The 2019 CCC Legislative Action day is an opportunity to engage with state legislators! Meet, share, and learn about 2019 bills that impact on communities of color.
Welcome to the October 2018 edition of the Equity Lens! This edition is jam packed with information, profiles of our newest board members, and we get an update on Marcus Mundy’s first 100 days as the CCC Executive Director.
HERE'S A QUICK OVERVIEW OF THIS EDITION OF THE EQUITY LENS:
Invisibility, Hyper-Visibility, Progress and Action at the Coalition of Communities of Color
Double Consciousness is a term coined by the sociologist and historian W. E. B. Du Bois to describe an individual whose identity is divided into several facets.
In his 1903 book , “The Souls of Black Folk”, Du Bois describes “double consciousness” as follows: “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness, an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife- this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He does not wish to Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He wouldn’t bleach his Negro blood in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of opportunity closed roughly in his face”.
Though Du Bois wrote those words over 100 years ago, they resonate still.
If you replace the word “Negro” with “people of color” in his writings, you will have encapsulated what is faced by the communities of color in Oregon, underscored in our groundbreaking report, “Leading with Race: Research Justice in Washington County”, where many participants in our community groups noted that they were, because of their darker skin or immigrant status or language, simultaneously hyper-visible and invisible to the dominant culture in that county, and relegated for both reasons to marginalized roles. This “two-ness” is part of our daily routine, and part of our daily challenge.
I recently marked my 100thday at the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) as its third Executive Director (ED), following its founding ED, the estimable Julia Meier, and its interim ED, the indefatigable Dani Ledezma.
Following two such leaders has been both daunting and exciting, but the welcome, the work and the whirlwind of support I have received has been nothing short of invigorating, and I look forward to the next 100 days, and succeeding months, with great anticipation.
My most pleasant elucidation was the discovery of how brilliant and competent the staff of the CCC is. Although we are involved in virtually every issue surrounding Research Justice, Advocacy, Leadership Development or Environmental Justice in our region, particularly those issues viewed with an Equity Lens, we continue to be high impact with never more than 6 members on the team, which is a testament to the power of collaboration, the true spirit of Ujima.
We have but a handful of dogged staff, yet our accomplishments, even just since June, speak for themselves:
CCC held its annual soiree, and announced our incredible report, “Leading with Race: Research Justice in Washington County”;
CCC has convened no less than 20 follow-on participatory sessions sharing the findings of this report, and expanding knowledge within our region, to government bodies, nonprofits and for profits;
Have helped to guide and form the CCC’s and its members’ positions on the many and complex measures on the November 6 ballot (see our Voting Guide at our website, www.coalitioncommunitiescolor.org, AND VOTE!)
Spearheaded the signature drive to qualify Measure 26-201 (the Portland Clean Energy Initiative) on the City of Portland Ballot for November 6, and got it on the ballot, which could mean upwards of $30M for low income communities, job training, weatherization, and clean energy initiatives going forward;
Explained the benefits and nuances of Measure 26-201, and dispassionately and clearly defended its wisdom, at the City Club of Portland’s most recent Friday Forum
Have co-sponsored the introduction of incredible, nationally renowned speakers to support our issues of Equity, Environmental Justice and Advocacy (Van Jones and DeRay McKesson);
Have kicked off trainings for our first “Research Justice Fellowship”, in Washington County, to develop community leadership in data and research;
Have met with innumerable city, county, state and federal leaders to continue to press the agendas important to communities of color in Oregon;
Have added three amazing new Board Members to our leadership: Tony DeFalco, Executive Director of Verde, Chi Nguyen, Executive Director of APANO, and Tony Hopson, President and CEO of Self Enhancement Inc.;
Have strengthened CCC team through the addition of our new Executive Assistant and Operations Manager, Joliana Scipio;
Completed the administrative paperwork so that we can officially constitute our 501 (c)(4) entity, and provide even more focused advocacy work for the issues that matter to communities of color;
Received the prestigious International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Cascade Chapter Award for Best Practices, for our “Leading with Race: Research Justice in Washington County” report;
In conjunction with EcoTrust, Futurewise, and 1000 Friends of Oregon, have begun the re-launch of the Regional Equity Atlas, the third iteration of this seminal report identifying those areas of excellence, and those in need of improvement, for communities of color in our region, by using real, current data viewed through our ubiquitous research justice lens;
Have begun to expand the capabilities of our 6 distinct Leadership Development cohorts’ database to enhance access and opportunities to alumni and cohort members for placement on a sundry of committees, advisory boards and commissions to assist in their professional development; continue to place leaders on boards and commissions, including recent appointments at Metro and the Port of Portland; plans are also underway for assistance with professional job placements and quarterly convenings;
Organized, sponsored and led (with a large coalition of partners such as Verde, OPAL, APANO, Environmental Justice Oregon, Multnomah County and the City of Portland) the CCC’s 3 day Community Energy Justice Summitat PCC Southeast, where we convened almost 100 community, government, nonprofit and for profit individuals to build a collectivce understanding of energy development fundamentals and energy democracy;
Quite frankly, the list goes on and on. You should rest assured that the staff of the Coalition of Communities of Color is working hard for the interests of our 19 member organizations, and communities of color writ large, and for you.
