11-30-2021  4:45 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Attorney General Rosenblum Says She Won’t Run for Governor

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Monday put to rest rumors and officially said she will not enter Oregon’s crowded race for governor.

Portland’s Black Population Grew in the Last Decade, but That’s Not the Whole Story

The Black population in North and Northeast Portland declined by 13.5% over the last 10 years as more than 3,000 Black residents moved away, new numbers from the 2020 census show.

City’s Budget Windfall Means More for Police, Despite NAACP Demands

Group calls out lack of engagement from City Hall.

Oregon Resists Dropping Controversial Investments

Oregon residents are increasingly pushing for the state to divest from fossil fuel companies and other controversial investments, but the state treasury is resisting and putting the onus on the Legislature.

NEWS BRIEFS

Open Enrollment Deadline Is Dec. 15 for Health Insurance Coverage Starting Jan. 1, 2022

Help applying and financial assistance is available through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace ...

Commissioners From Three Counties Select Lawrence-Spence to Fill Senate District 18 Vacancy

District 18 includes portions of west Portland and Tigard. ...

Congressional Black Caucus Issues a Statement on the Passing of Former Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek

Meek, the first Black person to represent Florida in Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction, died Sunday, Nov. 28 at her...

Vsp Global Partners With Black EyeCare Perspective to Eliminate Inequities and Increase Representation of People of Color in the Eye Care Industry

Partnership includes scholarships, leadership development, and outreach to prospective optometrists ...

Shop Local and Earn Free Parking With Parking Kitty

Find the purrfect gift for your loved ones by supporting small businesses and shopping local this holiday season, thanks to the...

Oregon governor calls for special session to protect renters

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — With winter coming and federal funds drying up, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday she'll call a special session of the Legislature Dec. 13 to approve state funding for rental assistance and extend eviction protections issued because of the COVID-19 pandemic. ...

Oregon tests voluntary electronic tool to verify vaccination

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is working on an electronic vaccine verification tool that residents could use to share their COVID-19 vaccination status with businesses that ask for proof of verification. The Oregon Health Authority said the tool would be optional and people...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

Mizzou's Drinkwitz returning to Arkansas for rivalry game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Just 45 miles of interstate highway separate Eli Drinkwitz from where he started and where he is now as Missouri's head football coach. Raised in the small Arkansas town of Alma, Drinkwitz will come full circle Friday when his Tigers visit No. 25...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Attorney: Potter will testify at trial; 4 jurors seated

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The suburban Minneapolis police officer who shot Daunte Wright will testify at her trial, her attorney said Tuesday as jury selection began with potential panelists questioned closely about their attitudes on policing, protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. ...

Black artist Josephine Baker honored at France's Pantheon

PARIS (AP) — Josephine Baker — the U.S.-born entertainer, anti-Nazi spy and civil rights activist — was inducted into France's Pantheon on Tuesday, becoming the first Black woman to receive the nation’s highest honor. Baker's voice resonated through streets of Paris'...

France is inducting entertainer Josephine Baker into its Pantheon, the 1st Black woman to earn nation’s highest honor

PARIS (AP) — France is inducting entertainer Josephine Baker into its Pantheon, the 1st Black woman to earn nation’s highest honor....

ENTERTAINMENT

Home of Marilyn Manson searched in sex assault investigation

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Media storage devices and other items were seized as a search warrant was served on the home of rocker Marilyn Manson in a months-long investigation of sexual assault and domestic violence, authorities said Tuesday. Manson, 52, whose legal name is Brian...

'The Lost Daughter' wins big at 31st Gotham Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Maggie Gyllenhaal's Elena Ferrante adaptation “The Lost Daughter" won four Gotham Awards including best feature film at the 31st Gotham Awards, the annual New York independent film celebration that serves as a boozy kickoff to Oscar season. Gyllenhaal won...

Review: In memoir, it's good to be comedy king Mel Brooks

“All About Me! My Remarkable Life in Show Business” by Mel Brooks (Ballantine) Bagels and Nova Scotia lox for the writing team’s breakfast while punching up the script for “Blazing Saddles.” Earl Grey tea and English digestive biscuits while developing Gene Wilder’s...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

November delivers another hit to sinking consumer confidence

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence fell to a nine-month low in November, clipped by rising prices and...

Detective: Brothers detailed how Jussie Smollett staged hoax

CHICAGO (AP) — Two brothers arrested for an alleged attack on Jussie Smollett recounted for Chicago police how...

States: Sackler family members abusing bankruptcy process

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge should reject a sweeping settlement to thousands of lawsuits against OxyContin...

German prosecutors probe alleged tax evasion by tax advisers

German investigators searched offices of accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the homes of current and...

EU draft pulled after Vatican complains Christmas 'canceled'

ROME (AP) — The European Commission on Tuesday retracted internal communication guidelines that had proposed...

Brazil sees 2 confirmed omicron cases, Latin America's 1st

SAO PAULO (AP) — Health officials in Brazil have reported the country's first confirmed cases of the omicron...

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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