Daniel Zene Crowe: www.OregonsLawyer.org
1. What racial/cultural/ethnic identities do you claim?
Crowe – My Mom was adopted, so it’s pretty unclear where she came from. My Mom’s adoptive parents were German; my Dad’s family is Welsh, Scotch, and Irish.
However, as a Soldier, I worked alongside Americans of every ethic/racial/cultural background and sexual identity. We were united in our love for America, and that is my strongest culture identity.
2. What are the root causes of racial inequities in Oregon?
Crowe – Oregon has a painful history of exclusion, from which we as a people have gradually emerged. I believe Oregon is tolerance; it is in our DNA.
However, I prefer to concentrate on what brings us together: moderation, a tradition of inclusion and consensus, a live-and-let-live philosophy. As long as we focus on our common humanity, we will do well and continue to proudly consider ourselves as Oregonians unique and blessed.
3. There are over 800,000 People of Color in Oregon, and growing. Generations of racial exclusion, exploitation and divestment have historically marginalized communities of color from the political process. What steps will you take to engage communities of color?
Crowe – Marginalization is especially painful in our legal system. It is outrageous that the incumbent AG oversees an ORDOJ with 5 African American attorneys amongst ORDOJ’s 1,200 employees. I’ll fix it. Second, every police shooting in Oregon will be withheld to my level for transparent and unbiased investigation. Third, I will lead a dialog to address the unstated biases which result in disparity in justice. A vote for me is a vote for fearless pursuit of true equality under the law.
4. What leadership actions can APANO count on you for in response to racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobic and other comments that demonize and stereotype Oregonians?
Crowe – I work in the Metro Public Defender’s Office in Portland. I asked one of our investigators, Sonora, whether any Oregon political leader had ever apologized for Vanport; and she told me, “No.” I’ll lead by never wavering from my absolute faith in the singular ability of the law to deliver justice when leaders of integrity and courage stand up for justice. Justice is not a question of right or left; it’s a question of right or wrong.
5. Asians, Pacific Islanders and communities of color are historically under-represented in civic life. What would you do to create or expand culturally specific (i.e. Asian/Pacific Islander, African American, Native American, Latino/a, etc) leadership and civic engagement programs?
Crowe – As a career Army Officer and a long-serving Judge Advocate, I spent my adult life in a system that, while imperfect, was genuinely committed to advancement of all. In addition to building an Oregon Department of Justice which looks more like what I had in the Army and less its current monochromatic self, I will mentor and advance young people from every one of our communities to see themselves as the future Attorney General. This is our future, and we need leaders who have a proven commitment to equality of opportunity.
6. What are your solutions to the Housing Crisis facing Oregonians?
Crowe – Since retiring from the Army and coming home to Oregon, I have proudly worked alongside marginalized Oregonians and amazing advocates from all over Oregon – Transition Projects, NAYA, 211, Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, Access, NW Pilot Project, Impact NW – to relieve the suffering of those who struggle with housing stability, mental illness, and addiction. From the perspective of justice, the most important solution to our homelessness epidemic is reducing our rate of incarceration by 50%, without compromising public safety, in order to free up $500M per year to fund mental health and addiction services outside of the criminal justice system. My opponent has done nothing for the past four year, and she’ll continue to do nothing. Maybe that’s because she’s never help the hand of a homeless woman who has nowhere to go. I am committed to fixing this through fundamental reform of how we deliver “justice” to our people. I am the only one who will tackle this crisis head-on.
7. Communities of color have identified a significant lack of culturally specific centers in neighborhoods where they are concentrated. What steps would you take to support new investments in culturally specific community spaces and infrastructure?
Crowe – That is outside of the responsibilities of the Attorney General, whose duty it is to enforce the law without fear or favor, always keeping in mind the measure of justice is mercy. As a leader, however, I will tirelessly continue to work alongside my allies across the spectrum to deliver meaningful reform, change, and justice. When I have a chance to support investments in culturally specific community spaces and infrastructure, I will do whatever I can to advance these worthy goals.
For more information on these candidates, please visit their website:
Daniel Zene Crowe: www.OregonsLawyer.org
To get involved in APANO’s civic engagement work, please contact Kathy@apano.org or call 971-340-4861.