portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

government | human & civil rights | police / legal

Katz Recall Against Police Violence Picks Up Steam as Right-wing Group Also Files

The Recall Vera Katz Committee focuses on escalating police violence and the mayor's codependent defense of it, while a competing right-wing recall claims that "Protesters are allowed to shut down the city when the mayor agrees with their views." Uh-huh.
The Recall Vera Katz Committee is continuing to collect signatures on a recall
petition to call attention to escalating police violence in Portland, the
mayor's failure to stop it, and the need for structural change within the
police department. "I'm totally blown away by how eager most people are to
sign this petition," said Marvin Moore, the committee's chief petitioner. "The
mayor hasn't listened to our calls, letters, and lawsuits. But a recall
election just might get her attention."

Nonetheless, the group has a lot of work ahead if it's to collect 30,000-some
signatures by the end of August. Many more volunteers will be needed to help
with signature gathering and events to keep the issue of police reform in the
public spotlight, says Moore, adding, "Every signature is a vote against
police violence."

In addition, he says, the second reason he filed was to try to head off a
competing recall by a right-wing group that thinks the police aren't
aggressive enough. "If there's going to be a recall, it should be for the
right reasons," he said.

Johny A. Belgarde of the Better Portland Alliance filed his recall petition
last Friday. "Protesters are allowed to shut down the City when the Mayor
agrees with their views," it complains. "Oh, yeah, sure," said Moore, rolling
his eyes. "Actually," he said, "time and time again it's been overly
aggressive tactics by the police that end up blocking traffic ten times worse
than protesters have ever done. Furthermore, just because a few commuters were
delayed by peace marchers when Bush illegally invaded Iraq is a really petty
reason for the right-wingers to want to recall the mayor."

Moore intends to keep the focus of his committee's recall campaign on
escalating police violence and the need for structural change in the police
department. Because it's highly unusual to have two competing recalls
circulating at the same time, potential signers will need to look closely at
the statement on the back of the petition to see which one they're signing.

Volunteers wishing to collect signatures may pick up petition forms at

Laughing Horse Books
3652 S.E. Division St.

Back to Back Cafe
614 E. Burnside

Another organizational meeting for persons interested in helping with
signature gathering, outreach, fundraising, and other volunteer tasks will be
held on Tuesday, June 17, at 7 p.m., at the I.W.W. Union Hall at 616 E.

Persons wishing only to sign but not circulate may do so at the Booty vintage-clothing
shop a couple doors down from Back to Back Cafe.

The committee's Web site is at www.recallvera.ORG. They can be reached at 503-
972-8177, or e-mail  recallverakatz@yahoo.com.

homepage: homepage: http://www.recallvera.ORG
phone: phone: 503-972-8177
address: address: P.O. 1851, Portland, Oregon 97207

Ridiculous-expensive 10.Jun.2003 22:19


Does anybody else see the hilarious absurdity of this recall? The two political extremes calling for the ousting of the mayor because she did her job too well according to the left and not well enough by the right. Besides that the recall election would cost the government $400,000.00 money that could go to a worthwhile cause. Finally, whoever replaces her is going to be worse for one side or the other. I predict her retiring after this term is up soon anyway.

img 10.Jun.2003 22:26



img - try2 10.Jun.2003 22:32

img - try2

img - try2

hey John 11.Jun.2003 08:42


Using your logic, why not save money by canceling ALL elections. The notion of "representative" democracy is pretty absurd, but for you to suggest that a recall attempt is wasteful of public funds really throws the baby out with the bathwater. This is America buddy, if you don't like it, move to Iraq (yuk, yuk).

Methinks John is po-po troll.

BTW, I've always had a taste for provocative actions. Vera lives at NW 21st and Johnson. I'm sure she'd appreciate about a dozen signature gatherers crowding into the neighboring blocks on busy evenings asking for support from all her bourgie sidewalk dining neighbors. Media would probably find it fun too.

