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Three Portland activists filed a prospective recall petition against Portland Mayor Vera Katz on Tuesday, May 27, 2003, charging that the mayor's defense of a pattern of police violence and killings is malfeasance that endangers the citizens of Portland and wastes tax dollars due to the resulting multi-million-dollar lawsuits.
Three Portland activists filed a prospective recall petition against Portland
Mayor Vera Katz on Tuesday, May 27, 2003, charging that the mayor's defense of
a pattern of police violence and killings is malfeasance that endangers the
citizens of Portland and wastes tax dollars due to the resulting multi-
million-dollar lawsuits. Additionally, they charge that police harassment of
activists and African-Americans endangers all citizens by diverting resources
from legitimate law-enforcement duties as neighborhood crime is increasing.

"From the incident in which the police incited a riot at a peaceful rock-band
show at the X-Ray Cafe in 1992 through the May 5, 2003, police killing of
Kendra James, the history of the Portland police under Mayor Vera Katz has
been one of violence and wasted tax dollars," says committee petitioner Marvin
Moore of North Portland. "In spite of numerous citizen complaints and
lawsuits, the mayor has failed to make the police leadership rein in cops who
get out of bounds. We are sickened to see the thousands of innocent citizens
who have been hurt by the abuse of police violence.

"On May Day 2000, Kroeker ordered the police to bash peaceful marchers. After
police officers shot and killed Byron Hammick and Jose Mejia, Kroeker had the
audacity to award them medals. The cops pepper-sprayed babies at the
2002 Bush protest. When Bush invaded Iraq, the cops aggressively pepper-
sprayed not only peaceful marchers but bystanders and a television reporter.
At May Day 2003, the cops manhandled nonresisting bicyclists and bloodied one
face in order to give ordinary frivolous traffic citations. And now they've
executed Kendra James on the spot for a petty crime.

"One killing should have been enough to force Katz to fire Kroeker and the top
commanders and to establish a professional community policing department based
on a civilian model. For Katz to tolerate subsequent violence and killings is
the worst kind of malfeasance," said Moore.

Police Chief Kroeker is appointed by the mayor and there's no procedure by
which citizens can recall a police chief. "The only choice is to recall the
mayor who refuses to make structural changes in the police department to break
the cycle of violence," said Moore. "The police department has seized power
and has become a law unto itself. Mayor Katz is a puppet of Kroeker and the
police union with her callous and codependent attitude that even bad-apple
cops can do no wrong. The root of the problem is that the paramilitaristic
structure of the department breeds violence. The citizens of this city deserve
community policing based on a civilian model, policing that protects the
citizens rather than harasses them. Portland is fortunate to have many good
cops. What we need is good leadership."

Moore, a local freelance editor, church organist, and longtime volunteer usher
for numerous performing-arts groups, is joined in the prospective recall by
Joseph Anzivino, an artist and also a volunteer usher, and Michael Frick, a
cartoonist. The Recall Vera Katz Committee would be required to collect 29,788
signatures in 90 days in order to get the recall question on the ballot in a
special election.

In accordance with state election law, the committee wrote a statement of
reasons for demanding the recall, not to exceed 200 words: "Recall Mayor Vera
Katz for the malfeasance of wasting tax dollars due to lawsuits against the
city resulting from her refusal to control the police department; the
malfeasance of victimizing citizens by encouraging a climate of police
violence, including the police execution of Kendra James; the malfeasance of
refusing to fire Chief Kroeker after not just one killing but subsequent ones;
the malfeasance of endangering citizens by diverting police resources from
legitimate law-enforcement to harassment when crime in neighborhoods is
increasing; the malfeasance of increasing disrespect for the police by
defending their violent attacks on peaceful activists and their daily
harassment of African-Americans in North and Northeast Portland; the
malfeasance of wasting tax dollars on violent police overkill to bash peaceful
marchers at May Day 2000, awarding medals to the cops who killed Byron Hammick
and Jose Mejia, pepper-spraying babies at the 2002 Bush protest, harassing and
pepper-spraying bystanders and reporters plus church people and peace
activists whose only ethical First Amendment choice was to oppose Bush's
immoral and illegal attack on Iraq; and the malfeasance of refusing to listen
to citizens and to replace corrupt police leadership with professional
community policing on a civilian model."

Historically, some recall attempts have become a negative battle of
conflicting personalities. Moore hopes to avoid that. "We want to keep the
focus on the need for positive structural change in the mayor's police
department," he said.

The desire to avoid having the city be subjected to a counterproductive
mudslinging recall campaign is what prompted the committee to file their
prospective recall petition first in order to head off the threat of a
different recall proposal by a group calling itself the Better Portland
Alliance. Moore has also filed a complaint with the Elections Division
charging that the BPA political committee was not properly formed under state
law. Moore characterized the BPA as "a bunch of simplistic, malcontented,
complaining right-wingers who think that the mayor is an anti-business leftist
and that everything wrong with the city is the fault of skateboarders,
bicyclists, mass transit, and citizens who believe that George Bush and the
Portland police should obey the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill.'" Even in
the wake of the Kendra James killing, the BPA has been claiming that the
police aren't aggressive enough. "That's obnoxious and offensive," said Moore.

