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The letter, released Friday, calls on all sides to respect free speech but to refrain from violence.

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Men wearing helmets clashed with counter-protesters after a Trump 2020 caravan wound its way through downtown Portland on Saturday evening, Aug. 29.  Mid-day on Friday, city, county, regional and state leaders from throughout the metropolitan area released a statement in opposition to systemic racism and decrying violence on Portland city streets.

"Black Lives Matter," the statement begins. "Violence has no place in civic engagement and protest."

Co-signers on the letter include members of the Oregon House and Senate; elected officials from the cities of Beaverton, Cornelius, Durham, Estacada, King City, Lake Owego, Milwaukie, Fairview, Forest Grove, Gladstone, Gresham, Hillsboro, North Plains, Portland, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin, West Linn, Wilsonville and Wood Village; elected officials with Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties; and officials with the Metro regional government and Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District.

More than 90 government officials signed the document.

"Today we are unified in calling on residents and visitors to our respective communities to refrain from violence in the exercise of our First Amendment rights to free speech and to peaceably assemble," the letter reads.

The full statement is as follows:

"Black Lives Matter.

"Violence has no place in civic engagement and protest.

"Throughout 2020, and in too many years prior, we have born witness to instances of racial injustice, police brutality and the rise of white supremacist rhetoric throughout our country, and right here at home. Even now we are experiencing unhelpful and inflammatory comments and acts, from many quarters, including the highest office in the land. The overwhelming majority of our community who have risen to protest for social justice and against racial inequities have done so peacefully, in keeping with public health guidelines and within the bounds protected by our state and federal constitutions.

"Unfortunately, there are some individuals who have chosen violence over peaceful protest, violence towards other protestors, violence towards police officers and even an instance of deadly violence experienced recently in downtown Portland. While we recognize the outrage toward racial injustice is the foundation for the past 100+ days of protest, we call on everyone in our community seeking to confront racial injustice and to demand police accountability to forgo the path of violence.

"We invite every member of our respective communities to continue to engage with our governments, to hold us accountable and to contribute to and facilitate a transformation away from racist systems and towards a more equitable, just community.

"Similarly, we ask those who may want to demonstrate to do so peacefully and safely. The challenging work of our law enforcement agencies is only made more so when protests turn violent. We must speak up against violence, all violence.

"We have zero tolerance for outside provocateurs bringing hate into our communities.

"We acknowledge Oregon's long and difficult history with racism. And we commit to continuing to do the work to dismantle these systems. Our communities have a proud history of supporting the right to free expression, of recognizing a wide array of political viewpoints and of understanding the role dissent and debate play in our democracy.

"What we ask now is that each of us fully embrace non-violence in the pursuit of these principles. Thank you."

Oregon Senate

Sens. Chuck Riley, Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Ginny Burdick, Kathleen Taylor, Laurie Monnes Anderson, Michael Dembrow, Alissa Keny-Guyer

Oregon House

Reps. Andrea Salinas, Anna Williams, Brad Witt, Chris Gorsek, Diego Hernandez, Janeen Sollman, Jeff Reardon, Margaret Doherty, Maxine Dexter, Rachel Prusak, Rob Nosse, Sheri Schouten, Susan McLain, Tawna Sanchez, Tiffiny Mitchell

City of Beaverton

Denny Doyle, Mayor; Cate Arnold, Lacey Beaty, and Marc San Soucie, councilors

City of Cornelius

Jeffrey Dalin, Mayor

Dave Schamp, Luis Hernandez, councilors

City of Durham

Gery Schirado, Mayor

City of Estacada

Kimberlee Ables, councilor

Washington County

Kathryn Harrington, Chair; Dick Schouten, Pam Treece, Jerry Willey, Roy Rogers, commissioners

Clackamas County

Jim Bernard, Chair; Martha Schrader, Paul Savas, Sonya Fischer, commissioners

Multnomah County

Deborah Kafoury, Chair; Lori Stegmann, Jessica Vega Pederson, commissioners


Lynn Peterson, Council President; Shirley Craddick, Christine Lewis, Craig Dirksen, Juan Carlos González, Sam Chase, Bob Stacey, councilors

King City

Ken Gibson, Mayor

City of Lake Oswego

Kent Studebaker, Mayor ;Theresa Kohlhoff, Councilor

City of Milwaukie

Mark Gamba, Mayor; Kathy Hyzy, Wilda Park, councilors

City of Fairview

Darren Riordan, Keith A Kudrna, councilors

City of Forest Grove

Pete Truax, Mayor; Timothy A. Rippe, Val Valfre Jr., councilors

City of Gladstone

Matt Tracy, Council President ;Thomas Mersereau, Neal Reisner, councilors

City of Gresham

Karylinn Echols, Mayor; Eddy Morales, Vince Jones-Dixon, Mario Palmero, councilors

City of Hillsboro

Steve Callaway, Mayor; Beach Pace, Kyle Allen, Olivia Alcaire, Anthony Martin, Fred Nachtigal, Rick Van Beveren, councilors

Tualatin Hills Parks & Rec Dept

Heidi Edwards, Board Director; Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg, Board President

City of North Plains

Teri Lenahan, Mayor

City of Portland

Ted Wheeler, Mayor; Amanda Fritz, Commissioner

City of Sherwood

Renee Brouse, Sean Garland, councilors

City of Tigard

Jason B. Snider, Mayor; Heidi Lueb, Councilor

City of Tualatin

Frank Bubenik, Mayor; Nancy Grimes, Paul Morrison, Robert Kellogg, Valerie Pratt, councilors

City of West Linn

Russell Axelrod, Mayor

City of Wilsonville

Tim Knapp, Mayor; Kristin Akervall, Councilor

City of Wood Village

Scott Harden, Mayor; John C. Miner, Councilor

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