Eastside democratic Club Minutes for October 4, 2016

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12:12 David welcomes everyone and reminds them that membership is only $5 per year and then you get to vote. David offered the group free lawn signs for the county-wide campaign finance reform measure 97. Due to time constraints that was the only announcement. There were 49 people in attendance.

Tom moved to amend the agenda with no seconds.

12:14 David introduced Chloe Eudaly who is running for City Council against the incumbent Steve Novick.

Ms Eudaly told us how to pronounce her name and that she is a life-long resident of Portland. The owns a runs a misssion-driven bookstore and is a Mom of a child with disabilities. She is an advocate for inclusion. In the last four of years her rent went up 60% and she struggles with housing costs and student loans. She can’t afford vacations. There are ripple effects to the financial squeeze: poor people don’t spend money. Another effect is that our city emergency workers are understaffed: everyone is moving to Clackamas where they can afford to live. Because of all the ripple effects and personal experience, housing is her top issue.

Ms Eudaly reminds us that she would be only the 8th women on City Council in 100 years. She said that Mr Novick is claiming that there is no real difference between them and points out several including: campaign finance reform, superfund cleanup, he supports Terminal 1 as a housing solution, and he supports the in-through-Wiener’s-backdoor Uber.

The first question was about the Police Contract and she said that it was one-sided with no gain for citizens and that there are deeply ingrained problems with Portland Police.

Next question was: Did she pay workers less than minimum? Her bookstore does a lot of not-for-profit work and there are some volunteers. She pays her worker-workers 20% over minimum.

Next: Isn’t is hypocritical to support $15 Now and pay you own workers less than $15/hr? No, she is a micro business and supports a tier-wise implementation starting with the larges firms. By the time is gets around to small businesses they will then be able to afford it.

Next on the agenda was Justin. He told us that zoom care wants to be on every corner in Seattle and Portland. The problem is that they operate on a system of exclusivity, only catering to health young and well-off folks. They do not even accept medicare. Justin is organizing a series of protests outside of Zoom offices with the hopes of bringing them to the table and the next one in October 18th at 2pm on NW 23rd.

There was a motion to endorse his campaign and this easily passed with only a few nos and abstentions.

Jim Hill was the next speaker. Mr Hill served in the Oregon House and Senate and became the first person of color to hold state-wide office when he became treasurer. Now he is a write and spoke about his book: ‘The new N word’. He started with a brief biography.

I’m 69 and grew up under racial segregation. We were second class citizens by law. I served 10 years in the legislator and then 2 terms as treasurer. I ran for governor twice and was then done with politics. When the economic crisis hit in 2008 I realized that we were a plutocracy. Discrimination is different than it was in the south growing up – now it is class based. Whites are getting poorer and poorer and are seen by corporate powers as merely cheap labor. It breaks my heart to see poor whites being treated as we were.

Mr Hill then read some from his book, emphasizing the (underused) power of the vote. He especially admonished women, who make up half the population, to vote for their interests. He finished by suggesting that we don’t vote for any candidate that takes big money. He has been there ‘dialing for dollars’ and can testify that decisions are make through the prism of campaign cash.

Audience question: What has changed since you were Treasurer?
Mr Hill: The rise of corporate power. Banks are now openly elitist.

Q: Wheeler took money from mega-polluter Bulls Eye Glass: does that disqualify him?
A: I don’t know the details of that and political decisions are make through the prism of money.

Q: (From a white women) Does the title of your book diminish Black people?
A: I lived it and Mama worse and her Mama even worse. We are now all in the boat together.

Q: If you were Treasurer now, would you divest from fossil fuel?
A: We did pass an anti-apartheid bill then and, yes, I would divest from fossil fuel now.

The final act of show was pro and con on Portland’s housing bond. This is a $250M deal to provide some low cost housing. The Yes Campaign send Ryan ___ and the No side was represented by Micheal Withey of Micro Community Concepts. (I moderated and so didn’t take notes). There was no disagreement and to the need of more affordable housing in Portland. The Yes side emphasized this and the con side emphasized the high cost per unit and general untrustworthiness and developer-first mentality of this Portland City Council.

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