In a press release issued Wednesday morning, the Better Portland Alliance said
that it would postpone its effort and would instead contact the Recall Vera
Katz Committee to obtain petitions and offer their assistance.
The BPA had intended to file their recall petition on June 6, but competing
chief petitioner Marvin Moore beat them to the starting line. Although the BPA
could also file and attempt to collect signatures, the law protects public
officials from being subjected to more than one publically-financed recall
election by requiring any subsequent effort to pay the entire $300,000-some
cost of another special election.
Moore strategized that he could throw the right-wingers for a loop by filing
first. He also filed a complaint with the Elections Division charging that
their committee wasn't properly formed under election law. Trying to save
face, the BPA wrote that "the desire to recall Mayor Vera Katz spans the
entire political spectrum in Portland" and that a recall "will be a vital
first step in restoring jobs and justice to the people of Portland."
Moore said that he is open to dialogue with the BPA, but he is unwilling to
compromise his group's position against police violence, Katz's codependent
defense of it, and the need for structural change. But if the BPA wants to
circulate his group's petitions, "a signature is a signature," he said.
Because of the desire to not alert the right-wing group about the first-strike
strategy and because of the short time in which to act, the Recall Vera Katz
Committee had kept its plans secret and could not do much coalition-building
outreach. Moore, who understands election law and campaign-finance law from
earlier efforts, decided to take a leap of faith by organizing the filing and
trusting that the community would take advantage of the opportunity to make a
statement for reform in the police department. "Every signature is a vote
against police violence," he said. "The mayor hasn't listened to our calls,
letters, and lawsuits. But a recall election might get someone's attention."
Moore says that response has been good, but many more volunteers will be
needed to help with signature gathering and events to keep the issue of police
reform in the public spotlight. A Web site will be up in a few days.
The Recall Vera Katz Committee will hold an organizational meeting for persons
interested in helping with signature gathering, outreach, fundraising, and
other volunteer tasks on Monday, June 2, at 7 p.m., at the I.W.W. Union Hall
at 616 E. Burnside.
Recall Vera Katz Committee
P.O. Box 1851
Portland, Oregon 97207
voice mail: 503-972-8177