04-22-2024  6:33 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • Cloud 9 Cannabis CEO and co-owner Sam Ward Jr., left, and co-owner Dennis Turner pose at their shop, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Arlington, Wash. Cloud 9 is one of the first dispensaries to open under the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board's social equity program, established in efforts to remedy some of the disproportionate effects marijuana prohibition had on communities of color. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

    The Drug War Devastated Black and Other Minority Communities. Is Marijuana Legalization Helping?

    A major argument for legalizing the adult use of cannabis after 75 years of prohibition was to stop the harm caused by disproportionate enforcement of drug laws in Black, Latino and other minority communities. But efforts to help those most affected participate in the newly legal sector have been halting.  Read More
  • Lessons for Cities from Seattle’s Racial and Social Justice Law 

    Lessons for Cities from Seattle’s Racial and Social Justice Law 

     Seattle is marking the first anniversary of its landmark Race and Social Justice Initiative ordinance. Signed into law in April 2023, the ordinance highlights race and racism because of the pervasive inequities experienced by people of color Read More
  • A woman gathers possessions to take before a homeless encampment was cleaned up in San Francisco, Aug. 29, 2023. The Supreme Court will hear its most significant case on homelessness in decades Monday, April 22, 2024, as record numbers of people in America are without a permanent place to live. The justices will consider a challenge to rulings from a California-based federal appeals court that found punishing people for sleeping outside when shelter space is lacking amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

    Supreme Court to Weigh Bans on Sleeping Outdoors 

    The Supreme Court will consider whether banning homeless people from sleeping outside when shelter space is lacking amounts to cruel and unusual punishment on Monday. The case is considered the most significant to come before the high court in decades on homelessness, which is reaching record levels In California and other Western states. Courts have ruled that it’s unconstitutional to fine and arrest people sleeping in homeless encampments if shelter Read More
  • Richard Wallace, founder and director of Equity and Transformation, poses for a portrait at the Westside Justice Center, Friday, March 29, 2024, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

    Chicago's Response to Migrant Influx Stirs Longstanding Frustrations Among Black Residents

    With help from state and federal funds, the city has spent more than $300 million to provide housing, health care and more to over 38,000 mostly South American migrants. The speed with which these funds were marshaled has stirred widespread resentment among Black Chicagoans. But community leaders are trying to ease racial tensions and channel the public’s frustrations into agitating for the greater good. Read More
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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Drug War Devastated Black and Other Minority Communities. Is Marijuana Legalization Helping?

A major argument for legalizing the adult use of cannabis after 75 years of prohibition was to stop the harm caused by disproportionate enforcement of drug laws in Black, Latino and other minority communities. But efforts to help those most affected participate in the newly legal sector have been halting. 

Lessons for Cities from Seattle’s Racial and Social Justice Law 

 Seattle is marking the first anniversary of its landmark Race and Social Justice Initiative ordinance. Signed into law in April 2023, the ordinance highlights race and racism because of the pervasive inequities experienced by people of color

Don’t Shoot Portland, University of Oregon Team Up for Black Narratives, Memory

The yearly Memory Work for Black Lives Plenary shows the power of preservation.

Grants Pass Anti-Camping Laws Head to Supreme Court

Grants Pass in southern Oregon has become the unlikely face of the nation’s homelessness crisis as its case over anti-camping laws goes to the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled for April 22. The case has broad implications for cities, including whether they can fine or jail people for camping in public. Since 2020, court orders have barred Grants Pass from enforcing its anti-camping laws. Now, the city is asking the justices to review lower court rulings it says has prevented it from addressing the city's homelessness crisis. Rights groups say people shouldn’t be punished for lacking housing.

NEWS BRIEFS

Earth Day Announcement: Mt. Tabor Park Selected as a 2024 Leave No Trace Spotlight

Mt. Tabor Park is the only Oregon park and one of just 24 nationally to receive honor. ...

OHCS, BuildUp Oregon Launch Program to Expand Early Childhood Education Access Statewide

Funds include million for developing early care and education facilities co-located with affordable housing. ...

Governor Kotek Announces Chief of Staff, New Office Leadership

Governor expands executive team and names new Housing and Homelessness Initiative Director ...

Governor Kotek Announces Investment in New CHIPS Child Care Fund

5 Million dollars from Oregon CHIPS Act to be allocated to new Child Care Fund ...

Bank Announces 14th Annual “I Got Bank” Contest for Youth in Celebration of National Financial Literacy Month

The nation’s largest Black-owned bank will choose ten winners and award each a $1,000 savings account ...

With homelessness on the rise, the Supreme Court weighs bans on sleeping outdoors

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court wrestled with major questions about the growing issue of homelessness on Monday as it considered whether cities can punish people for sleeping outside when shelter space is lacking. It's the most significant case before the high court in decades...

Oregon lodge famously featured in 'The Shining' will reopen to guests after fire forced evacuations

GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's historic Timberline Lodge, which featured in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film “The Shining,” will reopen to guests Sunday after a fire that prompted evacuations but caused only minimal damage. The lodge said Saturday in a Facebook post that it...

