Wednesday, August 4, 2021


The youngest students along with faculty and staff will need to mask up in states like New Mexico; and President Biden calls for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign following a report on sexual harassment.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacts to sexual harassment report; CDC places new limits on evictions until October; and a new study finds Democrats could lose control of US House in 2022 due to Republican gerrymandering.

OR Bill Would Overhaul Community Safety, Policing


Friday, June 18, 2021   

UPDATE: HB 2002 has died in the Legislature. "This is a profoundly disappointing setback for Oregonians who value and have called for racial justice and changes in our approach to community safety," groups supporting the measure said in a joint statement. "Particularly people and communities who are over-policed and who have historically been left out of policymaking." (4:42 p.m. PDT, June 18, 2021)

SALEM, Ore. -- A bill that would bring sweeping changes to criminal justice is in front of Oregon lawmakers.

Supporters hope it gets past the finish line before the session ends.

House Bill 2002 covers a range of issues, such as ending supervision fees for people who have finished their prison sentences.

Danita Harris, metro campaigns coordinator for the Oregon Food Bank, said it also makes changes to policing so law-enforcement officers don't pull people over for low-level offenses, such as broken taillights.

"What that does, is serve to lessen the encounters that folks are having with the police and the fewer encounters, the fewer negative encounters," Harris asserted. "It also gives the police the opportunity to focus on policing as opposed to traffic violations."

Harris added the bill makes major investments, such as an $8 million increase in victim services, with dedicating funding for culturally specific organizations. They pointed out the measure is the culmination of decades of activism, and the racial-justice reckoning over the past year has catapulted the issue onto the desks of decision makers.

Julianne Jackson, director of movement building at the Partnership for Safety and Justice, said a large coalition of groups made the bill a priority, and the communities most affected by the criminal-justice system put the bill together.

"These are the folks that are closest to the trauma, closest to the issues," Jackson observed. "They're the closest to addiction, poverty, racial disparities, over-policing, all of those things, and these are the folks that drafted this legislation."

Harris said House Bill 2002 is one of Oregon Food Bank's main priorities this legislative session, noting the measure addresses issues that are deeply intertwined with hunger. They say hunger doesn't exist in a vacuum, and policies also have to lift up marginalized groups, such as communities of color, trans and gender non-conforming people, and people with disabilities, to tackle the issue.

"We know that if we really want to challenge the systems that create the need of food services, we have to be willing to do that work through policy... policy like House Bill 2002 that's really focused on the marginalized groups that we work with," Harris explained.

The legislative session is scheduled to end June 27.

Disclosure: Oregon Food Bank contributes to our fund for reporting on Community Issues and Volunteering, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

House Bill 2002

get more stories like this via email
Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry's, could land on a list of more than 60 blacklisted companies prohibited from doing business with the State of Florida. (Stevepb/Pixabay)

Health and Wellness

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis is promising to block any state money from going to the parent company of ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry's unless …

Social Issues

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas is trying to make it easier for people experiencing homelessness to get to their appointments with social service agencies by in…


BILLINGS, Mont. - Montanans are being challenged this month to eat locally grown foods, every day of August. The Northern Plains Resource Council is …

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is also asking the Arkansas Legislature to reconsider Act 977, which bans state and local officials from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- COVID-19 has given a whole new meaning to the term "Extraordinary Session," as state lawmakers are in Little Rock again today to …

Health and Wellness

SEATTLE - Speaking to folks who are hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine has gained a new sense of urgency as the Delta variant pushes cases up…

Ayolanda Evans Mack of the group Protect Minnesota is at the helm of a new documentary about what it would take to rid a community of gun violence. (Black Light Media)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS - Cities such as Minneapolis are getting attention over waves of gun violence in recent months. A statewide group hopes a new documentary …

Social Issues

FARGO, N.D. -- The people behind efforts to recall four Fargo School Board members have until August 25th to collect signatures. Ahead of that …

Social Issues

By Katie Fleischer for Ms. MagazineBroadcast version by Lily Böhlke for Tennessee News Service/Public News Service NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021