As Gabriel Garcia Marquez once said, the dominant culture “insist on measuring us with the yardstick that they use for themselves, forgetting that the ravages of life are not the same for all, and that the quest for our own identity is just as arduous and bloody for us as it was for them."
The Coalition of Communities of Color's mission is to address the socioeconomic disparities, institutional racism, and inequity of services experienced by our families, children and communities; and to organize our communities for collective action resulting in social change to obtain self-determination, wellness, justice and prosperity.
I am proud and honored to be part of that ongoing, unwavering mission, and hope that all who read our Equity Newsletter join us in these efforts.
Meet Our New Board Members
I have been excited about the Coalition since 2008 when I first heard about and was immediately supportive of the vision of our communities coming together in common cause. It’s an honor and privilege to be able to serve all the communities the Coalition represents in this capacity. I am very excited about the good work that has gone into the development of the REDEFINE program, as we truly are at a critical juncture in addressing climate change and other environmental challenges that disproportionately impact our communities. We are now poised to be able to not only take the lead in addressing these challenges but address them in ways that have disproportionate benefit to our communities.
I’m excited to be joining leaders across the area that have historically and continue to do great work defending equity for marginalized communities. I very much believe in communities organizing to have voices be heard and advocate for their fairness and prosperity. I feel deeply connected to this work. An anecdotal example I like to highlight on this work is: on my seventh day of becoming APANO's Interim Executive Director, I was dealt a humanitarian crisis when the federal administration separated families and transferred detained persons to FCI Sheridan. I could have been on the other side of that fence. Like those detained folks, I came to the United States from Vietnam as a political refugee seeking asylum. Oregon offered my family and me the beacon of hope. I want to join others in the fight to keep Oregon a special place that is welcoming for all of us.
As one of the original founders of the Coalition of Communities of Color, I look forward to re-engaging with the Board and the work of the CCC. The CCC has been the most consistent organization in advancing the issues that have impact people of color. We are presently in a real fight locally and nationally around equality and what we consider to be, fair and just opportunities for all citizens. The CCC provides a voice that can safely speak too many of these issues.
Voters’ Guide and Get Out the Vote!
Ballots are out and now is the most critical time to get informed about measures and step up to volunteer! The ballot initiative process creates some of the most significant opportunities to help or harm our communities, and we urge anyone who cares about racial equity to get engaged and talk to voters about these critical measures.. Learn more with our voters’ guide here.
Ballots are due November 6 by 8:00 PM. Locate your nearest drop box here.
CCC 2018 Ballot Measure Positions
Yes on Measure 102: This measure would allow local governments to partner with nongovernmental entities to build affordable housing with local bond dollars. This would increase the opportunities for nonprofit developers—including culturally-specific community development corporations—to build affordable homes. Learn more and sign up to volunteer.
No on Measure 103: This unnecessary and overly vague constitutional amendment bans all taxes on food and limits local governments’ hands to find local revenue solutions. This poorly written measure is overly broad, and does not belong in Oregon’s constitution. Learn more.
No on Measure 104: This measure puts our state at risk of legislative gridlock and will make it difficult to close corporate tax loopholes or make even minor adjustments to tax credits and fees. Raising sufficient revenue is a perpetual problem for our state, and this measure will only make it worse. Learn more.
No on Measure 105: Supported by state and national hate groups, this anti-immigrant measure directly targets communities of color, putting them at increased risk of racial profiling. At a time when anti-immigrant sentiment is increasing, Oregonians must take a stand for basic fairness and racial justice by defeating this measure. Learn more and sign up to volunteer.