KC Current owners announce plans for stadium district along the Kansas City riverfront

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The ownership group of the Kansas City Current announced plans Monday for the development of the Missouri River waterfront, where the club recently opened a purpose-built stadium for the National Women's Soccer League team. CPKC Stadium will serve as the hub...

Two-time world champ J’den Cox retires at US Olympic wrestling trials; 44-year-old reaches finals

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — J’den Cox walked off the mat after dropping a 2-2 decision to Kollin Moore at the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials on Friday night, leaving his shoes behind to a standing ovation. The bronze medal winner at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 was beaten by...

OPINION

Op-Ed: Why MAGA Policies Are Detrimental to Black Communities

NNPA NEWSWIRE – MAGA proponents peddle baseless claims of widespread voter fraud to justify voter suppression tactics that disproportionately target Black voters. From restrictive voter ID laws to purging voter rolls to limiting early voting hours, these...

Loving and Embracing the Differences in Our Youngest Learners

Yet our responsibility to all parents and society at large means we must do more to share insights, especially with underserved and under-resourced communities. ...

Gallup Finds Black Generational Divide on Affirmative Action

Each spring, many aspiring students and their families begin receiving college acceptance letters and offers of financial aid packages. This year’s college decisions will add yet another consideration: the effects of a 2023 Supreme Court, 6-3 ruling that...

OP-ED: Embracing Black Men’s Voices: Rebuilding Trust and Unity in the Democratic Party

The decision of many Black men to disengage from the Democratic Party is rooted in a complex interplay of historical disenchantment, unmet promises, and a sense of disillusionment with the political establishment. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Mississippi lawmakers move toward restoring voting rights to 32 felons as broader suffrage bill dies

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi legislators advanced bills Monday to give voting rights back to 32 people convicted of felonies, weeks after a Senate leader killed a broader bill that would have restored suffrage to many more people with criminal records. The move is necessary due...

William Strickland, a longtime civil rights activist, scholar and friend of Malcom X, has died

BOSTON (AP) — William Strickland, a longtime civil rights activist and supporter of the Black Power movement who worked with Malcom X and other prominent leaders in the 1960s, has died. He was 87. Strickland, whose death April 10 was confirmed by a relative, first became active in...

Foundation to convene 3rd annual summit on anti-Asian hate, building AAPI coalitions

NEW YORK (AP) — A foundation launched in the wake of anti-Asian hate will hold a wide-ranging conference bringing together Asian American and Pacific Islander notable figures for a third year. The Asian American Foundation will hold a Heritage Month Summit next month in New York...

ENTERTAINMENT

What to stream this weekend: Conan O’Brien travels, 'Migration' soars and Taylor Swift reigns

Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver” landing on Netflix and Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” album are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. Also among the streaming offerings worth your time as...

Music Review: Jazz pianist Fred Hersch creates subdued, lovely colors on 'Silent, Listening'

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch fully embraces the freedom that comes with improvisation on his solo album “Silent, Listening,” spontaneously composing and performing tunes that are often without melody, meter or form. Listening to them can be challenging and rewarding. The many-time...

Book Review: 'Nothing But the Bones' is a compelling noir novel at a breakneck pace

Nelson “Nails” McKenna isn’t very bright, stumbles over his words and often says what he’s thinking without realizing it. We first meet him as a boy reading a superhero comic on the banks of a river in his backcountry hometown in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump tried to 'corrupt' the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump tried to illegally influence the 2016 presidential election by preventing damaging...

Toxic: How the search for the origins of COVID-19 turned politically poisonous

BEIJING (AP) — The hunt for the origins of COVID-19 has gone dark in China, the victim of political infighting...

Biden marks Earth Day by going after GOP, announcing billion in federal solar power grants

TRIANGLE, Virginia (AP) — President Joe Biden marked Earth Day by announcing billion in federal grants for...

European Space Agency adds 5 new astronauts in only fourth class since 1978. Over 20,000 applied

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — For the past year, five fit, academically superior men and women have been spun in...

Chinese general takes a harsh line on Taiwan and other disputes at an international naval gathering

QINGDAO, China (AP) — One of China's top military leaders took a harsh line on regional territorial disputes,...

Mexico's likely next president has a Jewish origin. Is that relevant in a deeply Catholic country?

MEXICO CITY (AP) — By mid-2024, Claudia Sheinbaum will most likely become Mexico’s first female president. She...

Errin Haines the Associated Press



Demonstrators in downtown Portland

ATLANTA (AP) -- Jason Woody immediately recognized a shared struggle with many of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators: The 2007 college graduate has been out of work for two years, and it's been longer since he's seen a doctor. He also noticed something else - the lack of brown faces on the front lines of the Occupy movement.

"When I started out here ... I realized there was not a lot of diversity out here," said Woody, who is black and graduated from Morehouse College and has camped in a downtown Atlanta park with other protesters for more than a week. "It's changed in the course of the past week. I'd like to see that grow."

The Skanner News Video: Occupy Portland

The outcry against the nation's financial institutions that has swept the country in recent weeks has crossed many boundaries, including class, gender and age. But a stubborn hurdle in many cities has been a lack of racial inclusion, something noted by organizers and participants alike.

