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ENDORSEMENT: NATHAN VASQUEZ for Multnomah County District Attorney

RPC endorses NATHAN VASQUEZ for this office because he is an experienced prosecutor who will take action on crimes - large to small. He will return the concept of consequences for crimes such as graffiti, smashed windows, vandalism, & blocking sidewalks & doorways. Nathan is the better-suited candidate to enforce the reforms to Measure 110 made in HB 4002. But, perhaps most importantly, Nathan has engaged with our members and been willing to meet with us on the issues that are weighing down our economy.

What threaten’s Portland’s future? Increased drug activity and use, addiction, the proliferation of unsheltered homelessness, significant structural challenges for law enforcement, & dirty, unsightly streets. Understanding and addressing these issues is crucial for maintaining the vibrancy and attractiveness of our city center. The harmful actions of the current DA is leading to businesses, hotels, and visitors being driven away from downtown.


These more minor crimes are occurring these days with little to no consequences. In our strained system, many misdemeanors are not being charged. The incumbent District Attorney has shown little to no interest in hearing from our members. He has also created unnecessary divisions among law enforcement stakholders and shaken the public's confidence in first responders and law enforcement. 


We, as a coalition, consistently advocate, testify, work with our elected officials, and collaborate with stakeholders all across Portland. Nathan Vasquez has worked right along side of the RPC Crime & Public Safety committee, which is proposing a pilot program focused on civil accountability through a voluntary program where property crime offenders can work off their charges.


Quoting Nathan's website:

"He is dedicated the fundamental belief that two things can be true at once. We can be compassionate about people's life circumstances, recognizing the complex issues that drive some individuals into the criminal justice system. At the same time, we can and must hold people accountable for their actions when they harm our communities."


The election for Multnomah County District Attorney features two candidates - the incumbent, Mike Schmidt & a challenger, Nathan Vasquez, who is a Senior Deputy D.A. currently. The May 21st Primary will serve as the general election if one of the candidates recieves over 50% of the vote.


A tried practice in other jurisdictions, the pact would allow offenders charged in certain misdemeanors, to opt to perform community service instead of facing criminal charges.


We have proposed that Portland or Multnomah County can reestablish accountability (not criminalization) for low-level offenses by adopting a new program based on an old idee: voluntary civil compromise pact.  The idea is to bring back accountability for low-level offenses to be "charged" by Police –but then offenders are provided an opportunity to volunteer to provide community service. This also creates an intervention point for health, housing and other service needs to be assessed.


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