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

The Economics of Happiness

Air date: 
Thu, 02/12/2015 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
The Economics of Happiness

Host Jo Ann Hardesty talks about the upcoming conference in Portland on "The Economics of Happiness," scheduled for February 27th - March 1st. She speaks with Steven Gorelick, Managing/Programs Director.

Steven Gorelick is the author of Small is Beautiful, Big is Subsidized, co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home, and co-director of The Economics of Happiness. His writings have been published in The Ecologist and Resurgence magazines. He frequently teaches and speaks on local economics around the US. He also runs a small-scale organic farm with his wife and two children in Vermont.


Greg Palast on Greece, Voter Purges and Money in Politics

Air date: 
Thu, 02/05/2015 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Greg Palast on Greece, Voter Purges and Money in Politics

Host Jo Ann Hardesty speaks with Greg Palast, the investigative reporter, whose news-breaking stories appear on BBC Television, The Guardian and now on Al Jazeera among others. 

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures' Picnic.

He is best known in the US for uncovering Katherine Harris' purge of black voters from Florida's voter rolls in 2000.
For Al Jazeera he has uncovered a new voter purge.

You can read his reports at GregPalast.com.

Dr. Emily Drew discussing research on challenges of racial inclusion

Air date: 
Thu, 01/22/2015 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Dr. Emily Drew discussing research on racially inclusive communities
Join me on Thu as I talk with Dr. Emily Drew as we discuss her research findings on the challenges of creating a racially diverse and inclusive communities. Dr. Drew will be speaking 2/4/15 at the Hillsboror Library Dr. Emily Drew is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies at Willamette University, where she teaches courses about racism, immigration, and social change. Her research agenda revolves around understanding how race and racism get institutionalized, with the goal of helping to illuminate more effective strategies for interrupting systemic inequality.

Voices From The Edge 1/15/15

Air date: 
Thu, 01/15/2015 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Voices From The Edge 1/15/15

Voices From The Edge

Air date: 
Thu, 01/08/2015 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Voices From The Edge

Voices From The Edge

Air date: 
Thu, 12/25/2014 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Voices From The Edge for December 25th, 2014

DOJ Settlement agreement conversation with Dr. Rev. Leroy Haynes & Dr. Rev. T. Allen Bethel

Air date: 
Thu, 12/18/2014 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
AMA Coalition for Justice & Police Reform
Join Dr. Rev. T. Allen Bethel & Dr. Rev. Leroy Haynes

Join Dr. Rev. T. Allen Bethel & Dr. Rev. Leroy Haynes as we get an update on the U.S. Department of Justice Investigation of Portland Police and the implementation of the settlement agreement. We will also discuss the new activism aimed at holding police accountable for shooting and/or killing unarmed community members. We will discuss an upcoming prayer vigil scheduled for this Saturday December 20, 2014 starting with a youth march from 2:00PM-4:00PM and the community A Cry for Justice prayer vigil at 4PM. Rev. Haynes & Rev. Bethel are co-chairs of the AMA Coalition for Justice & Police Reform.

Walking Tours Highlighting Portland's Early African American History

Air date: 
Thu, 11/20/2014 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Walking Tours Highlighting Portland's Early African American History
Lisa Loving guest hosts. She speaks with Stephen Hanks about his new venture - a walking tour in downtown Portland showcasing Portland's early African American citizens who came to Portland between 1850-1899!  This is a forgotten chapter in Portland's history - people of color who were freed from slavery who came to Portland, Oregon in search for Freedom, Independence, Community, and Economic opportunity.


Winners and Losers in the 2009 Oregon Budget

program date: 
Wed, 01/07/2009

As the economic landscape worsens, lawmakers face the daunting task of deciding how to keep Oregon running with a shrinking pool of dollars. The most recent forecast by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis sees the recession deepening over the next 12 months with unemployment increasing beyond the current 7.3 percent with a commensurate decline in state revenue from personal income taxes. Reduced business activity will also cause a drop in revenue from corporate taxes. The "budget hole" for the coming 2009-2011 period is estimated to be at least $1.2 billion.