No on Measure 106: All people who can become pregnant should have meaningful access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion. By banning public funds for virtually all abortions, this constitutional amendment would deeply harm communities of color. Learn more. CCC will be co-hosting a joint No on 105 and 106 canvass centered on communities of color with Forward Together, APANO, and Latino Network on Saturday, October 27. RSVP here. You can sign up for other volunteer opportunities here.
Yes on Measure 26-201, the Portland Clean Energy Initiative: Over two years in the making, this is the first environmental initiative in Oregon to be developed and led by organizations of color. It will create $30 million in new revenue to create good jobs, healthier homes, and renewable energy for Portlanders, with an emphasis on communities of color. Learn more and sign up to volunteer.
Yes on Measure 26-199, the Metro housing bond: This regional bond will create homes for thousands of families, with a focus on serving those who are at greatest risk of housing stability. In particular, one of the of the greatest needs for families of color are multi-bedroom units, and this measure will substantially increase the number of family-sized units in the region. Learn more and volunteer.
Van Jones & Portland Clean Energy Initiative
CCC Partners with Senior Advocates for Generational Equity to Host a Public Address by Change Agent Van Jones
On September 12, the Coalition was honored to co-title sponsor a public lecture by Van Jones, a world-renowned author, CNN host, and thought leader for social and environmental justice. Jones, who recently published Beyond the Messy Truth: How we came apart, how we come together, spoke to a crowd of over 600 people on the political divisions that are tearing us apart and destroying our families, our communities, and ourselves. His lecture was an impassioned and personal invitation for all of us to recognize that “breakdowns can become breakthroughs if you use them right”.
Jones wasted no time prioritizing the work of the Coalition, our members and partners on the Portland Clean Energy Initiative (PCEI), ballot measure 26-105 and immediately pronounced that “this ballot measure to get 30 Million dollars for green jobs is the most important ballot measure in the country right now”!
He followed by opening up with his personal story about how he found his way through a moment of suffering in his life, suffering brought about due to vitriolic dishonest crusade to get him out of the White House, and came to find self-love and respect to find common ground with the very people who sought to oust him from Obama’s administration. Jones called upon us to examine our actions and experiences when he stated that “the lack of honesty about what we’re going through is allowing a lot of suffering to continue; a lot of dysfunction in our movements.”
He further advised that “we cannot afford to become what we are fighting...fight with love” and suggested moving through fear, anger, and hate to further transformational social change is paramount to the resistance of our opposition. Jones also invited us to practice empathy, imagine what motivates those who disagree with and fight us and find points of connection. Van Jones concluded his lecture by paraphrasing a quote from U.S. President Robert F. Kennedy, who said that standing up to your enemies is not what determines one’s moral courage, it is standing up to your friends when they are wrong.
This thrilling opportunity to co-host this public address also gave us a chance to work with new partners, Seniors for Generational Equity (SAGE), and event organizers Social Enterprise and Prisma Point. It also meant we and our members who work on the Portland Clean Energy Initiative campaign were able to connect with Van Jones and work with him to amplify the importance of this ballot measure. If you missed the address, you can listen to it in its entirety on KBOO. For more thoughtful conversation and collaborative solutionsinspired by Van’s public address and recent book, join CCC & SAGE on October 30th, from 7 PM to 9 PM at the Joinery (922 SW Yamhill St, Portland). You don’t need to have attended the talk or read the whole book to have a meaningful discussion about the current divides facing our communities and political institutions. Desserts and beverages will be served, and this event is free!
Research Justice Update
PORTLAND UNITED AGAINST HATE
As a member of Portland United Against Hate, we are piloting a system to document hate/bias incidents in the city. If you believe you have experienced or witnessed or heard about a hate/bias incident you can report it to Portland United Against Hate by contacting our Researcher, Shweta Moorthy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is PUAH?
Portland United Against Hate (PUAH) is a community initiated partnership of community based organizations, neighborhood associations, concerned communities and the City of Portland.
Together, we are building a rapid response system that combines reporting and tracking of hateful acts and providing the support and protection our communities.
Why is this important?
The very communities most likely to be targets of hate violence are also the least likely to report their experiences to law enforcement. Undercounting of hate crimes can therefore create the impression that all is well.
What are ‘hate incidents’ that can be reported using the tool:
Concerned communities define and experience hate as any incident that targets an individual/group based on their age, color, religion, disability (physical or mental), race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and so on. That can be intolerance, discrimination, hostility, harassment, hate, mistreatment, prejudice, bigotry, injustice, favoritism, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, tendency, ageism, privilege, marginalization, retaliation, bullying, incivility, stereotyping, and microaggressions. The perpetrator of the incident can be an individual, organization, government agency etc.
