⚠ IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: STATE OF THE CAMPAIGN
We are concluding the campaign to recall Mayor Wheeler. We want to share with all of you who supported the effort the final attempt we made to uphold the desire of Portlanders to hold an incompetent and harmful mayor accountable by removing him from office. We have so much appreciation and gratitude for each and every person who signed, collected signatures, and donated time and funds.
As a final attempt to ensure that every Portlander who wanted to sign the recall petition would be able to have that chance, the recall Ted Wheeler campaign initiated a suit in federal court, alleging that the 90 day restriction violated our constitutional right to petition for redress while in a pandemic. The reality is that signature gathering—with ink on paper signatures—is incompatible with a pandemic. Due to the difficulty of collecting signatures in person during a pandemic, other states and municipalities have shown flexibility on signature gathering requirements. The City Auditor of Portland chose not to allow similar flexibility with signature gathering for the people of Portland.
In response to this, the recall campaign sought an injunction to address this issue. To win an injunction you must demonstrate that, among other things, there will be “irreparable harm” if it is not granted. In our case, the Judge ultimately did not decide in our favor that there would be irreparable harm if we were unable to continue collecting because he believed that the campaign could refile and start over. Unfortunately, that would mean the 20,000+ signatures we have already collected would have to be collected again. After careful consideration, we have decided that refiling would not be in the best interest of community resources and time. Rather than continue to pursue this effort, we are looking ahead to invest our remaining resources in other areas focused on bringing about positive social change in our communities.
Those of us who are new to the petitioning process in Oregon were dismayed to learn how lawmakers have undermined the process. Ballot initiatives, referenda, and recalls are meant to reflect our will and serve our collective interests. Instead, time limits, arcane filing processes, and other hurdles not contemplated by the Oregon Constitution have dramatically weakened the power of Oregonians. We call on the Oregon legislature to bring direct democracy in Oregon into the 21st century by allowing the collection of electronic signatures. Legal filings, leases, and countless other documents already use online signatures.
Thank you again for everything you have done. At a time when some Portlanders are most concerned with our national reputation, you helped us show that this city cares about each other first and foremost. We showed that in this city, when harm is being done by those who are in positions of power, there will be an effort to hold them accountable and take care of each other.