Northwest labor press. (Portland , Ore.) 1987-current, August 24, 2018, Page 14, Image 14

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    PAGE 14 | August 24, 2018 | NORTHWEST LABOR PRESS
New faculty at LERC
Union-backed coalition pushes bold
vision for Broadway corridor project
Should Portlanders allow their
city to become a playground for
the rich, or should they fight for
a city that provides high quality
jobs and housing for residents
of all income levels?
That’s a real question the city
faces as it considers how to re-
develop 32 publicly-owned
acres near the Broadway
Bridge. Known as the Broad-
way Corridor, the area includes
the former U.S. Postal Service
site and several other city
blocks owned by the city’s de-
velopment agency, Prosper
Portland (formerly known as
the Portland Development
Commission.) Prosper Portland
has plans to develop the area as
a site of high-density employ-
ment and signature city attrac-
tions connecting the Old Town/
Chinatown and Pearl District
But a carefully developed
union-community coalition is
putting forward its own vision
— which calls for the construc-
tion of affordable and accessi-
ble housing, the creation of
good union jobs both during the
building phase and when the
development is complete, and
opportunities for women and
minorities to get experience in
the building trades as workers
and contractors. The Healthy
Communities Coalition formed
three years ago, with about a
dozen business, environmental
and community groups plus
seven unions: Service Employ-
ees Local 49, Oregon AF-
SCME, Amalgamated Transit
Union Local 757, IBEW Local
48, Pacific NW Regional Coun-
cil of Carpenters, Portland Fire-
fighters, and Professional &
Technical Employees Local 17.
“We are tired of being pitted
against one another,” said Vi-
vian Satterfield, deputy director
of the environmental justice
group OPAL, which helped
form the coalition. “We need to
tie our fates together as work-
ers, as people with environment
interests, and those striving for
representation and a voice
along racial and social justice
The coalition presented its
vision to Prosper Portland at a
July 25 meeting. With any luck,
it won’t be a hard sell. Prosper
Portland’s slogan is “Building
an Equitable Economy.” And
one of its board members is
union building trades leader
Willy Myers, who helped nego-
Turn to Page 15
University of Oregon Labor Ed-
ucation and Research Center
(LERC) is hiring two new full-
time faculty in its Portland office,
beginning September: Econo-
mist and veteran Labor Notes
trainer Mark Brenner, and re-
searcher Lina Stepick from the
UCLA Labor
LERC is a
university ex-
tension serv-
ice that pro-
vides training
and research
support to
Oregon labor
Mark Brenner
Brenner and Stepick are filling
positions that became vacant last
year after longtime instructor
Barbara Byrd retired and re-
searcher Raahi Reddy left to be-
come director of the Diversity,
Equity and Inclusion program at
the Metro regional government.
LERC Director Bob Bussel
says Brenner and Stepick bring
distinctive skills to LERC, with
Brenner focused on teaching and
leadership development, and
Stepick on research.
Brenner is best known for his
12-year tenure directing Labor
Notes, a Detroit-based non-profit
dedicated to “putting the move-
ment back in the labor move-
ment.” Labor Notes publishes
books and a monthly magazine
and provides training and net-
working events for union ac-
tivists. At Labor Notes, Brenner
co-authored Secrets of a Suc-
cessful Organizer and two other
books. Prior to that he spent six
years as a researcher at the Polit-
ical Economy Research Institute
of the University of Massachu-
setts at Amherst, supporting liv-
ing wage and minimum wage
campaigns around the country.
He has a Ph.D. in economics
from the University of California
Stepick researched scheduling
practices of retail workers in Los
Angeles while at UCLA. Before
that, she surveyed formerly in-
carcerated workers for the Los
Angeles County Federation of
Labor, con-
ducted re-
search about
public transit
and afford-
able housing
for a Los An-
geles labor-
coalition, and
Lina Stepick
immigrant detainees, among
many research projects since
2006. Bussel met her in 2009
when as an undergraduate at
Dartmouth she interviewed him
as part of a research project for
the Portland-based Voz Workers
Rights Education Project. She’s
now completing a PhD in sociol-
ogy at UCLA.