In response to reports of the BPA recall proposal, Katz stated that "elected
officials should only be recalled for malfeasance," not for differences of
opinion over policy issues. On that point she's right, Moore concurs, quickly
adding, "But refusing to stop the pattern of cops murdering citizens is indeed
the worst kind of malfeasance."

In a report issued May 9, the City Club of Portland criticized the mayor for
failure to have a commitment to community policing and the vision to promote
it. "A serious problem in leadership exists at several levels," the report
says. The recall committee applauds the report but says it doesn't go far
enough. "Rather than paying lip service to community policing and rather than
whitewashing over the paramilitaristic and macho police culture that breeds
violence, our city officials need to start from scratch to create an entirely
new policing structure based on a civilian model." Last week, the Albina
Ministerial Alliance called for the firing of the officer who shot Kendra
James. Again, the committee applauds their efforts but insists that
fundamental structural change is needed and that this doesn't seem likely to
happen under Katz.

If accused of being "radical," Moore responds, "The word 'radical' simply
means getting to the root of a problem and eliminating its cause."

Moore and his supporters make it clear that they're not against the police per
se. "There are many dedicated, sincere, and professional police officers who
want to do a good job, and all they need is the proper leadership. Neither
Kroeker nor the mayor provides it. The police leadership is like an alcoholic
relationship," he says. "It's broken, and it can't be fixed, but the
codependent mayor continues to enable it. The responsible taxpaying consumer
of government services knows when it's time to throw out the old broken model
and get a new one."

There has been substantial interest in this recall, but many more volunteers will be needed if we are to make a serious effort to gather signatures in order to keep media attention focused on the issues of police violence and the need for reform in the police department. An organizational meeting for activists interested in working on the recall effort will be announced soon on the www.portland.indymedia.org Web site. Monday, June 2 is the most likely date. A couple of close-in meeting places have been offered to us, but booking details haven't yet been confirmed. The Oregonian, The Portland Tribune, two television stations, and two radio news stations covered the filing and are interested in following the issue.


Recall Vera Katz Committee
P.O. Box 1851, Portland, Oregon 97207
voice mail: 503-972-8177
Web site coming soon: www.recallverakatz.com
e-mail:  recallverakatz@yahoo.com

address: address: P.O. Box 1851, Portland, Oregon 97207

You Go! 27.May.2003 21:43


Wow! Why didn't we all think of this sooner. I feel relieved just hearing about this.

BS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 27.May.2003 22:23

mike h

"On May Day 2000, Kroeker ordered the police to bash peaceful marchers"

This is complete bull$hit.

Peaceful marchers my a$$ .. I got off a tri-met bus, on my way home from work, at Pioneer Square to get my transfer onto light rail .. I was assaulted, and injured by these "peaceful marchers" as I stepped off the bus

I never knew what hit me, but was able to get some punches in before 2 cops came in and clubbed the idiot attacking me (for no F'ing reason) .. I spent 2 nights in the hospital, missing a total of 6 days of work (that was not covered by any insurance or medical, that I ended up getting my wages garnished for).

Peaceful protestors/marchers my a$$ !!!!!!!!!

I love how you "peaceniks" toss the "peaceful" card onto the table all the time

You are all F'ing Liars and Hypocrites

what the fuck are you talking about, mike? 27.May.2003 22:49


Wow, if you were abused in such a manner, why did you keep quiet about it for three years? Everyone else seems to be in agreement that the May Day 2000 participants were in fact attacked by the popo for no reason. Your insight casts an entirely new light on the situation. Some may cast you as a popo instigator, but not me brother. I believe that your experience, which flies in the face of not only the marchers' experiences but popo admissions as well, is reality.

The truth is out there.

Nanoo, nanoo.

Mike H, hospitalized at mayday? 28.May.2003 00:15


If you were indeed pointlessly attacked on mayday 2000, which i'm inclined not to believe, does that exuse all the other documented, and more importantly, undocumented cases of police violence and brutality?
One shitty event endured by you doesn't absolve the police of their misdeeds.

An attack on Mike H. 28.May.2003 03:22


An attack on Mike H. trumps ALL brutality done by ANYONE. Forget about the war in Iraq, okay? Get your priorities STRAIGHT!

But seriously, folks... 28.May.2003 03:24


Poor Vera. She may have turned into something that she never imagined possible in her idealistic days...

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

I would highly suggest... 28.May.2003 04:48

Willie Milkis

...that if you want to get anywhere near the required number of signatures, not to mention get some extra volunteers, that you not confine your activities and notices to the regular indy outlets. Get up there in the north where they are and have been rallying over Kendra James, and engage that part of the community in your effort. Contact the people who knew or were related to Jose Mejia, and get some signatures from that angle. Et cetera.

