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Inside Portland

Inside Portland (Jun 20th, 2019)

After a little bit of rain today, we should be back to partly cloudy weather with temperatures in the low 70s.

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1. State lawmakers are preparing for the second Republican walkout, this time over a Democratic plan to enforce climate protections. Democrats don't need any Republican votes to pass the bill, but they do need Republicans present to meet the minimum number of lawmakers required to hold votes. Under state law, Gov. Kate Brown can send state police to round up lawmakers. If Gov. Brown decides to use force to bring Republicans into work, Dallas Republican Sen. Brian Boquist said to "send bachelors and come heavily armed." This would be Republicans' second walkout this legislative session. Last time, the GOP protested a school funding bill. To end that walkout, Democrats gave up plans to pass stronger vaccine requirements and gun control laws. As they struck that deal, the GOP agreed not to walk out again this session, but they appear poised to do so today. – STATESMAN JOURNAL

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2. Facing an ongoing recruitment and retention crisis, the Portland Police Bureau is lowering its requirements for new officers. Police Chief Danielle Outlaw says, starting July 1, new recruits will no longer need more than a GED to qualify for a job. Before the rule change, candidates without college degrees needed two years of equivalent work experience to qualify. Outlaw's also relaxing grooming rules. Candidates will no longer be disqualified for tattoos above the collar, and they don't have to shave their beards. The bureau has more than 100 open positions, with a new round of retirements expected next year. – PORTLAND MERCURY

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3. Throwback Thursday: Rural-Urban Tensions in Oregon

Many of the Republicans threatening to walk out this week say the climate legislation proposed is imposing Portland values on rural communities. That argument is not new. Since the 1800s, rural voters have used that argument to fight nearly every significant piece of legislation that addressed social change. Stark differences between populations could've contributed to the political distrust. At the start of the 20th century, roughly a quarter of Oregon's entire population lived within Portland city limits. There were also racial and cultural disparities, with immigrant communities flocking to Portland while avoiding rural settlements. In 1920, for example, 80 percent of black Oregonians lived in Multnomah County. An exception included early Mexican immigrants, who often settled in rural areas like Malheur County.

Workplace protections such as the eight-hour day and child labor laws were criticized as Portland values being imposed on the whole state. The rise of the KKK in the '20s also took a firmer hold in rural counties. Though the KKK also had a significant impact on Portlanders, almost every piece of legislation coming from rural counties in this period sought to codify racial and cultural preferences into Oregon law. One exception was alcohol Prohibition, which passed with tempered support from Multnomah County and widespread popularity in rural Oregon. – THE OREGON HISTORY PROJECT

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4. State officials have replaced a patch of rose bushes at SW 14th and Montgomery with a pile of rocks, and many neighbors are happy about it. Oregon is increasingly using boulders to keep people from camping on public property. Since 2013, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has spent $1 million on what it calls "disincentive landscaping." But ODOT argues that it's actually a cost-saver since the department has spent $4 million on camp cleanups in the past two years. Neighbors at the SW 14th and Montgomery location told KGW that campers had attacked residents several times, so they welcome the boulders. – WILLAMETTE WEEK

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5. Little Big Burger workers now have a union vote scheduled. The process has been in the works since March, but Little Big Union has clashed with Little Big Burger several times in the runup to a unionization vote. Most recently, Little Big Union took issue with the company's timetable for staging a vote. Under the new plan struck between the groups, votes will be mailed in by workers throughout July. If workers choose to unionize, they'll join five local Burgerville restaurants in securing union representation. – WILLAMETTE WEEK

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6. City Council approved a new set of tenant protections yesterday. I touched on this proposal, which makes it harder for landlords to deny applications and withhold security deposits, back when it was first revealed in May. – THE OREGONIAN/OREGONLIVE

7. Damian Lillard is reportedly going to star in the upcoming Space Jam reboot. The movie is being built around Lebron James, but Lillard is said to have a "key" role in the film. – BLEACHER REPORT

8. Several recent audits have revealed shortcomings in public programs, but a new audit on an affordable housing initiative is actually full of good news. While there's room for improvement, the Portland Auditor's Office found that a $250 million investment in affordable housing units is off to a good start. – PORTLAND TRIBUNE

9. Every year, Willamette Week polls the who's who of Portland's music scene to find out about the best up-and-coming acts. This year's list is now out! I personally recommend Karma Rivera, but there are a few new names to me on the list that I'm excited to check out! – WILLAMETTE WEEK

10. Willamette Week has you covered for music, but if you're hungry, you might be more interested in The Oregonian's list of Portland's best food carts. The food on the list runs the gambit, from sushi to bbq to pho and beyond. – THE OREGONIAN/OREGONLIVE

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Schuyler Durham writes Inside Portland and Inside Finance. He’s a lifelong Portlander who got his start covering the local music scene, but later became enamored with the complexities of financial and political reporting. After three years in broadcast news, he's now diving back into the digital realm. You can keep up with his writing on Twitter at @SchuylerWriter or watch him goof around on Instagram at @bitterbuddha.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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