Voices from the Edge

About the program …

Community dialogue is important. At 8am every Thursday Voices from the Edge lends a KBOO microphone to informed guests you might not hear anywhere else. With an hour to invest, the call-in format engages listeners in meaningful conversations about crucial issues like racial disparity, government accountability, environmental justice and politics on local, state and national levels. Join lively discussions about concerns that are important to you and our community. Together we’ll make Oregon and our nation a better place for a larger number of those living here.

About the host

Jo Ann Hardesty is Principal Partner at Consult Hardesty. She serves as a subject matter expert on a myriad of issues and is available as a speaker, facilitator and campaign planner. A long-time voice for Portland's under-represented communities and a leader in the struggle against racial and economic injustice, Jo Ann was three times elected to the Oregon legislature and for many years Executive Director of Oregon Action. She’s been called on by the City of Portland to help re-write the City Charter and organizes those on the downside of power to pursue their interests from the local to the federal level. She is particularly committed to leadership development and in holding those in power accountable.

Join the conversation …

Join the conversation every Thursday morning from 8-9 a.m. by calling 503-231-8187. Keep the conversation going after the program at our blog at kboo.fm/voicesfromtheedge.

Engineering: Steve Nassar 

Hosted by

Episode Archive

Voices from the Edge on 05/24/12

Air date: 
Thu, 05/24/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Whose urban renewal?

Whose urban renewal? A look at the mayor's education urban renewal area.

Last week the Portland City Council approved the Portland Development Commission's Education Urban Renewal Plan "focused on expanding Portland State University as a leading engine of economic growth, prosperity and opportunity." The new urban renewal area will generate up to $169 million for investment in research facilities, "business accelerators," affordable housing and private development.

Voices from the Edge on 05/17/12

Air date: 
Thu, 05/17/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Daniel Suelo, the man who quit money

Daniel Suelo, the man who quit money

Twelve years ago, Daniel Suelo left his life savings - thirty dollars - inside a phone booth and walked away. Since then, he has lived - to all appearances sanely and even joyfully - without money, credit, barter, or government support, fulfilling what he sees as a vision of the good life inspired by the teachings of Jesus, the Buddha and others. Suelo sees his path as one that has allowed him to live an engaged life on the personal, social and spiritual level. What does his experience tell us about modern American life?

Voices from the Edge on 05/10/12

Air date: 
Thu, 05/10/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Occupying the Economy with Richard Wolff

Occupying the economy with Richard D. Wolff

Three years into the government's announced recovery, working Americans find themselves poorer than when the recovery began. While the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression has exposed corrupt bankers, unregulated speculators and a government willing to serve the interests of the one percent regardless the cost, the wealthy continue to prosper. Economist Richard D. Wolff credits the occupy movement with exposing these symptoms of capitalism but believes we must go deeper to resolve the decades-old causes of the crisis, reaching back to the 1970s when a century-old pattern of rising wages for workers ended.

Voices from the Edge on 05/03/12

Air date: 
Thu, 05/03/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Blowing the lid off BP and other corporate criminals with Greg Palast

Blowing the lid off BP and other corporate criminals with Greg Palast

Last month, award-winning investigative journalist Greg Palast uncovered new evidence of a corporate-government cover-up in the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon blowout that destroyed lives and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico. In an investigation that includes travel to - and deportation from - the Islamic republic of Azerbaijan, Palast and his team uncovered evidence of a 2008 blowout of a BP Caspian Sea rig from the use of the same faulty cement cap that led to the Gulf disaster.

Voices from the Edge on 04/26/12

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Air date: 
Thu, 04/26/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Finding justice in the Portland Harbor cleanup

Finding justice in the Portland Harbor cleanup

Portland Harbor is the heavily industrialized portion of the Willamette River running north of downtown to Kelly's Point. Since it was listed as a Superfund site in 2000, cleaning up the toxins - ranging from heavy metals to pesticides - has been a source of contention between the city, state, industry and citizen groups. Now a "Portland Harbor Partnership" composed of government and industry representatives is moving towards a final plan for cleanup and future use of the area.

