Monday, July 4, 2022


July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.


The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

OR Janitors Go Green with Sustainability Certification


Monday, May 2, 2022   

Janitors in downtown Portland have received a unique certification that signals they're going green.

Six janitors were certified through the green janitor education program, a 30-hour curriculum that focuses on energy, water and environmental sustainability standards and green practices.

Maggie Long is executive director of the Service Employees International Union Local 49, which represents janitors in Portland. She said janitors are fundamental to a building's operation, performing duties that can help make them greener.

"So it's these sort of day-to-day operation things that can have a huge impact in a building that janitors are uniquely positioned to play a role in," said Long.

Long said the certification is being offered to union janitors in commercial or residential buildings. She said she hopes hundreds more will be certified over the next two years.

Keren Eichen is director of real estate services in Portland for Unico Properties, which collaborated with SEIU Local 49 on the certification. She said janitors are on the front lines of the climate fight in buildings and Unico wanted to invest in these workers.

"It's important for Portlanders to reduce our environmental footprint and the green janitor education program is one of the ways that we can do that," said Eichen. "Commercial buildings have a responsibility, we believe, to be stewards of the environment and to set a good example."

Funding for the program comes in part from the Portland Clean Energy Fund, a city initiative focused on green jobs and renewable energy and energy efficiency investments. The national certification program was developed by the Building Skills Partnership.

Disclosure: SEIU Local 49 contributes to our fund for reporting on Livable Wages/Working Families, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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