If you joined in on the Portland City Council budget advisory meeting yesterday, then you heard over 30 people publicly testify as to why Portland needs to take a stronger stance when it comes to investing tax dollars back to the community. Commenters shared stories, firsthand experiences, and even cut together a two-minute speech using clips of Ted Wheeler’s voice to commend the violence PPB has displayed during nightly rallies. Over and over, the message was the same: defund PPB and reinvest tax dollars into the community.

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardest took a moment to denounce the constant police violence and share highlights that the City has passed in response to public outcry. These highlights include a $27 million cut from PPB budget, increased funding for public restrooms, the cancellation of School Resource Officers from Portland school districts effective immediately and $1 million of cannabis tax dollars going to Office of Community and Civic Life to be disbursed through grants to BIPOC community members.

As for next steps, Portland City Council will take all comments given during the listening meeting and look further how they can support the fight for affordable housing, mental health support, and continued education.

Didn’t get a chance to share your two-cents? Don’t worry, any additional comments or written testimony can be sent to citybudgetoffice@portlandoregon.gov.

You can also check out Rethink Portland Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty’s vision for community safety. Here there is a collection of events that you can join to participate in city decisions. The next couple of meetings includes:
Youth Town Hall (Sat. Oct. 10, 2020)
What Makes Us Safe? Rethinking Community Safety (Mon. Oct. 12, 2020)
Community Conversation: What Role Should Police Play in Portland? (Sat. Oct. 17, 2020)

Watch the full Budget Meeting below

Note that the contents of this guide are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. Contact the Cannabis Workers Coalition for employee-side employment attorney referrals.