Monday, July 19, 2010

2010 OBPC Platform and Resolutions April 16-18, 2010

2010 OBPC Platform & Resolutions

April 16-18, 2010

On April 16-18, 2010, the Oregon Black Political Convention (OBPC) met at the Crowne Plaza Portland Convention Center, 1441 NE 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97232, and the delegates to this Convention adopted the 2010 Oregon Black Political Convention Platform and Resolutions. Below are the planks and resolutions that were adopted.


I. Political Action

II. Black Youth

III. Civil And Human Rights

IV. Community Development

V. Portland Police & Portland Black Community

VI. Education

VII Access To Legal Representation

VIII. Economic & Business Development

IX. Health Care

X. Black Unemployment

XI. Local, State, Federal And World Affairs


I. POLITICAL ACTION

The Oregon Black Political Convention recognizes that all the political parties must work with President Obama to achieve the collective interests of the United States. Also, the Oregon Black Political Convention recognizes that there are Black Republicans and Black Independents as well as Black Democrats in Oregon and Black Americans participating in other minor political parties in Oregon. The Oregon Black Political Convention recognizes that Black America must be prepared to work with all levels of the political spectrum to achieve the collective interests of Black America. It is the position of the Oregon Black Political Convention that all publicly elected and appointed officials represent the interests of Black America, regardless of the official's race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or geographical location. It is the position of the Oregon Black Political Convention that Black America must assert how it wants to be represented and whether the quality of this representation is being achieved. THEREFORE:

1. The Oregon Black Political Convention encourages Black Oregonians to seek elected and appointed public offices.

2. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges Black Americans to use their Black Political Action to make institutional transformations within Oregon as well as in the United States of America

3. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges Black Americans to use their Black Political Action to remove barriers, bias, discrimination and ineffective and/or disparate legal representation within Oregon as well as in the United States of America.

4. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges Black Americans to demand that elected officials regardless of their political affiliation (Democratic Party, Republican Party or other parties) honor their oaths of office and work to make lives better for all citizens of this Nation.

II BLACK YOUTH

The Oregon Black Political Convention acknowledges that the future of the Black Community depends on protecting and preparing our children to actively engage in the Black community and the community-at-large. Further, OBPC recognizes that the strength of the relationship between parent and child is the most vital and basic component for building the social, emotional and behavioral health of Black children and this relationship provides for success in school and beyond. The Black Community must not allow the health and growth of Black youth to be threatened by inadequate systems of education, Black on Black violence, institutional racism, low expectations, a discriminatory criminal justice system and lack of access to adequate food, child care, housing, employment and post secondary opportunities. OBPC believes that Black youth must learn as they pursue their goals in life that “Politics is everything and everything is politics.” It is one thing for young Black people to be good in their professions, but if they do not understand the politics of their profession, they will not reach their full potential. THEREFORE:

1. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges the Black Community to provide constructive activities and healthy relationships that will encourage Black youth to develop and achieve success in their Communities and the society.

2. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges Black parents to encourage their children to volunteer with organization like the NAACP, Urban League, African American Chamber of Commerce (AACS), OABA and others so that they can gain some leadership experience.

3. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges parents and guardians of Black children to encourage them to participate in their schools’ student organizations and clubs to gain leadership experiences.

4. The Oregon Black Political Convention encourages Black fraternities, sororities and other faith-based, political and social organizations to become active mentors for Black youth so that all Black youth can gain political skills.

5. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges members of the Black Community to support programs, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, YMCA, YWCA, and Boys & Girls.

6. The OBPC urges the Black Community and Black institutions (such as Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs (OABA), Oregon Commission for Black Affairs (OCBA), Urban League, religious institutions, and other social and political groups) to monitor the impact of federal funds allocated to state agencies (e.g., school districts) to determine the impact on Black families and Black Youth.

7. The Oregon Black Political Convention strongly recommends that the Governor and state agencies make disaggregated data available to the public so that the Black Community and Black institutions can determine the impact of state policies and the services of state agencies on Black Youth.

