Cozying Up to the New Governor

In the wake of former Governor Kitzhaber’s demise, there is an all-out effort to cozy up to the new governor, Kate Brown. This should not be surprising, but what is most revealing in the entire process is the notion of political loyalty. With Democratic friends like those who turned on Governor Kitzhaber, who needs Republican enemies. It was quite astounding to watch this mass abandonment. Continue reading Cozying Up to the New Governor

Is Portland’s Black Male Achievement Project for real?

What does the advent of the new Black Male Achievement (BMA) project and the 1995 Million Man March have in common?

As an organizer of the Portland contingent that traveled to the March in Washington, DC back in October 1995, I was struck by a reference to the pride of black men made by Mayor Hales in his recent state of the city address. Continue reading Is Portland’s Black Male Achievement Project for real?

Can Black people connect the O-DOT’s?

How do these recent events impact black people:  Mayor Charlie Hale’s 2015 priorities; the recent firing of Catherine Mater, the chair of Department of Transportation Commission; Carol Smith’s Portland Public Schools reorganization plan, and the Governor’s vision for the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act?  They all have huge implications for black people, both specifically and as they interrelate to each other. Continue reading Can Black people connect the O-DOT’s?

Right or Left…we have to do something different!

Here we are at the start of another year – Happy New Year! Now is the time for black people to do something different in politics. Here in Oregon we have to recognize that much of our misery has happened under the leadership of so called “progressive” Democrats.

Some say it would have been worse under Republicans, and they might be right.  However, we will never know because we have been so captured by and in lockstep with the Democrats for a number of years. Continue reading Right or Left…we have to do something different!

In the wake of Ferguson, can Portland avoid the mistake of acting too little too late?

It seems like we have been marching and demonstrating forever in Portland.  Indeed, during the civil right movement, one veteran demonstrator captured the feeling accurately in thought, saying, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”.

No one is sure that the local power structure gets it, but it is clear that there is not the urgency of action necessary to effectively deal with many conditions in Portland that so accurately mirror those in Ferguson, MO. The festering issues of racial profiling, gentrification, job and housing discrimination are acutely similar to Ferguson. What is even more frighting is the fact that some of our elected leaders seem to be gravitating towards a repeat of the mistakes of the past: positioning the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff instead of building the necessary barricades at the top. Continue reading In the wake of Ferguson, can Portland avoid the mistake of acting too little too late?

NAACP Portland Chapter 1120B Elects 2015 Leadership Team

Following a membership vote on Saturday, November 15, 2014, and subsequent certification by the Elections Supervisory Committee, Portland’s NAACP Chapter 1120B will have new leadership. Jo Ann
Hardesty was elected President. James Posey will serve as 1st Vice President. Their two-year terms begin in January. Continue reading NAACP Portland Chapter 1120B Elects 2015 Leadership Team

Why Can’t Blacks Get To the Table?

It seems like we have watched this cycle go on forever, election after election, year after year, generation after generation: Black people are not at the table when it counts. Not being at that table during budget processes is devastating. “ODOT to Oregon lawmakers: Find $5.1 billion for bridges and roads, or watch economy collapse, Portland Public Schools’ $16.8 million windfall could lead to immediate relief in crowded schools, Portland could have a windfall of more than $15 million in new money to spend during the next few fiscal years”. Here are just a few examples of the headlines giving a glimpse of the dollars to be spent without recognizable black emphasis or input. Continue reading Why Can’t Blacks Get To the Table?