05-23-2018  3:41 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 ...

Lawmakers hold hearing to discuss Oregon dairy's downfall

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are asking questions about what went wrong with a large dairy that is facing a lawsuit, regulatory problems and bankruptcy in an effort to find ways to prevent a similar situation in the future.The Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:_____The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 23, on rebuilding faith in police oversight board:Derek Ashton, an attorney representing former Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea, didn't mince words in criticizing a committee's recommendation that O'Dea lose his police...

Tanker spills 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt near Cle Elum

CLE ELUM, Wash. (AP) — Officials say a tanker rolled spilling about 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt as it was taking an exit off Interstate 90 near Cle Elum.KOMO-TV reports the incident happened Wednesday when the tanker took the exit and went off the shoulder.The Washington State Patrol...

Amazon, Starbucks pledge money to repeal Seattle head tax

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan and others have pledged more than 0,000 toward repealing Seattle's newly passed tax on large employers.The Seattle City Council on May 14 unanimously passed the so-called head tax that will charge businesses making at least million in gross...

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

Video of Bucks guard's arrest in Milwaukee to be released

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police are poised to release body camera footage Wednesday from the officers who used a stun gun on NBA Bucks guard Sterling Brown during a January arrest.The release comes as city officials who've viewed the videos have expressed concern about how officers...

Offshore worker alleges bias in federal lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An African-American offshore oil worker has filed a federal lawsuit saying he was intimidated on the job by a supervisor who drew a picture of him dangling from a high rig structure while surrounded by co-workers in Ku Klux Klan hats.The lawsuit claims the worker was...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

ENTERTAINMENT

Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

SEATTLE (AP) — Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle.The Seattle Times reports (https://bit.ly/2s3scWE) the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday.Under the plea deal, a...

Lawyer: Harvey Weinstein targeted by federal prosecutors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Harvey Weinstein's lawyer said in a court filing that federal prosecutors in New York have launched a criminal investigation into the film producer, in addition to a previously disclosed probe by the Manhattan District Attorney.Attorney Benjamin Brafman said in a...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

BE MINE: Maker of candy hearts, Necco Wafers sold at auction

BOSTON (AP) — The bankrupt 171-year-old candy maker known for its chalky Necco Wafers and those little...

Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Some of the boxes stacked inside anthropologist Molly Zuckerman's laboratory...

Stand or stay out of sight: NFL takes on anthem protesters

ATLANTA (AP) — NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at quelling the firestorm over national...

French government orders evacuation of Paris migrant camps

PARIS (AP) — Police are preparing to dismantle makeshift camps holding close to 2,500 migrants in the...

2 patients who fled Ebola ward among the dead in Congo

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Two infected patients who fled from an Ebola treatment center in a Congo city of 1.2...

Summits give aged North Korean spies hope of returning home

GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — He's spent nearly six decades trapped on enemy soil, surviving 29 years in a...

Chair Deborah Kafoury, Commissioner Sharon Meieran, Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, Commissioner Lori Stegmann, Commissioner Loretta Smith
By Melanie Sevcenko | The Skanner News

Tuesday marked a milestone for Multnomah County with the swearing-in of three new commissioners to its county board. For the first time in the county’s history, the board is comprised of all women, with the majority of its members being people of color.

In a morning ceremony, the county welcomed Asian-American Commissioner Lori Stegmann of District 4, Commissioner Sharon Meieran of District 1, and Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson of District 3, who was elected in 2012 as the first Latina in the Oregon House of Representatives.

The board is rounded out by African American Commissioner Loretta Smith of District 2, who has held her position since 2010, and County Chair Deborah Kafoury.

“District 3 is really at the heart of Multnomah County,” Jessica Vega Pederson told The Skanner shortly after being sworn in. Pederson’s diverse district encompasses the western edge of Portland’s Laurelhurst neighborhood, south along the city’s thoroughfare Cesar Chavez Boulevard, and  East at 148th Avenue. “I think being a woman of color and representing my district is a really good fit.”

Pederson, who lives in East Portland with her family, said her primary goals include, “making sure that we’re serving all people of Multnomah County in a way that is equitable and allows access to prosperity.”

She also added that the variety of perspectives and backgrounds of the commissioners will likely prove to be the strength of the board. Hailing from the typically male-dominated technology sector, Pederson said entering politics marked a transition into working alongside empowered women.

 “I think it’s fantastic that Oregon is really leading the way in progressive government that has women in leadership positions, and is especially supportive of people of color in office,” she said.

Looking towards a new year, the board is united in its efforts to make mental health care a top priority. According to Commissioner Sharon Meieran, an emergency physician, addressing the widely cast net of mental health issues means fixing holes in homelessness, addiction and the criminal justice system.

 “We have great people providing excellent services, but our system isn’t working for those who need it the most, those who are most vulnerable,” said Commissioner Meieran, who noted that working with all women presents a new opportunity for her. “We need to look at the system holistically and see where we can create a meaningful impact.”

But moving beyond the board’s individual members, Commissioner Pederson is relying on their collective values to serve the people best.

“We are progressive and we know Multnomah County can be a positive solution to tackle the big problems that we have, like homelessness, affordable housing, and better access to mental health services,” said Pederson. “I think those things reflect what all the people of Multnomah County want, regardless of ethnicity and gender.” 

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