8. The Oregon Black Political Convention strongly urges that the Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction report no less than annually the status of Black pre-K through 12th grade students with regard to attendance, suspension and expulsion rates, graduation/dropout rates, and entrance to post-secondary institutions.

9. The Oregon Black Political Convention asks that the Oregon Legislature monitor and report the impact or results of the Minority Teacher Act, Senate Bill 300 and the requirement for multicultural education in Oregon elementary and secondary schools.

10. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges the Black Community and Black institutions to employ the recommendations in: (a) Children’s Universal Bill of Rights and (b) Children’s Institute report –“ from risk to resilience: Building the Social and Emotional Health of Oregon’s Most Vulnerable Young Children” in support of Black Children and Black Youth living in Oregon.

11. The Oregon Black Political Convention encourages the Black Community and Black institutions to join public school systems in acknowledging and celebrating the success of Black Youth (e.g., 2010 Portland Public Schools celebration of 13 Black youth – Young Gifted and Black).

12. The Oregon Black Political Convention asks the Black Community and parents/guardians of Black Children and Black Youth to ensure that they are placed in an environment where they feel “wanted, welcome, and worthy” of a quality education and where they receive services that meet their individual needs.


III. CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS

The OBPC recognizes Civil and human rights are the foundation of the freedoms, which all people are entitled to enjoy. The OBPC affirms that the Oregon Constitution guarantees fundamental and basic civil rights. The OBPC finds that Black Oregonians and Black Americans’ civil and human rights are being abridged and compromised by the efforts of individuals, groups, organizations, and the government bodies whose interest are in direct and indirect conflict with these rights unless one has access to competent, quality, and unbiased legal representation. THEREFORE be it resolved that:

1. The Oregon Black Political Convention encourages Black Oregonians to complete and return their 2010 US Census forms to U.S. Census Bureau.



2. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges Black Oregonians to educate themselves about how the population’s counts affect the distribution of federal funds which support government programs that enhance the well-being of all citizens in Oregon and the United States.



3. The Oregon Black Political Convention encourages all Black Americans to educate themselves about their rights as citizens, civic affairs, and government duties and responsibilities in the protection of these civil and human rights.



4. The OBPC encourages civic and community organizations engaged in the work of educating Black citizens, (in particular Black youth), to also educate them about their legal rights and responsibilities.



5. The OBPC encourages Black Oregonians to empower themselves to hold accountable the legal professions in its responsibility to provide quality, effective, and unbiased legal representation for Black citizens.



IV. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

The Oregon Black Political Convention (OBPC) believes that community development is a process that should be used to heal the United States from its history of slavery and racism. On November 4, 2008, US Senator Barack Hussein Obama was elected President of the United States of America, and on January 20, 2009, he was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America. The Oregon Black Political Convention understands why many people across the United States were quick to say that the USA is now in a “post-racial period” and that there is no longer any racism in the country. OBPC knows that this is not true and that the activities displayed around the United States in the first year of the Obama Administration have proven that the country is not in a Post Racial period. OBPC recognizes that there is a greater need for community development to be used by ALL people in the United States to transform the institutions to serve ALL U.S. citizens. The institutions of Oregon and the United States need to be transformed to remove bias, discrimination and ineffective and/or disparate legal representation. OBPC believes President Obama, with his experience as a constitutional scholar, civil rights attorney and a community organizer, is a leader who sees all U.S. citizens as one people or one nation, and who is not afraid to articulate his visions for the country and the world. OBPC believes that there will be many opportunities during his administration for institutional transformations that will uplift the lives of ALL people in the United States of America. THEREFORE:

1. The Oregon Black Political Convention asks Americans to recognize that the election of US Senator Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States did not move the United States into a “post-racial period”.



2. The Oregon Black Political Convention asks Americans to recognize that the United States still suffers from its history of slavery and racism.



3. The Oregon Black Political Convention encourages members of Oregon’s Black Community to work with other racial or ethnic groups to eliminate the impact of slavery and racism on the United States from its history of slavery and racism.



4. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges Black Americans to use the tool of community development to assist all groups of people to understand how they are affected or how they have benefited from the history of slavery or racism.



5. The Oregon Black Political Convention supports the Oregon Northwest Black Pioneers (ONBP) in its efforts to recognize and commemorate the contributions of pioneering African-Americans in the historical development of Oregon and Washington, and to educate Oregonians about the history of African-Americans in the Northwest.



V. PORTLAND POLICE & PORTLAND BLACK COMMUNITY

The Oregon Black Political Convention (OBPC) recognizes that it is the role of the Portland police to serve and protect ALL people in Portland. The police are to keep order, enforce laws, and protect citizens and their property. Portland police officers take an oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution, the Oregon Constitution and the Portland City Charter and Codes; and police officers have a duty and obligation to protect the public, including Black people, from police brutality. The Oregon Black Political Convention believes that it is the district attorney’s responsibility to present all the facts to the grand jury in cases where police officers are accused of using UNECESSARY deadly or near deadly force against members of Portland Black Community. THEREFORE:

1. The Oregon Black Political Convention supports police units that are culturally competent, and are there to serve and protect all people.



2. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges the Oregon Legislature and the Portland City Council to hold police officers to high standards of telling the truth and accurately documenting all incidents involving the use of deadly or near deadly force UNNECESSARY.



3. The Oregon Black Political Convention (OBPC) urges the Portland City Council to require that ALL its police officers involved in a deadly or near deadly force incident to file deadly or near deadly force incident reports immediately (within 24 hours) after such an incident.

4. The Oregon Black Political Convention (OBPC) urges the Portland City Council to pass city legislation that provide accountability and sanctions for violating the city law on the use of deadly or near deadly force.



5. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges the Multnomah County District Attorney to uphold the law and prosecute police officers who violate their oath of office and commit crimes using UNECESSARY deadly or near deadly force against members of Portland Black Community.



6. The Oregon Black Political Convention (OBPC) urges the Oregon Legislative Assembly to pass legislation that requires a special prosecutor to be appointed to prosecute police officers where UNECESSARY deadly or near deadly force has been used in violation of state laws and city codes.



7. The Oregon Black Political Convention (OBPC) supports the Portland City Council ordinance that gives the Independent Police Review (IRP) more oversight control of the investigation of police action, and OBPC urges the Portland City Council to pass ordinances that will provide sanctions for violating city codes and regulations.



8. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges Portland Mayor and the Portland City Council not to abdicate their sworn duty to uphold federal, state and city laws.



9. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges Portland Mayor and the Portland City Council to assure that all police union contracts entered into are in accordance with city, state and federal laws.



10. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges the Portland Mayor and Portland City Council to re-create an ordinance which supports a residency requirement for all new police hires.



11. The Oregon Black Political Convention strongly recommends the Portland Mayor, Portland City Council and Portland Police Bureau ensure that all union contracts are in compliance with federal, state and local laws and do not confer any immunities or privileges in violation of those laws.





VI. EDUCATION

It is the conclusion of the Oregon Black Political Convention that education is key to social change. The Black Community must use education for cultural, intellectual and economic development and growth. The Oregon Black Political Convention supports high quality public education and opposes efforts to deny public education to any child in Oregon or in other states. OBPC strongly recommends that the Black Community focuses attention and energy on events affecting Black students in both public and private schools, and actively assists those students in preparation to learn and becoming productive citizens. OBPC believes that education methodologies (such as the emerging technologies & historical, formal and informal education) are fundamental for the development, enhancement, productivity and intellectual survival of Black people. THEREFORE:

1. The Oregon Black Political Convention calls upon the Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Oregon Board of Education to vigorously enforce local, state and federal mandate to equal access to educational opportunities.



2. The Oregon Black Political Convention calls upon the PPS Board of Education to recognize that the proposed PPS High School Redesign will cause school closures, increased segregation and gerrymandering, and a lack of equal access to education for Black students and all students. In addition, the redesign will further destabilize the PPS district.