Need better context 11.Jun.2003 11:18


In response to John (and many other similar lines of discouraging logic): the average of any two viewpoints does not the political center make. Just because one individual has opined that Vera Katz should be recalled for not instructing the police to run even more roughshod over protestors rights does not mean that those who believe she should be recalled for not responding to police violence are out of political center or even wrong. This is the classic winnowing of debate as described by Chomsky. You find (or create) two individuals who represent equally distant opinions from your desired political center (the further apart the better) and let them hash it out for a few minutes, be sure not to let them truly express the logic of their opinions, focus on the clash, make the viewer/reader uncomfortable, and then cut away with a glib laugh at how crazy those opposing viewpoints are. Then (when the reader/viewer is uncomfortable with the clash, confused by lack of comprehendable arguments, and ready to say 'no' to what they just saw/read, the media manipulator (John in this case) offers a completely unsubstantiated opinion as political fact, based solely on the idea that its is 'inbetween' these previous and absurd extremes. The reader viewer has settled the uncomfortable fact, never heard any logical argument to support an opinion, and thus minimal thought is required, and feels confident that they have examined all the possible viewpoints/choices by having heard the two extremes clahs. The manipulation is ripe, but most important is the selection of the two 'extremes' for this sets a context for the decision that will ultimately be reached. I dont know if John did this on purpose, or what, but I think it is obviously there and I am sure all who read can extend this critique to their other encounters with media and news.

Recall Vera Campaigns 11.Jun.2003 13:34


I've previously been described as east county white trash in this forum, which is interesting since I actually live in Hollywood.

The "right wing" recall effort against the mayor has been misrepresented in the media. It is not primarily about police policy. It is our contention that Mayor Katz, as police commissioner, uses the police force in accordance with her politics. We think that is wrong.

The bigger issue, and bigger reason for a Katz recall, is what the Mayor's policies are doing to opportunity in Portland. Small businesses, the backbone of the economy, are being squeezed continually by higher business license fees and taxes which is preventing them from hiring and causing them to flee. Big businesses, and the well connected city elite, are enjoying corporate welfare and tax giveaways that result in eight hundred thousand dollar condos in the Pearl district paying a hundred and forty bucks a year in property taxes. The mayor and her cronies in City Hall spend multi millions on "pie in the sky" eco development projects which result in no jobs and no improvement in the economy. PGE park is a perfect example... a secret deal... thirty million wasted... and all of us pick up the tab.

Quality of life starts with a decent, living wage job. Those are becoming scarce in Portland. The impact of the recession is exacerbated by everything City Hall does... and the buck stops at Vera Katz desk.

to whitetrash 11.Jun.2003 21:59


"I've previously been described as east county white trash in this forum, which is interesting since I actually live in Hollywood."

Was this intended to be hilarious self deprecation (in which case I applaud you) or just a slip up? Either way, you do seem to be reactionary. I agree that Vera has been lousy at fostering a healthy small business environment, but I doubt your sincerity in using the living wage argument.

The notion that Vera somehow held the popo back from the war protestors because she was sympathetic is absurd. The popo didn't respond quickly on Day X BECAUSE THEY WERE OVERWHELMED. They waited until midnight to attack because the crowd had thinned out. If the demonstrators had attempted to truly wreak havoc, they would have been able to because the popo were powerless. If you had been there, you would have seen it for yourself. Instead, I'll assume you were at home, cozy in your bourgie neighborhood, counting the money you stole from your employees that day while fuming at the TeeVee coverage.

to alex 12.Jun.2003 07:43


I'm not sure how providing good, high paying jobs (which is what I do) constitutes "stealing from my employees".

workers are entitled to all they produce 12.Jun.2003 12:42


Workers are entitled to all they produce, for a capitalist to skim profit is theft. Don't feel bad, you're not the only crook in the world, and probably one of the better ones. There is, however, no way to square your capitalist philosophy with honesty. Go co-op or be regarded as a parasite. The choice is yours.

Now I get it 12.Jun.2003 13:04


Oh, you are a communist. Now I understand. Have a happy May Day!

communist? 12.Jun.2003 13:41


Communist? I don't even know what that means or how you intend it. I just believe in fairness and honesty.

