Hear Our Voice PDX: Vol. 1

Page 1



Hear Our Voice PDX

Vol. 1

PROTESTS As of August 12th 2020, members of the Portland community have demonstrated in defense of Black Lives and in opposition to police violence for nearly 100 days! Crowds like these gathered in EVERY SINGLE STATE in the country during the past few months. This is a HUGE moment in the history of the American civil rights movements.

Thousands of people have mobilized throughout the city of Portland. Maybe you’ve attended some of these demonstrations! Or have seen them in your neighborhood, heard these chants outside your window!

Protests started on May 25th, 2020 after the murder of George Floyd, a father, grandfather, security guard, Minneapolis resident, and Black man, by Derek Chauvin and three other Minneapolis police officers. George Floyd’s death reminded us of all the people we’ve lost to the police and to racist violence in our communities.

We have to say their names! We have to fight for them!

This is a massive mobilization in defense of Black lives. But this is not the first time Portlanders have acted up for Black lives in particular.

Other examples of HUGE protests in our city are:

During the Global Climate Strike, thousands of Portland teens skipped school and mobilized to speak out for environmental justice.

Maybe you were there??

But Portland has been showing up for Black and Brown Lives specifically for YEARS before this! Your city has a long civil rights history that you can now be a part of!

Keaton Otis vigil photo by Pacific Northwest Family Circle

After 25 year old Keaton Otis was killed by Portland Police on May 12th 2010, his father held a vigil at NE 6th & NE Halsey every 12th day of the month. They’re still happening to this day (virtually, for now) and you are encouraged to show up and show love for Keaton and his family! After 27 year old Patrick Kimmons was killed by Portland Police on September 30th 2018 his mother Letha Winston has organized protests on NE MLK and NE Emerson st. every Thursday from 10 am - 2 pm.

ORGANIZATIONS Organizations like these have been organizing demonstrations, community programs, political campaigns and advocacy efforts for Black Liberation and the struggle against racism in our policing and criminal justice systems for decades!

Get to know your Portland Anti-racist or abolitionist organizations... Don’t Shoot PDX

Coalitions of Communities of Color

Freedom to Thrive Black United Fund

Portland African American Leadership Forum

Black & Pink

Critical Resistance PDX Raising Justice Care not cops PDX

A WORLD FOR BROWN AND BLACK KIDS As imagined by BIPOC youth in Brown Girl Rise

POLICY For many years, we have normalized feeding the budget of police bureaus as a means of deterring or decreasing crime and improving public safety. In reality, providing millions to officers military equipment, overtime for over-policing initiatives in black and brown communities, and having officers in schools has only increased community distrust and stripped funding from vital social services across the nation.

On June 17th, 2020, Portland City Council voted to “defund” $10.7 million dollars primarily from speciality units in the police bureau and “re-allocate” those funds to the following programs/positions...

Portland Police Bureau Funding Re-allocation

In the pie chart, you may notice there is still over 3 million dollars in “contingency” ($1.85M from Recreational Cannabis Tax Fund + $1.33M) what that means is that we, as the community, have the power and duty to inform and push for that money to be appropriately invested back in the communities too often facing the consequences of state-sanctioned violence. This includes Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities, Black trans women, and individuals living with or experiencing behavioral health conditions or illnesses. The fight is not over, we must work together to carry the torch of our elders who have been fighting for liberation for decades.

The Oregon Cares Fund When we imagine systems of public safety outside of policing, one key component is that we make investments into the well-being of our communities. Early in the Coronavirus pandemic, Black community leaders saw that the Black community was being left out of Oregon’s Coronavirus response. Black community leaders worked with Oregon State Representative Akasha Lawrence Spence’s office to demand the State of Oregon take action to address this injustice. Together, they put together a proposal for a $62 million targeted investment that would go directly to Black families, Black businesses and community based organizations. This money will be given to Black people and organizations to help them pay bills, stay in their housing, pay for child care, keep their businesses open, and meet other needs. This funding request was approved on July 14th by the Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board, thanks to our wonderful communities working together to make it happen!

The Contingent and the Black United Fund are the community based organizations that will be distributing this funding. They are still working on creating the application process. To stay informed and apply when the application is available go to: thecontingent.org This is one victory for our communities. We need to keep up the fight until every person in our community has all that they need to survive and thrive.

CALL-TO-ACTION The fight is not over, we must work together to carry the torch of our elders who have been fighting for liberation for decades.

TODAY! We want all kids reading this to do these five things:



Go to portland.gov and search “Get Involved” to find opportunities for testimony on city decisions

Follow the front-line organizations mentioned in this zine on social media to stay updated on their work

3. Write an email or letter to your state legislator about the changes you want to see. You can find their office’s contact information at oregonlegislature.gov

4. If you’re 18 or older and are able to vote, VOTE LIKE YOUR RIGHTS DEPEND ON IT, VOTE FOR OUR COMMUNITIES, VOTE FOR OUR FUTURES. Head to vote.org/Oregon.



You matter. You count. Make sure that you’re counted. Participates in the census so our democracy can represent our communities. You matter. Your voice matters.

Meet the Zine team Grace McMickens


My name is Grace, I’m 23 and I’m an organizer with Brown Girl Rise! Along with the other folks in the Youth Activist Work Group, I helped design the concept for this zine series and drafted a few of the pages that made it into the final version.

Taji Chesimet He/Him/His I developed language and information on Portland City Budget and School Resource Officer Policy. I organize with Raising Justice - a student-led nonprofit dismantling systems of oppression that affect youth in relation to public safety. Our primary work engages in policy advocacy, dialogue, and training.

Elona wilson


My name is Elona, I’m 24 and I’m an organizer with Stand for Children! Alongside my incredible siblings in the Youth Activist Work Group, I helped identify actions people can take to make change as well as supported the other design aspects.

Tsiyon Geremew


I provided input on the skin tones of the front cover characters. I am one of Multnomah Youth Comission’s (MYC) Co-Chairs, which is the official youth policy body of the city of Portland/Multnomah County that brings youth perspective to decision makers. I am also a member of Raising Justice, a youth-led nonprofit that aims to dismantle systems of oppression that impact young people’s public safety.

Alana Nayak


Hi, I am Alana Nayak, the Portland Director for Raising Justice, a youth-led nonprofit that works to dismantle systems of oppression that impact BIPOC young people’s public safety and I worked to edit the text of the zine. At the moment, Raising Justice has been occupied with implementing the restorative justice recommendation that Mayor Wheeler passed that creates more restorative justice opportunities and diverts more juvenile cases out of the system. As the Portland Director, I have also been working with Gresham/Barlow School District staff and BIPOC students to hear their perspectives on SROs.

Rep. akasha Lawrence spence's office Representative Akasha Lawrence Spence’s office was honored to create space for youth and youth-serving organizations to meet regularly and work collaboratively on this project. We believe it is imperative that all elected offices work to expand opportunities for youth as we continue the fight for transformative change in our communities.

Emma mckhann


Hi! I’m Emma, a Designer and Illustrator living in Minneapolis, MN. I created the illustrations, graphics, and layout of the zine.

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