Examples of incidents include:
A person is verbally harassed for being presumed to be from another country.
A poster is displayed that singles out a racial or ethnic group to intimidate.
A teacher intentionally ridicules a person for the pronouns that person uses.
A wall is defaced with anti-Semitic messaging.
What will happen with this information?
The respondent’s personal information will be kept confidential and will not be shared with law enforcement or anyone other than the data analysts from the non-profit running the website. Only the owner of the website, Coalition of Communities of Color, will have access to this information.
The CCC will work with Portland United Against Hate to offer an analysis of hate incidents in Portland and use this data to raise awareness; advocate for legislation around hate violence, for policies that dismantle racism and white supremacy the targets the roots of hate, gang prevention, mental health, policing alternatives, to change practices such as schools, mental health services, law enforcement.
Call for Applications: CCC Research Justice IN WASHINGTON COUNTY Fellowship
The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) is an alliance of 19 culturally specific organizations that come together to work for racial justice transformation in the region. We are proud of the work we have accomplished through our research justice, advocacy and leadership development programs in the racial justice movement.
The CCC is proud to announce our first Research Justice Fellowship to develop community leadership in data and research in order to build power, organize and advocate for racial justice in the region. If you are interested in learning how to use research and data to build power and advocate for racial justice, this is the right opportunity for you. Learn more about our Research Justice vision here.
What is the Research Justice Fellowship?
This program is designed to help community members learn how to design and implement small-scale research projects around issues that derive from their experiences with institutional racism. In the process, the cohort will give feedback and inform the creation of an online data tool called the Regional Equity Atlas that will hold the research they generate.
We will provide training, stipends, research expenses and the opportunity to create and implement research projects that create knowledge and build power to organize and advocate for change.
Our goal is to build a cohort of strong community leaders with an understanding of the role of research in organizing and advocacy for racial justice. The project is guided by a vision of research justice, which seeks to amplify and emphasize the voices of those most directly impacted by institutional racism – in particular, people of color – in the work of making our communities equitable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the fellowship pay?
- Research Justice Fellows will receive a $,1000 stipend. CCC will cover costs for research-related expenses such as supplies (flipcharts, photocopies, printouts etc) and public transit/mileage reimbursement.
Are there geographical, age, education, or experience requirements?
- The fellowship is open to everyone 18 years or older who identifies as a person of color.
- There are no education, experience and immigration requirements.
- Research Justice Fellows need to live or work or have a strong relationship to Washington County.
What are expectations from the program and the hours worked?
- This is a 2 month program from Oct-Nov 2018 and it requires a 60 hour time commitment, which includes:
- Participating in trainings on Oct 6-7, 2018
- Implementing the research
- Participating in the development of the online data tool
- In the trainings, community researchers will develop a timeline of research implementation including scheduling check-ins with CCC for guidance, assistance and accountability in implementation of research in October and November.
How do I apply and ask other questions?
To apply or ask other questions, please fill out this simple application form to join the 2018 Community Researchers Program cohort. Applications are due by Monday, September 24, 2018. Up to 12 accepted applicants will receive email and phone notification and information no later than September 28, 2018. The trainings will take place on Saturday-Sunday October 6-7, 2018. Please send any questions to Shweta Moorthy, Researcher, at email@example.com or call 217-621-2096.
Coalition Report Reveals Inequality In Washington County
by Erica Morrison Follow OPB June 18, 2018 5:24 p.m. | Beaverton, Oregon
The Coalition of Communities of Color released their comprehensive report on racial inequities in Washington County on Monday.
“Leading With Race: Research Justice in Washington County” comes after two years of research, and explores the lived experiences of eight communities in Oregon’s most diverse county.
The report focuses on Native American, African-American, African, Asian and Asian-American, Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders and Slavic communities in Washington County.
CCC presented the report to officials and community members at Beaverton Library. Attendees received a 31-page booklet of the study’s executive summary. The summary details the population sizes of the identified communities and addresses key issues that affect them.
The mayors of Hillsboro, Tigard and Beaverton community leaders spoke at the meeting. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon, also delivered remarks.
Bonanmici said Washington County is the “economic engine” of the state and the struggle for equity has been long and is far from over.
The findings of the report prove that to be true.
