Author Archives: admin

Dr. King or Malcolm X? (Answers to the Quiz)

Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, TN, the day prior to a planned march through downtown in support of Memphis public employees who were seeking to create a union. He understood that civil rights and union rights were both required to have human rights.

The march proceeded when Coretta King arrived to take her husband’s place. The Memphis public employees marched through the streets with signs that read, “I AM A MAN.” These signs conveyed the thought that these workers were not being treated as human beings and that by birth they were entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. Continue reading

Can We Learn from North Dakota the Value of a Public Bank?

This is the second in a series of article exploring issues that were identified by County Democratic Precinct Persons at the County Platform meeting

There is a publicly owned bank in North Dakota, has been for decades. It did not need a bailout during the 2008 crash because it had not engaged in reckless speculation.

If North Dakota, perhaps one of the more conservative places in the US, can have a public bank, should we? What would it or could it do? And why would we want one?

Apparently there is a national movement to protect public monies from the abuses of Wall St. Remember the Libor scandal or the housing bubble of 2008  to mention just two recent scandals that defrauded billions of dollars in fees from public accounts, including our own local and county governments. Continue reading

Clackamas County Economic Development Caught in a Time Warp?

(This begins a series of articles on public actions on the economy and focuses first on the concept of industrial planning and job creation.)

Employee-owned Bob’s Red Mill

When Clackamas County Democratic Precinct Persons met last week to begin developing our county and state issue platform, one idea gaining surprising support was creation of publicly owned banks. This is not a new idea, but one whose time has come as we look to new ways for our community to thrive and prosper. And, no, it is not the same as credit unions, already a step in the right direction.

This notion is a good example of looking at old problems with a fresh perspective. In many ways, that is a good function of lay people with a broad interest in improving their own way of life but also the lives of those around them of all stripes and economic positions. Continue reading

Intraparty Differences over Clean Air Funding

By William Street

There is a deep historic division in Oregon Democratic circles most commonly referred to as “Jobs versus Environment.” This split crosses industrial lines: workers in extractive industries, such as forestry, are often pitted against workers in less polluting industries. It crosses rural/urban lines since many workers in extractive industries live in rural portions of Oregon.

This historic division appeared again last week when House Democrats refused to fund the governor’s Cleaner Air Oregon initiative. The sum: $1 million to be paid by polluters. Continue reading

Clackamas Projects Omitted in Major Legislation as Transportation Package Gets Fast Green Light

Though seriously lacking in projects for Clackamas County, passage of a $3.8 billion transportation package in the Legislature July 6 should be considered a coup for Governor Kate Brown and Democratic leadership.

HB 2017, which originally contained $5.1 billion in projects, passed the House 39-20 with 36 required in the 60-member House due to the so-called three-fifths rule on revenue (tax) measures. Continue reading