County Withdraw From Reimagine Oregon

Clackamas County voted recently to withdrawn its association with the Reimagine Oregon project. The all white legislators’ actions seem to suggest that the public uproar that created the idea of de-fundind the police has run it’s course. The vote was 3-1 in favor of officially severing ties.

Commissioners later voted to stop attending future project meeting. Legislators then requested jurisdiction be removed from being listed on the org’s website.  Commissioner Paul Savas said that only Shull and Commissioner Sonya Fischer will still attend their meetings on behalf of the board. Fischer was the one vote in favor of Reimagine Oregon.

Reimagine Oregon stated that while the group never asked any jurisdiction for an endorsement, they did, however, ask elected officials to show initiative on the policy areas where they could get things done. The group was formed in 2020 at the height of the protests for police accountability and against racial violence. The group’s focus is on systemic racism through concrete policy changes aimed at dismantling systems in legislature, law enforcement, education, health and housing resulting in disproportionate harm to Black communities, per its website. 

Reimagine Oregon has called elected leaders to show up and work collaboratively with communities across the state to deliver meaningful outcomes on a broad array of issues to make a positive impact on the lives of Black Oregonians. Clackamas County’s board on said they are committed to the public safety of all constituents, and do so primarily through funding law enforcement and the county courthouse. The county has yet to say how it will address a host of issues that the organization says is important. The county was stuck on stating that it disagreed that divestments in police would enhance local safety.

In a statement, the organization said: “It is disappointing that most Clackamas County commissioners think they have nothing to offer to improve the lives of their constituents, particularly because the Black residents of Clackamas County deserve to have their duly elected officials care about their well-being in specific, actionable ways. The Reimagine Oregon project provides a tangible framework for that and our work continues.”

Commissioner Fischer lamented in a statement following the vote that she remains concerned that Clackamas County will now not have a voice in these regional discussions about public safety.