Voices from the Edge on 04/19/12

Air date: 
Thu, 04/19/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Sexual assault and homeless women: Addressing an ignored link

Sexual assault and homeless women: Addressing an ignored link

Women in an abusive relationship are often forced to choose between abuse at home or life on the streets. Demand far outstrips the supply of affordable housing or shelter space. A 2006 U.S. Conference of Mayors report found that 29 percent of shelter requests by homeless families were denied due to lack of resources. The link between domestic violence and homelessness is well documented. A recent study in Massachusetts found that 92 percent of homeless women had experience severe physical or sexual assault at some point in their life.

Voices from the Edge on 04/12/12

Air date: 
Thu, 04/12/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Ending Unjust Deportations

 Ending unjust deportations

Most news stories of ICE raids on undocumented immigrants end with a headcount of people caught in the government's net. What's not seen on the evening news is the impact on communities where deportations tear families apart and create an environment of insecurity for those left behind. As deportations continue to occur in the Portland area, local communities are coming together to understand the issues driving these federal policies and to find solutions that are just and create true security.

Voices from the Edge on 04/05/12

Air date: 
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Official Violence Against African American Men

Campbell, Martin, Brisette and Madison: Official violence against African American men

The Portland police officer who fatally shot Aaron Campbell was recently reinstated. Florida's State Attorney is being investigated for interference in the police investigation of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Seven years after James Brissette and Ronald Madison were fatally shot by police officers from New Orlean's Danziger Bridge, the officers who pulled the triggers as well as those who covered up the killings have finally been convicted for their crimes.

Voices from the Edge on 03/29/12

Air date: 
Thu, 03/29/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Young voices for peace: Winners of PSR's Greenfield Peace Writing Contest

Young voices for peace: Winners of PSR's Greenfield Peace Writing Contest

Voices from the Edge on 03/22/12

Air date: 
Thu, 03/22/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
What role should religion play in our politics?

What role should religion play in our politics?

Judging by the statements made by presidential candidates and the media pundits providing minute-by-minute analysis of their comments, Americans want more religion in their politics. But a new poll by Pew Research indicates that a growing number of Americans are concerned about the degree to which politicians and the media have inserted religion into political discourse.

Audio

Live from Occupy Portland Encampment: Where do we go from here?

program date: 
Thu, 10/20/2011

Hosted by Jo Ann Hardesty and Dave MazzaLive from Occupy Portland Encampment!!!

Occupy Portland enters it second week of sustained action in downtown Portland this Thursday. What started as a 10,000-participant protest in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests has turned into fourteen days of demonstrations, speak-outs, teach-ins and community outreach. Where does Occupy Portland go from here?

This week, in a special live broadcast from the Occupy Portland Encampment Jo Ann and Dave will talk with Occupy Portland participants about their experiences, their hopes and where they see the protest going in the coming weeks. Will the nature of the protest be changing? Can this energy be sustained as weather and city hall turns colder? Join us as we discuss these and other questions this week on Voices from the Edge.

Mark your calendar! If you enjoyed Jo Ann's conversation with Greg Palast last week, don't miss hearing him in person at a special KBOO fundraising event on Nov. 13 at the Bagdad Theater. Greg will be launching the kick-off of the Vultures' Picnic book tour - and net proceeds from the event go to support KBOO 90.7 FM and the Portland Alliance. Tickets are on sale now!

Jo Ann Hardesty is a former state legislator, former executive director of Oregon Action and past board president of Portland Community Media as well as a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is a freelance journalist and former editor of The Portland Alliance who has covered and been involved in Portland's civil rights, environmental, labor and peace movements for over 20 years

Join Jo Ann and Dave every Thursday as they bring you guests and conversations on the issues that are important to you. Support Voices from the Edge by becoming a member of KBOO today (just click the "tip jar" in the upper right corner of the KBOO website to find out how).

