05-21-2018  9:38 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated jumi million to a campaign seeking to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington state.Allen made the announcement on Twitter Monday.The Alliance for Gun Responsibility says...

Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man is accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo hotel, shoving Xanax down her throat and forcing a fentanyl spray up her nose in what police say was attempted murder.The Daily Herald reports the woman survived and was able to escape and alert...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

China sentences Tibetan activist to 5 years for separatism

BEIJING (AP) — China has sentenced a Tibetan language activist to five years in prison for inciting separatism after he appeared in a documentary video produced by The New York Times.Tashi Wangchuk's lawyer Liang Xiaojun told The Associated Press that a judge in Qinghai province passed down...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

Correction: 2018 Midterms-Endorsements story

ATLANTA (AP) — In a story May 20 about potential Democratic presidential candidates and their campaign activity in 2018, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former Vice President Joe Biden was planning to campaign in North Carolina on behalf of a congressional candidate Dan...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actress who accused Weinstein needs money to finish film

NEW YORK (AP) — Actress Paz de la Huerta has started a crowdfunding campaign to finish a movie she began making years before she publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape.The movie "Valley of Tears" is her take on the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Red Shoes," about a little girl with a...

Sony invests in image sensors, acquires more of EMI Music

TOKYO (AP) — Electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. said Tuesday it plans to invest 1 trillion yen ( billion) mostly in image sensors over the next three years, under a revamped strategy to strengthen both hardware and creative content.Sony also plans to buy for [scripts/homepage/home.php].3 billion a 60...

At Cannes, a #MeToo upheaval up and down the Croisette

CANNES, France (AP) — Fifty years after filmmakers shut down the Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious Cote d'Azur extravaganza was again shook by upheaval.From the start to the finish, the 71st Cannes was dominated by protest and petition for gender equality, culminating in the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Artist Robert Indiana, known for 'LOVE' series, dies at 89

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his...

All tied up: LeBron's 44 helps Cavs even series with Celtics

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James knows the path to the NBA Finals better than anyone in today's game.And...

Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Sarah Rose Summers from Nebraska beat out 50 other women Monday to win this year's...

Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Job application
Arashi Young of The Skanner News

A statewide initiative to give ex-convicts a fair chance at employment got one step closer last week to becoming Oregon law.

On Thursday, the Oregon State Senate approved the “ban the box” House Bill 3025 by a 21-8 vote. The bill would make it unlawful to inquire about a job seeker’s criminal history on job applications.

Sen. Chip Shields, who founded the Northeast Portland employment and counseling agency Better People, said the legislation is an important step to reduce recidivism for those with a criminal record.

“When a person who has criminal record can't gain access to employment, they have to rely on their family or the state in order to survive, and all too often they resort back to crime,” Shields says.

The original version of the bill banned employers from asking about criminal backgrounds or considering that history as a reason to refuse employment. The employer was also banned from conducting a background check before a conditional job offer was extended.

The amended legislation is a compromise that removes the criminal history question from job applications, but allows employers to consider the applicant history in their hiring decisions.

It also includes exemptions for employers who are subject to federal, state or local laws that require consideration of applicant's criminal history. These employers include law enforcement agencies, criminal justice system employees and employers who are seeking nonemployee volunteers.

Another change to the bill was the enforcement of the law. Originally, applicants who had been rejected on the basis of their criminal history could file a civil action against potential employers. In the amended bill, the Bureau of Labor and Industries is charged with enforcing the law.

Nearly all Democratic Oregon State Senators voted for the legislation, as well at four Republican Senators including Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli and Sen. Jackie Winters.

Winters, who co-carried the bill along with Sen. Michael Dembrow, brought her personal experience to the law. She spoke about her late husband, Marc “Ted” Winters, who arrived at the Oregon State Penitentiary at 17 years old and was incarcerated for over two decades.

In 1967,Ted Winters was given a second chance when he was asked to be part of Gov. Tom McCall’s staff. Winters said there were only two miles between the Oregon State Penitentiary and the Governor’s office -- a short distance to travel, but seemingly impossible for ex-convicts.

Winters also wrote in a press release about how the bill could benefit communities of color who are incarcerated at a higher rate.

“We know that people of color are disproportionately caught up in our criminal justice system, and thus are disproportionately harmed by employers' criminal background check procedures,” Winters says.  “House Bill 3025 is a modest step toward remedying the long-term consequences of a criminal justice system that disproportionately harms communities of color.”

The bill is now with the State House of Representatives for re-approval before being sent to Gov. Kate Brown. If adopted, Oregon will join 17 other states that have passed some version of “ban the box” legislation.

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