05-22-2018  12:23 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

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 ...

Oregon mom raises awareness after baby dies from meningitis

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Summer Poff knew something was wrong with her 7-month-old son, Blaize, early in the morning on May 11.He was fussy, feverish and wouldn't go to sleep. The Salem mom tried to soothe her baby and gave him Tylenol, but at 3 a.m, she knew she needed to take him to the...

Woman charged with murder in downtown Portland homicide

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a 33-year-old woman has been arrested in the shooting death of a woman whose body was found on a downtown Portland sidewalk.Portland police Sgt. Chris Burley says detectives believe the gun was fired during a disturbance on the sidewalk late...

Facelift of Seattle's Space Needle nears completion

SEATTLE (AP) — Tourism is booming in Seattle. Just take a look at the Space Needle.The family-owned landmark is set to unveil the biggest renovation in its 56-year history next month, a 0 million investment in a single year of construction that transformed the structure's top viewing...

Lawsuit seeks to change how Army Corps regulates shorelines

SEATTLE (AP) — Three conservation groups are suing the Army Corps of Engineers over how it regulates seawalls, bulkheads or other barriers built along shorelines across Puget Sound.Sound Action, Friends of The San Juans and the Washington Environmental Council want the Corps to better...

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

Man charged with shooting at black teen waives hearing

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A white suburban Detroit homeowner accused of shooting at a black teenager who came to his door to ask for directions will stand trial.Jeffrey Zeigler was bound over Tuesday to circuit court after waiving his preliminary examination on assault with intent to...

GLAAD study finds LGBTQ representation in film fell in 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Despite high-profile Oscar wins for art house films like "Call Me By Your Name" and "A Fantastic Women," LGBTQ representation in films from the seven biggest Hollywood studios fell significantly in 2017 according to a study released Tuesday by the advocacy organization...

Black man ordered to pay [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 for racist campus graffiti

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A former Eastern Michigan University student who admitted to painting racist graffiti on campus has been ordered to pay more than [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 in restitution.The Ann Arbor News reports 29-year-old Eddie Curlin learned his punishment Monday after earlier pleading guilty to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Soccer star Brandi Chastain or Gary Busey? Fans pan plaque

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media is finding little to like about the likeness on a plaque honoring retired soccer champion Brandi Chastain.The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in San Francisco unveiled the plaque on Monday night. Chastain said, "It's not the most flattering. But it's nice."On...

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — Singer R. Kelly sexually abused a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment, and infected her with herpes, the woman said in a lawsuit filed in New York.Faith Rodgers said in the suit filed Monday that she met Kelly about a year ago after a concert in San...

A farewell to the road for Paul Simon

NEW YORK (AP) — Farewell tours don't always mean farewell, but are a ripe time for appreciation and appraisal. Paul Simon's concerts and a new biography offer the opportunity for both.Simon's "Homeward Bound" tour began last week in Vancouver and takes him across North America, to Europe and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Soccer star Brandi Chastain or Gary Busey? Fans pan plaque

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media is finding little to like about the likeness on a plaque honoring retired...

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — Singer R. Kelly sexually abused a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment,...

APNewsbreak: Pentagon adopts new cellphone restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of debate, the Defense Department approved Monday new restrictions for the...

Venezuelan president expels top US diplomat

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday said he was expelling the top U.S. diplomat...

Rights group: Rohingya insurgents massacred Myanmar Hindus

BANGKOK (AP) — Amnesty International said Wednesday that Myanmar's army was not the only group that has...

Romania court acquits Senate speaker of lying under oath

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court has acquitted the Senate speaker of making false statements...

By Donovan M. Smith | The Skanner News

There’s a housing crisis in Portland, and now Mayor Charlie Hales is pledging $30 million from the City and County’s budget to help some of the most in need.

Mayor Hales made the promise during a press conference last week, saying the prime focus of the government dollars would go to houseless women, children, people with disabilities and mental illness.

“For too long I think we’ve stayed rooted in a realization that these problems can’t be solved overnight, and some of them can’t be,” Mayor Hales said. “But I also want us to recognize that there are some things that we can move.”

According to the mayor’s office the funding usage will go as such: $12.5 million for help in finding housing, assisting in paying rent and other support services; $10 million to build 250 units for the homeless; $5 million for shelter operations and $2.5 million for eviction prevention.

The city has pledged $20 million toward the cause, with Multnomah County contributing the other $10 million; neither have offered specifics yet as to where the money is coming from.

“We’re not rolling in money. We don’t have $30 million in a desk drawer but what we do have is the ability to reprogram some of the money in our general fund,” Mayor Hales said at the press conference last week.

Because the financial specifics have yet to be ironed out, the plan likely won’t start being implemented until the top half of next year.

The Skanner News spoke with African American Housing Association head Cheryl L. Roberts for her take on the plan.

Roberts said that while she wasn’t well versed on the specifics of the mayor’s plan announced last week, as long as there are no rent caps and no-cause evictions are legal, she said the housing market in the state will continue to be unstable.

“I think that, until the laws are changed are changed to protect the community, I think we’re just throwing our good money into bad,” she said.

Roberts also added that the $20 million Mayor Hales pledged towards affordable housing in North and Northeast Portland has yet to come to fruition.

Other advocates and civic organizations in the Black community have realized the specific toll the rising cost of living has had on African-descended populations in the city for some time now.

In  the Urban League’s updated State of Black Oregon report, released earlier this year, Portland State University Professor Lisa K. Bates noted displacement as an issue largely rooted in the lack of home and business ownership among African Americans.

“Black community development should encompass a range of possibilities, not only individual, but also collective and community ownership,” Bates said. “Historically Blacks have shared collective values of putting down roots, creating multi-generational opportunities and building communitywide prosperity.”

An article penned by the Portland Tribune’s Steve Law this year noted the falling number of Black homeowners in the city.

The article notes that Blacks owned 4,199 homes in Portland in 2012, down from 4,626 in 2010 and 5,044 in 2000.

That same report said that behind Native Americans, Black people were the second-most denied group when it comes to home mortgages in the County — a startling  14.7 percent in 2012.

The Skanner reported this summer that despite only accounting for 7 percent of the county’s inhabitants, African Americans have the highest rates of homelessness compared to other races, at 24 percent.

Despite disproportionate housing rates for Blacks and other people of color in the city and county, the proposed $30 million plan makes no mention of focusing on race in its efforts.

For the past two months, both the cities of Portland and Gresham, along with Home Forward and Multnomah County, have been hosting fair housing assessment meetings that are free and open to the public across the metro area.

During the last meeting it was noted that East 82nd Avenue, an area many low-income groups have migrated to in the past decade, is already seeing signs of gentrifying, as are other East County neighborhoods.

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