Julia DeGraw

Portland City Council, Position 2

Julia is the system-change, no corporate-cash candidate. She took no corporate cash when she ran for this seat in 2018––before Portland voters passed the ballot measure making corporate donations illegal in Portland elections––a ballot measure she helped pass.

Julia’s actions match her values. Her 15 year career in the nonprofit sector included: running a 10 year campaign to keep a Nestle water bottling plant out of the Gorge, fighting LNG exports in Oregon, helping protect Portland’s drinking water from privatization efforts, supporting fair labor practices and fighting bad free trade deals with the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, and making major headway with Municipal Broadband in the Portland metro region.

Most recently she has worked on police accountability, campaign finance reform, system change, climate justice, and transportation issues as the Executive Director at Portland Forward, a job she left in January 2020 to run for office again. She is deeply committed to a community engaged process to change Portland’s form of government and elect council members from districts to achieve more representation on Portland City Council, and to have council members whose job is to create policies and serve their constituents rather than running bureaus. She knows that together, we can create a city that works for all of us! This is our city, our future.

View Julia's response to the Candidate-Platform Alignment Questionnaire:

Candidate comments (optional)

Since I became an appointed PCP for House District 46 in 2017, and later when I became an elected PCP in 2018, I have worked on numerous issues that were or have become parts of the Multnomah County Democratic Party platform. For example, I have been deeply involved in campaign finance reform by refusing corporate cash when I ran for Portland City Council Position 2 in 2018, and later that year I actively worked on the Honest Elections campaign to create contribution limits in Portland elections. This time around, I’m participating in the Open and Accountable Elections program and still refusing corporate cash. I’ve also campaigned for many environmental issues, such as helping lead efforts to stop liquified natural gas exports in Oregon and stop water privatization (by stopping Nestle from bottling our public water in the Columbia River Gorge), and I’ve also worked on the campaign to make a publicly-owned internet utility a reality in the Portland Metro region, and supporting efforts to increase police accountability, particularly around the current police contract negotiations.

I. Basic Rights
We call on our state legislators to pursue universal publicly funded health care for the state of Oregon.
We call for all members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to co-sponsor and actively work for the passage of expanded and improved Medicare.
We support the continuation and expansion of Medicaid.
We recognize that there is a housing crisis in our local communities and across the state. We direct Multnomah County and the City of Portland to develop affordable housing for individuals and families with zero to moderate incomes. Agree
We strongly support women’s rights to reproductive freedom of choice including unfettered access to reproductive health care services regardless of their ability to pay.
We oppose any legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood.
Comments (optional)

I support universal healthcare, and I consider family planning and reproductive healthcare as essential services. Women should have the right to choose what happens to their bodies. I am also deeply committed to solving the housing crisis by treating it like the emergency it truly is once I’m elected to Portland City Council.

II: Natural Resources Protection and Recovery
We support passage of state legislation to change our goals for economy-wide reduction of Oregon’s Greenhouse Gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and at least 50% reduction by 2035. Agree
We support the development and passage of legislation to provide mandates and incentives to:

• Expand public transportation systems; Advance an early transition to electric and zero-emission vehicles;
• Advance weatherization and structural improvements in existing buildings; Support implementation of solar energy production;
• Advance new net-zero-energy buildings and methane-free new construction; Incentivize energy efficiency in Oregon’s industries;
• Improve tree canopy and rooftop plantings where possible in all urban areas to reduce heat island effect;
• Require that electricity be produced entirely by renewable sources by 2040 and require net zero carbon building codes by 2030.

We support the development and passage of a Forest Protection and Restoration Act that will:

• Eliminate clear-cut forestry on all publicly held and managed lands and maximize climate resilient management;
• Eliminate all tax incentives to industrial forests not employing climate resilient management practices that re-establish multi-species and multi-aged forests, including protecting riparian areas that will lower stream temperature for fish habitat, restore intact functioning watershed areas, reduce landslides, protect municipal water supplies, and restore floodplain functioning to Oregon’s rivers and streams;
• Maintain incentives and subsidize independent landholders who engage in these practices;
• Reduce roads in forests; Develop and implement treatments to restore healthy forest soils;
• Accelerate programs to reduce and eventually eliminate forest stream passage barriers in Oregon;
• And re-evaluate the property tax structure for Oregon’s commercial forests.

We support a ban for any new fossil fuel infrastructure. Agree
Comments (optional)

As mentioned in my previous answer, I have worked on a number of these issues in my career, including banning LNG exports and natural gas pipelines. During my time at the Cascade Forest Conservancy, I worked to promote forest restoration (including road decommissioning) and prevent clear-cutting and copper mining on federal forest lands. Nearly my entire career has been in the environmental nonprofit sector. I will always support better forest protections at the state- and federal-levels. I am deeply committed to climate justice and to fully implementing, funding, and accelerating Portland’s climate plan, and I will use a climate justice lens on all policymaking at the city-level. I will use my bully pulpit to pressure the State to meet aggressive climate goals, as well.

