06-23-2018  6:24 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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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 ...

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Wildfire near Maupin more than doubles in size

MAUPIN, Ore. (AP) — A wildfire burning brush and grass near Maupin in north-central Oregon has more than doubled in size to 36 square miles (93 square kilometers).Fire officials say Saturday's efforts will include the use of helicopters to protect Maupin.The wind-driven wildfire is mostly...

Alaska city honors Guardsmen killed in crash after '64 quake

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A month after the second most powerful earthquake ever was recorded, the Alaska port community of Valdez remained in ruins.A hulking Alaska National Guard cargo plane's mission April 25, 1964, was to deliver Gov. William Egan to oversee efforts to rebuild the town on...

The Latest: Alaska city unveils memorial to fallen Guardsmen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on an Alaska city honoring Guardsmen killed in crash after 1964 earthquake (all times local):1:40 p.m.Four men who died on a humanitarian mission to help rebuild an Alaska town following the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded have been honored...

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

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for Arabic satellite channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, two comedies struck the wrong chord with audiences when their lead actors appeared in blackface.Criticism was swift on...

Chaos on the border inflames GOP's split with Latinos

When more than 1,000 Latino officials __ a crop of up-and-coming representatives from a fast-growing demographic __ gathered in Phoenix last week, no one from the Trump administration was there to greet them.It marked the first time a presidential administration skipped the annual conference of the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Give up after scandals? Television history shows otherwise

NEW YORK (AP) — Say this about TV creators in 2018 — they don't give up easily.Three current shows — "Roseanne," ''Transparent" and "House of Cards" — have been crippled by scandal, but each plans to continue without their disgraced stars."The bottom line is...

Ornate NYC theater, used for years as a gym, to be restored

NEW YORK (AP) — For years, Long Island University's basketball team played in a French Baroque movie palace in downtown Brooklyn.The gilded wall fountains, plastered statuettes and towering, one-of-a-kind Wurlitzer organ pipes of the historic Paramount Theater were preserved by the...

Vinnie Paul, co-founder, drummer of Pantera, dies at 54

Vinnie Paul, co-founder and drummer of metal band Pantera, has died at 54.Pantera's official Facebook page posted a statement early Saturday announcing his death. The label of Hellyeah, his most recent group, confirmed the death but neither statement mentioned Paul's cause of death.His real name...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP PHOTOS: Germany salvages campaign on Day 10 of World Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — Germany midfielder Toni Kroos scored a dramatic late winner to come from behind and beat...

1 dead after attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's new PM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A thwarted attempt to hurl a grenade at Ethiopia's reformist new prime...

Sanders says she was told to leave Virginia restaurant

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was booted from a Virginia restaurant...

Stars flock to the Dior debut of Kim Jones at Paris menswear

PARIS (AP) — In a week marked by big debuts, it was designer Kim Jones' turn at Dior Men on Saturday.The...

US moves 100 coffins to inter-Korean border for war remains

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.S. military said it moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to...

1 dead after attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's new PM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A thwarted attempt to hurl a grenade at Ethiopia's reformist new prime...

Brad Wong Equal Voice News

Fast food workers, who say their hourly wages are not enough to keep up with the cost of living, held a nationwide strike Thursday in about 35 cities. The fast food industry employs about 4 million people.

Their message to restaurant chain owners and the public: Because of the pay, they often have to pit buying food against paying for their housing – and that, they say, seems strikingly odd in the United States.

In fact, some say they need food stamps to survive despite being employed.

Restaurant associations and representatives from fast food outlets point to the jobs as cooks and cashiers as opportunities to move up the career ladder – especially to become a manager and earn more money.

Equal Voice News spoke with an employee of KFC about her experience and supporting her family of three children while earning $8 per hour in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some "living wage calculators" show that the "poverty wage" for this part of the country is $7 per hour.

Name: Shonda Roberts

Age: 38

Hometown: Oakland, Calif.

How long have you been working at KFC?

I've been working there for six months. I've been in the fast food or hospitality industry for 15 years. I've worked at Taco Bell. That was my first job at age 19. I've worked at Quiznos. I did food prep. I've worked at other restaurants.

What do you at KFC?

I'm a cashier. My duties are stocking, cleaning up the lobby, making sure the restrooms are clean. I work the drive through and work with customers. I work in the mornings and midday. It's pretty much staggered. I work about 16 hours per week.

May I ask how much you earn per hour?

I earn $8 per hour at KFC. At Quiznos, I made $8 per hour.

Could you talk about your family?

I'm a mom of three kids. My two oldest rely on me but they are college students. I do have a 15-year-old who depends on me. With my two oldest, I try and help them as much as I can. They're trying to do the best they can. At home, it's just me and my 15-year-old.

What do you like about your job?

I like my co-workers. I like that we're team players.

What do you think about wages in the fast food industry?

I feel that it should be a fair playing field. Being part of the working class, I feel that we should be able to provide for families. We shouldn't have to make these drastic decisions on what's more important, as: 'Oh, I can't put food on my table' and 'I can't pay my rent.'  It shouldn't be this way.

I have a weekly gross pay of $128. I'm asking you: Would you be able to provide for a family, even just one person, on $128 per week? Let's add in taxes. My net pay each week is about $100. I can't pay rent on top of putting food on the table, buying school supplies and buying clothing. It's a hard decision to make.

Especially since you're a parent and you want the best for your kids.

Sometimes, I have to make a decision of me eating or my child eating. And I always want to make sure that my child eats first.

Let's not forget that a lot of our working class have to rely on public assistance to make up the difference, like food stamps and health coverage.

Do you receive food stamps?

I do depend on food stamps to help feed my kids and myself. I feel like I shouldn't have to depend on food stamps to provide for my children. I should be able to provide for my children just by having a job.

What do you want KFC to know?

That we're demanding $15 per hour and a union. We're worth that. And no retaliation.

How will this help?

Everything is going up. But our pay is not going up. I just went grocery shopping the other day. I spent $50 and I really didn't get anything. Being a parent, I shouldn't have to sacrifice just to meet the bare necessities of life.

Being part of the working class, I feel that we're contributing to the community, just as everyone else is. I feel that my work ethic is up to par. This is my career. I provide excellent customer service. What a lot of corporations strive on is excellent customer service. The first person you see when you walk into a fast food restaurant, you'll see a person like myself.

Some people believe it's fine to pay fast food workers these current wages. Your response?

There are a lot of people in the nation who are my age and with families. They rely on jobs to take care of themselves.

You seem pretty brave. Are you afraid of taking action?

I'm not afraid at all. This is my right. I'm going to do what I need to do to put this in the forefront. I believe in my heart that we'll get what we're actually fighting for.

It's the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. What is your Dream?

My Dream is to be able to provide for my family without having to worry. I shouldn't have to get gray hairs and worry about every given day: 'If we get put out today, where will we go?' I shouldn't have to worry about being homeless. This is the richest country in the world. We're living in poverty. I want there to be a middle ground.

I shouldn't have to see starving children or a mother out here who is struggling, working two or three jobs, who still can't provide for her children. It doesn't make sense. I was born and raised in the United States. Something needs to give. Politicians, the community, everybody needs to see what is going on.

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