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The neighborhood is one of the whitest in Portland, with 85% of its residents white compared to 77% for all of Portland.

GOOGLEMAPS - The boundaries of the Laurelhurst Neighborhood.The board of directors of the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association has joined the local and national calls for police reform. Among other things, it has called on the Portland Police Bureau to "acknowledge its history of racism" and to "immediately form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission."

"The Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association Board of Directors stands with many other Portlanders in calling for a major overhaul of Portland Police Bureau (PPB) policies, procedures, and practices," the board said in a statement released Wednesday, Sept. 23.

The move is especially significant because the neighborhood is one of the whitest in Portland. According to the association's website, 85% of its residents are white and only 1% are Black. That compares to 77% of all Portlanders who are white and 5.76% who are Black or African-American, according to the U.S. Census.

The board has previously posted a history of racist covenants in many of the property deeds within its boundaries. Now the board has released the following statement advocating the following six reforms:

1. The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) must acknowledge its history of racism as well as discrimination against members of our community who are Black, indigenous, people of color, LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex), or who are vulnerable due to medical, mental health and addiction issues, or lack of housing. We stand with the Portland Committee on Community Engaged Policing's call for the PPB to immediately form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (including representatives from the affected communities) to address and work to remedy these historic challenges that continue to affect our fellow citizens today. As a neighborhood, Laurelhurst has taken responsibility for its own participation in racist and discriminatory practices that continue to affect Portlanders today. We have initiated our journey to address historic wrongs. We ask no less of PPB.

2. PPB's budget decisions and any organizational reform must be grounded in the principles of community policing. We strongly urge the immediate restoration and expansion of Neighborhood Response Officers throughout the City of Portland including in Laurelhurst.

3. In conjunction with the Portland Committee for Community-Engaged Policing, Campaign Zero, and many local individuals, we advocate for the formation of a truly independent civilian oversight system with A) adequate funding; B) full investigative authority; C) transparency and accountability for its findings; and D) the opportunity for meaningful input on police policies and discipline decisions.

4. We support the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing's recommendation that the 2020-2024 PPB union contract must ensure transparency and accountability in the investigation of alleged police misconduct for bias, discrimination and excessive use of

force.

5. The Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association Board of Directors stands with the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing in supporting the redirection of PPB resources to implement restorative justice training and practices and to mobilize unarmed first response teams of trained social workers and medical or paramedical workers to address social, medical, mental health and addiction issues. Let us not continue the practice of expecting the police to be counselors, domestic violence, homelessness, and gang specialists, as well as alcohol and drug counselors and first responders for every crisis whether they do or do not have the training to function in those roles.

6. Finally, the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association Board of Directors calls on all city and county bureaus, as well as all of our affected communities to work together, in good faith and with utmost urgency — guided by leaders from Portland's communities of color — to remake the PPB as part of an overall system of public safety and social welfare of which Portlanders can be proud, and from which Portlanders need not flee in fear. The time is now and we will settle for nothing less than profound change within PPB.

Approximately 4,700 people live in about 1,800 households in the neighborhood boundaries between Northeast 32nd Avenue and 44th Avenue, and between Southeast Stark Street and the Banfield Freeway.

According to the statement, earlier this year, neighbors called for the association board of directors to take a position on police reform in Portland. The board responded by establishing an ad hoc task force that published a draft statement about police reform in a special edition of the neighborhood newsletter, followed by a facilitated neighborhood discussion in July.

The board promises follow up on this action by disseminating the statement widely to local government leaders, other neighborhood associations, and to both print and social media.

You can learn more about the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association at www.laurelhurstpdx.org.


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