03-04-2021  7:52 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

March to Literacy Confronts the Ways We Fail Black Students

The virtual event aims to empower parents, educators of students who struggle with reading

'Falling Through Cracks': Vaccine Bypasses Some Older Adults

An untold number of older adults are getting left behind, unseen, because they are too overwhelmed, too frail or too poor to fend for themselves.

Blumenauer, Pressley Reintroduce Legislation to Fully End Qualified Immunity

Unjust doctrine shields police officers from accountability for misconduct and criminal behavior

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Worker Relief Fund Creates Fund for Small Businesses

The program received million to support small businesses owned by ITIN holders and impacted by the pandemic. ...

$500,000 Grant Funding Will Invest In Racial Equity In WA

Kaiser Permanente commits funding to grassroots organizations to dismantle practices and structures that prevent communities of color...

Girls Inc. of the PNW Welcomes Cyreena Boston Ashby as CEO

Boston Ashby has served as interim executive director since summer 2020, plans to focus on paths to addressing learning loss ...

Changes Made To Scheduling Vaccine Appointments via the Vaccine Information Tool

Adults who are 65 and older, and most people who are eligible for vaccines in Phase 1A in the Portland metro area, will no longer be...

Senators Markey, Smith, and Booker and Rep. Jackson Lee Re-introduce Legislation to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday

“Juneteenth,” observed on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States ...

4 candidates to replace lawmaker accused of harassment

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Four people are vying to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Diego Hernandez, who is resigning later this month from the state House of Representatives after women accused him of harassment.Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the four are: Robin Castro, who ran for Portland...

Correction: Wave Energy Project story

In a story March 2, 2021, about (topic), The Associated Press erroneously reported (add details about the error)....

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

OHA Marks 1 Year One-Year Anniversary of Oregon’s First COVID-19 Case

Director thanks Oregonians and asks state residents to maintain pandemic precautions and choose vaccination ...

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ICC launches war crimes probe into Israeli practices

JERUSALEM (AP) — The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor on Wednesday launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories, turning the tribunal’s focus toward Israeli military actions and settlement construction on lands captured in the 1967...

Mississippi told to pay 0K to wrongfully imprisoned man

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A judge is ordering the state of Mississippi to pay 0,000 to a Black man who was wrongfully imprisoned more than 22 years and was tried six times in a quadruple murder case.Curtis Flowers was released from prison in December 2019, months after the U.S. Supreme Court...

French government dissolves anti-migrant identity group

PARIS (AP) — France on Wednesday dissolved an identity group that for years staged spectacular actions to get out its anti-migrant message in what it claimed was a mission to preserve French and European civilization.The presidential decree at a Cabinet meeting cited an ideology...

ENTERTAINMENT

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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Jeffrey Stein CNN


Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii)

(CNN) -- Three times as many Asian-Americans have been running for Congress in 2012 than in the past two elections, a nonpartisan political group says, and it's a development that portends greater changes in demographic trends and reflects the recent political awakening of a minority group long confined to the margins of American society.

"It's extremely exciting," says Gloria Chan, president and CEO of the Asian Pacific Institute for Congressional Studies. "We could really stand to gain seats and affect the balance of power in Congress."

Including Pacific Islanders, 30 Asian-Americans launched campaigns for Congress this year, compared with 10 in 2010 and eight in 2008, according to an APICS count.

Though several of the Asian-American candidates lost their primaries, others stand to become the first people of Asian descent in their respective states -- New York, Tennessee and Florida, for instance -- to join the legislative body.

Appearing on CNN Sunday night, U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, D-California, heralded this year's election as a potential watershed moment for Asian-Americans in politics.

"It's a great step forward for all of us when the people who are making the decisions about America look like America," said Chu, who in 2009 became the first Chinese woman elected to Congress. "I am so proud of these Asian-Americans who are now running."

Chan added that Asian-Americans' surging involvement in politics could have reverberations far beyond Washington.

"For the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community, there's always this stereotype -- we're quiet, we don't speak up, we don't fight back when we're made fun of, we're nerds, etc." Chan says. "It's been difficult for Asian-Americans to break through those stereotypes."

But Chan is optimistic that the recent explosion of Asian-Americans in prominent positions could help dispel the stereotype and "shed light on what our communities are really about and the challenges we face." Having Asian-Americans in leadership roles, she said, could augment the group's political voice.

Yet some experts noted that the campaigns also have the capacity to show the ugliness of American racism.

"There's always been this question, 'How American are Asians?' " says Curtis Chin, board president of Asian Pacific Americans for Progress. "A lot of politicians still play off of this: 'Asian-Americans, how much do we trust them? Where are their loyalties?' In districts where there isn't a lot of exposure, they can be defined in racial ways."

Chin added that, unlike some groups, Asian-American politicians face the additional difficulty of lacking an entrenched support network, noting that "it's a community that's still developing an infrastructure."

"I think there's still a big learning curve. When you compare (Asian-Americans) to a community that has a pool of donors, a list of talking points -- I think there's still a lot of work to be done," he said. "But I think there's a lot of opportunity, too, because these candidates are fresh. ... We're a new face, we're not the standard politician you've seen before."

Rep. Michael Honda, D-California, is an Asian-American elected to Congress in 2001, and he agreed that some candidates try to leverage their opponents' perceived foreignness into electoral advantage.

"Some will say this person has connections to China or Japan. ... There's so much out and out blatant racism. In 2010, there were a handful of politicians who used Chinese or Asian languages in their commercials," Honda said, though he added he had not yet seen similar bigotry in the 2012 races.

Honda is no stranger to anti-Asian sentiment in America.

Just a toddler at the time, he and his parents were forced into a Japanese internment camp during World War II -- a memory Honda says left an indelible imprint on his career and aspirations.

He said that as he grew up, he increasingly understood the necessity for Asian-Americans to gain a political foothold. But that was difficult, if not impossible, for a population that represented a fraction of the population.

That may be rapidly changing. According to a report released in June by the Pew Research Center, Asian-Americans are among the fastest-growing groups in the United States.

In 2010, 36% of new immigrants to the U.S. were Asians while 31% were Hispanics, the study found. Just a decade ago, 19% of immigrants were Asians and 59% were Hispanics.

The growth of Asian-Americans' political clout tends to favor Democrats.

Of the 30 who filed to run in 2012, 25 are Democrats, according to APICS. About 60% of the diverse group -- which experts urge should not be considered a monolithic entity -- voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

Their vote could prove crucial in some battleground states, where a growing and increasingly energized Asian-American voting bloc is realizing that -- at 6% of the population -- they have significant political clout.

"We used to be marginalized politically, but now people are understanding we're the margin of victory," Honda said.

Speaking with CNN's Poppy Harlow on Sunday, Chu expressed similar sentiments.

"Asian-Americans are more enthusiastic than ever, and, in fact, five out of six look forward to voting in this election," Chu said. "I think it's because they really appreciate being American."

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