07-07-2020  5:29 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon DOJ to Hold Listening Sessions on Institutional Racism; Leaders Wary

DOJ will hold 11 virtual listening sessions for underserved Oregonians.

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

Protester Dies After Car Hits Two on Closed Freeway

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died and Taylor and Diaz Love of Portland were injured. The driver, Dawit Kelete has been arrested

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

NEWS BRIEFS

African American Alliance for Home Ownership Announces New Board Member

AAAH has announced the appointment of Carl Anderson, M.D., a staff physician specializing in occupational medicine with Northwest...

Ploughshares Fund announces over $1 million in Grants to Stop Nuclear Threats

The global security foundation’s board of directors awards grants to 15 organizations working on nuclear weapons issues ...

Chip Miller Named Associate Artistic Director of Portland Center Stage

Miller originally joined the company in the spring of 2019, in the role of associate producer. ...

AG Rosenblum Highlights First Report on Oregon’s New Hate and Bias Crimes Laws

In 2019, the Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill 577, which updated Oregon’s hate and bias crimes law for the first time in over...

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Federal charges filed for 7 protesters in Portland, Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Attorney in Oregon announced federal charges Tuesday against seven protesters who are accused in court papers of defacing a federal courthouse and assaulting federal officers during protests in Portland, Oregon against racial injustice and police brutality. The...

Missouri summer camp virus outbreak raises safety questions

Missouri leaders knew the risk of convening thousands of kids at summer camps across the state during a pandemic, the state's top health official said, and insisted that camp organizers have plans in place to keep an outbreak from happening.The outbreak happened anyway.An overnight summer camp in...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

Letter to the Community From Eckhart Tolle Foundation

The Eckhart Tolle Foundation is donating more than 250,000 dollars to organizations that are fighting racism ...

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Andrew Jackson statue loses status in city named for him

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi city named after former U.S. President Andrew Jackson will remove a downtown statue of him and put it in a less prominent spot.The City Council in Jackson, Mississippi, voted 5-1 Tuesday to relocate the bronze figure that has stood outside City Hall since...

FBI investigating reported assault on Black Indiana man

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The FBI said Tuesday it’s investigating the reported assault of a Black man by a group of white men at a southern Indiana lake.Vauhxx Booker, a civil rights activist and member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, said the men pinned him against a tree,...

Civil rights groups denounce Facebook over hate speech

Facebook keeps telling critics that it is doing everything it can to rid its service of hate, abuse and misinformation. And the company's detractors keep not buying it.On Tuesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg met with a group of civil rights leaders, including the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dana Canedy named as publisher at Simon & Schuster

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dana Canedy will take on one of the biggest roles at Simon & Schuster. The New York-based publishing house announced Monday that Canedy has been named as senior vice president and publisher of the imprint — the first African American to hold the position. The...

Hollywood catches up to director Gina Prince-Bythewood

Gina Prince-Bythewood knows what good fighting looks like. The “Love & Basketball” director has been an athlete her entire life, but she also just loves action movies. So when she started dreaming up the template for a bare-knuckle clash between Charlize Theron and KiKi Layne in...

After 35 seasons, MTV's 'The Challenge' still going strong

NEW YORK (AP) — Before “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race” and “American Ninja Warrior,” there was MTV’s “The Challenge.”It’s often brought big ratings and memorable moments for the network, but longtime host T.J. Lavin...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'Palm Springs' arrives for the Groundhog Days of quarantine

NEW YORK (AP) — Though most of the films that have debuted during the pandemic never got to screen for...

Dream owner Loeffler objects to WNBA's social justice plans

NEW YORK (AP) — Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler is not in favor of the WNBA's social justice plans...

Missouri summer camp virus outbreak raises safety questions

Missouri leaders knew the risk of convening thousands of kids at summer camps across the state during a pandemic,...

Dutch police arrest 6 men, uncover makeshift torture chamber

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch police arrested six men after discovering sea containers that had been...

Death toll from flooding in Japan reaches 55, dozen missing

TOKYO (AP) — Soldiers used boats to rescue residents as floodwaters flowed down streets in southern...

Twins joined at head separated at Vatican pediatric hospital

ROME (AP) — Doctors at the Vatican’s pediatric hospital said Tuesday they have successfully...