Co-Hosts: Jo Ann Hardesty and Dave Mazza

Producers: Dave Mazza and Jo Ann Hardesty

Program Engineer: Steve Nassar

Audio Editor: Alicia Olson

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  • Title: Voices 20111020
  • Length: 49:50 minutes (45.63 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Pursuing Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High Finance Carnivores: A conversation with Greg Palast

program date: 
Mon, 10/17/2011

 Award-winning investigative journalist Greg Palast blew the lid off voter fraud in 2000 and 2004 that threw the presidential elections into doubt. Greg has picked up the money trail again, following it to a corrupt link between Big Oil and High Finance that has produced record corporate profits whilecreating environmental disasters like the recent Gulf oil spill. This new story, captured in his latest book,Vulture's Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High Finance Carnivores, reads like a pulp thriller as the Palast investigative team travels from Baku to the Arctic Circle in pursuit of this story.

This week, Jo Ann has a special conversation with Greg about this latest effort at exposing corporate wrongdoing, his coming plans for tracking voter fraud in all 50 states in 2012, and the challenges of being an independent journalist in a corporate-dominated media. They'll also talk about Greg's special Portland kickoff of his book tour on Nov. 13 at the Bagdad Theater, an event whose net proceeds will go to support KBOO 90.7 FM and other local community media. And don't forget to support programming like this by becoming a member during the KBOO membership drive!

Voices from the Edge on 10-06-11 Where vision meets on-the-ground action: A conversation with Eric Mann

program date: 
Thu, 10/06/2011

Where vision meets on-the-ground action: A conversation with Eric Mann

How does the vision of creating social justice get translated into concrete action for change? What are the roles and responsibilities of the organizer in making change happen? This week on Voices from the Edge, Jo Ann and Dave kick-off the fall membership drive with a special conversation with Eric Mann, whose recent book, Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer, taps into the author's 40 years of experience working with labor, community, environmental and social justice movements. Mann is the director of the Los Angeles-based Labor/Community Strategy Center and cofounder of the Bus Riders Union.

Join us in the conversation and support community radio by becoming a member of KBOO or renewing your KBOO membership during this fall membership drive (or any time, for that matter). And keep up with the conversation by becoming a friend of Voices from the Edge on facebook!

  • Title: VFE 0-6-11
  • Genre: Other
  • Year: 2011
  • Length: 55:03 minutes (50.4 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Voices from the Edge on 09-29-11 The Fraying of Oregon's Middle Class

program date: 
Thu, 09/29/2011

The Fraying of Oregon's Middle Class

Good wages, benefits and a better life for your children were what most Americans expected in return for their hard day's work. But these pieces of the American dream are fast disappearing as living wage jobs disappear, hard-won benefits are lost and earnings remain flat. When Oregon's middle class starts to unravel, what happens to the rest of the economy?

This week on Voices from the Edge, Jo Ann and Dave speak with Jason Gettel, a policy analyst with Oregon Center for Public Policy that recently co-authored the report "The Fraying of Oregon's Middle Class" with Demos, a New York City-based research and advocacy institute. After years of economic pressure, has the middle class reached a tipping point from which it can't recover? Join us in the conversation.

Coming up: On Oct. 6, Voices from the Edge speaks with long-time organizer Eric Mann about his new book, Playbook for Progressives. On Oct. 20, award-winning investigative journalist Greg Palast throw a light on the corrupt links between big oil and high finance that led to tragedies like the recent Gulf oil spill. And to hear from Palast about high-level wrongdoing, come to a special evening with Greg on Nov. 13, a benefit for KBOO and other community media (more about that to come).

Don't forget to follow Voices from the Edge on Facebook!

  • Title: VFE 09-29-11
  • Genre: Other
  • Year: 2011
  • Length: 56:40 minutes (51.88 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Voices from the Edge on 09-22-11 What does it mean to be connected?

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program date: 
Thu, 09/22/2011

What does it mean to be connected? A conversation with filmmaker Tiffany Shlain

Are you unable to go more than an hour without checking your email? Are you and your laptop or smartphone inseparable? Or are you so overwhelmed by technology to the point of shunning it all? We continue to have a love-hate relationship with technology as it makes us more connected and more interdependent each day. Connected, a new documentary/memoir by Tiffany Shlain, explores what it means to be connected in the 21st century and what that interdependence means for the human species. This week on Voices from the Edge, Jo Ann and Dave talk with Shlain about her new film and the personal experiences that prompted her to examine connectedness and interdependence.

