10-19-2019  5:26 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

NEWS BRIEFS

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Oregon panel recommends barring ICE from courthouse arrests

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Seeking to halt federal agents from arresting people in courthouses for immigration violations, a panel of judges in Oregon has asked the state's Supreme Court chief justice to impose a rule stating that no one should be subjected to arrest without a warrant.Several judges...

Washington state to vote on affirmative action referendum

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — More than two decades after Washington state voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered as a contributing factor in state employment, contracting and admission to public colleges and universities is back on the...

No. 22 Missouri heads to Vandy, 1st road trip since opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Missouri coach Barry Odom knows only too well the dangers of going on the road and how a few mistakes can prove very costly.While some of his players my not remember that stunning loss at Wyoming to open this season, Odom hasn't forgotten."We're going to treat it just...

No. 22 Missouri ready to test road skills at Vanderbilt

No. 22 Missouri (5-1, 2-0 SEC) at Vanderbilt (1-5, 0-3), Saturday at 4 p.m. EDT (SEC Network).Line: Missouri by 20 1/2.Series record: Missouri 7-3-1.WHAT'S AT STAKE?Missouri can show they play as well on the road as at home coming off a five-game home stand. A win keeps them atop the SEC East....

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Sharpton searches for the words to eulogize _ and galvanize

A life taken at the hands of police. A grieving family. A divided nation. A stirring eulogy by the Rev. Al Sharpton.The 65-year-old civil rights activist has become a constant of the Black Lives Matter era with his presence in the pulpit after police shootings of African Americans, showing up in...

Buttigieg removes attorney from fundraiser after backlash

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pete Buttigieg is returning campaign contributions from a former Chicago city attorney who led a vigorous effort to block the release of a video depicting the shooting of Laquan McDonald , a black teenager whose death at the hands of police stirred months of protest and...

Wisconsin students walk out to protest racial slur firing

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Students at a Wisconsin high school skipped class Friday and marched through the streets of the state capital to protest the firing of a black security guard who was terminated for repeating a racial slur while telling a student not to call him that word.Scores of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Adam Lambert: Happy to see more LGBTQ artists find success

NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Lambert, who rose on the music scene as the runner-up on "America Idol" in 2009, says he's happy to see more mainstream LGBTQ artists find major success."I think it's less taboo to be queer in the music industry now because there's so many cases you can point to like,...

Jane Fonda returns to civil disobedience for climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inspired by the climate activism of a Swedish teenager, Jane Fonda says she's returning to civil disobedience nearly a half-century after she was last arrested at a protest.Fonda, known for her opposition to the Vietnam War, was one of 17 climate protesters was arrested...

Naomi Wolf and publisher part ways amid delay of new book

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Wolf and her U.S. publisher have split up amid a dispute over her latest book, "Outrages."Wolf and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced separately Friday that they had "mutually and amicably agreed to part company" and that Houghton would not be releasing "Outrages."...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

LeMahieu, Hicks lift Yanks over Astros, close to 3-2 in ALCS

NEW YORK (AP) — James Paxton was filled with nerves, and so were New York Yankees fans, worried the season...

Asylum-seeking Mexicans are more prominent at US border

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — Lizbeth Garcia tended to her 3-year-old son outside a tent pitched on a...

Trump outstripping Obama on pace of executive orders

WASHINGTON (AP) — It wasn't too long ago that Donald Trump derided presidential executive orders as "power...

Millions march in Iraq in annual Arbaeen Shiite pilgrimage

KARBALA, Iraq (AP) — Millions of pilgrims made their way on foot to the Iraqi city of Karbala on Saturday...

Officials: Blast at Afghan mosque kills 62 during prayers

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An explosion rocked a mosque in eastern Afghanistan as dozens of people gathered...

Failed raid against El Chapo's son leaves 8 dead in Mexico

CULIACAN, Mexico (AP) — Mexican security forces aborted an attempt to capture a son of imprisoned drug lord...

McMenamins
Abe Proctor of The Skanner

From time to time, everybody can use a helping hand. Whether you're looking for work and need some assistance polishing your resume, or whether you're a business owner trying to get past those critical first few years, a helping hand at the right time can make all the difference.

