Jan Haaken talks with Sophie Smith. Sophie works with No More Deaths, a humanitarian organization that tries to make sure no one dies in the deserts of the Mexican-American border, and stands by the motto: humanitarian aid is never a crime. She recounts her own experience in the Sonora Desert of Arizona, and argues from her experience that nothing less than powerful desperation is compelling people to risk their lives crossing the border.
This week on Voices from the Edge, Jo Ann and Dave looked at the good and bad news of the week. Topics discussed included: federal funds being made available to Oregon to address budget shortfalls and whether those dollars will reach the people who really are in need; the impact of the new president of the Portland Police Association; shortcomings and risks with new assistance being offered to homeowners facing foreclosure; and missed economic development opportunities in emerging technologies.
Every now and then, we get one right. The 9th Circuit Court overturns California's gay marriage ban.
In a nod to outmoded notions like equality and inalienable rights, the Ninth Circuit Court overturned California's ban on gay marriage last week. As some radio hosts have observed, injustice and iniquity endure, but there has been an inexorable march in America toward a condition of more freedom, more justice, more equality. We're not fully equal yet, folks, but we just got a little more equal. Reaction from the right has been predictable.
And there's homework! Verizon and Google are on the verge of striking a deal with the FCC that would effectively end Internet neutrality. This would usher in an age where Internet providers would be able to give preferential treatment -- in the form of speed and access -- to the content of their choice, ending the grass-roots populism that has characterized the Web to date.
So call the White House comment line, 202-456-1111, and tell them to keep the Internet neutral and free. While you're at it, call Nancy Pelosi (202-225-0100) and Harry Reid (202-224-3542) and tell them the same thing. Or, sign the petition.
Linda Olson-Osterlund conducts a discussion with listeners on the use of "pretext" stops and racial profiling by local police. Pretext stops occur when police become suspicious about a car or its occupants, and then use a minor traffic infraction as an excuse to initiate a stop. This controversial law enforcement technique led to the fatal shooting of James Jahar Perez, an unarmed black motorist, killed by a Portland policeman in 2004.
Today's guests are Larry Collins, Michael Harper, and Furlton Burns from POPA, People of Purpose and Associates. Our topic is mentoring and supporting those with the greatest burdens stacked against them.
This is a very positive organization, providing invaluable resources for families, youth, and re-entry programs for the recently incarcerated. Find out what they're doing in and around YOUR community to make Portland a Better Place to Live.
Callers offered the following additional resources during the course of the show: