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The #OurPortland Podcast

Ask Sarah: Rethinking Public Safety

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About this Episode

December 3, 2019

Join us Monday night! Ciara Pressler (Pregame) calls in to preview next week’s community conversation on making Portland affordable and accessible for creatives, entrepreneurs, and small business owners, responds to your questions about her new Rethinking Public Safety plan, and gets a little groovy with her latest tweet of the week.

¿Tiene una pregunta para Sarah? Mándesela al [email protected].


Announcer: [00:00] Welcome to Our Portland with Sarah Iannarone, made possible by contributors to Friends of Sarah for Portland. Portlanders have everything we need to make radical progress today on emergencies like climate chaos, housing affordability, and staggering inequality. Each episode we'll hear how Sarah plans to be the mayor to lead the city of Portland to a more equitable and sustainable future. And now, here's Sarah.

Sarah: [00:32] Welcome to the Our Portland podcast. I'm Sarah Iannarone and I'm running for mayor of Portland in the May, 2020 election. I use the pronouns she and her. Today's episode is a bit shorter. First, I'll hop on the phone with my friend Ciara Presler, who I'll be co-hosting a community conversation with next Monday, December 9th. Then I'll respond to a few listener questions about my new rethinking public safety policy, and of course, and you're going to want to wait all the way to the end for this, the tweet of the week. Trust me. It's going to be a good one.

Sarah: [01:10] I'm excited to be joined now on the phone by Ciara Pressler. Founder of Pregame located over in the Pearl district. She is going to be my cohost for the community conversation next week. We're going to have on Monday, December 9th at the Riveter in Southeast Portland at the Washington high school there at Southeast 12th and Stark. We're going to talk about keeping Portland accessible and affordable for creative innovators, entrepreneurs, small business founders, freelancers, solo-preneurs, which is a term that I learned today. Just thinking about these workers and these businesses in our community and in our economy. Hi Ciara.

Ciara: [01:53] Hi Sarah. Thank you for having me.

Sarah: [01:54] Oh, I'm so excited to talk to you and I'm really looking forward to talking with you next week.

Ciara: [02:00] Absolutely. It's going to be a good one. We have some questions to tackle for sure because it's a complicated issue.

Sarah: [02:07] Yeah, and I'm hoping folks can learn a lot by listening to us and I know that I always learn a lot when I talk to you. So the two of us engaging around this will be informative probably for both of us and the folks listening, I'm guessing.

Ciara: [02:20] Yes, and I'm always learning too because every time I interact with our clients here at Pregame, I learn more about how people navigate every part of business, including, you know, our relationship with the City of Portland.

Sarah: [02:34] So I want to give you a quick icebreaker and something that I used at our last community conversation and I've been doing it a lot on the podcast, which is asking people to share one thing that they're most excited about happening in Portland right now and one of the things that's bringing them the greatest concern or something that they're worried about. Would you mind sharing that with us?

Ciara: [02:52] Mmm yeah, good question. Something I'm really excited about in Portland is, you know, that people still see it as a really exciting destination for tourism. I think a lot is happening around Portland as a, you know, a cultural space and people are recognizing Portland from a business standpoint as a place where really quality goods come from. So it's a great thing for makers. There's a huge community of makers in Portland. Of course, I would love to see more support for service businesses out of Portland as well. Something that I am concerned about. You know, I come from a very specific point of view as somebody who works with a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners I'd really like to see, better channels outside of the city. So if you're doing business beyond Portland, because depending on your business model, you may be looking to expand or get some deals with people outside of Portland. And so my new resources that are both here to help build businesses and to help people do business beyond, so a friendly, a friendly environment for small businesses to grow and thrive.

Sarah: [04:04] Yeah, I really excited because a lot of what you're talking about is a great opportunity, right? When our concern is actually something that if we tackle that with intention and from our sense of community empowerment that we have here, we're going to be able to make great strides on that front. I think ignited as something cool we can talk about together next week because we're hoping that folks who are interested in this topic will be able to join us. So just as a reminder, it's next week at the Riveter. That's Monday, December 9th, starting at 6:30 and we'll be there having a conversation about that. So Ciara, thanks so much for Ciara. I have to get that. Okay, quick Sarah cut down on her thing. So thanks again Ciara for joining us. I'm so excited to talk with you next week and we'll look forward to hearing more from you then.

Ciara: [04:46] I'm excited too. I can't wait to hear more about your vision for the city. So thank you for taking time to talk with the solo-preneur and the entrepreneurial community.

Sarah: [04:56] Thanks so much.

Sarah: [05:00] It's exciting to think about the opportunities that we have in this election to communicate about the variety of interests and concerns that are on people's minds. With regard to city of Portland livability here, prosperity, equity, and inclusion. As we pivot away a little bit from talking about next week's community conversation, we're gonna revisit our podcast from last time I announced last week, my rethinking public safety policy. And on the last episode I talked about that at length. You can definitely go back and listen to that if you haven't already. Or you can take a look at the policy itself on our website, The Portland Mercury called this a sweeping plan and it definitely is. We cover a lot of ground because we have a lot of work to do to ensure all Portlanders are truly safe. We are talking with Portlanders day after day throughout this campaign at our community meetings, our neighborhood coffees, our house parties.

Sarah: [06:13] And what is concerning people most is making sure that all Portlanders are safe, starting with the most vulnerable Portlanders. So whether you're a pedestrian trying to cross the street, someone who doesn't have housing, trying to survive the night or a black Portlander who's having an interaction with the police, we want to make sure that you come out the other side of that activity. Healthy and even we hope happy. So at the end of the last episode I asked folks to send in your questions. We received a few, which I'll go through today, but you can continue to send them in. We'll try to get to them when we can. You know, I tend to be pretty responsive on Twitter, but in case I miss you, you can submit your questions via social media using the our Portland hashtag or by recording a voice memo on your phone and emailing it to [email protected].

Sarah: [07:16] So diving right into the first question, this one comes from, @moderatecontent and they ask, "It might seem like I'm a crazed guy just screaming about Nazis all the time and that's true. But, I'd like to hear a little bit of Q&A about how you plan to organize a resistance to the ever present fascist bodies of the Pacific Northwest. Would you ever host or platform a local antifascist in your discussion?" My response to that online and my response to that here on the podcast, would be this. You know, I've talked quite a bit about considering myself. The term I'm using is "everyday antifascist" and that's something that suggests that being an antifascist doesn't necessity you dressing in black block, which is this, signifier, almost a caricature of a particular tactic resisting fascism in which you see people with hooded sweatshirts and bandanas and face masks, on the front lines of, gatherings, protests.

Sarah: [08:29] But there are a lot of ways to be antifascist. And I see people doing anti-fascist organizing nearly every day that I'm out in this community, whether it's feeding the homeless or working on community organizing around negotiating, more humane, anti racist police contract, whether it's engaging our communities around education so that, biases and hate crimes aren't something that we're perpetuating tacitly, but that we're actively opposing these by making sure that our communities are more, informed and tolerant. So I see myself and consider myself an antifascist. So my glib answer, is that I platform and antifascist every day because I amylin and this has brought the campaign some attention. It's not every day you hear a candidate for mayor of a metropolitan city or the size of Portland to saying, you know, I consider myself an antifascist and that is one reason why you should elect me.

Sarah: [09:41] But when we look at the ways that Portland has been a target for the alt-right, for the White House and the white nationalists who are occupying that. I think it's particularly important right now that we mobilize our communities in opposition to fascism and the rise of white nationalism. I had the luxury of engaging with a delegation who was here over the weekend from South Korea and we talked over dinner about the rise of white nationalism in countries all around the globe and so when I talk about these global threats that we're facing, whether it's inequality, climate change or even the rise of white nationalism, we have to understand that we as a city are operating in this global context. We do not operate independently of that and we need to consider that everything we're doing right now as Portlanders, whether it is fighting homelessness, engaging in climate action or engaging in smart connected communities against the rise of white nationalism that we are creating the future of sustainable places by Portlanders organizing in opposition to white nationalists.

