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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.