"We, the 99 percent, have to be reaching out to the cross section of the communities that we live in," said Tim Franzen, one of the organizers of the Occupy Atlanta movement. "If you come down to the park and spend a day I think you might have a hard time saying this is an all-white movement. We are reaching out, but we've got some bridges to build."

The absence of diversity is particularly notable given that some of the larger issues surrounding the Occupy movement - including the economy, foreclosures and unemployment - are disproportionately affecting people of color. And the legacy of activism present in some minority communities seems a natural segue for such a cause, which has been linked to the strategies of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

African-Americans are more inclined to rally around social justice than financial literacy causes, said John Hope Bryant, founder and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, a non-profit organization that educates underserved and low-income Americans about personal financial responsibility.

"If this was about someone unjustly being brutalized, that's an easier thing for us to mobilize around," said Bryant, who is black, citing the recent Troy Davis death penalty case in Georgia, a diverse protest that attracted global attention last month.

The Occupy Wall Street protest in New York has been more diverse than other cities. Although the majority of protesters are white, many blacks and a smattering of Asians and Latinos have participated.

Among them is Omar Henriquez, a Long Island resident who emigrated from El Salvador. He passed out Spanish-language copies of the Occupied Wall Street Journal on Friday. He has been taking the newspaper to Latino and immigrant rights groups. He also is unemployed.

"That's why I'm here," said Henriquez, 55. "It's incumbent on us, Latinos here, to bring more Latinos here. We don't have to be invited to come, we just come."

On Saturday, the nation's capital provided a sharp contrast: A couple dozen mostly white protesters congregated in Washington's Freedom Plaza. They were separate from Occupy DC but hold similar ideals. Not far away, thousands marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Their rallying cry was similar, if not identical - yet the vast majority were black.

A few men played the bongo drums at Freedom Plaza, while a band at the nearby rally led by the Rev. Al Sharpton near the Washington Monument played a soulful, jazzy rendition of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" - albeit with a white saxophonist - and the crowd sang along knowingly as a speaker recited the familiar opening theme to the "Tom Joyner Morning Show."

Phil Calhoun, 44, an engineer from Crofton, Md., who was checking out the various protests, marveled at the racial disparity between the two groups even though they were preaching similar ideologies.

"Maybe it's just the nature of our society, set this up this way," he said. "But it's one thing I think we need to bridge. We need to bridge that gap."

In Baltimore, there are people representing different racial, ethnic, age and income groups, but not in proportion to the city's population. Occupy Baltimore group organizer C.T. Lawrence Butler, who is white said there has been talk of going out to communities around the city to try to attract more people, but the group is just building steam and hasn't had a chance to put together official outreach. Instead, individuals have been reaching out to communities on their own, a strategy that may work better.

"Everybody would like more diversity," Butler said. "The group is focusing on creating a place where everybody can feel safe speaking up."

Most of the people at Occupy Boston on Friday appeared to be young and white, with just a handful of blacks, Latinos and Asians in an area not far from the city's Chinatown neighborhood. Anthony Messina, a 19-year-old biotech student at Middlesex Community College who is white, said he sees the beginnings of racial diversity at the protests, but that the numbers are nowhere near where they should be.

"It's not a representative group, and I don't think anyone would lie and tell you that it is," Messina said, adding that whites have to be careful when reaching out to minorities to join the movement. "You don't want to come off like you're preaching that you know what's good for them."

Bryant, of Operation HOPE, added that while the economic crisis has hit the middle class hard, blacks have reacted differently than whites, equating money with self-image and feeling ashamed and responsible for their financial situation, rather than angry.

"Money for us is a badge," Bryant said. "Money for them is a vehicle. We don't want to be seen. We just want to hide, and hope the storyline changes."

Blacks also don't want to be seen as just complaining. Former activists like Ambassador Andrew Young have pointed out that the Occupy movement is still in a nascent stage, with protesters more focused on what they're against rather than what they're for.

In Chicago, organizers have started canvassing neighborhoods on Chicago's largely minority South Side, a project they're calling Occupy the `Hood.

"We're sending people into different neighborhoods and we're looking into town halls in different communities," said Kelvin Ho, 21, an economics major at the University of Chicago and an Occupy Chicago press committee leader.

Ho, an American whose parents were born in Taiwan, said issues of race have come up during the group's twice-daily general assembly meetings. At first, most of the people moderating the meetings were white men. But participants noted that, and "now we're making an active effort to have people of color and women moderate the meetings."

In Atlanta, Woody said the word didn't get out clearly enough to African-Americans when the movement began. Now, he's trying to get more historically black colleges involved, such as his alma mater.

"I felt that my voice should be represented," Woody said. "A lot of people feel like it won't make a difference. I wish more people would realize that the more support we can show, the more powerful it makes our movement."

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Associated Press writers Eric Tucker in Washington, Sarah Brumfield in Baltimore, Mark Pratt in Boston, Karen Matthews in New York and Carla K. Johnson in Chicago contributed to this report.

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Follow Errin Haines at www.twitter.com/emarvelous

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast