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Written by Cameron Whitten   
Thursday, 19 January 2012 08:45
Occupy Wall Street Protester Runs for Mayor

Portland, Ore.-- On January 18th, Cameron Whitten, 20, an Occupy Wall Street activist entered his name into the race for Mayor of Portland. Whitten gathered the papers to register on November 14th, the day after he was arrested during the Occupy Portland eviction.

Whitten says he is running because City Council is on uneasy terms with many Portland residents, “Portland has a history of economic and racial oppression which is still apparent in its highly segregated neighborhoods. Although the city flaunts its liberal, progressive politics, it is lagging behind in employment and education in comparison to the rest of the country.”

Whitten’s vision is to help Portland address its crisis, ranging from economic equality, police accountability, political transparency, and foreclosure reform. He requests that all person and non-person entities contribute no more than $200 dollars to his campaign, giving all income levels proper access to their public officials.

While Portland politicians voice support with concerns raised by the Occupy Movement, they have done little in action, with behaviors that include promoting unlimited campaign contributions despite state laws which prohibit corporate fundraising and enforces individual fundraising caps, calling for massive budget cuts to vital programs while spending millions in pet projects, and blaming poor policy decisions on unarmed civilians, resulting in over $1.76 million wasted on the overtime of a federally investigated police force.

The Occupy Movement has confirmed a lot about the global narrative. Politics on all levels, whether local, state, or federal, have for too long been subject to interference from private interests. Occupy has brought light of that to the public, and now that people are aware, they need to act.

Voting participation and civil engagement in the nation has suffered over the years. However, the federal electoral system has been guilty of perpetuating a bipartisan regime of watered down, bickering candidates who fail to adequately represent a majority of the American population. Occupy has given America the opportunity to practice its democratic roots, and promote people who honor the Constitution written by our founding fathers. Social Media has become a powerful asset in grassroots outreach, and nonpartisan efforts no longer have to challenge corporate media for fair representation.

Whitten states, “This is a call to the disenfranchised masses. You have lost faith in a broken system. You have been abused by excessive police violence and kept afraid in your homes, trying to exercise your unalienable rights against these corrupt institutions that put profits over people. They do not deserve that power. This action will not repair the system so many people are frustrated with, but it will disrupt the  power of those willing to use that system to continually oppress us. Do  not support the private agenda of professional politicians. No matter  where you are, demonstrate the power of direct democracy, and its  ability to influence the  culture of government. Recall your misguided  politicians. Occupy the White House. Occupy Congress. Occupy City Hall.  Occupy the Ballot.”

Occupy Wall Street continues to be a nonpolitical, leaderless movement, encouraging the creative actions of autonomous individuals to nonviolently advocate for change.

Press Conference: January 20th, 10:00 AM on the steps of the Multnomah County Justice Center. 1120 SW 3rd Ave Portland, OR 97204

For more information, visit: www.cameronwhittenforunity.com

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