10-20-2019  1:53 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 ...

Video shows coach disarming, embracing Oregon student

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have released a video that shows part of a former Oregon football star's successful effort to disarm a student who brought a shotgun to a Portland high school.The video released Friday by the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office shows Keanon Lowe and...

Parents guilty of starving 5-year-old daughter to death

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has convicted a Redmond couple of starving their 5-year-old adopted daughter to death.The Bulletin reports by unanimous jury verdicts Friday after a weekslong trial, Sacora Horn-Garcia and Estevan Garcia were found guilty of murder by abuse and criminal...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...

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...

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

New Emmett Till marker dedicated to replace vandalized sign

GLENDORA, Miss. (AP) — A new bulletproof memorial to Emmett Till was dedicated Saturday in Mississippi after previous historical markers were repeatedly vandalized.The brutal slaying of the 14-year-old black teenager helped spur the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.The...

Parents sue Virginia school district over racist 2017 video

HENRICO, Va. (AP) — The parents of a Virginia student who say their son was assaulted and bullied by his middle school football teammates in an incident captured on video two years ago are suing the school system.The video, which showed football players simulating sex acts on black students...

Team abandons FA Cup qualifier after racial abuse

LONDON (AP) — An FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned Saturday when the home team walked off the field after one of its players was racially abused.Haringey, a London-based non-league club, walked off in the 64th minute after claims its Cameroonian goalkeeper...

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 arrested Friday...

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

Capital hill: Astros, Nats put World Series eyes on pitching

Gerrit Cole, Max Scherzer and a slew of aces get the World Series started in Houston, then the scene shifts to...

After delay, New Orleans to demolish cranes at hotel site

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — After two days of delays, New Orleans officials are hoping to use a series of controlled...

Where you die can affect your chance of being an organ donor

WASHINGTON (AP) — If Roland Henry had died in a different part of the country, his organs might have been...

Botswana, calm for decades, faces surprising election fight

GABORONE, Botswana (AP) — Botswana's ruling party faces the tightest election of its history on Wednesday...

Swiss choose new parliament, vote could see Green gains

BERLIN (AP) — Voters in Switzerland are electing a new national parliament, with recent polls suggesting...

Bolivians pick between Evo Morales and change in tight vote

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — South America's longest-serving leader is seeking an unprecedented fourth term in...

McMenamins
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."

---

On the Internet:

Slavery Footprint: www.slaveryfootprint.org

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

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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