Last month, Governor Ted Kulongoski unveiled his proposed two-year state budget. The governor is calling for $2 billion in new taxes and fees as well as program cuts to deal with the crisis. More significant, however, is the shift in priorities the governor wishes to enact in the upcoming budget. The governor is urging an expansion of existing tax credit programs to boost investment in green industries like renewable energy and hybrid cars. He also wants to channel dollars into construction projects, expand coverage of children under the Oregon Health Plan and increase spending on college tuition grants. To achieve this, the governor wants to cut programs that provide essential services to thousands of senior, disabled and low-income Oregonians.

Must those Oregonians most in need bear the burden of our budget crisis? Is there a better strategy for getting Oregon out of the economic hole? Jo Ann and Dave explore who are the winners and who are the losers in the governor's budget plan.

Bridging the Cultural Divide in Oregon's Environmental Movement

program date: 
Wed, 12/10/2008

Oregon environmentalists can point to many hard-won victories to preserve ecological diversity. But they've been less successful promoting diversity within their own ranks. The result has been a cultural divide that leaves people of color not just outside the mainstream environmental movment but excluded from having a voice in how we meet the huge environmental challenges that face us. The question is "how do we bridge that divide?" Dave Mazza talks with Marcelo Bonta, founder and executive director of the Center for diversity and the Environment, and Tony DeFalco, Coordinator of the Young Environmental Professionals of Color group. Both men have recently been named fellows of the TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Program, a new conservation intiative of the National Audubon Society with support from Toyota that funds work on community-focused projects contributing to greater environmental health.


Bonta is using his fellowship to create the "Diversifying the Environmental Movement Forum," a dialogue series bringing together the environmental community and communities of color to find action-oriented solutions to the cultural divide. DeFalco is focusing on local partnerships that create training and employment opportunties for low-income Latinos in green jobs.

Mumbai, South Asian Nuclear Tensions and the Obama Administratration: An Interview with Jacqueline Cabasso

program date: 
Wed, 12/03/2008

The November terrorist attack in Mumbai, India is only the latest eruption in potentially explosive South Asia. What will the new Obama administration do as the conflict in Afghanistan spreads to its nuclear-armed neighbors? Will he undo the damage to nuclear non-proliferation efforts that resulted from the recent U.S.-India nuclear deal - a deal that Obama, Clinton and Biden supported? Dave Mazza talks with Jacqueline Cabasso, executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation about these and other questions regarding this volatile and important aspect of U.S. foreign policy. Cabasso, whose organization monitors nuclear weapons policy, is a contributor to the book "Nuclear Disorder or Cooperative Security?" and a winner of the Sean MacBride Peace Prize.

People of Color and the 2008 Election: An Interview with Rudy Lopez, Center for Community Change

program date: 
Wed, 11/05/2008

There's no doubt of the importance of the election of Barack Obama as America's first black president. But what role did people of color play in making this happen and where do they stand in the wake of the election? Jo Ann and Dave talk with Rudy Lopez, Directory of the Center for Community Change about his organization's work in turning out people of color and other disempowered voters for Obama. He'll also talk about how this new bloc of mobilized citizens can ensure that the new president and the Congress remain true to the promises made before election day. For more information on the Center for Community Change and their upcoming people's conference, visit www.communitychange.org.


Making Sense of the November 2008 Ballot Measures

program date: 
Wed, 10/22/2008

More mandatory prison sentences. Fewer building permits. Open primaries. These are just some of the ideas Oregonians must consider as they wade through a dozen state ballot measures on election day. Who's supporting these measures? Who's opposing them? What will they really do? Jo Ann and Dave give you their take on the good, the bad and the really stupid ballot measures appearing on the November 2008 ballot.

Winter Solder Northwest: Working to end America's other crisis

program date: 
Wed, 10/15/2008

The nation is transfixed by the financial meltdown. It has become the top issue of the presidential campaign. But while stock prices drop, casualties continue to rise in Afghanistan and Iraq. On October 18, soldiers, their families, veterans, journalists and peace activists are coming together in Portland to offer testimony on the human cost of war. Winter Soldier Northwest, modeled on the Winter Soldier hearings held in 1971 by Vietnam veterans opposed to that war, is one of many regional hearings held around the country to build the political will needed to end the war and bring the troops home.

