Statement Denouncing Violence

Release date: 03/23/2021
Sponsored by: Board of Commissioners

Statement from Board Chair Kathryn Harrington on Recent Gun Violence


 

Speaking as the Chair of the Washington County Board of Commissioners, I deplore the recent loss of life due to gun violence yesterday in Boulder, where details are still being learned, and one week ago today in the Atlanta area where six Asian American women were among the eight killed and at least one injured. That racist and misogynistic violence comes as we are experiencing an appalling rise in vandalism, assault and other forms of intimidation directed at Asians and Pacific Islanders nationally and here in the Portland area. Taken in full view of recent violence experienced by Black, Indigenous, Latino/Latinx and other people of color, these acts reveal a pattern of White supremacy that our Board of Commissioners has committed itself to dismantling through the adoption of our Equity Resolution just over a year ago.

As Washington County is a government organization serving one of the most diverse communities in Oregon and as Washington County is an employer of people of many nationalities, races, cultures, faith traditions, and ethnicities, it is important that I am absolutely clear: these acts are an outrage and have no place in our society. I stand with our partner organizations representing Asian, Pacific Islander and other people of color here in Oregon and across the country in condemning these hateful incidents and in continuing to work for racial justice and equity.  

It is also important to recognize that violence provokes traumatic responses, even if the violence occurs many miles away. The impact we feel when events like these occur underscores the need to continue working together to root out racism and oppression wherever we encounter it, to promote equity and to support cross-cultural healing. To that end, I encourage everyone to educate themselves on the history of oppression and violence directed at Asian communities and other people of color in our state and country so that we will never repeat it, to patronize Asian businesses, to safely participate in a vigil or other supportive gathering or to donate to a culturally specific organization that provides support to the local Asian community.  

I look forward to my fellow board members joining me in this statement soon, after they can lawfully convene as a full Board of Commissioners to discuss these matters at our next scheduled meeting. 

Finally, information to assist the community in reporting incidents of hate and to address trauma and support our mental health are provided below. Thank you. 

 

Reporting incidents of hate: 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice: This website is intended to document hate incidents and to educate about the environment of hate around the country. https://www.standagainsthatred.org/report 

OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates: Filing a report here will help advocacy organizations nationwide fight for the civil rights of all AAPIs: https://www.aapihatecrimes.org/aapi-hate-incident-form  

Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON): This and several other organizations have established a webpage for reporting incidents of hate so that accurate, historical documentation occurs and stories do not get erased: https://stopaapihate.org/   

Non-emergency Bias Response Hotline: Whether it happened to you or to someone else, the Oregon Department of Justice can all help track hate and bias incidents. Trauma-informed operators are standing by 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time, Monday - Friday. Interpreters are available in over 240 languages. If calling after hours, leave a message and they will return your call. 1-844-924-BIAS (1-844-924-2427) StandAgainstHate.oregon.gov   

Sexual Assault Resource Center: Anonymous, confidential, free support line offers a safe place for survivors and their loved ones to get immediate support in the ways they need. Call the 24-hour support line at 503-640-5311 or 1-888-640-5311 https://sarcoregon.org/   

Support resources: 
Asian, Pacific Islander and South Asian American (APISAA) Therapist Directory: https://www.asianmhc.org/apisaa#oregon  

Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA): https://aapaonline.org/  
Asian Mental Health Collective: https://www.asianmhc.org/   

Chinese-American Family Alliance for Mental Health: https://www.cafamh.org/  
Asian Health and Service Center: https://www.ahscpdx.org/mentalhealth.html  

BIPOC Mental Health Resources: For immediate text support, reach out to Crisis Text Line by texting COALITION to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor for free 24/7. Also, this document provides further links to mental health organizations that are culturally specific, age-group specific and those focused on the needs of LGBTQ individuals. 

Washington County Crisis Line: If you are having thoughts of suicide, feel hopeless or are feeling like you can’t cope right now, please call 503-291-9111.  
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) This line is available for all community members. If you are a military veteran in crisis, press 1 for support specific to veterans or Text 273TALK to 839863 (8 a.m.–11 p.m.). 

Military Helpline: 1-888-457-4838 or Text MIL1 to 839863 (8 a.m.-11 p.m.). 

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (and press 1). 

YouthLine: 1-877-968-8491 or Text teen2teen to 839863 Chat at https://oregonyouthline.org/


Public safety resources:
Non-emergency Dispatch: Concerns about suspicious behavior, but not necessarily imminent danger, can be directed 24-hours a day to 503-629-0111. 

Emergency Dispatch: Hostility, disruptive, and/or threatening behavior should be reported immediately to 9-1-1.

Media Contact:

Philip L Bransford, Communications Officer
5038468685
Philip_Bransford@co.washington.or.us