Next week on Voices from the Edge, Jo Ann and Dave will examine the fraying of the middle class and how that is impacting Oregonians.

Join the conversation on KBOO 90.7 FM and stay a part of the conversation by becoming a friend of Voices from the Edge on facebook.

Next month is the start of the Fall membership drive, your opportunity to support community-based programming like Voices from the Edge by becoming a KBOO member or renewing your membership (consider at a higher level). Click the "tip jar" on this website to join the ranks of community radio supporters.

Co-Hosts: Jo Ann Hardesty and Dave Mazza
Producers: Dave Mazza and Jo Ann Hardesty
Program Engineer: Steve Nassar
Audio Editor: Alicia Olson
 

  • Title: VFE 09-22-11
  • Genre: Other
  • Year: 2011
  • Length: 53:14 minutes (48.73 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Voices from the Edge on 09/15/11

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program date: 
Thu, 09/15/2011

What draws youth to gang life and how we draw them out of the life?

Continuing last week's conversation on acts of community violence like the shooting of six Jefferson High School students, Jo Ann and Dave look at what draws youth into the gang life and keeps them there despite the risks and consequences? How do we keep youth from entering gang life or draw them out of it once they're in? Joining Dave and Jo Ann in this conversation will be former gang member and current gang outreach worker Pernell Brown and Dr. Clayborn Collins, executive director of Emmanuel Community Services.


Jo Ann Hardesty is a former state legislator, former executive director of Oregon Action and past board presidentof Portland Community Media as well as a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is a freelance journalist and former editor of The Portland Alliance who has covered and been involved in Portland's civil rights, environmental, labor and peace movements for over 20 years
 
Join Jo Ann and Dave every Thursday as they bring you guests and conversations on the issues that are important to you. Support Voices from the Edge by becoming a member of KBOO today (just click the "tip jar" on our website to find out how).
 
Co-Hosts: Jo Ann Hardesty and Dave Mazza
Producers: Dave Mazza and Jo Ann Hardesty
Program Engineer: Steve Nassar
Audio Editor: Alicia Olson
 
  • Title: VFE 09-15-11
  • Genre: Other
  • Year: 2011
  • Length: 54:27 minutes (49.85 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Voices from the Edge 09-08-11

Categories:
program date: 
Thu, 09/08/2011
How should we respond to the Jefferson student shootings?

Last Friday night, two young men opened fire on a group of Jefferson High School students, wounding six of them. Mayor Sam Adams authorized increased police presence in the area and extended the assignment of additional officers to the bureau's gang intervention unit. The mayor called the shootings an "everybody in Portland problem," but will everybody be part of the solution or will the city follow past practices in addressing these problems? How do you think our city government should respond?

Jo Ann Hardesty is a former state legislator, former executive director of Oregon Action and past board presidentof Portland Community Media as well as a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is a freelance journalist and former editor of The Portland Alliance who has covered and been involved in Portland's civil rights, environmental, labor and peace movements for over 20 years
 
Join Jo Ann and Dave every Thursday as they bring you guests and conversations on the issues that are important to you. Support Voices from the Edge by becoming a member of KBOO today (just click the "tip jar" on our website to find out how).
 
Co-Hosts: Jo Ann Hardesty and Dave Mazza
Producers: Dave Mazza and Jo Ann Hardesty
Program Engineer: Steve Nassar
Audio Editor: Alicia Olson
 

Voices from the Edge 09-01-11 Growing up black in white suburbia

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program date: 
Thu, 09/01/2011

Growing up black in white suburbia

Black Girl in SuburbiaWhat does it mean growing up where your classmates and neighbors don't look like you? How does that shape your sense of self-identity? These questions go directly to the experience of a rising number of African American girls growing up in Portland's white suburbs. Can their experience help all of us better understand perceptions of ourselves, others and the community?

This week on Voices from the Edge, we explore these questions with local filmmaker Melissa Lowery, whose documentary "Black Girl in Suburbia" examines the stories of young African American women dealing with race and identity in a predominantly white environment.

