Former president Obama, NAACP issue condolences
Aretha Franklin, the undisputed "Queen of Soul" has died at age 76 from advance pancreatic cancer.
Ryan Bounds nomination pulled after black senator objects
A controversial nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals from Oregon had his nomination derailed in the Senate today after the only Republican black member of the Senate made clear he couldn’t vote for him.
Lift Every Voice” campaign set sights on 2020 ballot
An effort led by Portland-area clergy to put a measure on the November ballot to ban the sale of certain semi-automatic guns and large capacity ammunition magazines has been postponed after legal maneuvers by opponents made it nearly impossible to gather enough signatures to meet a July 6 deadline
Oregon senators call process unfair
A controversial judicial pick from Oregon for the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals will have his nomination considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday despite opposition by Oregon’s two U.S. Senators.
Faubion-Concordia school partnership a pathway to progress
Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of former Vice President Joe Biden, said a new public and private partnership between Concordia University and Faubion Elementary is a shining example of making powerful changes in education that can lift an entire community.
Audit finds lack of accountability reduces trust
Portland police gang enforcement carried out traffic stops that disproportionately affected black residents.
Pledge calls on restoring trust
After some recent tensions on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, a new statement focuses on restoring trust, signed by each member of the governing panel.
Gov. Brown names first African American to highest court
New voice is a widely respected civil rights champion
Smith gaveled down; Kafoury regrets comment
When Multnomah County Commission Loretta Smith took aim at a housekeeping measure before the board of commissioners last week she was gaveled down by chair Deborah Kafoury who took offense at Smith’s remarks but later had to apologize for making a personal and vulgar attack on Smith’s character.
Non profit plans condos to create shared equity, stability
Portland community land trust has plans to develop a major affordable condominium project giving priority to displaced residents
Burglary suspect was shot during police chase
Grand Jury determines that a Portland Police Bureau officer was justified when he shot and wounded an unarmed black bank robbery suspect
But Oregon's U.S. House members don't stand for impeachment
Impeachment vote fails; but But Trump behavior cited in resignation calls
Entire House delegation voted to kill measure
When a black Democratic lawmaker from Texas introduced a resolution in Congress to impeach President Trump on Wednesday, not one member of Oregon’s congressional delegation supported it.
His political cartoons tackle issues like Islamophobia, immigration and racial justice in America with insight and humor and have been carried by newspapers around the world, including regularly in the Portland Observer.
Grant allows county to target jail misuse and overuse
Multnomah County has added momentum to efforts to reform the local criminal justice system and reduce the county jail population
Mediation ends investigation of Roy Jay and nonprofits
No admission of wrongdoing or fault was made in settlement reached
Still time to sign up and honor Martin Luther King
There’s still time to sign up for the MLK Dream Run coming to northeast Portland on Sunday, Sept. 24.
Field widens after Saltzman decides not to seek re-election
Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith has thrown her name into a May election for Portland City Council seeking a position that will become vacant when Dan Saltzman steps down at the end of his term next year.
Trump ends program to furious opposition
Critics assail Trump Administration for ending program that has deferred deportations for more than 780,000 people who came to the U.S. illegally as children.
Building community pride
A memorial plaque telling the story of the late Dr. DeNorval Unthank, the first black doctor in Portland and a dedicated humanitarian who tirelessly advocated for civil rights while building his medical practice, was dedicated at Unthank Park in north Portland during an Aug. 19 community celebration sponsored by Self Enhancement, Inc.
Oakland cop will be first black woman to lead bureau
Citing the national push for police reforms and the opportunity to hire someone with qualities he wants, Mayor Ted Wheeler Monday picked Danielle Outlaw, an experienced assistant police chief from Oakland, Calif., to become Portland’s new police chief and the first black woman to lead the bureau.
Cause found of deadly home explosion
A massive house explosion and fire that killed two men in north Portland Monday sending glass shards and debris across the street into Peninsula Park and damaging surrounding homes was caused by using butane to make hash oil, investigators have determined.
Explosion kills two; other homes damaged
Investigators were on the scene of a deadly house explosion Tuesday trying to determine what caused a Monday afternoon inferno that killed two people at a home on North Kerby Street across from Peninsula Park, causing extensive damage to surrounding homes and sending glass shards and other debris across the street into the park and surrounding area.
Leaders say county chair led biased investigation
An esteemed group of African American leaders issued a rebuke to Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury Tuesday saying the findings of wrongdoing in a county-led human resources investigation against County Commissioner Loretta Smith were unsubstantiated and instead were a political and racist attack against Smith, the only black member of the county commission.
