12-16-2017  2:56 am      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Exhibit Explores the Legacy of Portland Bird Watchers

Dedicated bird watchers catapult a conservationist movement ...

Special Call for Stories about the Spanish Flu

Genealogical Forum of Oregon seeks stories from the public about one of history's most lethal outbreaks ...

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Don’t Delay, Sign-up for Affordable Healthcare Today

The deadline to enroll or modify healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act is December 15. ...

The Skanner Editorial: Alabama Voters Must Reject Moore

Allegations of predatory behavior are troubling – and so is his resume ...

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Kate Bolduan and Deirdre Walsh CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A high-ranking House Democrat is calling on Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to reveal the reasons behind his mysterious leave of absence from Congress.

"I think Congressman Jackson and his office and his family would be well-advised to advise his constituents of his condition," Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said in response to a question from CNN Wednesday.

"He's obviously facing a health problem," Hoyer added. "People get sick. And when people get sick, they miss work. Everybody in America understands that but I think the family would be well-advised to give his constituents as much information as is appropriate."

It was a very direct message from a House Democratic leader who has been reluctant, up until now, to publicly press Jackson, D-Illinois, for more detail.

The pressure began mounting Tuesday after comments to reporters in Chicago by fellow Illinois Democrat Rep. Dick Durbin.

"As a public official... there reaches a point when you have a responsibility to tell people what you're facing and how things are going. Senator Kirk has done that, and I think Congressman Jackson will face that too," Durbin said.

Earlier this year, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, suffered a stroke. He is still recovering and his office continues to give updates on his progress.

Jackson hasn't been on Capitol Hill for votes or hearings since late May, and in early June his office announced he was taking a leave of absence because he was suffering from a "medical condition."

But more questions arose late last week, when Jackson communications director Frank Watkins put out another cryptic update.

"Congressman Jackson's medical condition is more serious than we thought and initially believed," he said.

"We have been made aware that he has grappled with certain physical and emotional ailments privately for a long period of time."

Initially, Jackson's office said the nine-term congressman was suffering from "exhaustion," but has since declined to provide any further information regarding his health.

Another of Jackson's Illinois colleagues, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, told CNN Wednesday she didn't have any details on Jackson's situation or medical condition and said she didn't want to "second guess" how the congressman's family and his office has handled the situation over the last few weeks.

But she echoed Hoyer's call for additional information.

"Clearly at some point he's going to have to give some info about when he's coming back," Schakowsky said.

Several senior House Democratic aides contacted by CNN insist Jackson isn't telling Hill colleagues anything. Privately, they were critical about the information blackout from Jackson's office, noting it only raises more questions about his absence.

 

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