Jo Ann Bowman is a former state legislator, former executive director of Oregon Action and past board president of Portland Community Media as well as a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is a freelance journalist and former editor of The Portland Alliance who has covered and been involved in Portland's civil rights, environmental, labor and peace movements for over 20 years

Join Jo Ann and Dave every Thursday as they bring you guests and conversations on the issues that are important to you. Support Voices from the Edge by becoming a member of KBOO today (just click the "tip jar" on our website to find out how).


Co-Hosts: Jo Ann Bowman and Dave Mazza
Producers: Dave Mazza and Jo Ann Bowman
Program Engineer: Steve Nassar
Audio Editor: Alicia Olson
  • Title: VFE 09-01-11
  • Genre: Other
  • Year: 2011
  • Length: 56:35 minutes (51.81 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Voices from the Edge 08-25-11 Getting on board with a fair transit policy

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program date: 
Thu, 08/25/2011

Getting on board with a fair transit policy

As TriMet begins considering fares for a new fiscal year, some community members are calling on the transit authority to address inequities between MAX and bus transfer policies that hurt working class families relying on bus service. While MAX transfers are valid two hours from purchase, bus transfer policy is based on destination point, a confusing formula that some bus riders claim results in arbitrary and sometimes discriminatory assignment of transfer times. Coupled with rising fares and service cuts, this results in transit-dependent communities like East Portland experience more missed connections, higher commuting costs and for TriMet, declining ridership as people are forced to rely on their automobiles.

This week on Voices from the Edge, we talk with Crystal Wabnum, community organizer with OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon about that organization's Campaign for Fair Transfer and how an unfair transfer policy affects more than just bus riders. Joining in the conversation will be Cameron Johnson, a Bus Rider leader with OPAL. The Campaign for Fair Transfer is mobilizing for a Sept. 28 TriMet Board meeting with the goal of winning support for their demands.

Jo Ann Bowman is a former state legislator, former executive director of Oregon Action and past board president of Portland Community Media as well as a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is a freelance journalist and former editor of The Portland Alliance who has covered and been involved in Portland's civil rights, environmental, labor and peace movements for over 20 years.

Join Jo Ann and Dave every Thursday as they bring you guests and conversations on the issues that are important to you. Support Voices from the Edge by becoming a member of KBOO today (just click the "tip jar" on our website to find out how).

Co-Hosts: Jo Ann Bowman and Dave Mazza
Producers: Dave Mazza and Jo Ann Bowman
Program Engineer: Steve Nassar
Audio Editor: Alicia Olson

  • Title: VFE 08-25-11
  • Genre: Other
  • Year: 2011
  • Length: 55:32 minutes (50.84 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Voices from the Edge 08-18-11 The Case for Nonviolent Resistance

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program date: 
Thu, 08/18/2011

The case for nonviolent resistance: an interview with Erica Chenoweth

At a time when our government, with the support of many Americans, increasingly turns to drones and other long-range violence to "keep America safe", making the case for nonviolent alternatives becomes difficult if not impossible. But Erica Chenoweth, Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University says the facts are with the doves not the hawks. In reviewing over a century of campaigns of resistance, Chenoweth found that nonviolent campaigns were more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts. Nonviolence proved far more able to build broad-based support necessary to end oppressive regimes.

This week on Voices from the Edge, we talk with Chenoweth about these and other findings found in her new book Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, co-authored with Maria J. Stephan. We'll look at how this findings apply to the Arab Spring, the Obama administration's foreign policy and to building social justice movements at home. 

Also joining this conversation is Tom Hastings, PSU Faculty, Department of Conflict Resolution.

Jo Ann Bowman is a former state legislator, former executive director of Oregon Action and past board president of Portland Community Media as well as a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is a freelance journalist and former editor of The Portland Alliance who has covered and been involved in Portland's civil rights, environmental, labor and peace movements for over 20 years

Join Jo Ann and Dave every Thursday as they bring you guests and conversations on the issues that are important to you. Support Voices from the Edge by becoming a member of KBOO today (just click the "tip jar" on our website to find out how).

