East Portland Neighbors Against Gun Violence

East Portland Neighbors Against Gun Violence

February 6, 2021
Petition to
Ted Wheeler and
Signatures: 960Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Carol Hasenberg


To: Mayor Ted Wheeler, Portland City Council, Multnomah County Commission, Portland Police Bureau

Subject: Immediate action on gun violence in East Portland Neighborhoods!

We East Portland Neighbors are writing you to condemn the violence occurring in East Portland and to insist our elected officials show some leadership on this issue immediately. We’ve heard conversations all year on how the Gun Violence Response Team needs to be replaced by something more humane and prevention-oriented. Meanwhile we sit here night after night in the outer east neighborhoods listening to the roar of hot-rodding vehicles and the popping of gunshots. We’re afraid to leave our houses at night.

Impact Of Defunding The Gun Violence Response Team (GVRT)

By defunding the GVRT with nothing to replace it the city has created a vacuum and the perpetrators of this violence are operating in East Portland with impunity. Recent incidences include:

  • In a single week, Portland Police dispatched over 40 “Shots Fired” calls in outer East Portland. Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood is getting pummeled under a barrage of bullets weekly.
  • In a recent 2-day span, there were a knife homicide and a shooting in Hazelwood.
  • Back in August four teenagers were gunned down at Gateway Discovery Park, killing one of the victims and sending three others to the hospital. The teenager who died was Jaelin James Scott - he was only 16 years old. Almost immediately after this story was reported – it disappeared. Where is the justice and outrage for Jaelin James Scott? But six months later in East Portland, nothing has changed as the violence continues to escalate.
  • KPTV said that in 2020, East Precinct had 439 shootings, more than double the year prior. The Portland Police reported 710 assaults in Hazelwood alone during the period from December 2019 to December 2020.

Call To Action

The residents of East Portland deserve better. East Portland community members should have a say on how they want their community policed and be able to voice their ideas for what community safety should look like. The victims and their families should be able to communicate their trauma and concerns directly to the people responsible for this epic failure as it relates to community safety.

We call on elected officials to do the following immediately:

Engage with the communities out here – this involves contacting all 13 neighborhood associations and scheduling regular meetings at least four times a year to update community members on crime statistics, changes in policing and how things are going.

An immediate plan to curb the current violence -- If this means reallocating resources away from other areas of town that don’t live under the constant threat of getting sprayed with gunfire just walking down the street, well that seems fair to us.

Restart the Neighborhood Watch program – we realize that’s a somewhat politically sensitive issue, but with proper tweaks, more supervision and better outreach this could be a positive way to bring neighbors together. With a smaller police force it will become necessary for neighbors to help the police ensure communities are safe and this will involve communities reporting to and working with law enforcement and other first responders.

Roadmap and path to environmental resolution -- A clear concise roadmap that can be shared with community members on ways to address and report problems that don’t involve an armed response or a 911 call. A clear path or process for neighbors to solve bigger more intractable neighborhood issues that contribute to an environment where violence can thrive.

We Need Answers To The Following Questions

  • What is the specific, community-based strategic plan for policing in our neighborhood?
  • How is this approach expected to better address and reduce crime?
  • What is currently being done to identify the perpetrators of this violence? Is most of the violence being perpetrated by a small group of individuals? Or is this unknown?
  • What communication strategy is in place to advise community members and victims with updates or when cases are resolved?

Next Steps

We need a plan of action, and we need to hear from the City of Portland and the Portland Police Bureau!!!

Support now
Signatures: 960Next Goal: 1,000
Support now