12-10-2019  3:02 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Person dies when travel trailer catches fire, explodes

ALFALFA, Ore. (AP) — One person died when a travel trailer caught fire and exploded east of Bend, authorities said.KTVZ-TV reports Crook County deputies were sent shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday for a welfare check on someone living in the trailer near Alfalfa, according to Sheriff John...

Portland police release names in officer shooting of man

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police have released the name of the officer who shot and killed a man Sunday afternoon outside a coffee shop on Portland's southeast side. The Portland Police Bureau said Monday that Officer Justin Raphael shot the man while Officer Daniel Leonard used less lethal...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

AP Source: Mizzou hiring Appalachian State's Eli Drinkwitz

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri reached an agreement Sunday with Eliah Drinkwitz to take over the Tigers' once-proud football program, a person with knowledge of the hiring told The Associated Press, making Appalachian State's successful coach the second-youngest in a Power Five...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NHL Commissioner: We will not tolerate abusive behavior

MONTEREY, Calif. (AP) — Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday the NHL will work swiftly to make changes to better deal with personnel conduct issues in the wake of incidents that surfaced in recent weeks.Speaking at the end of the first day of the Board of Governors meeting at the Inn at...

Jury selection starts for trial in college student's killing

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — Jury selection began Monday for the trial of a white man charged with a hate crime in the fatal stabbing of a black college student on the University of Maryland’s campus.Jurors are expected to hear opening statements for Sean Urbanski’s trial later...

Nevada third to vote, still up for grabs for 2020 Democrats

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada won its coveted early date in the presidential primary because it was supposed to offer Democrats something different.It’s more racially diverse than the two states that weigh in earlier, Iowa and New Hampshire. Its population is young, working class, largely...

ENTERTAINMENT

‘Benson,’ ‘Star Trek’ actor René Auberjonois has died at 79

LOS ANGELES (AP) — René Auberjonois, a prolific actor best known for his roles on the television shows “Benson” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and his part in the 1970 film “M.A.S.H.” playing Father Mulcahy, has died. He was 79. The actor died...

Broadcast TV shut out of Globe nods, Netflix edges HBO

NEW YORK (AP) — The Golden Globe TV nominations were most striking not for what they included, but what they didn't: The traditional broadcast networks were completely shut out in all 55 nominations.It was a crowning moment for Netflix, and not just for the jeweled one on Queen Elizabeth's...

Golden snubs and surprises, including little 'Cats' love

NEW YORK (AP) — Some Golden Globe nominations seemed like locks: Joaquin Phoenix, Tom Hanks, Adam Driver and Eddie Murphy. But others were shocks, like Lupita Nyong'o not getting a nomination for “Us.” Other notable snubs and surprises:MEN ONLYOnly men made the best director...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Spy Harder: Patriots caught videotaping in Spygate sequel

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The New England Patriots acknowledged on Monday night that a video crew working...

In Sweden's Arctic, global warming threatens reindeer herds

KIRUNA, Sweden (AP) — Thick reindeer fur boots and a fur hat covering most of his face shielded Niila Inga...

India’s crackdown hits religious freedom in disputed Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — For years Romi Jan’s mornings would begin with the plaintive call to prayer...

Former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov dies at 83

MOSCOW (AP) — The former mayor of Moscow and one of the founders of Russia's ruling United Russia party,...

South Korea says North's recent test was of rocket engine

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's defense minister said Tuesday that North Korea's recent unspecified...

Algerian court convicts 2 ex-prime ministers of corruption

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Two former prime ministers of Algeria have been convicted and sentenced to prison...

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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