III: Education
We call for legislation compelling large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes toward full funding to ensure the future of Oregon education Agree
We support public funding of a full-day, full-year, universal public preschool program for children age 3 to 4 in Multnomah County that is high quality, playbased, culturally responsive, and developmentally appropriate for young children. Agree
We recognize that poverty is a systemic problem embedded in society at large and believe that schools can be responsive in addressing poverty-related traumas, including the effects on highly mobile students. Therefore, we recommend that funding be invested in PreK-12 wrap-around services including mentoring, after-school programs, counselors, culturally relevant curriculum and instruction, and critical race theory initiatives, and other programs that have been proven effective in assuring student success. Agree
Comments (optional)

I wholeheartedly support and have endorsed the Universal Pre-K NOW! campaign in Multnomah County! I also fully support increasing taxes for corporations and the wealthiest people.

IV: Equity
We call for proactive educational programs for all law enforcement personnel and for all local, city, county, and state government personnel to safeguard black and brown lives and protect them from race-based law enforcement actions that far too often end in death. Agree
We demand equal pay for equal work for women from all employers in Multnomah County. Agree
Black Lives Matter. We call for legislation that provides meaningful protection for African Americans at all levels of the justice system Agree
Comments (optional)

It’s frustrating that these don’t go without saying: black lives matter, equal pay for equal work, and a living wage for all. These should be basic principles we all live by; I will fight to make these things a reality. I will also work collaboratively with my fellow City Commissioners and the Mayor to increase police accountability and start rebuilding the broken trust between Portland communities and the Portland Police.

V: Tribal Sovereignty
We call for universal, publicly funded health care to close health disparities exacerbated by Congress chronically under-funding Indian Health Service. Agree
We demand compliance with treaties between the United States and Tribal nations and hold the federal government to their trust responsibility. Agree
We support legislation that fully funds teams of investigators to work in consultation with Tribal authorities to respond to each murder and disappearance of Native American persons anywhere in Oregon. Agree
Comments (optional)

We all live on stolen land. Here in the Portland area, it is the land of the Kalapuya, Multnomah, Clackamas, and Cowlitz tribes. The original sin of America was the colonization and genocide of the native people of this land. The goals outlined in this platform are just barely the beginning of attempting to right those wrongs. We must do all of this and so much more to begin to create a more just and equitable system/culture.

VI. Historical and Ongoing Anti-Blackness in Oregon
We call on the Oregon State Legislature to immediately assess the Black correctional populations at the county, city, and state levels.
We also demand that there be review of punishments (bail amounts, sentence lengths, amount of time served before parole) being levied at unfairly high levels on Black Oregonians. This is particularly important for disparities based on gender and race for similar crimes to other racial/ethnic groups.
We demand there be significant Criminal Justice reform in the form of investment into counseling, alternative sentencing, job training, and rehabilitation for Oregon’s over-incarcerated Black population.
We call on the Oregon State Legislature to authorize bank audits to expose patterns of racial discrimination in lending and require these banks to extend loans to Black businesses and Black institutions. Wells Fargo and Umpqua received bailout from taxpayers and owe a debt to all taxpayers regardless of race. Additionally, Wells Fargo has a long and storied history of using predatory schemes to extract wealth from Black communities. Increasing SBA loans to Black businesses would be an excellent way for banks to begin to redress the past harms they have inflicted on Black communities. Agree
The Oregon State Legislature must create a law that mandates public schools in the state teach students about America’s original sin of slavery and the Jim Crow era that followed, with an emphasis on the state of Oregon.
The legislation should also incentivize the training, hiring, and retention of Black American teachers to teach the aforementioned subject matters. This will help address the Black teacher shortage in Oregon.
Comments (optional)

I agree with every aspect of this section of the platform. Our prison and criminal justice system are basically modern-day slavery. We must stop locking up young black men for minor crimes, we must exercise restorative justice, and we must set up people leaving prison to succeed upon reentering society. We need a truly restorative and rehabilitative system that keeps people out of jail to begin with, and which supports people getting back on track if they enter the criminal justice system–we have to end the deeply unjust, racist, punitive system as it currently exists. We also must teach about our racist history to understand how we got here, and to avoid repeating the past.

VII. Justice
We call for the repeal of all mandatory minimum sentencing in Oregon, substituting Guidelines in its place, and allowing a judge to have discretion in all cases. Agree
We call on the State Legislature to pass pay equity legislation for Public Defenders and Prosecutors and their staffs. Agree
The Oregon Legislature should do away with cash bail, which discriminates against poor people, who are disproportionally people of color. Agree
We believe that the voters of Oregon should abolish the Death Penalty and life without parole sentencing. Agree
Comments (optional)

It’s past time for us to end the draconian and deeply inhumane practice of the death penalty. Ending mandatory minimums and cash bail are also common sense changes that must be made to create a more just, fair, and humane justice system.

