a money match right now for donations. Since we usually donate to them at the end of the year, how about we donate while the money match is happening. It was moved and seconded that EdC donate $75.00. Passed 35ish – 0.

David announced a petition for county-wide campaign finance reform.

Our first guest was David Rodgers of the Oregon ALCU. David spoke about DAs as the most powerful elected official you rarely vote for. 80% of DA elections in Oregon are uncontested and this gives them a free pass. The DA association actively and effectively lobby lawmakers and block reform. Since 90% of cases are settled by plea bargain and mandatory minimums are daunting, the DA has become the most powerful player in the justice system. DA’s have the habit or retiring mid-term so that their appointed successor can glide in as an incumbent.

After the break, Jason Renuad spoke about the DOJ settlement with the Portland Police. Jason introduced himself as someone who works at the intersection of law inforcement and people with mental illness. Following up on Mr Rodgers’ talk, he mentioned that DA’s are notoriously lax in filing charges against police officers. Mr Renaud is collecting stats about death in custody and keeps fields like ‘experiencing mental illness’. The DOJ settlement has 186 items and addresses training, accountability, and the mental health system. The settlement is so complex that it is a diversion. What is needed is the ability to hold individual officers accountable and what is prescribed is aimed at everyone. That is, we need the ability to fire individual cops more than we need another level of training for everyone.

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