P.S. I did have a pretty good May Day.

anyone willing to wager... 12.Jun.2003 15:43


That whitetrash thinks that mayday celebrations are in honor of the russian holiday rather than the us labor holiday? Hence its use in conjunction with communism. How can one communicate with someone so historically illiterate?

circular reasoning 12.Jun.2003 22:39


Uh, concerned ...

You suppose "whitetrash thinks that mayday celebrations are in honor of the russian holiday rather than the us labor holiday". Then jump right into "How can one communicate with someone so historically illiterate?"

No fair. Your supposition doesn't prove that he's historically illiterate ... or anything else, for that matter.

um, not circular reasoning 12.Jun.2003 23:19


But your point is taken. I had a feeling people might interpret that post as you did. That'll teach me to rush. What I meant, was to propose my intuition and then state a question not directly related to that intuition. That is, I'm not implying that whitetrash thinks that way, but my feeling is that he does. But even if I'm wrong, I wanted to raise the question of how do we communicate with anyone who is historically illiterate (which is the majority of people in the united states). In other words, what approaches might be used to combat that ignorance. But you are right, I should have spelled things out better (and separated them, it was a tangential, but related question).

May Day 13.Jun.2003 09:37


Guess I made a mistake associating May Day with Soviet Communism... Sorry

sorry, I don't read Cyrillic 13.Jun.2003 15:10


Maybe whitetrash can understand what that says, but I'm at a loss. Maybe whitetrash is actually a Trot or Stalinist provocateur. This is the USA, whitetrash, take your commie propaganda and go back to Russia!

Alex is confused 13.Jun.2003 16:13


Alex, you are very confused (or confusing!). A few posts back you attacked my capitalist philosophy and accused me of "stealing from my employees" by providing jobs. Now you say I am a Trotskyite or a Stalinist (presumably both communists or avowed communists). Which is it?
The American revolution was a tax revolt. American capitalists thought King George was getting too great a percentage of the money they were "stealing from their employees". Our nation was founded on a "capitalist philosophy".
So let's get this straight. I am the capitalist. I admit it and you have already condemned me for it. You are the communist. If anyone needs to leave the country it is you not I. By the way, your choices are currently limited to Mainland China, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba.
Also, you do not need to read Cyrillic to understand the poster says "May 1". It was downloaded from a website featuring images of the early Soviet Union, circa 1920.

whitetrash is confused 13.Jun.2003 16:36

the wait is over

"The American revolution was a tax revolt" Talk about a gross simplification, however, I wonder if you really understand the tax issues during the revolutionary war. Remember the tea act and the tea party, which you do understand was an act of property destruction by white priveledged males who disagreed with King George's tax breaks for corporations. Isn't strange how eerily similar it is to today? While you could argue that the founding fathers were capitalists and some were corporatists but many were not. Thomas Jefferson wanted a ban on corporations to be in our Bill of Rights. I would say, that, to be accurate the united states was founded on a philosophy of liberalism (that is, in today's terms, classic liberalism). But let's not lie about it, the united states is not a capitalist country; if we were we would force every corporation to stand and fall on its own merits. We are a corporate socialist state where we believe, for some reason, that giving lots of money to corporations will benefit people (when clearly, using many measures of success the united states lags much of the world, particularly western europe and other western democracies). The policies of the united states server only to benefit the very rich; if whitetrash wants to perpetuate that system, more power to him, but in the end he will lose. Maybe now is the time to start re-examining one's beliefs and instead of trying to be right, start to look at what is working and what is not working to get us where we want to be. If we want to live in peace then we must provide for the welfare of all; anything else simply will not work. We have thousands of years of history to prove it, how much longer will it take for us to accept it.

Not Bad 13.Jun.2003 16:44


Not a bad diatribe. But you misspelled "privileged". Have a nice weekend. I am going home to count money.

you're still confused 13.Jun.2003 17:08

the wait is over

I did mispell privileged (but what do you expect from 2 minutes worth of typing) but you're still wrong: I'm not alex. One question whitetrash: do your employees know you spend your days reading and posting to portland indymedia and then go home on the weekends to count the money thy've made for you? Maybe you should tell them. Or does capitalism only work when you lie to as well as steal from your employees?