CR PDX's Campaigns & Projects
The Care Not Cops PDX Campaign
Portland continues to anchor the Care Not Cops campaign that is working to end the inherently violent and racist policing of Portland’s communities of color. Our work is rooted in the belief that policing endangers the health and well-being of communities. CNC understands the role of policing in enforcing social control and white supremacy which fuel gentrification, displacement, repression, and disempowerment of Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. Currently our campaign aims to dismantle the gang policing unit of the Portland Police Bureau: the Gun Violence Reduction Team (GVRT). Anti-gang policing intensifies the violence, criminalization, and surveillance that is characteristic of policing as a whole.
Since 2017, the Care Not Cops campaign has fought successfully for reductions in the Portland Police Bureau budget with particular focus on preventing increases in police officers, technology, and community policing programs. We have demanded the city end the use of police as first responders, invest in voluntary user-led mental health care centered in the hands of the community, and dismantle the gang policing unit of the PPB. We continue to call for a reduction in police spending towards ultimately disarming and defunding the police.
City Council passed the 2020-21 Portland City budget in June, with a $15 million cut from the proposed Portland Police Bureau budget, in addition to the 5.6% cut across all bureaus due to the COVID deficit. This included: The elimination of the Gun Violence Reduction Team, School Resource Officers, and PPB Transit Police, 8 positions cut from the Special Emergency Reaction Team, $2.8 million in cannabis tax dollars moved from the PPB budget and towards restorative justice grants, $4.8 million directed towards Street Response, $1 million diverted towards houseless-led participatory budgeting process.
Campaign website: https://www.carenotcops.org
On-Going Monthly Mail Program
Each month we gather virtually as a mail crew and volunteer team to host an open letter writing night to connect with folks looking to get involved with CRPDX. We receive about 300 letters a month and we offer political education, resource information, books and articles. One of the best ways to get involved currently is to sign up to participate in our mail program!
When the COVID-19 outbreak began, CR PDX adapted our traditional mail nights into virtual letter-writing sessions, where we provide an introduction workshop to the mail program, answer correspondence, ask/answer questions, and build an abolitionist community over a teleconferencing platform, such as Zoom or Jitsi. You can do the same! We don’t encourage in-person letter-writing parties right now, but collaborating over the internet is a great way to share your enthusiasm about building a world without walls. Find us virtually on the 3rd Mondays of the month at 6:00pm. Email us for more information and information to support hosting your own letter writing party!
Additional Projects & Organizing Efforts
The Imprisoned Firefighter Fundraiser launched in November 2020 including CRPDX, Black and Pink PDX, Siskiyou Abolition Project, Lane County Mutual Aid, and direct connections to imprisoned firefighters across the state all working in an effort to send $200 to each of the 275 firefighters in Oregon, totaling over $55,000 in mutual aid contributions. As of December 2020, we have raised over $21,000!
FREE THEM ALL! Caravans: At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CRPDX & Care Not Cops alongside community partners mobilized two car caravans to protest conditions inside jails, prisons and detention centers in Oregon.
Stimulus Checks! In October, in partnership with Black and Pink PDX, lane county mutual aid, siskiyou abolition project, CRPDX helped get 12,125 packets of three 1040 forms to Oregon Prisoners in a week. CRPDX also sent out over 4,500 packets to all of our national prisoner contacts across the country, as well as a 150 packets to prisoners in Alaska.
The Write Them All campaign recognizes that everyone held inside prisons deserves support, solidarity, resources, and care! To begin to address these needs, we planned a project in which we wrote a letter to all 14,000 people caged in Oregon’s state prisons with the TREMENDOUS support of volunteers. We had an outpouring of community support and solidarity to accomplish this goal!