Researcher Shweta Moorthy found Latino applicants are 125 percent more likely to have their home loan application denied compared to high income whites.
When asked what surprised her the most about her research, Moorthy replied, “How willing people were to get uncomfortable.”
The study confirms many things members of communities of color already know; there are greater disparities when it comes to homeownership, education and interactions with law enforcement.
The report includes an eight-step call to action to improve racial equity in the county.
Moorthy said she hopes the report gets people to realize the expertise of people of color and the need to respect that expertise.
Welcome to the June 2018 edition of the Equity Lens! In this edition, we are excited to announce our new executive director, provide updates on our work, and highlight the work of our members, partners, and community leaders.
HERE'S A QUICK OVERVIEW OF THIS EDITION OF THE EQUITY LENS:
Meet the CCC's New Executive Director
The Board of Directors of the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) are thrilled to announce the new Executive Director, Marcus C. Mundy. Marcus will start on June 25th, 2018.
Marcus Mundy knows the CCC well, as a former Executive Director of a member organization and Executive Committee member, he was instrumental in the CCC’s publication of the Unsettling Profile series, and its ongoing advocacy for increased funding for housing and services for our culturally specific member organizations.
Marcus has a prolific career in leadership and is passionate about advancing racial justice in Oregon. He has strong relationships and roots in our communities and will lead CCC into its next chapter with a deep understanding of and commitment to communities of color.
About Marcus C. Mundy
Mr. Mundy is a Principal at Mundy Consulting LLC, an Oregon state certified minority small business. His practice assists clients in various disciplines including but not limited to: achieving equity, diversity and inclusion in personnel, contracting, supplier diversity, development and administrative areas; and achieving compliance with respect to applicable laws, regulations and accreditation standards for healthcare businesses and others.
Prior to his role at Mundy Consulting, Mr. Mundy served as the President and CEO of the Urban League of Portland, was the Vice President and Regional Compliance Officer for Kaiser Permanente Northwest, and has held a host of other leadership positions.
Mr. Mundy attended Howard University in Washington, DC, receiving his Bachelor (BBA) in Business Administration, and attended Howard University's Graduate School of Business. He received his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Oregon’s Executive MBA program.
Mr. Mundy has served the community through his participation on numerous boards and community advisory positions, including the OHSU Foundation Board, the State Labor Commissioner’s Oregon Council on Civil Rights, the Oregon Community Foundation’s Regional Advisory Initiative, the Coalition for a Livable Future, EcoDistricts (formerly Portland Sustainability Institute) and, currently, Upstream Public Health.
He is also a Senior Fellow in Oregon’s chapter of the American Leadership Forum, our state’s premier leadership training group for over two decades. His proudest achievement, however, and forever, is as a father to his four children.
Equity Lens Interview:
1) You’ve had a long career in leadership roles, what is one accomplishment of which you are most proud?
As a proponent of servant leadership, I am proud of the fact that I focus on the humanity of the people for whom I work, despite the setting. If a leader can maintain empathy, and remember that there is a responsibility to serve and not just direct, there will always be much for which to be proud. Consistent empathy is the accomplishment I cherish the most, as it allows me to remember why I work.
2) What are you most excited about in your new role at the CCC?
I am excited to work once again with a high quality, dedicated, professional staff, and an organization that is fiercely clear in its mission. When a team is focused in its direction, great things can be accomplished. I am absolutely eager to connect with past colleagues and meet new leaders in the enlarged membership of the Coalition and our many partners. There is much work to be done to advocate for and collaborate with member organizations, and I hope to be able to help our collective goals to be achieved.
I once opined at a fundraising dinner, over a decade ago, that if you were a salmon or a tree or a bicycle lane in Oregon you had a better chance of being protected and having resources thrown your way than if you were a person of color trying to find a job or housing or healthcare or redress to civil injustice.
(Please understand that I am pro-salmon, pro-tree, and pro-cycling. It is just that I am even more a proponent of racial equity and justice, basic civil rights and economic opportunity. While the paradigm is not zero-sum, and we can accomplish many of these things simultaneously, I do believe that fairness for people must come first before we concentrate on addressing everything else.)
Much has changed for the good since my comments, in large part because of the relentless work of the Coalition and its members.
But an exciting facet of my new role is that I can remind the powers that be in this region that these issues remain current, must be addressed with urgency even now, and that the “new normal” we have become accustomed to (anesthetized by?) over the last two years is not normal at all, and must be met with resolute focus on change that benefits all. I look forward to the challenge.