McMenamins
By The Skanner News

The EPA's Lisa P. Jackson connected pollution and
civil rights in a sermon commemorating the
47th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

 

By Jenée Desmond-Harris, The Root

On Sunday, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson delivered a sermon at Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Ala., to commemorate the 47th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. What do clean air and water have to do with issues that surrounded one of the most pivotal events of the civil rights movement? A lot, according to Jackson. The Root talked to her about the effects of environmental injustice on minority communities, the EPA's plan to make sure people of color aren't forgotten and why you don't have to love the great outdoors to care passionately about the ravages and real-life consequences of unchecked pollution.

The Root: Your sermon was delivered on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, one of the most pivotal events of the civil rights movement. Explain how environmental justice is a civil rights issue.

Lisa P. Jackson: We talk all the time about the right to prosperity. The Declaration of Independence talks about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We talk about prosperity and freedom to prosper. It's hard to envision true freedom in that regard if everyone doesn't have equal access to the basics of living -- and the basics of living include the right to breathe clean air, the right to drink water that's free from toxins and the right to build your home and community in a place that's free from environmentally ravaged land and the pollution and health impacts that come along with it.

It's not just about freedom from pollution -- pollution equals poor health. Poor air quality contributes to three of four of the leading causes of death among Americans. So when we talk about environmental justice, we're talking about Americans' basic rights to have equal access to being healthy.

TR: What are some of the real-life consequences for the people who are affected by this issue?

LPJ: An example is that, with respect to the issues of air quality, most African Americans in this country live in urban areas, whether we talk about Los Angeles, Houston or smaller, older cities that may have industrial sources around them. So, the administration just initiated standards for power plants and those standards are going to save 11,000 lives a year.

Also, when we talk about environmental justice, we talk about communities that may have been abandoned or forgotten or that at one time were the sites of abandoned factories. Just one contaminated plot in such a neighborhood can make it a place where businesses don't want to grow or invest. One dollar spent on cleanup in those communities means $19 in private-sector economic growth, because you remove that barrier to economic opportunity.

TR: The EPA has a plan to protect poor, minority and low-income communities from health and environmental risks. What are some of that plan's main components?

LPJ: EPA has a plan called Plan EJ 2014. Our goal, quite simply, is to make consideration of environmental justice and fairness part of EPA's everyday decision-making.

The plan includes legal tools -- looking at how and where environmental justice falls under existing statutes. It also addresses enforcement, because oftentimes communities of color say no one ever comes and looks to see if people are violating environmental laws there -- there's "midnight dumping," for example. They wake up and find contamination in the community.

I'd also like to give a shoutout to the administration's efforts. EPA has always had a special role with respect to environmental justice, but in this administration, President Obama has really revitalized the larger issue of environmental justice, in which other agencies as well as ours are playing important roles.

TR: You talked Sunday about your personal journey and about the accomplishments of this generation of African Americans. How did you become invested in the issue of environmental justice?

LPJ: The sermon tells my story growing up in New Orleans. The first thing I say about that is that you do not need to grow up with a love of the "great outdoors" to care about the environment. New Orleans is a wonderful, vibrant city but it is a city. So my love of the environment as an issue came from seeing the ravages of environmental pollution.

What happens to the Mississippi River if it's a dumping ground, and what does that mean for drinking water? What does it mean to have an area, that, when I was growing up, was called "Cancer Alley"? What does that mean for the health of my relatives and people who I knew who lived down there?

I came up caring about environmental issues from what we call the "brown side" -- stopping pollution. I'm an engineer by training and I wanted to use engineering to reverse-engineer pollution -- to think about cleaning it up and hopefully preventing it.

TR: Are you satisfied with the level of engagement among African Americans around the issue of environmental justice?

LPJ: African Americans still need to give greater attention to these issues. There are some great leaders in our community who realize that it's a quiet, pervasive message sent to a community when your community is always the site of a sewage treatment plan, or a rail line just passing through. When it's your community that gets the impacts and not the benefits.

We need to be vocal about this, about the fact that we have a right to clean air and clean water. It's a rights issue as important as the other ones. Also, if we're growing a green economy, we have the right and it's in our best interest to be part of that economy. That's where the jobs and opportunities will be.

Jenée Desmond-Harris is a contributing editor at The Root.

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