VIII. Election Integrity and Legislative Alignment
We demand campaign finance reform.
We demand that the state Attorney General challenge corporate personhood, and that state and federal legislators pass laws and a constitutional amendment clarifying that corporations are not people and money is not speech
We encourage voters to pass an Oregon constitutional amendment to allow the state to regulate political contributions and expenditures.
We call for Oregon state legislation to set limits on contributions by individuals, PACS, corporations, and unions to candidates, candidate committees, political party committees and any other political committee
We support legislation that requires voter-verifiable paper ballots in all elections, and tabulation software that is open source, non-proprietary, and available for public scrutiny and analysis with source code that is verified using a public method by qualified third parties independent of any political party or vendor, and that guarantees secure chains of custody so there can be no modifications after certification. Agree
Comments (optional)

I’ve worked tirelessly on campaign finance reform, and I will continue to do so until we have reasonable contribution limits and disclosure requirements statewide, and until we have public financing to help ensure women, people of color, and working-class folks can run competitive races for public office (and be able to pay their staff living wages!). I fully support paper ballots, especially with a pandemic; I believe the whole country should go to paper ballots. I am eager to overturn Citizens United and support any local efforts that could help get that done. I am actively working on the statewide ballot measure to amend the Oregon State Constitution to make contribution limits and disclosures legal in Oregon.

IX. Media
We support a comprehensive net neutral public utility to provide state of the art internet access to serve all end users. Agree
We support the full funding of Public Broadcasting stations and networks, possibly supplemented by small donations from the public, to eliminate the inhibition of investigative reporting of sponsoring entities.
We support the development of ways to assure stable funding well-protected from political interference.
We support corporate responsibility with the management of our personal data. We demand internet media companies pay individuals for use of their personal data, and if there is a data breach to pay for all damages. Agree
Comments (optional)

I have been a leader in the movement to create a public internet utility in Multnomah County since my 2018 campaign for this same seat on Portland City Council. Within a week of the FCC ending net neutrality I was working with a group called Municipal Broadband PDX to make a net neutral publicly owned internet utility a reality in Portland. Since then the effort has expanded to Multnomah County, where the County Commissioners are taking the lead in a feasibility study to look into bringing Municipal Broadband to every resident and business in the county. I’m absolutely committed to making a public internet utility a reality within the next five years in the Portland Metro region. I also fully support publicly funded independent media and the responsible management of digital personal data.

X. Economy
We support breaking up monopolies, starting with barring Internet common carriers (i.e. Google, Facebook) from competing with businesses that use them. Agree
We support the creation of a public bank in Portland/Oregon Agree
We support the creation of either a cap-and-trade program or a carbon tax with dividend to recognize the need to eliminate fossil fuel use as one means to fight global warming. Agree
Comments (optional)

I’ve worked extensively with the Oregon Public Bank Alliance to pass legislation that would create a path for cities in Oregon to create Municipal banks. I hope to help form the first municipal bank in Oregon in Portland. I am also in alignment with the rest of this section. We have to have an aggressive statewide plan to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2035 or sooner.

XI. Labor and Workers’ Rights
We call for the decriminalization of paid sexual acts between consenting adults and legislation allowing sex workers to organize. Agree
We oppose all legislation that diminishes workers’ rights to organize. Agree
We support legislation requiring retraining of displaced workers. We call for state and federal legislation to provide transition plans as technology and innovation change the workplace Agree
Comments (optional)

I’m the pro-worker candidate in this race. I’m endorsed by the public sector unions AFSCME Local 189 (the municipal employees of the City of Portland) and PROTEC17, as well as the Portland Association of Teachers and both Portland Community College Unions. I will always stand with workers and oppose any policy, ballot measure, or legislation that threatens workers’ rights.

XII. Immigration
We call on the Federal Government to never take immigrant children away from their detained parents and to reunite families that have already been separated. Agree
We call on every member of the Oregon Congressional delegation to cosponsor and actively work for the passage of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM Act). Agree
We call on the State and local governments of Oregon to adopt policies that protect immigrants from unlawful enforcement of immigration laws. In addition, we call on the institutions to not participate in the enforcement of Federal immigration laws Agree
Comments (optional)

We must make Oregon a Sanctuary State and Portland a Sanctuary City. That means at a minimum doing everything proposed in this platform. It’s heartbreaking and utterly disturbing that we have to put into words that it is inhumane and unacceptable to separate immigrant children from their parents, and we absolutely must reunite them as quickly as possible. I wholeheartedly support every aspect of this section of the platform.

XIII. Infrastructure
We support legislation to promote and implement high-speed rail or other high-speed technology, including monorail, within Oregon and along the West Coast. Agree
We support construction of renewable energy facilities or facilities that include carbon sequestration technology. Agree
We support public funding for electric vehicle infrastructure throughout Oregon. Agree
Comments (optional)

This is what the future looks like! Let’s create lots of good jobs as we transition to a just clean energy and clean transportation future! In a country that can find endless money for the military, we need to be able to prioritize our public money for this kind of investment in our future.

XIV. Abuse of Power
We support efforts to stipulate that corporations are not people, and money is not speech. Agree
We call for responding to drug addiction with treatment not imprisonment. Agree
We support legislation holding law enforcement personnel liable for inflicting harm through the use of excessive force. Agree
Comments (optional)

Corporations are not people, money is not speech, people with addiction issues are not criminals and need treatment, and law enforcement should not be above the law but rather held accountable to it. This is pretty straight forward, I fully support this section of the platform.