Portland City Council passes resolution condemning hate groups

The Portland City Council approves an ordinance Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 that condemns white supremacists and alt-right hate groups. (KATU Photo)

The Portland City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Thursday that condemns white supremacists and alt-right hate groups.

The ordinance also directs the city to work with community organizations to develop citywide training on the history and impact of white supremacy and how to identify white supremacy.

"The facts bear this out, that across the country, hate speech has increased," said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. "We've seen people spreading fear and we've seen people targeted sometimes for violence just because they're different than other people."

Later Thursday, the groups CAIR-Oregon, the Oregon Justice Resource Center, and the Western States Center, indicated they were supportive of the resolution. They also proposed six action items for the city to address. The hope is those action items will give the ordinance teeth.

The training of city staff is seen as a critical action item.

"We have over 3,000 employees that work for the city of Portland," said Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. "So just being able to help educate those employees really helps it spread out through the community."

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