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 

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Episode Archive

Voices from the Edge on 08/02/12

Air date: 
Thu, 08/02/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Police Plan to Address Racial Profiling, Three Years Later

Host Jo Ann Hardesty & Guest Co-host Roger David Hardesty discuss the 2009 passage of a city ordinance implementing a plan to address - not eliminate, but address - racial profiling by the Portland Police Bureau (PPB).

READ THE PLAN HERE www.portlandonline.com/police/index.cfm

Voices from the Edge on 07/12/12

Air date: 
Thu, 07/12/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Redefining our relationship with the homeless

Redefining our relationship with the homeless

Last year, Portland City Council approved a pilot "overnight sleeping" program that would permit churches and other non-profits to make their parking lots available to people currently living in their cars. The measure, loosed based on a similar program in Eugene, was intended to offer refuge for those on the brink while more permanent support was found. When Sellwood's Moreland Presbyterian Church announced earlier this spring their intent to be the first church to carry out the program - in their case for a single woman living in her car - a vocal minority raised a sufficient ruckus that the church delayed implementation of its plan.

Voices from the Edge on 06/28/12

Air date: 
Thu, 06/28/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Checking in with the Supremes

Checking in with the Supremes

This Thursday, the Supreme Court is expected to release its ruling on whether President Obama's health care law is constitutional. While the most watched and awaited, its one of several key decisions by the court this week. On Monday, the court delivered a split decision on Arizona's 2010 immigration law, sustaining its centerpiece - the requirement that state law enforcement officials determine immigration status of those they stop or arrest where reasonable suspicion exists.

Voices from the Edge on 06/21/12

Air date: 
Thu, 06/21/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Why are Portlanders so upset about flash mobs?

Why are Portlanders upset about flash mobs?

Silent disco. Worldwide pillow fights.

Voices from the Edge on 06/14/12

Air date: 
Thu, 06/14/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Subsidizing segregation: Portland's fair housing failure

Subsidizing segregation: Portland's fair housing failure

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was intended to help break down the walls of segregation and poverty by protecting the fundamental right of anyone, regardless of color, to have the opportunity to live where they choose. Over the past 44 years, millions of taxpayer dollars have gone to advance that goal through ensuring affordable housing is part of every neighborhood. But a new report by the Oregonian that examined metropolitan area public housing records found that far from breaking down segregation and poverty, Portland and other local governments have reinforced it.

Voices from the Edge on 06/07/12

Air date: 
Thu, 06/07/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
How did Portland police fare in new report on officer-involved shootings?

How did Portland police fare in new report on officer-involved shootings?

<>The Portland City Auditor released on May 30 a new report by outside experts that examined officer-involved shootings of "individuals experiencing some level of mental or emotional crisis." The investigation also scrutinized communication at the scene of critical events. Among the cases examined was the shooting death of Aaron Campbell.

Voices from the Edge on 05/31/12

Air date: 
Thu, 05/31/2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Can we break through polarization about climate change

Can we break through polarization about climate change? A conversation with Max and Ellen Schupbach about deep democracy

Climate change remains a political lightening rod that's left those who believe and those who deny it exists locked in a stalemate that makes action by the broader community impossible. Are more facts needed or is there a need for examining the process by which we address and act upon such critical issues? How do we move forward where power is distributed unequally among those involved?

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.


Flirting with Disaster: Randy Leonard's Soccermania

program date: 
Wed, 04/01/2009

City Commissioner Randy Leondard wants major league soccer in Portland. Despite a darkening economic picture, the commissioner is pushing hard to close a deal that involves using public dollars to make it happen. But some Portlanders are concerned about the use of urban renewal dollars for upgrading PGE Stadium for soccer and building a new replacement baseball stadium. Dave Mazza discusses the potential risks and pitfalls of the stadium deal as well as other risky "public-private" partnerships looming on the horizon.


(Note: Institute for Policy Studies' Chuck Collins had originally been scheduled for this program. His assessment of the AIG debacle will aired on a later program.)

Theater and Healing: A Conversation with PassinArt Theater Company

program date: 
Wed, 03/25/2009

The play's the thing. Theater offers reflections of reality but can it serve as a specific tool in tackling problems? Jo Ann and Dave talk with members of PassinArt: A Theater Company about their production of "A Sunbeam" by award-winning playwright John Henry. This unique production of a play about a family torn apart by problems includes "talk back" sessions with cast members and professionals from the Avel Gordley Center for Healing.

"A Sunbeam" runs from April 2 to April 25, 2009 at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center located at 5340 N. Interstate, Portland. Talk back sessions will take place following performances of the 3 p.m. Saturday matinees on April 18 and April 25. For more information go to the PassinArt website or call 503-321-5163.

Concerned over Central City Concern; Also: Marching for Peace

program date: 
Wed, 03/11/2009

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. Jo Ann and Dave speak with Lew Church, coordinator for Portland State University Progressive Student Union and with a tenant of the Biltmore apartment building about their ongoing campaign with Central City Concern over tenants' rights.

On March 15, Oregonians from around the state will gather in Salem to "stop the wars at home and abroad." Jo Ann and Dave speak with Peter Bergl, executive director of Oregon PeaceWorks about the march and rally, the peace movement's response to the new administration in the White House, and the statewide campaign to keep the Oregon National Guard at home.

Soccer fields vs. social services: The real cost of urban renewal districts.

program date: 
Wed, 03/04/2009

Next week the Portland City Council starts to 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. The Portland Development Commission's advisory task force has just completed a review that recommends conditional approval. Paulson and his supporters say those 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.

Dave talks with Marissa Madrigal, chief of staff to Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen, about how the city's expanding use of urban renewal districts is affecting the county's ability to meet the needs of county residents. Also joining the conversation is State Rep. Nick Kahl (D-Portland) who recently introduced legislation that would require county approval for the creation or amendment of urban renewal districts as well as permit urban renewal funds to be spent on social services. To find our more or make your voice heard on this important question, contact Commissioner Cogen and Rep. Kahl.

The conversation doesn't end when the program does. You can join in additional discussion of the week's issue on our blog at kboo.fm/voicesfromtheedge (click on the "blog" tab). You'll find additional information, important links, comments from other listeners and commentary from Jo Ann and Dave. Have a question for our guests, but can't call in during the program? Post your questions on line so we can make them a part of the Voices discussion.

Health Equity and the County Budget Crisis

program date: 
Wed, 02/25/2009

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.

Multnomah County, through programs like the Health Equity Intitiative, has made signficant progress in addressing health disparities. But as these figures from the County's March 2008 Report Card on Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities show, much work remains to be done. How will the county do this as it struggles with a deepening budget crisis and the economic meltdown worsens the social and environmental factors that influence health equity in our region?


This week Jo Ann and Dave talk with Tricia Tillman, manager of the Multnomah County Health Department's Health Equity Intitiative about achievements and challenges yet to be met in eliminating health disparity.

Police tackle racial profiling...again

program date: 
Wed, 02/18/2009

People 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 strenths and weaknesses.

Also on this edition of Voices from the Edge, Jo Ann and Dave talk with state Representative Chip Shields (Dist. 43) about his work to include racial and ethnic impact statements in any new sentencing laws considered by the legislature or voters.

Economic Stimulus: Winners & Losers

program date: 
Wed, 02/11/2009

Host Jo Ann Bowman talks about winners & losers in the final Economic Stimulus Package.

Livability or Big Brother: The Portland Police Bureau's Secret List

program date: 
Wed, 01/28/2009

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. They also say these people have no way of appealing their placement on the list, are being prosecuted more harshly than other offenders, and may represent another form of racial profiling by the police. Dan Saltzman, the city's new police commissioner, has endorsed the program and suggested it may be expanded to other areas of the city to cover other issues like prostitution.

Jo Ann and Dave talk with David Fidanque, executive director of the Oregon chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union about the secret list. Earlier this month the ACLU filed a legal challenge over the constitutionality of the list.

New Feature!



The conversation doesn't end when the program does. You can join in additional discussion of the week's issue on our blog at kboo.fm/voicesfromtheedge (click on the "blog" tab). You'll find additional information, important links, comments from other listeners and commentary from Jo Ann and Dave. Have a question for our guests, but can't call in during the program? Post your questions on line so we can make them a part of the Voices discussion.

Does Portland have a real solution for its gang problem?

program date: 
Wed, 01/21/2009

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?

This week, Jo Ann and Dave talk with John Canda, a former gang outreach worker for the city of Portland and Clayborn Collins, executive director of Emmanual Community General Services, about what needs to be done to really solve Portland's gang problem.

New Feature!

The conversation doesn't end when the program does. You can join in additional discussion of the week's issue on our blog at kboo.fm/voicesfromtheedge (click on the "blog" tab). You'll find additional information, important links, comments from other listeners and commentary from Jo Ann and Dave. Have a question for our guests, but can't call in during the program? Post your questions online so we can make them a part of the Voices discussion.

Congress and the Economic Fix: Where's the Money Going?

program date: 
Wed, 01/14/2009

The new Congress will be working with a new administration in the White House. Behind the smiles and calls for cooperation, there's already signs of differences between both sides of the congressional aisles and the president elect. Elements of the Obama proposal is already drawing criticism from both parties. Democrats like Representative Barney Frank and Senator John F. Kerry of Massachussetts, as well as Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, have expressed deep skepticism about the effectiveness of the proposed business tax credits for creating new jobs. Republicans in the House and Senate are warning about the entire package becoming too large as numbers approach trillion dollar mark.

The proposed stimulus package is drawing fire outside the halls of Congress as well. Left-leaning Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman is alarmed at the timidity of the Obama proposal. Hardcore free market economists and conservative think tanks like the Cato Institute are working overtime to convince Americans that massive government spending will not create jobs and that the market must be allowed to take its natural course.

Jo Ann and Dave look at the new Congress, their relationship with the new president, and what that means for fixing the broken American economy. Join us in an ongoing discussion about the economic stimulus proposal at kboo.fm/voicesfromtheedge.


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.


Will Ware


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.



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":


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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