3. The Oregon Black Political Convention strongly urges the Portland Mayor and the Portland City Council to enforce its zoning laws & regulations and to prevent PPS from using the Portland zoning laws and practices to close schools which will result in increased segregation of Portland Public Schools,



4. The Oregon Black Political Convention calls upon the Portland Mayor and Portland City Council to pass a resolution calling for an immediate moratorium on ALL PPS school closures because PPS schools have been closed illegally under federal and state laws, the City School Policy, the zoning codes, and/or under historic legal deeds.



5. The Oregon Black Political Convention supports the January 2008 Resolution presented by the Jefferson High School Parent, Teacher, Student Association (PTSA) to the Portland City Council, PPS School Board, and PPS Superintendent that states: "Portland Public Schools policies have resulted in increased racial and socio-economic segregation in our city's public schools and discriminatory access to educational opportunities for Portland's children and youth, in direct conflict with local, state, and federal education policies as well as the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution." The Oregon Black Political Convention urges the Portland City Council, PPS School Board, and PPS Superintendent to act upon and respond to this resolution.



6. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges the Oregon Legislative Assembly to pass legislation that requires the Oregon Department of Education to publish school district information on expulsions, suspensions, truancy, and removal counts of students, along with graduation results so that the public will have easy access to understandable data.



7. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges parents to work with their school districts to ascertain their legal rights to access accurate and comprehensive information with respect to their students performances, academic records, decorum and social behavior.



8. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges the Oregon Legislative Assembly to pass legislation that requires the Oregon Department of Education to establish and enforce legal and appropriate techniques for dealing with student misconduct including but not limited to notifying students and parents/guardians of the misconduct, interviewing students who have been charged with an incident, notifying students of their rights to remain silent, and supplying the accused students with the school evidence.



9. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges the Oregon Legislative Assembly to pass legislation to fund full day kindergartens for students.



VII. ACCESS TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION

The Oregon Black Political Convention recognizes that there are many citizens in the State of Oregon who do not receive unbiased and effective legal representation from some attorneys licensed by the State of Oregon. There is no state law that requires attorneys licensed by the State of Oregon to be accountable to all their clients by providing unbiased and effective representation when the clients retain these attorneys. In the future, there will be many life events in which attorneys licensed by the State of Oregon will be required; Oregon citizens need to know that these attorneys licensed by the State of Oregon can provide unbiased and effective representation and can be held accountable by state law. Attorneys who provide unbiased and effective representation and who are accountable by state law are essential to citizens’ rights. Without attorneys licensed by the State of Oregon providing unbiased and effective representation, there is no access to justice. THEREFORE:

1. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges the Oregon Legislative Assembly to pass legislation that will amend ORS 9.460 to state that an attorney shall “provide unbiased and effective representation for all clients.”



2. The Oregon Black Political Convention encourages organizations and institutions to assist Black people with determining options for obtaining appropriate and affordable legal representation.



3. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges the Oregon State Bar and Law Schools to thoroughly educate attorneys and law students on the existence of racial bias in the judicial system.





VIII. ECONOMIC & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

The Oregon Black Political Convention supports the efforts and activities of Black people to increase their participation in an expanding market economy. THEREFORE:

1. The Oregon Black Political Convention supports and promotes the development of competitive Black businesses.



2. The Oregon Black Political Convention supports the work of the Alliance of Minority Chambers to get the Portland City Council to pass a resolution that the City of Portland shall include at least one minority panelist provided by the Alliance of Minority Chambers on the evaluation and selection panel for all contracts in excess of the formal solicitation thresholds for construction, goods and services and professional, technical and expert services that are not awarded on the basis of lowest responsible bidder.



3. The Oregon Black Political Convention supports the legislation proposed by the African American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon regarding the makeup of the commission reviewing all contracts awarded by the State of Oregon.





