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Cuts, community support, resources
Opposition Grows Fierce to Austerity Cuts in Portland
From the open publishing newswire: On April 11 over 400 people packed the third public Portland Budget Hearing, which was organized by the City of Portland and which left many spilling out beyond the room where the hearing took place. More importantly, for the City Council there was an unexpected critical outpouring from the vast majority who attended. For the first time, the City Council and Mayor Charlie Hales began to lose control over their attempts to sell austerity.
This was in sharp contrast to business as usual. Portland budget hearings are generally tightly controlled, polite affairs. What are the reasons for this movement towards a more charged polarized event? [...]
Those attending the public hearing on April 11 included representatives from the Metropolitan Youth Commission, Laborers International Local 483, Portland Community College, Portland Safety Net, SUN Schools, Eastside Action Plan, Elders in Action, AFSCME Local 189, and numerous others. They came with prepared testimonial statements, t-shirts and signs defending the programs they need.
Also attending were members of Jobs with Justice, the People's Budget Project, and the Solidarity Against Austerity Committee (SAAC). These groups saw the hearing as an opportunity to begin building unity among Portland's working class communities to oppose all cuts.
Pulling this off required that attendees knew the moment they walked in that the hearing was not going to be business as usual, and that a collective approach towards defending all the programs facing cuts was to be encouraged. A colorful banner over the doors to the hearing room read, "Communities United To Stop Cuts!" [..]
Bust the bus drivers!
From the open publishing newswire: Look for more "let's you and him fight" from Trimet. Why play along?
Trimet is a top-heavy bureaucracy with some expensive habits. It has 161 managers, believe it or not. Yep, lil' ol Trimet. Fifty-five of those managers get over $100K. Many of them get a lot more--like a quarter million per year.
Bus service has been cut back to pay for this army of overseers, and to fund $9 million in remodeling and new furniture. The top three floors of the Center Garage building, at 4012 SE 17th, stand empty. Apparently they were not good enough for the managerial class. Meanwhile the new buses are getting a cosmetic retrofit to look like Max trains; that will cost $2 million.
For the last several years, we bus drivers have been told we want too much. We have agreed to freeze our wages for many years now, on the proviso that our retirees continue to get the health benefits we fought for. We are concerned about their health; bus driving will kill from stress. I can't count the number of times I've heard that So-and-So retired, only to die within months. [...]
I'm grateful to have a good job, grateful to the public for supporting us, and looking forward to seeing my passengers on my next shift. In this, I am like most drivers. Some of us are grouches, and I'm sorry about that. But I have a suggestion for the public: Next time you're asked to bust the bus drivers, or for that matter any worker, ask yourself: Am I helping the ruling class in a race to the bottom?
VIDEO: Veterans Day Rally Against Postal Service Cuts 11/12
From the open publishing newswire: A group of over a hundred protesters gathered in Portland's living room yesterday to rally and march to stop cuts to public services and the Post Office in rememberance of Veterans Day.
Veterans and Portland activists from multiple organizations such as Portland Jobs With Justice, Veterans For Peace, and Communities & Postal Workers United held a large successful rally in Pioneer Square before marching in numbers over 100 to the Portland World Trade Center building to protest cuts to the Postal Service as well as deficiencies that US veterans are facing today, such as their homelessness and a lack of adequete jobs and benefits. Jamie Partridge from CPWU once again led the chants and took the reigns in organizing the event. Portlanders ended the great rally by singing along to "God Bless America" in an emotional ending. Thanks to all the great people who came out, and thanks to all our veterans and public service employees.
Veterans Day Post Office Rally & March In Portland
VIDEO: Cascadia Welcomes Post-Master General Patrick Donahoe With Protest (Report-Back)
From the open publishing newswire: What a nice morning welcome for PMG Pat Donahoe, who is closing post offices, cutting workers, and shaving away at weekday mail delivery. Jamie Partridge, lead organizer of the rally, recieved the support of Portland Jobs With Justice as well as many community members. Local media surprisingly covered it, and word is that Donahoe heard the message from inside.
Patrick Donahoe, the Post Master General, made a visit to the Vancouver, WA Hilton Hotel today (8/21) to attend a Postal Carrier Convention and meet with the public. A Portland "Save Americas Postal Service" organization called Portland Communities and Postal Workers United had planned for his visit, and welcomed him with a protest. Donahoe, being head of the US Postal Service, has implemented deep cuts and closures to postal services and communities across the nation are standing up to it.
Cascadia Welcomes Post-Master General Patrick Donahoe With Protest
VIDEO: Worker/IWW picket continues at Janus Youth Program
From the open publishing newswire: The struggle continues...
February 24th, 2011-- Workers from Janus Youth Program, a frontline organization helping at risk youth, continue picketing their workplace after management made the decision to move to an expensive and undemocratic arbitration process for dispute resolution.
Link to 2:30 min VIDEO: http://bmediacollective.org/?p=537
Sleeping Bag Drive!!
From the open publishing newswire: Laughing Horse Books, Red & Black Cafe, and Microcosm Publishing are hosting a sleeping bag drive to assist those who are homeless through the winter. Please donate today!!
Cold, rainy weather has arrived, with temperatures expected to dip below freezing by Thanksgiving. Each sleeping bag is someone's home this winter and essential to survival in the Oregon winter, protecting against discomfort, illness, and even death.
Over two thousand people are living either on the streets, camping, or in a car- with thousands more living without permanent housing or other conditions (Oregon Housing/Community Service).
Laughing Horse Books, Red & Black Café, and Microcosm Publishing have teamed up to collect sleeping bags and donations (which will go directly towards sleeping bags as well as weatherproof tarps to protect from the weather), to be distributed in the local area. With many homeless vulnerable to the dangerous, harsh winter sleeping in and around St. Francis Park and adjacent to our businesses, we are compelled to provide what resources we have to assist those in need.
Sleeping Bags will be picked up from each location on November 19th.
Please visit WWW.SLEEPINGBAGDRIVE.COM to donate, add your business/organization as a sleeping bag collection-point, or for more information.. or drop off new or clean bags (preferably low-temperature capable/below freezing..) to Laughing Horse Books, Red & Black Cafe, or Microcosm Publishing. Thanks for the support!!
Tenant Rights Project Holds Second Picket Of Downtown Portland Slumlord
From the open publishing newswire: Tenant Rights Project, together with community allies, on March 24 held a second picket and protest at downtown Portland nonprofit slumlord admin office, of Central City Concern, over retaliatory eviction notices, and violations of Oregon's landlord-tenant law. Activists also talked at Portland City Council before the picket.
The informational picket included housing activists, students from Reed and Willamette, and included a number of picket signs protesting recent retaliatory eviction notices against tenant activists, lack of livability and habitability in CCC housing units and buildings, and lack of transparency by the CCC board of directors.
CCC is a $33,000,000 per year landlord, with about $50,000,000 in capital projects in addition. Tenant organizers have sent three demand letters to the CCC board of directors requesting better pest control, better repairs, safety improvements to the buildings, and requesting that tenants be allowed to attend and speak at CCC monthly board meetings, held on a Wednesday evening once a month at the CCC admin office where last Wednesday's picket was held, at the corner of NW 6th and Everett streets.
What’s rotten about education?
From the open publishing newswire: Budget shortfalls, student ratios, and teachers' contract disputes hamper institutions' ability to educate students
Let's just say it: education is pretty messed up right now.
Oregon taxpayers now spend roughly the same amount of money to incarcerate 13,401 inmates as they do to educate 438,000 university and community college students. But spending on prisons is growing at a faster rate than education and other state services.
Building A "Failed State": Trimet Shows How
From the open publishing newswire: Our public agencies and officials are hard at work building a "failed state." I would define a "failed state" as one that does not meet the minimum requirements for attaining a measure of public legitimacy based on serving broad social needs. Such a state can only maintain authority through brute force. A state will "fail" once it stops serving the needs of a critical mass of its citizens.
Union Reps & Transit Activists Unite Wed Night At PSU
From the open publishing newswire: Two members of the ATU (TriMet drivers union) and Lynn Lehrbach (with the Teamsters in Portland, and a TriMet board member) are expected to attend and talk at this Wednesday night's 6 p.m. Transit Rider Union meeting, on Saving Fareless Square coalition and direct action organizing. 1,500 transit riders have signed petitions to Save Fareless Square, and despite Lynn (on the TriMet board) voting with us, TriMet continues to ignore democracy, the public interest, clean air, global warming, oil wars, and transit equity.
"Where's Molly?", A Story About Institutionalization Of People With DD
From the open publishing newswire: The Fairview Training Center was once known as the "Oregon State Institution for the Feeble-Minded." It was established in 1908 and housed thousands of residents with disabilities for close to a century. During that time, these residents suffered from inadequate staffing, poor training, serious health hazards, restraints, forced sterilization, rape, torture and neglect. Many of the residents were brought to the Center as small children and lived their entire lives in the confines of this prison masking as a hospital.
Food NOt Bombs Serving Update
From the open publishing newswire: Portland Food Not Bombs now serves free vegan meals 7 days a week.
Monday-Friday at Col. Summers Park(SE 17th and Taylor)
Saturdays at N. Park Blocs/Riot Elephant(W. Burnside and Park)
Sundays at Peninsula Park(N. Rosa Parks and Albina0
All meals are at 530. Come an get it!
Fight the Banks: Foreclosure Prevention Direct actions
From the open publishing newswire: DIRECT ACTION GETS THE GOODS: Monday, May 11, at 9 a.m., at the Multnomah County Courthouse, 1021 SW 4th Ave. Stop the auction of foreclosed homes by the bank-fraudsters. Support SB 628.
Not active in supporting your neighbors who are facing homelessness because you think Obama will magically make everything all right?
Give up that Ghost....We need grass-roots action NOW, and YOU need to make it happen.... Every Monday morning, foreclosed homes are being auctioned at the Multnomah County Courthouse (1021 SW 4th Ave.). This is being done in spite of the fact that the bankers and their political flunkies are obstructing attempts to require mortgage mediation with the victims of the financial scams that threaten to harm all working class people. (Contact your state representatives about support for SB 628, the pre-foreclosure mandatory mediation bill that the bank fraudsters are attempting to destroy, and see: link to blog.affil.org).
Wear red and bring signs, if you can.