12-10-2019  5:13 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

San Francisco Aims to Rein in Tests of Tech Ideas on Streets

Entrepreneurs would not be allowed to test their products in San Francisco's public space unless the tech in question is declared a "net public good."

Portland-area Residents May Vote on Funding for Homeless

There may be a measure on the November 2020 ballot to fund likely hundreds of millions of dollars for increased social services

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

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,...

Man gets jail, probation for strangling 85-year-old mom

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland man who violated a no-contact order and strangled his 85-year-old mother has been sentenced to six months in jail and two years of probation. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office said 57-year-old James Keith was sentenced Tuesday. Keith assaulted...

M lawsuit claims meningococcal diagnosis delayed

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon State University student who visited Portland-area medical providers amid a 2017 meningococcal outbreak at her Corvallis campus — but was not immediately diagnosed with the disease — has sued for million.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports then...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

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...

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

Trump to sign order targeting anti-Semitism at colleges

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Wednesday targeting antisemitism on college campuses, the White House said.The order, which is likely to draw criticism from free speech advocates, will broaden the federal government's definition of antisemitism and...

In South Carolina, Steyer investing in black voters

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In the waning weeks before South Carolina's presidential primary, Democrat Tom Steyer is renewing his focus on the black voters who play a pivotal role in the first-in-the-South state, rolling out a proposal to improve historically black colleges and institutions.The...

Multistate voter database suspended in lawsuit settlement

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A much-criticized database that checks whether voters are registered in multiple states has been suspended “for the foreseeable future” until security safeguards are put in place as part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit, a civil rights group said...

ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix says more than 26M watched 'The Irishman' in 7 days

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix says that 26.4 million households worldwide watched “The Irishman” in its first week of streaming. That figure includes those who watched at least 70% of Martin Scorsese's 3 1/2 hour crime epic. Netflix selectively announces viewership for its films and...

NFL, NCAA football fuel Fox TV's win of the prime-time week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fueled by both college and pro football, Fox won a rare title as champ of the broadcast week among networks. Fox's Thursday night NFL airing of the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears was the week's top show of any kind with 18.23 million viewers, and its broadcast of the Big...

The Associated Press picks the top moments on TV from 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — Many have noticed how fragmented our TV viewing is, with multiple competing streaming services and dozens of channels pulling us in different directions. But the year also saw some jaw-dropping moments that found huge audiences, whether it was a royal interview or a viral...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Adam Sandler on plunging into the Safdies' 'Uncut Gems'

TORONTO (AP) — Adam Sandler was waiting to be thrown into a midtown fountain on Sixth Avenue for a scene in...

Newspaper criticizes film's take on Olympic bombing coverage

ATLANTA (AP) — After a bomb exploded in a downtown Atlanta park midway through the 1996 Olympics, a...

Thousands rally around Holocaust survivor in Milan

MILAN (AP) — A Holocaust survivor who has been put under police protection due to anti-Semitic threats was...

In Mexico, effeminate Zapata painting draws fury

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A painting showing Mexican Revolution hero Emiliano Zapata nude and in an effeminate...

Parisians dodge strikes by logging on to share rides, bikes

ARGENTEUIL, France (AP) — Adrien Lachevre and Nailat Msoili live a few kilometers (miles) apart in Paris'...

Thousands rally around Holocaust survivor in Milan

MILAN (AP) — A Holocaust survivor who has been put under police protection due to anti-Semitic threats was...

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Jen Chien Kalw/ New America Media

Pazhae Horace has a summer job with California Youth Energy Services, or CYES. It's a program that hires youth aged 15-22 to do free "green house calls" in their communities. They go into people's homes to evaluate energy and water efficiency, and then help install things like water-saving shower heads, or compact fluorescent light bulbs. Horace is 22, and this is her third summer working for the CYES site in Berkeley and Emeryville. She says that, at first, she was worried about talking to strangers, but now she really likes meeting new people, and helping them become more green.

Jodi Pincus is executive director of Rising Sun Energy Services, the non-profit which runs the CYES summer program, along with other green job training for youth and adults. She says CYES gives youth more than just employment. "You know, they're not getting a job at Starbucks," she says, "where they could learn equally valuable soft skills or professionalism. But it's not as meaningful in the sense of their contribution to the environment or to their community."