Fortunately for workers and business owners in certain parts of North and Northeast Portland, just such a helping hand exists.

In partnership with the city of Portland's Bureau of Housing and Community Development, the Enterprise Community Commission is accepting proposals for $187,000 in grants to be divided between private- and public-sector recipients. The commission's initial proposal deadline was April 28, but that has been indefinitely extended, said Sheila Holden, commission chair.

The Portland Enterprise Community was created 12 years ago during the Clinton administration. Similar to the Enterprise Zones created at about the same time, the enterprise community received special priority when it came to the disbursement of grant funds. Although the area's enterprise community designation has since lapsed, after its pre-ordained 10-year run, the commission set up to administer the grant funds that flow to the area is still around — and it's still disbursing funds to help the area create jobs and build wealth.

"The Enterprise Community Commission … originally started out as a joint partnership between Multnomah County, the city of Portland and the North/Northeast Economic Development Alliance," Holden said. "We applied for a federal designation as an Enterprise Zone. We didn't get that, but we did get a designation as a federal Enterprise Community.
With that designation came a 10-year ability to get first consideration for federal government funds when there was a program or grant opportunity that tied back to the goals for the North/Northeast community, Holden said.

Once established, the commission stepped into its role, handing out federal funds to organizations and businesses within the enterprise community. Over 10 years, the commission leveraged some $31 million into the community, Holden said.
Most of the funds went to small and emerging businesses; many had a credit status that made them a bad risk with traditional lending agencies, like banks and credit unions. The rest of the funds went to nonprofit organizations dedicated to training people to be reliable, employable workers.

The enterprise community's boundaries don't resemble anything like a regular shape. It encompasses the south shore of the Columbia River from where it meets the Willamette River east to just past the end of Hayden Island. From there, it follows an irregular path south to the east bank of the Willamette River, roughly between the Fremont Bridge and Interstate 84.

"We picked the poorest Census tracts, and the places where we thought people could create jobs," Holden said of the community's oddly shaped borders.

But the commission doesn't hand out money to just anyone. Businesses that receive funds must face a rigorous evaluation process before, during and after the grant process, Holden said. Not only do business owners need to put their own equity into the business and demonstrate a solid business plan,  they also must be able to prove that they are sticking to it, and that their plan is contributing to the economic health of the larger community.

"They have to show that they've actually been successful in growing their business if they're going to receive funds," she said. "After we review their activities and make recommendations, we have a consultant come in to make a review.

"Based on the conversation we have with the consultant, we then decide what we're actually going to provide, in dollars, and what the work plan is going to be, and what the performance is going to be if we're going to consider it a success. Our purpose is not just to provide money, but to see some real results."

Jennie Portis makes use of the public-sector side of the fund's activities. Portis is the director of the Northeast Workforce Center, a neighborhood hub for job skills training and other employment-related services. She also provides administrative services to the Enterprise Community Commission.

Portis said the commission and the fund have been invaluable to the workforce center's efforts.

"We're still operating on the same pot of money we got from the Bureau of Housing and Community Development during the last round of grants two years ago," Portis said. "It was about $500,000 over two years, administered by the Enterprise Community Commission."

While the lion's share of the grants administered by the commission go to small businesses, Portis said, the monies that go to organizations like the workforce center are essential to the complete picture of creating wealth in the community.

"We often help people who are part of the working poor," she said. "When you're out there flipping burgers, you're not making much money, but you've worked yourself out of a lot of (assistance) programs, and you still need help."

The grant funds used by the workforce center train and house people so they can find stable jobs and stable housing situations. This helps people escape the vicious circle of being unable to find a job because they don't have a permanent address, and being unable to have a permanent address because they don't have income from a job.

"The people that we're working with … also need assistance with their (rental) housing," Portis said. "People who are trying to improve their housing situation are also needing to improve their income situation. Without the one, there is no other."

To qualify for grant funds from the commission, businesses must be located in the enterprise community or employ people who live in it. To apply, contact the Enterprise Community Commission, care of the Black United Fund of Oregon, 2828 N.E. Alberta St., Portland, OR 97211.

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