06-21-2018  8:31 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 ...

Fire forces evacuation of some residents in Jefferson County

CULVER, Ore. (AP) — Authorities in Jefferson County have told residents in the Three Rivers community to leave immediately as winds whipped a fire burning in central Oregon.Sheriff Jim Adkins issued an evacuation order Thursday night for the private development near Lake Billy Chinook. The...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

Infant found at Seattle encampment in protective custody

SEATTLE (AP) — A 5-month-old infant found at a Seattle homeless encampment is in protective custody as police investigate child neglect.Seattle Police said Thursday on its blog that the child was removed in late May from an unsanctioned homeless encampment where people were reportedly using...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

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

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman...

3 men face hate crimes charges in Minnesota mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury added federal civil rights and hate crimes violations to the charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis, prosecutors announced Thursday.The new five-count indictment names Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe...

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete...

ENTERTAINMENT

Koko the gorilla used smarts, empathy to help change views

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Koko the gorilla, whose remarkable sign-language ability and motherly attachment to pet cats helped change the world's views about the intelligence of animals and their capacity for empathy, has died at 46.Koko was taught sign language from an early age as a scientific...

Directors Guild says industry is still mostly white and male

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study by the Directors Guild of America finds that despite high-profile releases like "Get Out" and "Wonder Woman," film directors remained overwhelmingly white and male among the movies released last year.The DGA examined all 651 feature films released theatrically in...

Demi Lovato sings about addiction struggles on 'Sober'

NEW YORK (AP) — Demi Lovato celebrated six years of sobriety in March, but her new song indicates she may no longer be sober.The pop star released "Sober " on YouTube on Thursday, singing lyrics like: "Momma, I'm so sorry I'm not sober anymore/And daddy please forgive me for the drinks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

No. 1 Sun: Phoenix takes Ayton; Trae Young, Doncic swapped

NEW YORK (AP) — The Phoenix Suns stayed close to home for their first No. 1 pick. The Dallas Mavericks...

Charles Krauthammer, prominent conservative voice, has died

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and...

ABC orders 'Roseanne' spinoff for fall minus Roseanne Barr

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ABC, which canceled its "Roseanne" revival over its star's racist tweet, said Thursday...

Merkel pledges 0 million loan for troubled Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised a 0 million loan to troubled...

Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Eurozone nations agreed on the final elements of a plan to get Greece out of its...

Trump jabbed first, and now world hits back in trade fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States attacked first, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from around the...

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
Helen Silvis

PHOTO: Portland Mayor Hales stood with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and other like-minded mayors as they unveiled the Cities of Opportunity agenda, which includes initiatives on education, economic opportunity and equal access to high-speed Internet,  Monday Aug. 11.

Mayors from cities across the United States signed a commitment Monday, to take action against economic inequality.  Almost 40 mayors joined New York's Bill de Blasio at Gracie Mansion to sign the commitment statement as part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Cities of Opportunity Task Force.  

Sacramento-Mayor-Kevin-Johnson-webPHOTO: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson

"The whole point...is to lift up city residents and build an economy that works for everyone," said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is president of the task force. "We have a pro-growth agenda. We're talking about infrastructure, sustainability, education, trade, but also this notion of Cities of Opportunities."

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland signed the commitment along with Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Mitchell Landrieu of New Orleans, and many others. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who has pioneered raising the minimum wage, did not attend, but has also pledged to sign the statement. Check out the full statement here: Mayors to Congress: If you can't deal with urban problems we will!

"I think if we don't tackle equity --and I think all these mayors feel the same way, then our country is in trouble," Hales said on a call from Chicago between flights. 

 "We have this massive income inequality where the richest 400 people in the country earn more than the poorest 100 million people. We are not the America of the American Dream and that's a scary prospect, and dangerous inequality, and a cry for action to any of us in a position of leadership."

The mayors say they will act locally to make changes aimed at boosting income and opportunity for more Americans. The strategies they plan to use include:

  •  raising the minimum wage
  • mandating paid sick leave
  • promoting youth employment opportunities
  • increasing access to high speed internet for all, and
  • expanding early childhood education and pre-kindergarten programs.

"I'm encouraged and inspired, " Hales said. "Because like with some other issues, particularly climate change and transportation, the federal government has left the building and isn't being a leader.

"The federal government should be raising the federal minimum wage, because that would be the best way to address this particular piece of the massive income inequality problem we have in this country. But there is no sign that Congress is going to have the courage or the consensus to do that. That's why cities around the country are taking action."

Hales said both Portland and Seattle are ahead of the curve in some ways. Seattle took bold action by raising the minimum wage, he noted. Portland has acted on paid sick leave, broadband access, youth jobs and by "banning the box" that makes it difficult for people coming out of the criminal justice system to get work.

Mayor-StricklandPHOTO: Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland was also in New York to sign the commitment.

Ending disparities for people of color and low-income families demands focused action, Hales said.

"It's important that we learn and borrow good ideas from each other, and that we help debunk the naysayers.  Because for each of these ideas -- whether it's paid sick leave or ban the box -- there are some who predict that it'll be just terrible for business. We heard this about the sick leave ordinance for Portland. It didn't turn out to be true."

In Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter created a program that gave a tax break of $100,000 to employers who agreed to hire people returning to the workforce from the criminal justice system. About 400 people were hired and their recidivism rate was just 7 percent. Several employers even refused the tax credit, saying they were happy with their hires.

Hales said he hopes his fellow commissioners will agree to invite employers and others to the table to craft something similar to help "returning citizens," which, he said, is a better way to describe people coming out of the corrections system.

"We are going to borrow that idea, I hope, here in Portland. Because it's a great idea. It obviously works. And even if it was 17 or 27 percent recidivism it would be a significant improvement over the status quo. But to get recidivism down to a single digit and to get 400 people out of the criminal justice system and into the workforce is an amazing accomplishment."

In New York this fall, more than 54,000 four-year-olds will attend pre-K classes. The city has had a universal pre-K law on the books since 1997, but it went unfunded until Mayor de Blasio made it his priority. Hales says he hopes Portland can emulate de Blasio's efforts and find a way to fund pre-kindergarten programs for all children. 

The Cities of Opportunity task force will meet quarterly over the next year to share their successes and failures.

"Cities might compete, whether it's for the next national Democratic Convention or for the next software firm," Hales said. "But we are collaborators first and foremost because we all know that if other cities succeed, we do too."

So with Congress in gridlock, how is it that mayors from across the political spectrum can find common ground and a common agenda?

"Mayors are pragmatic not ideological, Hales said. "So although a few may have a party label attached to their names, it really doesn't matter, because there is no such thing as a Republican pothole or a Democratic job. 

"Mayors have an attitude that, 'My city wins when your city wins,' because we both are building the economy of the country, since 85 percent of it is in somebody's city's limits."

Cities of Opportunity Task Force Press Conference

 

The Conference of Mayors has just published a report on Income and Wage Gaps across the United States. (Pdf. file)

 

 

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