Petition for City of Portland to Adopt a Compassionate Response to Homelessness
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We, the undersigned residents of Portland, are concerned about the crisis facing our homeless neighbors. However, we don't believe that hiring more police to target homeless people for low-level non-violent offenses is the answer to the crisis we are facing. A recent report by the Oregonian shows that the Portland Police are already arresting an astounding number of homeless people multiple times each year. Homeless people make up less than 3 percent of the city’s population, even by the largest estimates, and yet they accounted for more than half of arrests by Portland Police last year, and 86 percent of those were for low-level offenses. This kind of targeting of the homeless not only does harm to an already vulnerable population, but takes police resources away from solving and preventing violent crime and leads to mass incarceration.
We demand that Mayor Wheeler and the City Council:
• end the targeting of homeless people by the Portland Police.
• reduce the number of police and use the savings to increase access to transitional and permanent affordable housing, and mental health and addiction services.
• allow self-governing camps organized by unhoused people to address needs for shelter, community and safety.
Elliott Young, Professor of History Lewis & Clark College
Crystal Maloney, attorney
James Ofsink, community organizer
Reiko Hillyer, Assistant Professor of History, Lewis & Clark College
Kaia Sand, Executive Director of Street Roots
Sarah Iannarone, former mayoral candidate
Jo Ann Hardesty, NAACP President, Portland Branch (2015-18), candidate for City Council
Gregory McKelvey, founder of Portland's Resistance
Cameron Whitten, Lead Advocate - Brown Hope
Nadya Okamoto, founder of Period Movement
Bobbin Singh, Executive Director of Oregon Justice Resource Center (OJRC)
Teressa Raiford, candidate for mayor
Jules Boykoff, Professor of Political Science, Pacific University
Michael Fuller, attorney
Ibrahim Mubarak, founder of Right to Dream 2
Margot Black, founder Portland Tenants United
Rabbi Ariel Stone, Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance and Congregation Shir Tikvah
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