Sarah: [10:58] We are creating a sustainable, equitable future for our people. So this is not something that's happening in tandem with these global trends, but in response to them, and by Portlanders coming together from the community level, from the grassroots level, mobilized around ensuring that our most vulnerable Portlanders are safe, that our neighbors are cared for, that we're protecting people from the threat of violence, from outsiders who had come here to hurt. Hurt people, whether they're LGBTQ community members, Portlanders of color, black Portlanders, immigrants and refugees, Jews or Muslims. We need to make sure that we are preparing our communities to keep ourselves safe. I do not think that the Portland police have done a particularly good job of keeping Portlanders safe, and in fact, they have been more threatening in many ways than the white nationalists themselves. So again, my focus is going to be on a community response to this and making sure that we are as strong as educated, as engaged, as mobilized as we can be. So yeah, I'll platform antifascists in discussion, @moderatecontent. Thanks for asking your question.

Sarah: [12:22] This next question was submitted during our last community conversation. It wasn't really fitting at the time, so we saved it to address. Now since we're talking about the rethinking public safety policy and the question was: I've heard rumors that another ICE headquarters is going to be built in Portland. Where do you stand on whether or not that happens? And I don't know. I don't know about these rumors, the validity of them or whether or not that's happening or even propose to be happening. But I do know that there has been talk about whether or not we should, as a city, revoke the permit that we've given to the existing ICE facility down at South waterfront. And you know, Portlanders are pretty proud of the fact that we have established a sanctuary city resolution and we have decided as a community that we don't want our city funds, our personnel, our equipment going to ICE.

Sarah: [13:22] Um, far too often our elected officials are using a very low bar to avoid meaningful scrutiny of our city's relationship with ice and other troubled agencies. In my opinion, Portlanders want and deserve a true sanctuary city that does everything in its power to ensure all Portlanders, regardless of their citizenship status, will not be the victim of inhumane federal policy. And we do not want our people finding themselves unnecessarily thrust into a criminal justice system that increases their risk of deportation or incarceration based on nation of origin, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, or even housing status. So what does that mean? What I think it means and what I think as Portlanders we need to have a conversation about is what are we willing to do to resist the incursion of ICE into our city? I do believe that we should terminate all contracts, including revocable permits with ICE and do everything in our power to keep them out of Portland. So no, I would not support ICE establishing another facility in Portland and I would do everything in my power to oppose that. Thanks for asking your question.

Sarah: [14:52] And now my favorite part of the podcast, the tweet of the week. So this time around the tweet of the week is a super duper tweet of the week. I'm not sure how you can make something Tweetier or of the week, but this one goes to @SlickDevious for the tweet that starts Bus Max Walk. My BMW video is out now and giving a shout out that the video was directed by @coastalnoah and produced by @iamtrox. And he asked everyone please spam TriMet and tell them to give me an unlimited hop card. And I have to say I agree that Slick Devious deserves an unlimited hop card for this jam.

Sarah: [16:23] So you hear it there folks. I got the Amtrak running outside my window. I got Slick Devious coming at me through the Twitter feed and that my friends wraps up the Our Portland podcast for this week. Thank you Slick Devious your Bus Max Walk jam. I've been singing it all week. Much to my daughter's chagrin. Thanks a lot.

Announcer: [16:49] Thanks for listening to Our Portland. If you have a question for Sarah, record a voice memo on your phone and email it to [email protected] or use the #OurPortland hashtag and send us a message on social media. If you appreciate a campaign with straight talk on issues that matter, consider signing up to be a monthly supporter of $5, $10, or even $35 between now and election day in May 2020. Find out more at and join Sarah and Ciara Pressler on Monday evening, December 9th at 6:30 at The Riveter on Southeast 12th and Stark. For details and to RSVP, visit This has been a production of friends of Sarah for Portland.