3) What do you like to do to maintain work/life balance?
I love to read, I revel in writing, I relish wonderful food and discovering new places (both of which can be done abundantly in Oregon), and I embrace the opportunity to spend time with family and friends discussing issues of the day, and laughing out loud. Watching my athletic children compete in their various sports endeavors has also helped keep me grounded over the years, and eased the stresses of the day-to-day.
4) Trailblazers or Timbers?
Is that a trick question? I support each of those Portland treasures equally, although I do hope the Trailblazers prevail in signing LeBron James in the offseason (longshot), and the Timbers acquire the promising Tayo Edun (possible) in theirs. That would make for an exciting next year.
Summer Soirée a success!
On behalf of the Coalition of Communities of Color, our members, our board of directors, and our staff, we would like to thank everyone that attended the 2018 Summer Soirée! This is the fourth year of our annual fundraiser and it was our most successful one yet! Pictures from the event will be posted soon, but here's a glimpse of the pictures from the program and a video about CCC's work that we featured at the event.
If you were not able to attend, but would like to support the work of the CCC, you can still make a donation and help us advance racial justice through cross-cultural collective action.
Research Justice Update
CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
On June 12th, the Coalition’s Research Justice Center will publish and release Leading with Race: Research Justice in Washington County. This report is based on the Center’s community-based participatory research project, which reflects the lives and aspirations of communities of color in Washington County. Leading with Race includes findings that our leaders can rely upon to build capacity, mobilize and advocate for better outcomes for culturally-specific communities in Washington County.
The next phase of the project entails providing an opportunity for community members living/working in Washington county to learn how to present research findings, facilitate dialogue and articulate their experiences to city councils, school districts, community-based organizations and so on. This is an important leadership development opportunity, particularly for those who live, work, and or have spent a significant part of their life in Washington County.
The CCC’s Research Justice Center and Advocacy Program will host a training for interested individuals sometime between the end of June and mid-July. Childcare and food will be provided during the workshop. Please contact Shweta Moorthy by June 19 if you wish to participate in this leadership development opportunity. Learn more about CCC’s Research Justice vision here.
Re-launching Regional Equity Atlas
The CCC’s Research Justice Center has taken the lead in re-launching Regional Equity Atlas in partnership with Ecotrust, Futurewise and 1000 Friends of Oregon. Currently in development, the Regional Equity Atlas 3.0 will include an online mapping tool and interpretive website, which will enable us to understand how well different neighborhoods, communities, and populations across our region are able to access the resources and opportunities they need to meet their basic needs and advance their health and well-being. We will not collect, analyze, and present data for its own sake – instead, the Regional Equity Atlas is designed to be a tool to catalyze lasting social change, and to support grassroots community organizing toward that end.
The Coalition will resource and train a cohort of 12-15 community members living in Washington County to design and implement small-scale research projects and co-develop the Regional Equity Atlas. The cohort will begin meeting in July 2018. Please contact Shweta Moorthy by June 19 if you wish to participate in this leadership development and community-based research opportunity.
The Portland and Multnomah County budget cycle and May elections made for a busy spring in CCC’s advocacy efforts. City and county budget advocacy has been a core element of CCC's work since the coalition’s inception. This year, we are exploring a new approach aimed at deepening relationships with local elected leaders and creating a broader vision for racial equity in our community. Since January, CCC has begun a series of quarterly meetings with the Portland mayor and Multnomah County chair to share our members’ policy and budget priorities in a cross-cultural context.
In addition to this new strategy, we partnered again this year with CCC member IRCO to host a Multnomah County Budget Forum focused on the priorities of communities of color. All five county commissioners heard from service providers, advocates, and community members about priority issues and the importance of culturally specific resources, with a number of CCC members testifying in person.
In the run-up to the May 15 election, we worked to increase engagement on racial equity in local races. On April 30, CCC teamed up with 1000 Friends of Oregon to host the only forum for all Metro Council candidates. Allan Lazo of the Fair Housing Council of Oregon was an outstanding moderator as candidates discussed their visions for Metro's work in racial equity, housing, transportation, and land use. The event was held at the Muslim Educational Trust's Community and Educational Center in Tigard; MET is CCC's newest member and we were delighted to hold this event in their beautiful space.