Co-Hosts: Jo Ann Bowman and Dave Mazza
Producers: Dave Mazza and Jo Ann Bowman
Program Engineer: Steve Nassar
Audio Editor: Alicia Olson

Comments

Foreclosure Mills

I just wanted to post a link to an article about the foreclosure mills that make money off of the forsclosure mess.  http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/07/david-stern-djsp-foreclosure-fannie-freddie?page=1

taxing "gross" income?

can you clarify?

don't the measures increase rates on taxable income, not gross income, as the first caller mentioned? 

Still waiting for my apology from Joann

Dear Ms. Bowman,

I did not hear an apology for you making a blatant distortion of my comment.  I do not appreciate being lied about and especially by a campaign which you obviously are supporting which hypocritically poses as the moral arbitrator of the Universe regarding truth telling.

Again, let me clarify:

First off, I did not say, as was falsely stated by you and your guest, that politicians have a right to lie.  I stated that everyone has a right to lie about their love life.  That is a vastly different point and I bitterly resent being lied about on this.

This distortion (lie) by your guest and you is sadly emblematic of the hyperbolic nature of this entire pesudo-moralistic campaign.

I will receive your apology before I ever again associate with you or this program.

Sinverely,

Will Ware

It

Lying about lying on the Edge

I don't know how to get an email to the disc jockey.

Will again and please correct your slander of me and misstatement of my comment.

First off, I did not say, as was falsely stated by JoAnn and your caller, that politicians have a right to lie.  I stated that everyone has a right to lie about their love life.  That is a vastly different point and I bitterly resent being lied about on this.

This distortion (lie) by your guest and JoAnn is emblematic of the hyperbolic nature of this entire pesudo-moralistic campaign.

It is a fact that Republicans involved in this are using this as an organizing tool.  It is a fact that this campaign is making common-cause with anti-progressive forces.

It is this campaign that is the divisive force in our community.

This signature campaign is the darling of the right wing.  This campaign is the best thing that has happened to the Multnomah Co. Republican Party since Theodore Roosevelt.

If this is about negative campaigning- WHY IS THIS SUCH A THOROUGLY NEGATIVE CAMPGAIGN.  IT REDUCES POLITICAL DIALOG TO THE LEVEL OF A GRAMMER SCHOOL PLAYGROUND.

 

Cops and Race

Very interesting program today (8/6/09). Here's a germane link to an article by Kevin Alexander Gray in The Progressive "Citizens have the right to talk back to the police":

http://www.progressive.org/mpgray080409.html

In my view, a well trained cop could have and should have defused the situation far short of arrest.

Too frequently, cops escalate situations, especially when dealing with people of color.

As Mr. Alexander sums up in the final sentence of his article: "We should never have to fear when we stand up for our rights." And that goes for people of all hues.

Citizens have the right to talk back ...

I agree, Peter. This article is germane: One outcome of Professor Gate’s arrest should be an understanding that “What lends legitimacy (to our legal system) is our belief that the police are dutiful servants of the people — not their arbitrary oppressors.”

The Declaration of Independence promptly asserts “… Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed.”

'Know Your Rights' training is imperative, as a 'check and balance' against unwarranted interference with the intent of the U.S. Constitution. An informed citizenry is a Public Good. Vigilance against abuse of power is actually a civic responsibility.

I know first-hand a tendency by Portland police to escalate situations that might be otherwise resolved. I have only an inkling of the mental pressures involved in policing, and but a dim suspicion as to the social handicaps that come with wielding weapons, spending so much time in the milieu of antisocial behavior, of having a community grant your uniformed subgroup status as The Enforcers. I would suspect such pressure, status and lethal equipment make it difficult to appreciate a role of Servant of the People.

Do you know what the common ground may be?

Law enforcement.

How can we change our dialogue so that a person of color, being thrown up against chain link fence – sometimes even without a pretext of wrongdoing – has standing when there is no probable cause that a crime is being committed?

By advocating that police actions adhere to Constitutional provisions for freedom from unwarranted search, to be secure in their possessions; would not this citizen also be involved in law enforcement?

