10-20-2019  7:17 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 ...

Seattle's first Opportunity Zone development breaks ground

SEATTLE (AP) — The Opportunity Zones program was marketed as a way to help poor communities by offering major capital-gains tax breaks for investors to park their cash in 8,000 designated low-income census tracts.Instead, critics have labelled it a "tax scam," ''the latest example of urban...

Prosecutors: Trade war opens doors For Mexican drug cartels

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal law enforcement officials in Oregon say they've uncovered an elaborate scheme to convert Mexican drug profits from sales in the United States back into pesos using Chinese citizens who seek to circumvent their country's banking laws.The Mexican drug cartels are...

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

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...

Impeachment inquiry puts spotlight on Perry, who shunned it

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long after more flamboyant colleagues flamed out of President Donald Trump's favor amid...

Analysis: Confronted by impeachment, Trump adds to the chaos

WASHINGTON (AP) — The impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump has thrust Washington into a...

Italian experts defuse WWII bomb in northern city

MILAN (AP) — Italian authorities have evacuated 4,000 people from the center of the northern city of...

Bolivians pick between Evo Morales and change in tight vote

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

15 dead after Russian dam collapse floods dormitories

MOSCOW (AP) — At least 15 people are dead after a dam at a small Siberian gold mine collapsed and water...

McMenamins
Suzanne Gamboa the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Urban League is calling on African-Americans to get out and vote come election time as a means of countering state laws the group says threaten education and economic gains made by blacks.

Borrowing from the Occupy Wall Street movement, the 101-year-old civil rights group made "Occupy the Vote" the theme for its annual State of Black America report to be released Wednesday at Howard University. The report evaluates African-Americans progress toward equality, and this year's version "Occupy the Vote to Employ, Educate & Empower" also measures white and Latino equality.

The campaign will include, among other things, a website dedicated to monitoring voter laws and providing information on voting requirements. The league also hopes to conduct get-out-the-vote bus tours, said CEO Marc Morial.

A concern, Morial said, is that some state laws could widen the equality gap between white and black Americans by discouraging political participation of African-Americans. He says their votes are needed to ensure continued support of programs that have helped close the equality gap.

"I refuse to operate from a standpoint of, `Woe is me,'" said Morial, a former mayor of New Orleans. "We have to tell people we are not going to let these laws stop us."

According to the report, improvements in health and education among blacks have made up for losses in civic engagement, economics and social justice.

"The bottom line is that the recession has caused slippage of progress in the status economically of African-Americans and when we talk about these issues, we are trying to ensure that any recovery that's being articulated and designed is a recovery that includes everyone, that it is not just a recovery for some," Morial said.

But concerns abound among civil rights and minority leaders that new state photo ID and other laws will widen the gap between blacks and whites. Several states have implemented laws that narrow the list of acceptable forms of identification needed to vote. Some states have restricted who can register new voters, or they have eliminated early voting days such as Sundays before elections, which are popular among black churches.

Supporters of the laws have said they will curb voter fraud, but the NAACP has said they are a concerted effort to suppress the vote of minorities, students and the elderly. Some states are offering to provide free IDs, in cases where cost of getting an ID is an issue; but civil rights groups say the laws still will deter legitimate voters, such as Bettye Jones, 76, of Wisconsin.

Jones has been registered to vote in Ohio since 1956. But she moved to Wisconsin, which requires voters to show Wisconsin Department of Transportation-issued driver's licenses or state IDs. To get one of those she has to show a birth certificate, as required by federal law. However, Jones was born at home and doesn't have a birth certificate.

"They know there was an era where black people, colored people, Negro people, their records were not cared about," said Debra Crawford, Jones' daughter.

Jones is a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the Advancement Project and others challenging Wisconsin's law as discriminatory.

Morial's call for an "Occupy the Vote" movement comes as civil rights leaders commemorated the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" violence that erupted around voting rights protests in Selma, Ala. Protesters were beaten and gassed, and some died. Civil rights activists have been using this year's anniversary events to condemn the new state voting laws.

Black Americans have built a strong record at the voting booth - the 2008 turnout of 65.2 percent of black eligible voters nearly matched the 66.1 percent turnout of white eligible voters. Although turnout and registration slipped in 2010, 1.1 million more black Americans showed up to vote two years ago than in 2006, according to Pew Hispanic Center's research.

Rather than the new ID requirements, other steps can be taken to address fraud, errors and other problems in the voting system, the National Urban League said in its report. Registering people to vote when they turn 18 in the same way young men are required to register for the draft or the way taxpayers are automatically enrolled to start paying taxes are two suggestions made in the league's report by the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, president of the Hip Hop Caucus, which works to get young people active in elections.

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Follow Suzanne Gamboa at http://www.twitter.com/APsgamboa

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Online: National Urban League: http://www.nul.org/

Advancement Project: http://www.advancementproject.org/

National Voting Rights Museum and Institute: http://www.nvrm.org/

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