10-22-2019  7:56 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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Washington State Ecology Director Objects to EPA’s Proposed Clean Water Act Rule

Ecology Director Maia Bellon submitted formal objections in which she calls the proposal ill-advised and illegal

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested


U.S. Census Bureau Hosts Job Recruitment Events in Portland

There are several opportunities to ‘Meet the Employer’ today through Saturday for more information or to apply for 2020 census...

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Police: Body found is missing university student

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police say a body found near the St. Johns Bridge in Northwest Portland is a missing University of Portland freshman.Police on Tuesday evening said that the medical examiner's office had conducted an autopsy and positively identified the body as Owen...

Nike CEO Mark Parker to step down in January

NEW YORK (AP) — Nike said Tuesday that its longtime CEO Mark Parker is stepping down early next year.He will be replaced by board member John Donahoe, who formerly ran e-commerce company eBay. Parker will become executive chairman of the board.Nike's sales have been on the rise as the...

AP Top 25: Ohio State jumps Clemson to 3rd; Wisconsin falls

Ohio State edged past Clemson to No. 3 in The Associated Press college football poll and Wisconsin dropped to 13th after being upset ahead of its showdown with the Buckeyes.Alabama remained No. 1 on Sunday in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, receiving 24 first-place votes. No. 2 LSU held...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...


Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...


Trump likens House impeachment inquiry to 'a lynching'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stirring up painful memories of America's racist past, President Donald Trump on Tuesday compared the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry to a lynching, a practice once widespread across the South in which angry mobs killed thousands of black people.The use of such...

Professor's survey in Michigan criticized for racist remarks

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A survey by a Michigan State University professor to determine how people respond to derogatory online comments has been removed from a school website after sparking outrage because it included racist statements.The Lansing State Journal reported that Saleem...

Queen Latifah receives Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah was among the honorees recognized by Harvard University for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard awarded the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Tuesday, according to the...


Liam Gallagher talks solo rise, family feud and rock music

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Spend a few minutes with Liam Gallagher and it's clear the rocker hasn't lost any of his bravado, right down to counting himself among the greats in rock history.But Gallagher does acknowledge that one band breakup — not, Oasis, but rather the demise of Beady Eye in...

Lori Loughlin, other parents charged again in college scheme

BOSTON (AP) — "Full House" actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband and nine other parents faced new federal charges Tuesday in a scandal involving dozens of wealthy parents accused of bribing their children's way into elite universities or cheating on college entrance exams.A...

Celebrities to get drag makeovers in RuPaul's new VH1 series

LOS ANGELES (AP) — RuPaul is giving a dozen celebrities the chance to get drag makeovers for charity and bragging rights.VH1 said Tuesday that "RuPaul's Celebrity Drag Race" will air as a limited series next year.Each of the four episodes will feature a trio of stars competing for best drag...


US endorses tobacco pouches as less risky than cigarettes

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, U.S. health regulators have judged a type of smokeless tobacco to be...

The Latest: Scherzer wraps up night with Nats leading 5-2

HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on the World Series (all times local):9:42 p.m.Asdrúbal Cabrera singled to...

Trump likens House impeachment inquiry to 'a lynching'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stirring up painful memories of America's racist past, President Donald Trump on Tuesday...

Death toll rises to 15 as violence wracks Chile for 5th day

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Rioting, arson attacks and violent clashes wracked Chile for a fifth day Tuesday, as...

Venezuelans buy gas with cigarettes to battle inflation

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Motorists in socialist Venezuela have long enjoyed the world's cheapest gasoline,...

Suspect whose case led to Hong Kong's unrest leaves prison

HONG KONG (AP) — A murder suspect whose case indirectly led to Hong Kong's ongoing protests was freed from...

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. NNPA Columnist

At the heart of a democracy is the fundamental right to vote.  Yet for Black Americans, especially, the right to vote is historically blood-soaked and sacred.  We paid a heavy price to get the right to vote.  But it is not just a legal right; it is also a moral responsibility to vote given the tremendous sacrifice by so many of our fore parents that successfully waged a tireless struggle to dismantle American apartheid.  Today for more than 45 million Black people in the United States, we cannot afford to take for granted this important civil right and civic responsibility.

I strongly urge support for the NAACP's "Stand For Freedom" national campaign against voter suppression in America. Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President and CEO, is taking the right courageous leadership on this critical issue.  Jealous emphasized, "It's been more than a century since we've seen such a tidal wave of assaults on the right to vote.  Historically, when voting rights are attacked, it's done to facilitate attacks on other rights. It is no mistake that the groups who are behind this are simultaneously attacking very basic women's rights, environmental protections, labor rights, and educational access for working people and minorities."

The NAACP and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund just issued a report entitled, "Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America."  The national study "details a plethora of voter suppression initiatives, most of them pushed in states with large African-American populations and where voting turnout has surged."  The forces of repression have been hard at work.  From the very moment in the aftermath of the election of Barack H, Obama to be President of the United States, there has been a systematic attempt to suppress and prevent another large voter turnout from the African American community together with other communities of color. 

The 2012 elections will be the most important elections in our lifetime.  The strength of the struggle today to protect voting rights will in part be determined by how strong a grassroots movement is built in all of the states where Blacks and Latinos make up from 30% to $40% of the voting age population.  Racial discrimination is always found to most acute in those states and areas of the nation where the percentage of the Black population is the highest.  We must be vigilant concerning these attacks.  As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asserted years ago, "An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

More than 25 different measures have already been passed by state legislatures in at least 14 states that will restrict or prohibit the voting rights of African American and Latino American voters.  Some of these repressive and counterproductive measures include:  Restrictions to early voting (the early voting period has been reduced in a number of states). This will mostly affect black voters, as research shows African-Americans have been much more likely to take advantage of early voting.  They accounted for 22% of early voters during the 2008 general election in Florida.

Restrictions to voters with felony convictions: Two states (Florida and Iowa) adopted measures that prohibit persons convicted of felonies from voting for life, whilst others restrict felons for voting for a number of years after their convictions.

Residency restrictions: some states have increased the amount of time a citizen must live in a state in order to be entitled to vote. This particularly affects African-Americans and Hispanics, as they are more likely to move from state-to-state, and are therefore less likely to have lived in there for the required length of time.

Tighter restrictions to voter registration: requiring citizens to have photo-ID, with documentary proof of their citizenship. Some states will not accept student ID, even if issued by the state, whilst those elderly voters who were born during the time of legalized racial segregation, and who were therefore not issued with birth certificates, will also have difficulties at election time.

According to the New York University Law School's Brennan Center for Justice, an estimated 5 million Black, Latino and other voters could potentially be prevented from voting in the 2012 elections if we do not challenge and change these retrogressive attacks of our voting rights.  Thus, the outcome of the next critical national election is completely at stake surround this situation.  We are not making enough protest and noise about these new Jim Crow attacks. Let's stand up, speak out, and take appropriate action.  We support the voting rights demonstration at the United Nations led by the NAACP and other civil rights and labor organizations. Stand for freedom, justice, equality and empowerment everyday everywhere!

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is Senior Advisor for the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and President of Education Online Services Corporation and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN).

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