One really ironic point I failed to make on the program is that, from the time of Chief Kroeker onward, it has likely been in the consciousness of Portland Police Bureau command that racial profiling actually inhibits criminal detection and prosecution. Simply the perception of police misconduct reduces the quality of public cooperation. One of the results of racial bias is that it is more difficult to secure leads and eventual witness testimony from a disenfranchised, victimized population of law-abiding citizens.

I suggest there will be a real reduction in crime (due to citizen cooperation) when and if policing is seen to be done lawfully. If it were a shared perception that people who oppose the immoral, unethical and illegal practice of racial profiling had merit as Constitutional law enforcers, I would think this a positive dynamic … and not just for people of color, but other negatively affected groups like the mentally ill, for whom self-advocacy is a supreme challenge.

Let us fuse training and dialogue. You mention the ‘well-trained cop.’ Perhaps ‘Know Your Rights’ training (and Oregon Action training includes de-escalation strategies) might dovetail with Portland Police Bureau training. What would be achieved if police training alerted officers that a segment of the population - fatigued by unconstitutional behavior - will be advocating for just and equitable treatment?

If that segment of the population included Police Commissioner Saltzman, Human Rights Commissioner Fritz, City Auditor Griffin-Valade and Mayor Adams, I think the Police union would find impetus to engage in negotiations for a means to weed out officers refusing to enforce the Constitution, state law, or bureau regulations.

To take up your point about police as public servants, the Auditor’s Independent Police Review Board is poised to actually adopt that frame of reference. Currently specializing in facts and figures, there is a component of their reporting primed and ready for public pressure to make this a prime frame of reference for assessing the Police Bureau’s functionality.

Perhaps better left for another blog, I just want you to know that civilian oversight of armed government activity is imperative as the nation pursues a War on Terror. If the City of Portland were to weigh in on fundamental human rights during the nation’s general expansion of police powers, it stands likely to do a Public Good that cannot now be calculated.

Environment: global warming

On this morning's (June 18) program Joann mentioned a man (I think she said "young" and "minority" )who is becomming active in environmental matters, I would like to talk with him about joining the planning and implementation of an event that is scheduled to take place on October 24th.

I am a member ot the Peace and Social Concerns Committee of the Multnomah Monthly Meeting of Friends (Quakers), and the organizer of a sub-group called "Global Coolers". We meet monthly and have taken the responsibility of informing the Meeting about global warming and involving them in efforts to lessen our individual and collective destructive impact on the planet.We have also hosted a couple of community events over the past several years.
Yesterday I learned that Bill McKibben, who is a leading activist in the environmental protection movement, is organizing a world-wide demonstration to take place on October 24: it is described on 350.org.
I want to make sure that Portland participates in this event.
I have not talked yet to other environmental activists about involvement (there may already be plans afoot) but I will do so in the next couple of days. In any case I will welcome all participants in the planning and execution of the event. My telephone number is 503-292-1817.
Thank you for your attention.
Peace, Jim

Measure 53

I was disturbed to hear this morning information that leads me to think I did not check out the ballot measures carefully enough. As an intelligent conservative, I find it both important and difficult to listen to KBOO and other left-of-center sources regularly, and the comments this morning made it clear that I should invest more energy into that effort.

On the other hand, I was a bit amused (and relieved of my nascent guilt) when I heard you adamantly insist that Measure 53 passed by a 76-24 margin because a day-old paper said so. It is possible that the Oregonian was that far off the mark - if so, I would assume that it was an early edition which showed very preliminary results. I went to three sources this morning of which two gave vote tallies. KATU.com indicates that as of 8am today the vote on 53 was YES 475,838 and NO 473,912 which is a margin of less than 2000 votes out of nearly 1 million. Rounded to the nearest percent, the vote is 50-50. KOIN.com had very similar (probably identical) numbers.

So I figure that if you let your personal opinions cloud such simple and easily ascertained facts, if you are so closed-minded that you will not double-check this when it is disputed, I need not concern myself with your judgment on the more complex issue of Measure 53 itself.

- Gordon

 

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