10-16-2021  2:01 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Set to Expand Hotline for Bias Crime Reporting

With a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon and nationwide the two-person office just couldn’t handle the volume.

Portland Shootings Prompt DA to Spend $1M to Handle Cases

Multnomah County plans to hire four prosecutors and two investigators to help with an increasing caseload of homicide investigations

Cascadia Whole Health Honors Community Justice Leader, Fine Artist with Culture of Caring Awards

Erika Preuitt and Jeremy Okai Davis recognized for positive contributions to community.

Salem-Keizer School Boards Adopts Anti-Racism Resolution

The Salem-Keizer school board has voted to adopt a resolution outlining the board’s commitment to equity and anti-racism.

NEWS BRIEFS

Joint Center Commends Senator Whitehouse for Hiring Monalisa Dugué as Chief of Staff

Dugué is one of two Black Chiefs of Staff in the Senate ...

FBI Offers up to $25,000 for Information in Mass Shooting Event

18-year-old Makayla Maree Harris killed and six others injured in a Portland shooting on July 17, 2021 ...

Nearly 100 Animals Seized From Woofin Palooza Forfeited to MCAS

A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge has ruled that dogs and cats seized from an unlicensed facility named Woofin Palooza are now...

City of Seattle Office and Sound Transit Finalize No-Cost Land Transfer for Affordable Housing Development

Rainier Valley Homeownership Initiative will create at least 100 for-sale homes, permanently affordable to low- and moderate-income...

Sierra Club Reacts to Rep. Schrader’s Comments on Climate Change

Schrader Calls Climate Change “biggest threat to Americans” after voting against key policy in committee ...

'Lawless city?' Worry after Portland police don't stop chaos

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A crowd of 100 people wreaked havoc in downtown Portland, Oregon, this week – smashing storefront windows, lighting dumpsters on fire and causing at least 0,000 in damage – but police officers didn't stop them. Portland Police Bureau officials say...

Legionnaires outbreak persists at Portland apartment complex

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Officials have confirmed that a North Portland apartment complex had a new case of Legionnaires’ disease in late September, the latest in an outbreak attributed to the waterborne illness since January. The Multnomah County Health Department said the...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

No. 21 Texas A&M tries to avoid 'Bama hangover at Mizzou

Jimbo Fisher opened his weekly news conference going through everything that Texas A&M did well the previous week, when the Aggies stunned then-No. 1 Alabama before a raucous crowd at Kyle Field. It was a long list. So it wasn't surprising that by the end...

OPINION

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

South Carolina awards Staley 7-year, .4 million contract

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — It certainly was a big day for Dawn Staley. South Carolina's national championship coach thought it was just as important for women's basketball and gender equity. Staley and the school announced a new, seven-year contract that will pay her [scripts/homepage/home.php].9 million...

New Mexico judge denies lab workers' claim in vaccine fight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico judge on Friday denied a request by dozens of scientists and others at Los Alamos National Laboratory to block a vaccine mandate, meaning workers risk being fired if they don't comply with the lab's afternoon deadline. The case comes as...

New York's likely new mayor plans to preserve gifted program

NEW YORK (AP) — The Democrat who will likely become New York City's next mayor says he does not intend to get rid of the city's program for gifted and talented students, nipping plans that outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams...

ENTERTAINMENT

Film TV workers union says strike to start next week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union representing film and television crews says its 60,000 members will begin a nationwide strike on Monday if it does not reach a deal that satisfies demands for fair and safe working conditions. A strike would bring a halt to...

Gary Paulsen, celebrated children's author, dies at 82

NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Paulsen, the acclaimed and prolific children's author who often drew upon his rural affinities and wide-ranging adventures for tales that included “Hatchet,” “Brian's Winter” and “Dogsong,” has died at age 82. Random House Children's Books...

Todd Haynes: Finding the frequency of the Velvet Underground

The most often-repeated thing said about the Velvet Underground is Brian Eno’s quip that the band didn’t sell many records, but everyone who bought one started a band. You won’t hear that line in Todd Haynes’ documentary “The Velvet Underground,” nor will you see a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Jill Biden travels to Virginia, New Jersey to help Democrats

HENRICO, Va. (AP) — First lady Jill Biden campaigned Friday for Democrats in governors' races in Virginia and...

Authorities call fatal stabbing of UK lawmaker terrorist act

LEIGH-ON-SEA, England (AP) — A long-serving member of Parliament was stabbed to death Friday during a meeting...

US vows to pay relatives of Afghans killed in drone strike

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Defense Department said Friday that it is committed to offering condolence payments...

Czech PM Babis heading for opposition after losing election

PRAGUE (AP) — Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said he wouldn't accept an offer to try to create a new...

At least 46 killed in Taiwanese apartment building inferno

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan (AP) — At least 46 people were killed and another 41 injured after a fire broke out early...

Lebanon buries 7 killed amid street battles over port probe

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon on Friday mourned seven people killed in gunbattles on the streets of Beirut the previous...

Beth Duff-Brown the Associated Press

Singer and actor Common, at left, and Justin Dillon, right, also filmed a documentary about enslaved laborers around the world that aired on CNN this past Thanksgiving.



SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Justin Dillon's rock band was touring Eastern Europe when he met some college students who told him they were about to get work in the West. They were eager to begin what they were sure would be their new MTV-like lives.

Dillon dug deeper and asked to see their documents. He warned the young women they likely were about to be trafficked into the sex trade or sweatshops.

They brushed him off. They wanted desperately to believe the $2,200 they had paid a facilitator to get them service industry jobs would make all their dreams come true.

"They immediately felt embarrassed, but then emboldened," he recalls of the 2003 exchange. "They said, `I mean, look around. I'll take my chances on this. You think I'm going to stick around here?'"

That conversation changed his life - and his life's mission.

Today, the 42-year-old Berkeley rocker heads up a popular social media campaign to combat slavery. With a $200,000 grant from the State Department, he recently launched www.slaveryfootprint.org , which helps people identify the slave labor used for their own consumer goods. It is approaching 2 million hits.

He belongs to a coalition of anti-slave labor groups sharing an $11.5 million grant from Google's philanthropy arm.

And now - with the help of a groundbreaking anti-slavery retail law going into effect across California on New Year's Day - Dillon believes the movement is reaching that tipping point where the average consumer can make a difference.

"We need cultural critical mass on this," Dillon said in a recent interview. "Modern-day slavery and human trafficking is far too easy to execute, and far too profitable."

After that 2003 band tour, the singer and songwriter became a man obsessed. He learned there are an estimated 27 million modern-day slaves around the world. He wondered how he could fight the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls, bonded labor and indentured sweatshop servitude.

Dillon started offering up his band for benefit concerts. He produced a 2008 documentary, "Call+Response," which included songs and interviews with the likes of Julia Ormond, Ashley Judd, Cornel West and Madeleine Albright.

His first Website, www.chainstorereaction.com , which helps consumers send e-letters to companies, was cited by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and used in the research for the California law signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010.

While some states already prohibit forced labor and criminalize trafficking, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act is the first to tackle the global supply chain.

The law affects an estimated 3,200 companies with a presence in California, including Walmart and Macy's. It requires retailers and manufacturers with gross annual receipts of more than $100 million to disclose what they've done to eliminate slavery in the global supply chain of their goods.

Slavery can mean a sweatshop in India or a cotton field in Burkina Faso, where indentured slaves or child laborers dyed or picked the cotton for those cheap-but-chic garments that found their way under Christmas trees.

The legislation introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg requires companies to audit and certify that their suppliers are complying with international labor standards, as well as provide training to supply-chain managers.

The California Chamber of Commerce and California Retailers Association were among those who argued the requirements would carry huge costs and that private businesses were being enlisted as de facto law enforcement agencies.

Supporters note the law simply requires companies to disclose their efforts - even if they've made none - to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains. While there are no monetary penalties, the state tax board will provide the attorney general a list of those businesses that have not complied and the AG's office will determine what legal action to take.

Monica Richman, a New York partner with the law firm SNR Denton who represents large retailers and fashion brands, said some clients are concerned the law is too broad and the details too murky. But most companies want to do the right thing, she said, and view the law as a tool to benefit business and burnish their brands.

"There are so many really impressive companies in the fashion industry," Richman said. "And they don't want to be known for offering a $500 pocketbook made by a 9-year-old child."

Many big companies, such as GAP, Nike and Ford Motor Co, already adopted clean-labor policies after ugly reports about bonded, child or forced labor in their own supply chains.

Dillon insists Slavery Footprint is not about shaming businesses. It's about educating consumers and allowing them to determine where they will shop - then getting them to tell that story via social media.

"We let everyone know that we're not handing out torches and pitchforks," he said. "But we are developing very sharp carrots in the marketplace."

Slavery Footprint asks visitors to take a survey about consumer products, clothing and food to determine how many slaves might have worked along the supply chain for those goods.

When women are asked about cosmetics, for example, a box notes: "Every day tens of thousands of American women buy makeup. Every day tens of thousands of Indian children mine mica, which is the little sparkles in the makeup."

The consumer can then share the total slave score on Twitter or Facebook, encourage others to take the survey and then get involved by sending ready-made electronic letters to retailers calling on them to be more diligent when sourcing supplies. A mobile app "Free World," allows you to find out more about your products at point of purchase.

"It allows you to mobilize your value set in a way that uses your free time to be able to free people," Dillon said. "We think the only brand that can really ever make sense is, `Made in the Free World.'"

The State Department provided the Slavery Footprint grant so Dillon could try to replicate the highly successful "carbon footprint" campaign by environmentalists.

"He's on the cutting edge," said State Department Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca, who heads up the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and believes social media are key to fighting slavery.

CdeBaca recalls the case of an 8-year-old girl whose Egyptian parents sold her into slavery to a Cairo couple, who then smuggled her into Irvine, Calif. She was forced to work for years as a domestic, living in squalor and not allowed to go to school.

She was eventually rescued and in December, at 22, became a naturalized citizen who hopes to become federal agent.

"You see something like that and you realize that every one of those 27 million is an individual," CdeBaca said. "And we can save them. We can walk with them on their path to freedom, because these are all people who, if you just give them a chance, can do amazing things."

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On the Internet:

Slavery Footprint: www.slaveryfootprint.org

State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons: http://www.state.gov/g/tip

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