 Dave talks with four participants in the upcoming event. Megan Brooker of PDX Peace Coalition is one of the main organizers of Winter Soldier Northwest. She has a brother serving a second tour in Iraq. Adele Kubein is president of the Oregon chaper of Military Families Speak Out and mother of an Iraq war veteran. Joseph Holness served in the U.S. Army in Iraq. Dr. Zaher Wahab is a professor at Lewis and Clark College and a senior adevisor to the Minister of Higher Education in Afghanistan.

Are our politics determined by our hearts or our minds? An Interview with Drew Westen

program date: 
Wed, 10/08/2008

The Democrats are riding a new wave of popularity this year. Are they winning new supporters because they have better policy positions than the Republicans or are they doing a better job of appealing to voters' emotions? Do we make our political choices based on reason or are we persuaded by messages that tap into positive associations in our minds?

This week on Voices from the Edge, Jo Ann and Dave talk with Drew Westen, author of The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation. Westen, a clinical psychologist and political srategist from Emory University, believes successful politics requires understanding how the interplay between reason and emotion inside the brain energizes voters. Westen, who wrote the book in part to help Democrats avoid the strategic mistakes that gave the White House to George Bush for the past eight years, will cast a light on what the 2008 presidential candidates are doing right and doing wrong to reach the hearts and minds of American voters.

Saving the Economy or Saving the Rich? The $700 billion bailout plan.

program date: 
Wed, 10/01/2008

An Interview with Campaign for America's Future's Bill Scher: The Bush administration says it needs $700 billion to avert the current financial crisis from turning into a global depression. Taxpayers see this as another use of their money to protect the wealthy. Congress is caught in the middle, trying to come up with a plan that will stop a financial meltdown without turning voters against. them.

What exactly does need to be done about the collapse on the Wall Street? Will the administration's plan help or hurt the situation? Jo Ann and Dave talk with Bill Scher of Campaign for America's Future, a non-profit organization advocating progressive solutions to the nation's problems.

For more information about Campaign for America's Future, visit www.ourfuture.org.

On the Road with America's Poor: An interview with Kath Weston

program date: 
Wed, 09/24/2008

On the Road with America's Poor: An Interview with Kath Weston

How far can you get on two tacos, one Dr. Pepper, and a little bit of conversation? What happens when you're broke and you need to get to a new job, an ailing parent, a powwow, college, or a funeral on the other side of the country? And after decades of globalization, what kind of America will you glimpse through the window on your way?

This week on Voices from the Edge, Dave Mazza talks with Kath Weston, author of Traveling Light: On the Road with America's Poor. For five years, Kath Weston rode the bus across the country, absorbing the stories of layoffs, immigration raids, antiwar rallies and surviving Katrina. On her journey she learned of people's fears, dreams, generosity and tenacity in the face of adversity. In Traveling Light, Weston didn't just record these stories, but folded them into the headlines, studies, and statistics that track the intensification of poverty and inequality as the United States enters the twenty-first-century. The result is a moving meditation on living poor in the world's wealthiest nation.

What should we do about prostitution in Portland?

program date: 
Wed, 09/17/2008

Prostitution is flourishing in the Rose City. Some Portlanders blame it on city hall's decision to let the prostitution exclusion zones lapse. They want the zones back and more efforts made to put prostitutes in jail. Other city residents say that rehabilitation, not more police, is the answer. In the meantime, Mayor Tom Potter has announed a new initiative to fight prostitution on 82nd Ave. through enhanced enforcement and prosecution combined with treatment options. How should we deal with prostitution in our city? Do we really understand the problem of prostitution?

This week on Voices from the Edge, Jo Ann and Dave talk with Crystal Tenty of the Portland Women's Crisis Line and Leslie Peterson of the Sex Workers Outreach Coalition about their perspectives on this issue. We'll also talk with Allen Wilson of Standing Against Global Exploitation, or SAGE, a San Francisco-based holistic rehabilitation center that offers prostitutes mental health counseling and drug rehabilitation services to help them leave prostitution, heal from the trauma of sexual exploitation and begin new careers. Join us in this important discussion.

For more information on the SAGE Project, visit www.sagesf.org.


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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