In line with our increased engagement in Washington County, CCC co-hosted a Washington County District Attorney Candidate Forum with the ACLU of Oregon and CCC member organization Unite Oregon. District attorneys are one of the most powerful actors in the criminal justice system, and this forum was an opportunity to center racial justice in these conversations. Shujat Qalbani of Unite Oregon drew on his own experience as a criminal justice policy advocate, prosecutor, and municipal judge to serve as moderator.
Now that election season and the budget cycle are over, we’ll be busy planning for advocacy on November ballot initiatives and the 2019 legislative session and look forward to creating a robust policy agenda and engaging in collective action for racial equity.
Energy Justice Update
June 1st marked one year since the City of Portland and Multnomah County passed a 100% Renewable Energy Resolution. Portland City Council and the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners adopted companion 100% renewables resolutions, establishing goals to meet 100% of community-wide energy needs with renewable energy by 2050 and to meet 100% of community-wide electric energy needs through renewable energy by 2035.
The Coalition of Communities of Color, Verde, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon and partners successfully advanced equity commitments to protect low-income ratepayers, support workforce diversity and target businesses, and incent community-based development of renewable energy infrastructure. Specifically, each resolution prioritizes “community-based development of renewable energy infrastructure,” and sets a target of supplying 2% of community-wide energy needs via such infrastructure by 2035.
While Oregon has been recognized as an environmental leader, communities like ours-- communities of color and low-income communities-- are often left out of the development, implementation, and enforcement of such initiatives and bypassed by the environmental, social and economic wealth created through the environmental and sustainability movement. We are on a path to reverse that on the local and state level.
In July, organizations and communities of color will build a collective understanding of energy development fundamentals and energy democracy, including how the fossil-fuel economy is an integrated climate and economic crisis which has disproportionately impacted low-income communities and communities of color. Using the capacity building of the “Community Energy Justice Summit” as a foundation, we explore what a long-term community-driven effort could look like that develops and implements community-based renewable energy resources and policies, thereby empowering our communities to realize environmental, economic, racial, and social justice benefits.
Since late 2017, the CCC has participated in the SB 978 [link: http://www.puc.state.or.us/Pages/Energy%20Initiatives/SB-978.aspx] process, including ongoing capacity building and advocacy to ensure the Public Utilities Commission integrates Environmental Justice, public participation, and climate change mitigation into its decision-making framework. We are simultaneously working to establish long-term intervenor funding for Environmental Justice groups. We believe this is an enormous opportunity to develop our communities as stakeholders in energy policy and shift the utility business model to center the needs of communities of color and low-income communities.
How will we build this new, regenerative, and cooperative future? Organizations like the CCC, APANO, NAYA, Verde, and NAACP Portland Chapter are moving forward models to transition from the old, extractive economy and fund a clean, equitable and racially just economy. The Portland Clean Energy Fund is Portland's chance to become a national model for transitioning our city to renewable energy in a manner that directly supports racial justice and equity. From funding new rooftop solar and energy efficiency projects to a robust job-training program for underserved communities, PCEF is how we can turn our values into tangible benefits for Portlanders and our climate. The initiative would levy a small surcharge on huge multinational corporations to capitalize a fund that will be directed to clean energy and climate investments that benefits low-income people and people of color (among other traditionally underserved communities). Find out more here about the ballot initiative campaign [link: https://www.portlandcleanenergyfund.com/] and check out the crowdfunding campaign [https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/385855/help-portland-clean-energy-fund-initiative-qualify-for-the-nov-2018-ballot], which will fund efforts to get the Portland Clean Energy Fund on the ballot in November!
Check out similar efforts and gain inspiration nationally through the Energy Democracy National Tour 2018 [link: https://energydemocracy.us/]. The Tour leverages the recently published book, Energy Democracy: Advancing Equity in Clean Energy Solutions, to strengthen, bring together, and expand the various strands and networks of the emerging energy democracy movement in the United States.
The short legislative session is in the home stretch, and we are continuing to push forward on our 2018 legislative agenda!
Culturally specific early learning programs, including many offered by CCC’s members, have strong records of successful outcomes for children and families of color. Yet these programs are not currently eligible for state funding to invest in these effective programs. The Early Childhood Equity Fund (HB 4066), would establish a fund to invest in culturally specific early learning program.
Latino Network has led a coalition of early childhood advocates to advance this bill. A number of CCC members have also been hard at work on this bill. Lee Po Cha from IRCO, Sadie Feibel from Latino Network, and Ashley Oakley from NAYA all testified at the hearing before the House Early Childhood and Families Supports Committee, along with CCC. At the hearing, committee members were visibly moved by their stories of the impact of culturally specific early learning programs on children and families. The bill passed out of committee unanimously and has seen widespread support and is now before the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education.
