06-25-2018  2:47 am      •     
The Skanner Report
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Teen uses sign language to help blind and deaf man on flight

BOSTON (AP) — A teenager is being credited with coming to the aid of a blind and deaf man during a flight from Boston to Portland, Oregon.Clara Daly, of Calabasas, California, says she and her mother were traveling last week when the flight attendants asked if anyone knew American Sign...

18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an 18-year-old girl has died after colliding with a log truck on Highway 101 near Beaver.Law enforcement officials say Mikayla Michelle Howard was driving a 2003 Saab when it crossed into the other lane for an unknown reason on Friday morning....

New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Meek Mill debuts 'Stay Woke' song at BET Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the 2018 BET Awards, which are being presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater (all times local):7:45 p.m.Rapper Meek Mill has performed a new song, "Stay Woke," on the BET Awards with a striking performance that touched on police violence against black youth...

Anita Baker, H.E.R., Meek Mill shine at BET Awards

The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent, but the show included superior performances by rising singer H.E.R, rapper Meek Mill and gospel artist Yolanda Adams, who paid tribute to Anita Baker and nearly brought her to...

Complete list of winners at Sunday night's 2018 BET Awards

The complete list of winners of the 2018 BET Awards, presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles:— Video of the year: Drake— Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars— Best female R&B/pop Artist: Beyonce— Best male hip hop artist: Kendrick Lamar—...

ENTERTAINMENT

The Latest: Prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting

The Latest on the investigation into the business interests of Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen (all times local):8:30 p.m.Stormy Daniels' lawyer says the porn actress' meeting with federal prosecutors in New York who are investigating President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer has...

Complete list of winners at Sunday night's 2018 BET Awards

The complete list of winners of the 2018 BET Awards, presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles:— Video of the year: Drake— Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars— Best female R&B/pop Artist: Beyonce— Best male hip hop artist: Kendrick Lamar—...

US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, but the meeting was abruptly cancelled late Sunday after it was reported by news organizations, her attorney...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Anita Baker, H.E.R., Meek Mill shine at BET Awards

The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent,...

US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their...

College sports doctors under new scrutiny amid scandals

Allegations of sexual abuse carried out over decades by team physicians at Michigan State and Ohio State are...

Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to...

86 killed in central Nigeria as farmers, herders clash

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Scores are dead after vicious weekend clashes in central Nigeria between mostly...

Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — Multiple attempts to locate 12 boys and their soccer coach missing in a flooded...

Khalil Abdullah New America Media

The same morning Hillary Clinton was using her highly visible stature at the recent American Bar Association convention to call for increased protection for Americans' right to vote, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law that strips all residents of same-day voter registration, shortens early voter registration and imposes onerous voter ID requirements.

"We view the attacks on voting rights in North Carolina to be among the most extreme and regressive we've seen in the country," said Eddie Hailes, managing director and general counsel for Advancement Project, a civil rights organization that works on clearing barriers to the ballot box.

In a statement announcing the organization's lawsuit against North Carolina, Advancement Project Co-Director Penda Hair noted that voters of color would be the hardest hit by the new restrictions; young people as well.

For instance, HB 589, the law Gov. McCrory enacted, will end the pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-old future voters; and increases the likelihood of incidents of intimidation at the polls by allowing voters to be challenged by a registered voter from the same county. In the past, those challenges were limited to voters from the same precinct.

"Right now, in 2013, we're having a repeat performance of 2012," said Kathy Culliton-Gonzalez, director of voter protection for Advancement Project. Proposed voter ID restrictions by 24 states in 2013 head the list as the most popular form of legislative fiat. Other initiatives run the gamut from reducing early voting days – like in North Carolina -- to voter purges.

"Even though this is not a presidential election year, this Supreme Court decision [Shelby County v. Holder] has opened the door to more and more restrictive voting changes. Yes, it's better than the '60s -- there's not as much violence involved in these battles of voting rights -- but we've seen the biggest wave of voter suppression in the form of modern-day poll taxes and literacy tests since the Voting Rights Act was passed."

Fighting back against voter suppression

Voting rights advocates are responding in four main ways. Litigation continues to be the critical bulwark against the implementation unfair voting practices, but, as Culliton-Gonzalez notes, litigation is expensive and is sure to test of the resources for the organizations like hers, the ACLU, Brennan Center for Justice, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Leadership Conference, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and others that champion voting rights.

Secondly, public demonstrations and civil disobedience could raise public awareness about the unjust or disparate impact of newly proposed or enacted laws. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina chapter of NAACP, had some success in rallying protesters against HB 589 and other legislative actions through Moral Monday demonstrations each Monday in Raleigh. His organization is continuing to hold Moral Monday forums outside of the state capitol and is planning demonstrations in 13 of the state's congressional districts on Aug. 28th to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

Whether the intensity and discipline of the North Carolina protests can be replicated in other states remains to be seen. Yet other veterans of the civil rights era are encouraging a national movement for the restoration and protection of voting rights.

Rev. Joseph Lowery, 91, a former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, used the bully pulpit at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta last week to promote the Voting Rights Project, a new 50-state initiative. "There have been deliberate and systematic attempts at the state level to make it harder for voters to participate," he said in a statement reported by The Atlanta World. "We must put an immediate stop to this or lose any gains we have made since the Civil Rights movement and passage of the Voting Rights Act."

A third front of organizational activity focuses on pressuring Congress to take up the issue of devising a new Section 4 formula so that Section 5 can be fully restored.

Section 5, the strongest oversight measure of the Voting Rights Act, allows the Department of Justice to challenge proposed changes in election laws before they could be implemented, if those changes could be shown to have discriminatory impact on minority voters. But it was the findings under Section 4's formula that triggered the DOJ action.

Myrna Perez, deputy director of the democracy program at Brennan Center for Justice, concurs with turning the focus to Capitol Hill. "We want Congress to have conversations; we want them to hold hearings. We want them to study the issue, talk to experts, review options and come up with something that is bipartisan and constitutional. Section 5 is still constitutional," she emphasized. "Section 4 requires revisiting and we need Congress to do that."

But a Congressional revival of Section 4 -- so that Section 5 can once again be employed by DOJ -- could prove to be a distant possibility. "By invalidating Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the court has effectively eliminated Section 5 federal oversight," wrote David Bositis of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. "The current U.S. House of Representatives will almost certainly NOT provide a new definition for Section 4 coverage, and so Section 5 is out for the foreseeable future."

Others add that partisan politics could simply lead to Congressional inaction. Both houses of the North Carolina legislature are controlled by Republicans, as is the governor's office. Congress may speak of re-invigorating Sections 4 and 5, but for some Republican members, it could be seen as political suicide for their party. Republicans have better odds of holding North Carolina in 2016 with HB 589 enacted and Section 5 sidelined.

While all three prongs of a voting rights offensive may be in play, ultimately, the endgame in voters' rights may be the passage of a Constitutional amendment explicitly guaranteeing the right to vote. Currently, that right is only implicit under federal law. Resources, again, may be the determinant of whether such a movement can be sustained. At a time when African-American and Latino voters are often marginalized by successful gerrymandering, the amount of energy required to move a coalition forward will be formidable. Still, said Culliton-Gonzalez, "We're not going away."

Oregon Lottery
Portland Community Policing
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Lents International Farmers Market
The Skanner Report

The Skanner Foundation Scholarships