City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly told Portlanders this afternoon that she supports an ambitious set of reforms around policing as well as to address racial disparities in Portland.
In an email to constituents, she made broad policy proposals, including "declare racism to be a public health and safety emergency," as well as specific ones: to cut vacant positions from the Police Bureau's budget, bar cannabis taxes from going to the police, and "increase funding, expand service area, and accelerate the implementation of the Portland Street Response"—a plan to send community workers instead of police to respond to some emergency calls.
Eudaly's list also includes banning tear gas for policing crowds—which she and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty announced support for earlier this week—as well as disbanding some units of the Police Bureau, which Hardesty announced she also supports.
The pressure on Portland and Oregon to make police reforms—as well as on other cities and states across the U.S.—is mounting, amid a national uprising over police killings of black people.
"I want to emphasize the important role that protests in Portland and across the country have played," Eudaly says in a statement. "We wouldn't be considering any of this without your voices, because we've never had a critical mass of people in power who were willing to take action. That is no longer the case."
Yesterday, Mayor Ted Wheeler took a first step toward reforms that advocates have sought for years: removing police from school districts around the city. That decision cuts $1 million from the police budget at a time when the city is looking for cuts because of the recession or depression brought on by the pandemic and the response to it.
The mayor also announced this evening that he would no longer allow police to use the sonic weapon called a "long range acoustic device" that was used to scatter protesters early this morning.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter Rebecca Ellis first posted on social media the list of Eudaly policy proposals.
It's unclear at this hour which of the reforms have the support of other leaders at City Hall.