Earth Day event planned rain or shine
Friends and neighbors and other volunteers will focus on cleaning up litter, clearing storm drains, weeding and mulching at bus stops and removing graffiti along Northeast Alberta Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Northeast 33rd Avenue.
Grieving mom and reform advocates push back
Advocates for police reforms have added their voices to the mother of a teenage son killed in an officer-involved shooting to criticize and reject a grand jury decision finding no criminal wrongdoing.
‘Believe to Achieve’ founder marquees scholarship drive
Local community leaders working to lift black and minority students to future careers and promising lives by helping them achieve a college education will get some star power at their annual United Negro College Fund gala Friday.
POWfest puts spotlight on gender disparities
Showcasing the work of women directors from around the globe while strengthening the community of women making films here at home.
Ice and snow to give way to rain and more rain
One of the largest snowfalls in Portland history started to give way to a big melt on Tuesday that brought freezing rain. Heavy rain was in the forecast overnight and into Wednesday to keep travel extremely hazardous before the big accumulation of ice and snow could be expected to slowly melt away.
Wellness Village rescheduled after snow event
The African American Health Coalition will celebrate its annual Health Disparities Luncheon on Friday, Jan. 20 and Wellness Village on Saturday, Jan. 21, after the previous December dates for the events were postponed when Portland was hit by snow and ice.
All-girls music festival makes return
Girl Fest, Portland's own, all-girls and all-ages mini-music festival returns to Lola’s Room at the Crystal Ballroom, downtown, on Saturday, Jan. 14.
Mayor to Speak at King Observance
Mayor Ted Wheeler will be the featured speaker at the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observance on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 4 p.m. at Maranatha Church, 4222 N.E. 12th Ave.
Concordia exhibit explores black philanthropy
A groundbreaking touring exhibit that explores the giving traditions of African Americans through history and the contributions of black Americans in transforming society will open this weekend for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday at Concordia University.
Still time for flu shot protection
Influenza cases are rising in Oregon, and although the increase is expected this time of year, Oregon Health Authority officials say it shows flu season is off to a strong and early start. Most of the cases have been influenza A, this season's predominant flu type.
Viking program gets a new leader
Valerie Cleary to become one of the rare female college executives at the NCAA Division I level
Andrea Green wins a first place trophy for natural bodybuilding at the recent Pro Elite World Championship
Sharing Portland’s history in family exhibit
Clifford Walker is enjoying his retirement by remaining engaged in his community and making a difference in the direction of the city.
Alberta Commons to bring economic benefits
Construction has begun on Alberta Commons, a Portland Development Commission backed project to bring economic benefits to the heart of the historic black community at Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Alberta Street.
Sharing the story of black paratroopers in Oregon
Unique story of patriotism, race and service will be shared during a free and open “history pub” series event at McMenamins Kenendy School in northeast Portland
Helping kids regardless of immigration status
Portland School Board Member Julie Esparza Brown has rallied and won support for a new school district policy to affirm the protection of civil liberties and the rights of undocumented students.
Turmoil erupts on Portland’s streets after election
Thousands of people stunned by Donald Trump’s win in the presidential election set off on a week of daily protests.
New documentary features stores from survivors
A new OPB one-hour documentary tells the story of Vanport, a city with roots for Portland's African American population.
Blazer makes space for kids to learn, explore
Blazer CJ McCollum project brings innovative learning room outfitted with new computers, books, art and learning tools to the Blazers Boys & Girls Club.
Alberta American Legion post reaches out
Portland-area veterans, family members of veterans, and civilians are invited to join War Stories, a free, six-month reading, writing, and discussion group at American Legion Post 134, located at 2104 N.E. Alberta St.
Library completes second major expansion
Friends and neighbors are invited to celebrate the campus transformation
Man tells police he started the blaze
Red Cross helps with temporary housing and food
Ex-gang member forms group to help kids
Nicole Taylor has formed a mentoring group for youth to find jobs and give them a safe place in the community.
Aggressive goals set for a diverse workforce
Multnomah County has set a high bar for hiring a diverse group of workers to build a downtown courthouse to replace the existing county courthouse which is more than 100 years old.
Project will be low scale development
The Natural Grocers project coming to Northeast Alberta Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will be a single-story retail strip mall project.
Civil rights groups applaud call for reforms
Two major civil rights groups are applauding a call by law enforcement officers in the state to decriminalize drug possession crimes.