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 07/02/09

Air date: 
Thu, 07/02/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Does reorganizing Portland's high schools make sense?

Portland's high school dropout rate is the highest in the metropolitan area. While the statewide rate declined last year, Portland high school students are dropping out at twice the rate - 8.2 percent - of students in other Oregon communities. The city's high schools are also grappling with other issues: a growing number of students opting for GED credentials, budget shortfalls, and demands from parents for greater accountability to the community.

Voices from the Edge on 06/25/09

Air date: 
Thu, 06/25/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Closing Portland's affordable housing gap: a talk with Portland Community Land Trust

The real estate bubble may have burst but many Portlanders still find homeownership beyond their reach. Even with today's lower housing costs, affordable housing for a family earning the median family income ($66,900) would be priced at $200,000 - a price limited to very few homes currently available, and even fewer at that price with the space available for a family of four. For low income families earning less than 60 percent of the median family income, the opportunities are nearly non-existent. Is it important to make home ownership available? How do we close the affordable housing gap in Portland?

Voices from the Edge on 06/18/09

Air date: 
Thu, 06/18/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
A "Juneteenth" rememberance: confronting racism in Oregon

June 19th marks the 144th anniversary of the landing of federal troops in Galveston, Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation and finally bring slavery to an end throughout the United States. "Juneteenth" has not only become a day to commemorate the end of slavery but to reflect on the African American experience - from progress made to challenges that remain. As Oregonians celebrate the 150th anniversary of their statehood, Juneteenth is an opportunity to look at how we are contributing - or not - to overcoming racism in Oregon.

Voices from the Edge on 06/11/09

Air date: 
Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
What do Lents residents really think of Randy Leonard's baseball deal?

At last month's meeting of the Lents Neighborhood Association, Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard told a less than enthusiastic audience that "Having a Triple A baseball stadium would be the best thing we could ever have happen in Lents." While criticism of the stadium deal grows - including official rejection by the Portland Parks Board - Leonard remains unmoved in his belief that "downtown" interests, not neighborhood residents, are behind the opposition.

Voices from the Edge on 06/04/09

Air date: 
Thu, 06/04/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Is the annual Village Building Convergence relevant in today's economic climate?

This week, the 9th annual Village Building Convergence starts in Portland. Coming together under the them "Powered by the People," Portlanders will work on projects ranging from water catchment systems and intersection painting to native plant gardening and cob benches. But with record job and home loss rocking the metropolitan area, is the convergence still relevant? Even in good times, how much community voice does the convergence really create?

Voices from the Edge on 05/28/09

Air date: 
Thu, 05/28/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Do we need a new civil rights unit? An interview with Oregon Attorney General John Kroger

John Kroger wants to be an activist attorney general. Since being sworn in, he’s taken on predatory lenders, challenged the LNG terminal, and headed up the investigation of Mayor Sam Adams. Now he’s asking lawmakers to fund a new civil rights unit so he can sue Oregon companies that break our state’s civil rights laws. His request comes as lawmakers in Salem are facing a growing budget crisis and considering major cuts in education, family services, public safety and other essential services.

Voices from the Edge on 05/21/09

Air date: 
Thu, 05/21/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Race and Recession: An Interview with Seth Wessler

Thursday May 21: The current recession is not an equal opportunity crisis. People of color are experiencing job loss, foreclosures and lack of healthcare at alarmingly higher rates than white Americans. These disparities are not a coincidence but rather the result of structural barriers that have been taking a toll on people of color long before the subprime meltdown.

Seth Wessler, an analyst with Applied Research Center, believes the same structural causes of racial disparity are also at the root of an economic crisis affecting all Americans. In his recently released Race and Recession: How Inequity Rigged the Economy and How to Change the Rules, Wessler presents the numbers as well as the personal stories that reveal the root causes of racial inequity and proposes the path to an inclusive recovery. This Thursday, Jo Ann and Dave will talk with Wessler about his findings and recommendations.

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 to become a part of the Voices discussion.

Voices from the Edge on 05/14/09

Air date: 
Thu, 05/14/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
A new direction for Oregon's DOJ? An interview with Attorney General John Kroger

Since taking office last January, Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has taken on the siting of a liquified natural gas terminal in Clatsop County, started investigating the collapse of the Oregon College Savings Plan, pushed for a faster cleanup of Hanford, and cleared the way to prosecute unethical debt collectors. He also wants Oregonians to give him a bigger budget to create an environmental crimes unit and a civil rights division.

Voices from the Edge on 05/07/09

Air date: 
Thu, 05/07/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Rinku Sen: Race and Obama's first 100 days

Last week, President Obama reached his first 100 days in office, triggering a media flurry of speculation about how well he's doing. Communities of color - already hurting before the lastest round of troubles - have been measuring up the new president as well. Is President Obama pushing to create justice for all or is he too bogged down in the legacy of his predecessor? What should we be doing to push the president down the path of racial equity?

Voices from the Edge on 04/30/09

Air date: 
Thu, 04/30/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
May Day: Is it still relevant 123 years later?

May 1, 2009 marks the 123rd anniversary of a rally for the eight-hour day in Chicago's Haymarket Square that ended with a police riot that left over a dozen dead. The political trial and hanging of four anarchists that followed sparked protests around the world and the designation by the Second International of May 1 as International Workers' Day, more commonly known as May Day. But does commemoration of a 19th century incident have relevance for people in the 21st century? Does demonstrating on May Day have meaning for you?

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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