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Dave Mazza's blog

Concerned over Central City Concern; Also Marching for Peace

Central City Concern, with a $33 million annual budget and 23 buildings, is the city's biggest nonprofit landlord in downtown Portland. Some of the nonprofit's tenants, however, say their landlord has let apartment buildings fall into disrepair and disregarded tenants'demands for action or even a chance to speak to Central City Concern's board about the problem.

Soccer Fields or Social Services? The Real Cost of Urban Renewal Districts.

Next week the Portland City Council consider an $85 million proposal by Merritt Paulson to bring major league soccer to Portland. Paulson wants the city to contribute $20-$40 million of urban renewal money - funds intended to combat "urban blight" - to close the deal. Paulson and his supporters ay sthose dollars will create jobs and enhance the community. Critics not only say that soccer doesn't qualify but that its diverting funds from essential county services.

Health Disparity and the County Budget Crisis; Also, Testing for Anti-Black Bias

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African Americans in Multnomah County are twice as likely to die from diabetes or stroke than white county residents. Hispanic mothers are two times less likely to have early prenatal care white mothers. Native Americans in the county die from HIV at three times the rate of whites.

Portland police tackle racial profiling...again

imagePeople of color continue to be stopped and searched by the police than other Portlanders. Racial profiling has not abated according to a draft 36-page report released February 18 by Portland Police Bureau Chief Rosie Sizer. The report, long awaited by the community, outlines Sizer's assessment of the problem as well as steps to eliminate racial profiling by making the police bureau better reflect the community it is supposed to serve.  Jo Ann and Dave review the draft plan's strengths and weaknesses.

Breaking Down Poverty's Barriers: An Interview with Dr. Donna Beegle

Poverty is more than a lack of resources. It creates barriers that isolate the poor from the rest of the community and from opportunities to break free from its grip. That isolation also extends to having a voice in research and program development for breakding down poverty's barriers.

Dr. Donna M. Beegle, a national expert on poverty, grew up in a migrant labor family. At 15 she dropped out of school, married, and after ten years of abject poverty became a homeless divorced mother with two children. Through a pilot program that helped her gain self-confidence as well as connections to resources and mentors, she returned to school, eventually achieving a doctorate in educational leadership. For the past 17 years she has conducted research on poverty, authored See Poverty...Be the Difference, and founded the non-profit PovertyBridge to work directly with people impacted by poverty. On March 7, she will be holding an "Opportunity Conference" with 200 Portlanders living in poverty. Her own experience with poverty is part of a PBS documentary, Invisible Nation which will air later this year.

Join Jo Ann and Dave this Thursday as they discuss with Dr. Beegle how to reach across the barriers of poverty to build a more equitable Portland. Can't call in during the program? Send us your questions for Dr. Beegle in advance through the comments section of this blog!

Livability or Big Brother: Portland Police's Secret List

The Portland Police Bureau is keeping a list of people arrested most often downtown. The police say that the list, which has grown from 35 to nearly 400, is part of a coordinated strategy to improve livability in Old Town and surrounding neighborhoods by arresting chronic offenders and holding them in jail where they can receive drug, acohol and other treatments to end their criminal behavior. Defense attorneys say that people are being labeled as chronic offenders based on arrests rather than convictions.

Does Portland Have a Real Solution for its Gang Problem?

Portland has seen 11 gang-related shootings since the Dec. 12 murder of a gang member inside the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. City leaders are calling it a "gang war crisis" and the Portland police want a new coordinated strategy to combat the violence. But the call for action comes when many outreach programs are struggling for funding. Will the city's new effort address the causes or just the symptoms of gang violence? Will the rush to take action create bigger problems like innocent youth getting profiled for gang involvement?

Fixing the Economy: The Right Re-Writes History

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The free market crowd, hunkered down in the economic rubble created by eight years of the nation following their policies, is desperately searching for ways to be relevant in the post-Bush world. Their answer is to persuade Americans that the biggest failure in recent U.S. history was the New Deal. In recent weeks Fox News has led this charge, with Brit Hume opining that both Left and Right agree with that conclusion (Brit apparently hasn't read any of the columns recently penned by progressive economist Paul Krugman).

Voices from the Edge June 19, 2008

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Voices from the Edge

Real progressive talk radio
Thursdays, 7:30 - 9 a.m.
KBOO 90.7 FM Portland; 100.7 FM Corvallis; 91.9 FM Columbia Gorge

This Thursday: Freedom of Speech and Civil Discourse - Must One Come at the Cost of the Other?

Voices from the Edge

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This Thursday on Voices from the Edge: Should reparations be paid to close the racial wealth gap caused by housing and lending discrimination? An interview with OSU's Jonathan Kaplan.

 Historic housing and lending discrimination against black Americans has created a significant discrepancy in their overall wealth. The average black American has only about 15 percent as much wealth as the average white American, even though black Americans earn about 60 percent as much as white Americans. And at every income level, white Americans have much more wealth than black.

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