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Statement from Democratic Party of Oregon Leadership on Protests and Police Violence

The Democratic Party has not lived up to our Party’s vision for true equality. This is why we are recommitting ourselves to the actions necessary to bring about needed changes that are so long overdue. Our eyes are open, we share the anger, and we stand in humble solidarity with all who are working to bring about critical cultural transformation.

We stand united with millions of people around the world in our condemnation of police violence against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and far too many other innocent black Americans whose lives were taken way too soon. Black lives matter. They are precious, glorious, and irreplaceable.

In these most extraordinary times, anger and frustration about the status quo is not just understandable, but justified. Violence and destruction are not. We will march shoulder to shoulder with those who have taken to the streets to peacefully protest. Making our voices heard is a moral imperative. If we want to bring about real systemic change, then the choice isn’t between protests and politics. We have to do both.

At a time when our nation is suffering under misguided and malevolent leadership that seeks to divide us and turn back the clock to a supposed “greater” America, we know that the greatness of our nation is in its diversity. And as we work to take back our democracy, we must move forward with a full understanding of our historical strengths and weaknesses. That means fighting against the forces that seek to divide us — including fascists, right-wing agitators, and those inclined to incite violence for violence’s sake.

DPO Black Caucus Chair, Rosa Colquitt, PhD, said it best last week when she wrote:

The very core of both our Platform and our belief system as Democrats is about the equality of all. But in the wake of yet another senseless killing, we face the sad reality that our advocacy and even our most heartfelt, passionate beliefs were not enough to save George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the thousands who came before.

As the leadership of the Democratic Party of Oregon, we demand the public right to equal treatment before the law — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, physical ability, or economic means.

We see and understand “unequal justice before the law.” In this tragic moment in history, we will work tirelessly to elect candidates who demand and act on reform to bring real systemic change for Black Americans and all other communities of color. With our eyes firmly on the prize, we will work with those who are striving to create a just and prosperous future for all.

Thank you,

Carla “K.C.” Hanson
Democratic Party of Oregon Chair

Pete Lee
Democratic Party of Oregon Vice Chair

Michelle Risher
Democratic Party of Oregon Vice Chair

Eileen Kiely
Democratic Party of Oregon Secretary

Eddy Morales
Democratic Party of Oregon Treasurer

Tanya Shively
Democratic National Committee Member

Travis Nelson
Democratic National Committee Member

Matt Keating
Democratic National Committee Member

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