12-08-2022  11:04 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Merkley Introduces Bill to Ban Private Equity Firms from Predatory Housing Practices

End Hedge Fund Control of American Homes Act seeks to return single-family housing stock to families.

US Judge Gives Initial Victory to Oregon's Tough New Gun Law

A federal judge delivered an initial victory to proponents of a sweeping gun-control measure to take effect this week while giving law enforcement more time to set up a system for permits

Tough Oregon Gun Law Faces Legal Challenge, Could Be Delayed

Midterm voters narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it's set to take effect.

Portland Approves $27M for New Homeless Camps

Public opposition to the measure and the money that will fund it has been heated, with critics saying it will criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes.

NEWS BRIEFS

Volunteers of America Oregon Receives Agility Grant From the National Council on Problem Gambling

The funds will support the development of a Peer Driven Problem Gambling Prevention Campaign targeting high school and college-age...

Commissioner Jayapal Invites Community Members for Coffee

Multnomah County Commissioner will be available for a conversation on priorities and the county's work ...

GFO African-American Special Interest Group Meeting to Feature Southern Claims Commission

The Dec. 17 meeting of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon will feature Shelley Viola Murphy, PhD via ZOOM. Murphy will discuss the...

Charter Commission Concludes Study, Issues Report

The Portland Charter Commission have concluded their two-year term referring nine proposals to the November 2024 election and...

PBS Genealogy Show Seeks Viewers’ Brick Walls

The popular PBS show “Finding Your Roots” is putting out a nationwide casting call for a non-celebrity to be featured on season...

Northern Plains tribes bring back their wild 'relatives'

FORT BELKNAP AGENCY, Mont. (AP) — Native species such as swift foxes and black-footed ferrets disappeared from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation generations ago, wiped out by poisoning campaigns, disease and farm plows that turned open prairie where nomadic tribes once roamed into cropland and...

Oregon high court won't let voter gun control measure begin

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s tough, voter-approved gun control law remains temporarily blocked after the Oregon Supreme Court declined to overturn an earlier decision preventing the measure from taking effect Thursday. Chief Justice Martha Walters late Wednesday denied the...

Saxen's 19 help Saint Mary's knock off Missouri State 66-46

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Mitchell Saxen's 19 points helped Saint Mary's defeat Missouri State 66-46 on Wednesday. Saxen had six rebounds for the Gaels (7-3). Aidan Mahaney scored 13 points and Alex Ducas finished with nine points. Chance Moore led the Bears (4-5) in...

Purdue Fort Wayne takes down Southeast Missouri State 89-68

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Jarred Godfrey scored 19 points as Purdue Fort Wayne beat Southeast Missouri State 89-68 on Wednesday night. Godfrey had eight rebounds and five assists for the Mastodons (6-4). Bobby Planutis scored 14 points, and Quinton Morton-Robertson had 13. ...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

AP WAS THERE: Supreme Court legalizes interracial marriage

WASHINGTON (AP) — EDITOR’S NOTE: On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court was wrapping up the final orders for the term. Among the cases before them was that of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who had been sentenced to a year in jail for violating Virginia’s ban on marriage...

Pennsylvania panel updates anti-discrimination regulations

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A state panel on Thursday narrowly approved new definitions of sex, religious creed and race in Pennsylvania's anti-discrimination regulations, with three members appointed by Democrats in favor and two Republican appointees voting no. The Independent...

St. Louis mayor appoints commission to consider reparations

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones is appointing a reparations commission that will “recommend a proposal to begin repairing the harms that have been inflicted” by slavery, segregation and racism. St. Louis joins a growing list of places trying to determine how to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Sundance Film Festival unveils lineup for 2023 edition

Documentaries about Brooke Shields, Judy Blume and Michael J. Fox, films from veteran directors like Nicole Holofcener, an adaptation of the viral New Yorker story “Cat Person” and the feature directorial debut of actors Alice Englert and Randall Park are among the world premieres set for the...

Review: Lonely souls at the cinema in ‘Empire of Light’

Olivia Colman plays the manager of a movie theater in Sam Mendes’ new film “ Empire of Light.” It’s a cinema palace in a small town on England’s south coast that is showing its age. The once grand establishment used to play films on multiple screens on multiple floors. The top floor even...

How Michelle Williams found the music of Mitzi Fabelman

NEW YORK (AP) — In both Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” and Kelly Reichardt’s upcoming “Showing Up,” Michelle Williams plays women where life — societal hurdles and daily nuisances — gets in the way of self-expression. Mitzi Fabelman, the early-1960s matriarch...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Georgia vote gives Harris reprieve as Senate tiebreaker

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris needed to get to the U.S. Senate to break a tie. But first she...

Pausing breast cancer treatment for pregnancy appears safe

Young women diagnosed with breast cancer often must delay pregnancy for years while they take hormone-blocking...