Rising Sun has been doing the CYES program for 14 summers now, long before the current green jobs trend. This partnership with PG&E and local city governments has grown from a pilot program of 15 youth serving 300 homes in Berkeley, to about 100 youth going into 3000 homes in 10 Bay Area cities. Pincus says one key to Rising Sun's longevity has been its so-called "triple bottom line" of people, planet and prosperity.

What that means in practice is giving young people -- especially low-income and at-risk youth -- job skills and paid employment. At the same time, they're learning about climate change and sustainability.

"We're preparing them for any job that they will have in their future, and ideally, they will have a job in the green economy," Pincus says.

The Green Economy

Early in the Obama administration, the "green economy" was getting a lot of attention. The President's massive 2009 economic stimulus plan included $500 million for job training in the emerging clean energy market. $150 million of that was supposed to go to low-income communities, through a program called Pathways out of Poverty.

People like former Oakland resident Van Jones -- for a time the White House's "Green Czar" -- predicted that the emerging green economy would lift low-income communities out of poverty. In response to the flood of federal funding, hundreds of "green job training" programs sprung up around the country. But according to a 2011 report by the Department of Labor, many couldn't do what they promised -- get their graduates into steady, well-paying jobs.

Carol Zabin, a labor researcher at UC Berkeley, says there was a misconception that green jobs were somehow different from regular occupations. She says most green jobs -- at least the ones in the big sectors of energy efficiency and renewables -- are really construction jobs.

"So we made a pretty big mistake I think," she say, "in developing a lot of short-term green jobs training that weren't really related to these broader occupations."

Broadening the Definition of a Green Job

Like Rising Sun in Berkeley, Solar Richmond started as more of a traditional job training model -- in this case for solar panel installation. It's now grown into something more complex, with other types of training, and job opportunities built right into the organization. In the city of Richmond, unemployment is high --about 4% higher than the national average. And median family income is about 12% less than in California as a whole.

Akeele Carter, Solar Richmond's program manager, says there just weren't enough jobs out there for her solar installation graduates. So the organization branched out into marketing, advocacy, and outreach. And with the help of partners like the City of Richmond, they created paid positions -- within the organization -- that used those skills.

"Because some people aren't meant to go on the roof," she says. "Some people like to talk and advocate, and they like to go out and meet people, and they like to canvas, or even sales."

According to the Solar Richmond website, they've created over 300 temporary jobs and 50 permanent ones since 2006. But Carter, who went through the program herself, says its about more than just job training.

"They have to be built up," she says, "to have that confidence and say, 'You know, I may be from a low-income community, but there's so many skills that I have innately inside of me, and talent that I need to tap into. That's going to allow me to get that job -- whether it's green, blue or white.'"

22-year-old Lela Turner found Solar Richmond's training program after a year of community college. She learned the carpentry and construction trade, but also skills like meditation, public speaking, and time management.

"I got my license, I got my first apartment, I got a lot of stuff," Turner says. "I got my first car through Solar Richmond -- they helped me out with so much stuff."

She now works as an administrative assistant in the main office. She's also one of four people -- and the only woman -- chosen to start Solar Richmond's new solar installation co-op, Pamoja Energy Solutions.

Labor researcher Carol Zabin says in-house initiatives like the co-op are a good response to the lack of green jobs. But most graduates of training programs go into entry-level jobs, which are often low-wage or short-term. Zabin says that placing people into better-paying jobs is a link that's often broken.

"It's also the link that's most challenging for organizations that sit in the position of training at-risk youth and low income folks, and folks with barriers to employment," she says. "Because they don't have any control over the whole system. And they don't have any control over how jobs get created.

And especially since the stimulus funding has run out, they don't have the money to just create hundreds of jobs on their own. So, even though Lela Turner says she's happy to be working at Solar Richmond, she actually has to have another job to make ends meet. "I also work at Ross as a retail associate," she says. "I'm in the fitting room and I'm a cashier. So I work normally six days a week."

Pazhae Horace is also glad to be where she's at this summer, doing green house calls for Rising Sun. But she says she's looking further down the road.

"I'm planning on going back to school for like business and communications, so that I can get a degree, further my career that way," she says. "And maybe stay in this nonprofit, or stay in the green field."

The "green field" may not have the same luster it did a few years ago. But for these young people just entering the workforce, it's still a good place to start.

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