If you confine your motion to the usual (white) SE suspects and their various outposts in other neighborhoods, you will most likely fail. 30,000 signatures is possible, but you'll need to get out into the real community to get them, away from the already converted and hopelessly liberal at sites like this.

Don't Forget... 28.May.2003 07:36


....the people in outer SE who are neglected for city services, like paving streets...

.... the people in SW who don't want Vera's tram in their neighborhood...

... people everywhere in the city who see Vera pitching ideas like major-league baseball instead of trying to correct economic decline.

Neglect 28.May.2003 08:54


Varro; that's pretty typical, though inexcusable. Outer SE, as well as outer NE have been neglected for years, while areas close to downtown are spruced up for tourists. Nothing wrong with the latter as long as it's not at the expense of the rest of the city. In my neck of the woods, there are few parks compared to inner Portland, we were ripped off with the sewer installation fees along with a host of other less than desirable conditions, including a snooty attitude from some neo-Portlanders about what neighborhoods are considered desirable. Oh well, I'm ranting so I better quit for now.

Who's Next? 28.May.2003 10:40

Hugo, Man of a Thousand Faces

Once Veras gone - who would be the next mayor? Of course my first choice is Trey Arrow...

Mr Arrow!! 28.May.2003 10:57


I'm going to second that motion - TRE ARROW for Mayor of Portland!!

We could always 28.May.2003 11:32

have a write-in campaign

Once we sweep the city clean, we could all write tre in as mayor.

Yes, Tre! 28.May.2003 13:11

Recall Suporter

I think Tre would make an excellent mayor of Portland. I mean, once he turns up, stands trial, and is likely placed in a federal prison, he would have lots of time to focus on the job. Plus, since he'd be locked up, he wouldn't waste time meeting with every little special interest group wanting the mayor's ear.

Tre for mayor!

Yeah! 28.May.2003 13:21


Vera has got to go and I am so happy someone took the initiative to start the process. I don't think the recall will oust her (or Kroeker) outright, but it is not a favorable response from her constituants. Is it possible to read the recall document, does the public have access to this info.? Thanks , this news has reallyt made my day!

Nomination 28.May.2003 16:33

Here, here

I would like to suggest 'a pool of puke' as a welcome alterative to Katz.

Make sure you do this right, or else! 28.May.2003 16:41


Just make sure you get people to sign this thing legally (whoever is doing this) because you know the city will jump on it otherwise. That would totally discredit people from doing anything like this ever again. I hope Vera gets the hell out of office soon, and if this helps then so be it. It's time for someone new that has a vision for helping people in this city, not baseball. Even more so when the education is going down the crapper. Anyway, the list goes on and on so I wont bore you. Just remember this... The city works for people like you and I, so lets make them see that they haven't been and watch the fun begin.

I second that 28.May.2003 17:43


I second that nomination for the 'pool of puke.'

they're not bullets they're pellets 30.May.2003 12:58

they're not bullets they're pellets

they're not bullets they're pellets
they're not bullets they're pellets
they're not bullets they're pellets


web maintainer for Recall Vera Katz Committee

The website listed in this article is incorrect, though the domain listed *is* owned by the RVK Committee. The correct web address for the Recall Vera Katz Committee is:


Sorry for any confusion.

RVK Committee web maintainer


Marvin Moore

An organizational meeting for persons interested in helping with signature
gathering, outreach, fundraising, and other volunteer tasks will be held on
Monday, June 2, at 7 p.m., at the I.W.W. Union Hall at 616 E. Burnside.

Keep an eye out for this name... 31.May.2003 00:44

Cascadian1 rhodesb1984@hotmail.com

...Nic Boehm.

There's going to be a mayoral election next fall... remember his name: Nic Boehm.

Expect more this summer.

Until next time,
Peace, Solidarity, and Love



He may have forgotten to kill us for sure........it isnt over tell the Wacko "rednecks" say it is.

RANDY LEONARD 23.Oct.2004 21:59


My thoughts on Randy Leonard and Eric Sten........my real thoughts I will keep to myself........But, I write this letter to ask for common sense not election year politics on the subject of what the real first job of any elected official is, that being security.

These officials are showing some of the folks in Portland, they would rather play "games" than do the job they are well paid for.

The "joint terror task force," Leonard is against, isn't a video game where you press "play" and "stop" and rewind...it's a deadly game with real deaths and real blood on the playing field.

I'm ashamed and angry at most of the demographics of who these people are playing too, because the terror cells we have or have potential to have don't give a damn who Randy Leonard thinks he is impressing by the ridiculous statements he was quoted on in the article.

Randy Leonard needs an "attitude adjustment" ... people like him who do not get the idea that the freedoms he claims we are risking mean nothing if we are dead!