Northern Plains tribes bring back their wild 'relatives'

FORT BELKNAP AGENCY, Mont. (AP) — Native species such as swift foxes and black-footed ferrets disappeared from...

WHO: COVID disruption resulted in 63,000 more malaria deaths

The coronavirus pandemic interrupted efforts to control malaria, resulting in 63,000 additional deaths and 13...

Families dismayed at trial for Rio-Paris Air France crash

PARIS (AP) — Families of the 228 people killed on a Rio-Paris flight that crashed in 2009 were hoping for...

Nobel laureate: No lasting peace in Ukraine without justice

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — There will be no lasting peace in Ukraine until there is justice and human rights,...

Eric Tucker the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As Yogananda Pittman and Monique Moore climbed the ranks of the U.S. Capitol Police, they encountered no top-level supervisors who looked like them. No black women, from the chief down to the captains, were represented in the upper management of the federal law enforcement agency responsible for protecting lawmakers and congressional buildings.

So it was more than a personal honor when the two became the first black women promoted to captain in the department, which in the past decade has been roiled by allegations from minority officers that they were passed over for promotions and subjected to racial intimidation and harassment.

"I just definitely think it lets them know that it's attainable," Pittman said, referring to younger black officers. "When you see someone who looks like yourself in the rank of captain and what have you, they know they can do it."

The promotions may seem a pedestrian milestone in the year 2012 but they carry symbolic significance for the agency. Accusations of racism within the department have been addressed at congressional hearings, raised in multiple lawsuits and drawn concern from the Congressional Black Caucus, whose members in 2003 said they were "incensed and embarrassed" by the alleged mistreatment

Sworn statements from black officers and a 2001 class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of more than 300 current and former officers paint an unflattering portrait of the department. Black officers complained of losing promotions and favorable assignments to less-qualified white officers and of being humiliated in public and harassed with racial epithets. One officer says he found a hangman's noose on a locker; another reported finding a swastika-like symbol. One black officer nicknamed Ike says a K-9 unit dog was given the same name.

That lawsuit is pending after being revived by a federal appeals court in 2009. Other cases have been filed in the past decade, including just this year.

The Capitol Police has challenged at least some of the claims in court papers, denying that race played a role in the promotional process.

Police departments have generally been slow to promote black women - partly because of promotional exams often alleged to be discriminatory and more likely to produce higher scores among white test-takers - even at a time when black men are increasingly in upper management, said Christine Cole, a criminal justice policy expert at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

"I don't believe that we have an equally diverse command staff even though we have large and growing numbers of African-American men who have made their way to the title of chief," she said.

The promotions show the department is making progress, though it remains an "evolving organization," said Deborah Lewis, the department's diversity officer. Nearly one-third of sworn Capitol Police officers are black, and just more than 8 percent are black women, Lewis said. Blacks make up roughly 43 percent of the department's civilian workforce, the agency says.

Of the department's 17 top leaders, two are black men and two are white women. The rest are white men, Lewis said. That pales next to the D.C. police department, which has a female police chief, black assistant chiefs and female black commanders.

"Great strides have been made to develop a climate of openness," Lewis said. A third-party contractor, for instance, now oversees the promotion process.

Joseph Gebhardt, one of the lawyers who brought the class-action case, said in an email that the promotions were "completely out of character for the department" given its history and that the appointments can't fix the "decades-long injustice" black officers have experienced.

Sharon Blackmon-Malloy, a plaintiff and current vice president of the U.S. Capitol Black Police Association, said she was pleased by the promotions but considered them an overdue and incremental accomplishment.

"Although there have been some changes, small changes, the overall atmosphere of the department is not satisfactory," said Blackmon-Malloy, who says she was one of the first two black women promoted to lieutenant and has since retired. "Because if it was, why would we still have to file class-action lawsuits?"

Moore and Pittman say they haven't directly experienced discrimination but don't discount anyone else's claims.

"Even if I did experience that type of behavior from the department, I don't think that would have stopped me from my goals," Moore said.

The captains, who were promoted in January, will together oversee some 500 or so officers in the department, which responds to everything from suspicious packages to thefts from offices to drunken driving.

Pittman, who comes from a family with a military background, joined in 2001 and has served in varied capacities, including in the communications division. Moore had been hired a few years earlier, working initially as a civilian before becoming a sworn officer, where she helped keep congressional committee hearings safe.

The two have had their share of memorable experiences, including being on Capitol Hill during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Pittman, a new recruit, was preparing to graduate from training; Moore, meanwhile, helped evacuate First Lady Laura Bush from a Senate office building, where she had been scheduled to testify about education.

"Mainly it just validated my line of work, basically, as far as protecting the community, the professional community and staff," Moore said. "Everything that we train for just kicked in at that moment."

The two envision higher ranks than captain.

"We both have our eyes on when we'll make chief," Pittman said.

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Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

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