IX. HEALTH CARE

The Oregon Black Political Convention recognizes the importance of quality, affordable healthcare for all people. The Oregon Black Political Convention has grave concerns about the lack of health care, access, outreach, and educational programs directed towards the Black Community. The Oregon Black Political Convention believes health care is a right, not a privilege for the few. THEREFORE:

1. The Oregon Black Political Convention encourages members of the Oregon Black Community to become aware of the racial disparities in health care access and services and to work with federal, state and local governments as well as universities and local medical groups, to eliminate racial disparities.



2. The Oregon Black Political Convention supports the recent passed health care legislation passed by the U.S. Congress as the first step toward health care as a right for all citizens of the United States.



3. The Oregon Black Political Convention supports a universal single payer healthcare system.





X. BLACK UNEMPLOYMENT

The Oregon Black Political Convention recognizes that the unemployment among Black Oregonians is significantly higher than White Oregonians. OBPC believes it is important that Black Oregonians report their unemployment status and be willing to network with each other to change this high unemployment rate. OBPC believes that the Oregon Black organizations must encourage the Oregon Governor, county commissioners, and city mayors to create jobs in the Black Community. THEREFORE:

1. The Oregon Black Political Convention supports and promotes the development of competitive Black businesses that will employ Black employees.



2. The Oregon Black Political Convention supports the development of a Black Business community that can increase opportunities among the Black unemployed





XI. LOCAL, STATE, FEDERAL AND WORLD AFFAIRS

The Oregon Black Political Convention finds that governmental entities are mandated by their constitutions or charters to represent the interests of ALL citizens including Black Americans. The Oregon Black Political Convention acknowledges that public policies affect how the United States, as a nation, involves itself in the global economy and international affairs. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges Black Americans to get involved in local, state, national and world affairs. The Oregon Black Political Convention supports the participation of Black Americans in the establishment, control, monitoring, and implementation of public policies that not only engender but also promote Black involvement at the local, state, national and world levels. THEREFORE:

1. The Oregon Black Political Convention urges the Oregon Legislative Assembly to pass legislation declaring that it is an oath violation when an elected officials knowingly lie to the press and the public about an issue that the elected official is discussing.



2. The Oregon Black Political Convention calls on ALL elected and appointed officials to ensure that the Constitution of the United States is upheld.



THEME



2010 OBPC THEME: During The Administration Of President Obama: Black Political Action For Institutional Transformations And For Removing Barriers, Bias, Discrimination And Ineffective Legal Representation,”



On November 4, 2008, US Senator Barack Hussein Obama was elected President of the United States of America, and on January 20, 2009, he was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America. This 2010 OBPC theme, “During The Administration Of President Obama: Black Political Action For Institutional Transformations And For Removing Barriers, Bias, Discrimination And Ineffective Legal Representation,” embodies what is possible during this administration of a leader who knows himself, who sees all citizens as one people or one nation, and who is not afraid to articulate his visions for the country and the world. When President Obama was elected, many people across the United States were quick to say that the USA is now in a post-racial period and that there is no longer any racism in the country. However, many Black Americans grew up in USA knowing that there are many institutions operated by elected and appointed officials who take oaths of office to support the US Constitution and to uphold the law, but many of these officials allow these institutions to set up barriers to Black Americans and to practice bias, discrimination and ineffective legal representation when Black Americans are involved. The institutions of the United States and Oregon need to be transformed to meet the needs of all citizens and to remove bias, discrimination and ineffective legal representation. This theme connotes that an excellent opportunity exists during the administration of President Obama to use Black political action for institutional transformations and for removing barriers, bias, discrimination and ineffective legal representation as citizens use their power of citizenship to build futures for themselves and their children as well as this nation.

==========



The Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs (OABA) hosted the 2010 Oregon Black Political Convention (OBPC); but the actions and endorsements of the Oregon Black Political Convention are the positions of the convention and NOT those of the Oregon Assembly For Black Affairs (OABA).



2010 OREGON BLACK POLITICAL CONVENTION

oaba@peak.org

2010 OBPC Convention Chair Calvin O. L. Henry

2010 OBPC Recorder Aneesah Furqan

2010 OBPC Recorder Rashad Henry

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