Despite the urgent need for this resource, legislators missed an opportunity to provide children and families of color with these critical programs by failing to pass HB 4066. We will be back next session to ensure that we are meeting the early learning needs for all of Oregon's young children.
Families are at the heart of our communities, and ensuring that children are not unnecessarily removed from their homes, and that families have a path to restoration is critical to keeping our families strong. Currently, children of color are removed from their homes by child welfare services at far higher rates. Representative Tawna Sanchez has taken action by introducing a bill that would prevent unlawful removals and give families a path to reunite with rehabilitated parents.
In its initial form, HB 4009 would have required judicial authorization before a child would be removed, meaning that kids would remain in their homes so long as they were safe. The original bill’s provision to create a path for restoring families remains in the bill and has moved forward. Dani Ledezma, CCC’s Interim Executive Director, testified on the need for this bill. It was amended in the House Judiciary Committee so that it only includes an opportunity for families to be restored when parents who no longer have parental rights are prepared to successfully parent their children. While we are very disappointed that the removal provision was eliminated from the bill, CCC is dedicated to continuing this conversation to ensure families have the support and resources to thrive. The amended version of HB 4009 passed. We applaud Representative Tawna Sanchez’s leadership in sponsoring this critical bill.
Maggie Tallmadge, CCC’s Environmental Justice Manager, testified about the need for environmental justice to be centered in Clean Energy Jobs legislation. We continue to advocate for action on climate through policies that meaningfully benefit most impacted communities. The final form of the bill remains under discussion. Representative Diego Hernandez has been a key champion for environmental justice and his leadership has been critical to incorporating climate justice into the policy.
Clean Energy Jobs did not pass this session, although the Legislature took some important steps toward developing a program for legislation during the 2019 session. CCC and its members will continue to push for environmental justice to be even more central to climate policy.
Housing and Health
Other CCC priority items include HB 4134, which would streamline the process for removing racially restrictive covenants. This bill has passed out of both the House and the Senate and will go to the Governor’s desk. A bill to increase the document recording fee to fund affordable housing, emergency rent assistance, and homeownership (HB 4007) passed. A bill establishing a task force to address racial disparities in homeownership (HB 4010, with Representative Mark Meek as a co-chief sponsor) passed unanimously out of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. Maxine Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of PCRI, testified about the urgency of addressing the homeownership gap and PCRI’s work on Pathway 1000. CCC also testified about the need for a maternal mortality and morbidity review committee (HB 4133). Representative Janelle Bynum, a co-chief sponsor of the bill, gave powerful testimony about the dramatic racial disparities in maternal mortality rates, and CCC testified emphasizing that implicit bias in health care and the impact of chronic stress. HB 4133 passed.
We are heartened to see the leadership of legislators of color addressing the most pressing issues in our communities. The current Legislature is the most diverse ever, and this representation is resulting in bills that address some of the most pressing issues faced by communities of color. We look forward to a more equitable Oregon thanks to their leadership, and the dedicated advocates working for racial equity in our state legislature as we move toward the end of the 2018 legislative session. All of our priorities for housing and health passed this session!
Coalition of Communities of Color Legislative Action Day Recap
The collective power of communities of color was out in full force on February 8 for the Coalition of Communities of Color's 2018 Legislative Action Day! For our 6th annual lobby day, more than 60 attendees met with 40 legislators to talk about CCC's 2018 legislative agenda and solutions for the most pressing issues impacting our communities. The session may be short, but our attendees covered a lot of ground, sharing their stories and advocating for issues from the creation of an Early Childhood Equity Fund to affordable housing to climate justice. We were honored to have Representative Teresa Alonso Leon, Representative Diego Hernandez, and the Governor's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion join us in the morning to share their vision for racial equity in government and inspire future political leaders.
If you haven't seen photos of CCC advocates in action yet, check them out here. And many of our CCC members also held legislative action days this session—check out photos from the Urban League, NAYA Family Center, and APANO. IRCO will be holding their legislative action day this Friday.
Thank you to everyone who joined us, and if you missed CCC's Legislative Action Day this year, we hope that you'll be able to attend next year. The legislative session ends on March 9, so stay tuned for our recap of the session in our March Equity Lens newsletter.