06-20-2018  7:33 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 ...

Oregon gun-storage proposal won't make November ballot

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregonians will not be voting this fall on a proposal to require safe gun storage.Supporters of the initiative petition said Wednesday there isn't enough time to obtain the more than 88,000 valid signatures necessary to get the item on the November ballot.They had until...

Oregon Senator sues governor, state revenue department

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon state senator has filed a lawsuit against top lawmakers and the governor, saying the passage of a controversial March tax measure violated the state constitution.Brian Boquist, a Republican from Dallas, Oregon, filed the suit Tuesday in state tax court, naming...

Suspect arrested in 1986 killing of 12-year-old Tacoma girl

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Tacoma police have arrested a man suspected of killing a 12-year-old girl more than three decades ago.The News Tribune reports 66-year-old Gary Hartman was booked into Pierce County Jail Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of first-degree murder in the death of Michella...

Trudeau: Canada to legalize marijuana on Oct. 17

TORONTO (AP) — Marijuana will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17 in a move that should take market share away from organized crime and protect the country's youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.The Senate gave final passage to the bill to legalize cannabis on...

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

AP Explains: US has split up families throughout its history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant parents say the practice is unprecedented. But it's not the first time the U.S. government has split up families, detained children or allowed others to do so .Throughout American history,...

The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Wednesday at the World Cup (all times local):12:16 a.m.Lionel Messi is going to have a hard time keeping up with Cristiano Ronaldo at this year's World Cup.Ronaldo has all of Portugal's goals, a tournament-leading four so far, and has been getting in digs at Messi...

Ex-NAACP chief who posed as black pleads not guilty to fraud

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black pleaded not guilty to welfare fraud on Wednesday.Nkechi Diallo, formerly known as Rachel Dolezal, made a brief appearance in Spokane County...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jimmy Fallon reveals personal pain following Trump fallout

NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Fallon is opening up about the personal anguish he felt following the backlash to his now-infamous hair mussing appearance with Donald Trump.The host of "The Tonight Show" tells The Hollywood Reporter he "made a mistake" and apologized "if I made anyone mad." He adds...

After 4,000 episodes, a halt for Jerry Springer's show

NEW YORK (AP) — Somehow it doesn't seem right for Jerry Springer to exit quietly.There should be one last thrown chair or a bleep-filled tirade, at the very least. Instead, it was announced with no fanfare this week that he will stop making new episodes of his memorably raucous talk show,...

Peter Fonda apologizes for 'vulgar' Barron Trump tweet

NEW YORK (AP) — Peter Fonda apologized Wednesday for a late-night Twitter rant in which he suggested 12-year-old Barron Trump should be ripped from "his mother's arms and put in a cage with pedophiles."The all-capitals tweet in the wee hours went on to call President Donald Trump an...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

GOP senator defends EPA chief, calls ethics allegations lies

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican senator who had expressed concerns about Environmental Protection Agency...

AP Explains: US has split up families throughout its history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant...

Trump supporters steadfast despite the immigration uproar

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati resident Andrew Pappas supported President Trump's decision to separate...

Burger King says sorry for Russian World Cup pregnancy ad

MOSCOW (AP) — Burger King has apologized for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women who...

Volgograd provides the proper perspective at World Cup

VOLGOGRAD, Russia (AP) — Nearly 60 years since it changed its name to Volgograd, the Russian city once...

Live animals, meat, ivory, wood seized in trafficking stings

PARIS (AP) — Thousands of live animals along with tons of meat, ivory, pangolin scales and timber were...

Portland Mayor social justice debate
By Arashi Young | The Skanner News

The City of Portland is at a precipice of livability: skyrocketing rents turn families out into the street, Black people experience disproportionate representation at every step of the criminal justice system and those with mental illness risk mistreatment and death at the hands of the police.

Portland’s city slogan is “the city that works” -- but the larger question is “for whom does it work?”

This question was at the heart of the mayoral candidate forum for social justice held March 10 at Maranatha Church. Ted Wheeler, Jules Bailey and Sarah Iannarone squared off on the issues of police accountability, homelessness, mental illness and economic equity.

The Skanner News was among the sponsors of the event, along with the NAACP, the Mental Health Association of Portland, In Other Words, Street Roots and others. A racially diverse crowd of more than 200 people attended the event.

A related controversy preceded the discussion itself. Instead of having an open forum for all 15 candidates who’ve filed for candidacy, only the three best-funded candidates – those who had raised $5,000 or more by March 8 -- were invited to speak at the event. Moderator Jason Renaud, co-founder of the Mental Health Association of Portland, said the format was necessary to bring about an in-depth discussion.

“We are not having an open debate and big panel, we are trying to have a quiet discussion - our issues are quiet and our issues are fragile,” Renaud said.

The decision caused tension in the activist community, with some pointing out the irony of restricting participation in a social justice forum based on who had enough money to speak. Other mayoral candidates Dave Schor, Steven J. Entwisle Sr., Deborah Harris and Jessie Sponberg sat in the front row and protested their exclusion – silently for the most part, though Entwisle and Sponberg each interjected once during the discussion.

The forum was moderated by Renaud, Jo Ann Hardesty of the Portland NAACP and Israel Bayer the executive director of Street Roots.

Wheeler framed many of his answers around problem solving; from himself, from city government officials, even advocating for the police to be community problem solvers. Wheeler described himself as the “jerk” that Portland needs.

“You need to elect somebody who's a bit of a jerk,” Wheeler said in reference to a question about homelessness and the housing crisis. “I'm just the guy for the job,” Wheeler said.

Bailey presented himself as both the everyman who empathized with the plight of Portlanders and a policy wonk who knows the rules of local government. Bailey took heat for his recent Portland Police Association endorsement and his answer to reform the Portland police by adding more officers.

Bailey defended his PPA endorsement and said it would not affect his ability to lead the Portland Police Bureau as the Police Commissioner.

“I am honored to have that endorsement,” Bailey said. “But that doesn't mean that I can't be a mayor who's willing to have tough conversations and hold people accountable.”

Both Iannarone and Wheeler took a tougher reform stance in their answers on police accountability. They both pointed to the “having enough police matters” billboard erected by the PPA as being inflammatory and insulting.

Wheeler and Iannarone were also quick to criticize the 48-hour rule in the PPA contract. This provision allows officers 48 hours before they have to answer questions in deadly force incidents.

Bailey struggled to provide a clear answer on his stance on the 48-hour rule. In a lengthy back-and-forth exchange with Hardesty, he said he would make an effort to slowly move away from the rule. When pressed by Hardesty, Bailey wouldn’t unequivocally commit to removing the rule.

Throughout the debate, Iannarone had some of the strongest criticisms of Portland’s “progressive” culture, which leads in some areas but consistently fails its most vulnerable residents. In her opening statement, she took on the idea of Portland as a livable city and pushed for greater human rights progress.

When asked how she would address the disproportionate treatment of Black residents in the criminal justice system, Iannarone called for a prioritized effort to address racism and curb implicit biases.

“You can't begin to address those (disparities) unless you start calling that for what it is, which is racism. ‘Hi, we're Portland, we're racist. Hello, we've got a lot of work to do.’ We have to have the courage to say that,” she said. Iannarone said Portland could truly earn its progressive reputation by pushing to be the number one human rights city in the world.

As Hardesty gave her closing remarks, she reminded the candidates that all of the moderators are lifelong advocates who will hold them accountable to the promises made that night.

“I will work with you to help you be successful, but I will be your biggest pain if I believe you are not working,” Hardesty said.

 

For more information read the candidate position summary from the forum.

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