Portland observer. (Portland, Or.) 1970-current, April 20, 1983, Image 1

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fight for fund
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Page 2
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Who is
Cindy Brown?
Page 11
Volume XIII, Number 27
April 20, 1983
25C Per Copy
Two Sections
C £»w Puhluluitt Co , 19» I
USPS 959-680-855
House defeats South Africa divestment bill
" T h e sheep an d the cows are
out here while the asses are in ­
side. " was a comment overheard
in the S tate C a p ito l B u ild in g
M onday as a fa m ily o f sheep and
a couple o f calves visited the
S la te L eg is la tu re, c o n fin e d to
their stall outside the doors o f the
House o f Representatives. Inside,
the House members debated dis-
State Representative Jim H ill. (D -
Albina Branch Library, ona of tha Multnomah U-
brary Association system, provldas a varied pro-
gram for chlldran In addition to book clrculatio*
Please see story on page 3. (Photo: Richard Brown)
Strachan dismantles MHRC
C o n flict over the city funding o f
the M etropolitan Hum an Relations
C o m m issio n co n tin u ed a fte r the
Tuesday hearing on the budget, but
those responsible for those cuts were
T h e proposed tra n s fe r o f three
program s o perated by M H R C to
C ity agencies were not budget deci­
sions but were recommendations o f
the Commissioner who serves as li­
aison w ith M H R C , M a rg a re t
Strach an . T h e reco m m en datio n s.
M a y o r Iv a n c ie em ph asized , w ere
not to save dollars but were C o m ­
missioner Strachan's recommenda
tions for reorganization.
The M H R C . established in 1969.
is an independent commission fund­
ed and ap pointed by the C ity and
M u ltn om ah C ounty. The C om m is­
sion sets its own policies and hires its
executive d ire c to r w h o , in tu rn ,
hires additional staff.
C o m m issio ner S tra c h a n . w ho
p revio u sly had denied her ro le in
recom m ending that the three p ro ­
grams be transferred and three posi­
tions be deleted, said she supported
the changes and fe lt they w ou ld
strengthen the Commission. Stating
that all cuts in social services and
civil rights are em otio nal, she told
the audience that she hoped "w e can
listen in a reasonable fashion.’ *
She explained that M H R C would
be strengthened through removing
its programs so it can concentrate
on advocacy. ‘ ‘ W e d o n ’ t w ant the
ta il wagging the d o g ," she said.
" W e want to concentrate on advo­
She defended the proposal to put
the F a ir H o u sing p o s itio n in the
Housing Policy Council to strength­
en the work o f the office. Earlier in­
put in policy w ould save need for
advocacy later, she explained.
Commissioner Jordan disagreed.
He argued that the compliance per­
son's function should not be under
the director o f housing. Compliance
should be from the outside so it can­
not be in flu en ced by the agency.
Comm issioner Lindberg suggested
that input into policy could still be
obtained even if the person were in
Reverend Jim H u le tt, chairm an
o f the M H R C Housing Com m ittee,
said the C o m m itte e is made up o f
volunteers and now is free o f politi­
cal pressure. A side issue, he said, is
that h alf o f the position is funded by
the County and cannot go to a City
C ity H a ll regulars say the O ffic e
o f Budget and Management recom­
mended th at the H o u sin g P o licy
C o u n c il, which was established by
C om m issioner S trach an 's reco m ­
mendation and which is her bureau,
be eliminated since it is a small bu­
reau in charge o f coordinating other
pro gram s. M H R C com m ission
members wonder if the transfer o f
their Fair Housing program is an ef­
fo rt to save the H o u sing P o licy
Lob Pike o f the C ity/C o u n ty A d­
visory C o m m ittee on the Disabled
said it is essential that the disability
p ro g ram — which is advocacy— re­
m ain independent o f the C ity
bureaus. An office in a city bureau
would not have the ab ility to make
the C ity and the C o u n ty adhere to
moral and legal access requirements
than an independent com m ission
does. In a d d itio n to the proposed
transfer to the Bureau o f H u m an
Resources, the p ro g ram was cut
from one full-tim e person to one */«-
time person.
M H R C Comissioner Vince Degue
said the M H R C developed the
mediation project four years ago in
response to num erous calls fro m
other City Bureaus referring conflict
situ ation s. T h e program s was de­
veloped to fill a role not filled else­
where. The program has saved pub­
lic and court time and money, and
resolved disputes with attention to
(Please turn to page 5 column 4)
Salem), the only black in the House
o f Representatives, choked back
tears as he implored his peers to vote
for House Bill 2772, the South A fr i­
ca divestm ent b ill. T h e m u tterin g
and s h u fflin g on the House flo o r
came to an instant halt and a dead
silence dropped over the members as
Rep. H ill rose to his feet:
" I think the outcome o f this bill is
p re d e s tin e d ," he said. " H a v in g
grown up in the South where there
arc clearly two standards o f justice,
— I should say there w ere, w e’ re
m aking a great deal o f p ro g re s s -
one for blacks and one for whiles,
i t ’ s very d iffic u lt to describe what
it ’ s like to be told that you are less
o f a person and somehow less free
simply because o f the color o f your
"Just let me say it’s a very painful
experience that goes right to (he f i ­
ber o f your being. The greatness o f
this country is the hope that it gives
— not only for the people that live
here, but for the w o rld — that there
is such a thing as freed om . A n d I
ask, in te rn atio n ally, is there going
to be a dou b le standard? A re the
rights o f the people o f El Salvador,
o f A fg h a n is ta n , m ore im p o rta n t
than the people o f South A frica, or
is it just a question o f skin color?
" I subm it th at in this m odern
world there i« - -Ahing closer to slav­
ery than
situation that exists in
South A fric a and w hat (he b ill
boils down to is simply a ju s tific a ­
tion. It simply says that before you
make investments in South A fric a
that you justify that you could not
make better investments.
" A n d if you weigh that against
the pain and the suffering that is be
ing experienced by these people, in
an in s titu tio n a l w ay , I th in k you
would come down on the side o f this
bill. It's a rare opportunity. F ran k­
ly, one o f the reasons I'm here, is to
have some say on issues like this.
W e have an in ju stice. W'e can do
something about it. And we can do
something about it without harming
that fu n d ."
Could the obvious sentiment the
members felt toward Rep. H ill as he
revealed his s u ffe rin g to them be
translated in to a positive vote? It
was not to be.
The b ill had come to the House
floo r w ithout the m a jo rity vote to
carry it so, after some debate, the
D em ocrats a tte m p ted to send it
back to the Hum an Resource Com
Rep. Shirley G old (D Po rtlan d),
chairman o f that committee, had a l­
ready made the m o tio n to refer
when H ill rose to speak. The proce­
dures necessary to clear the motion
to refer and bring a vote on the bill
gave tim e fo r the members to put
aside sentiment and return to their
T h e b ill in q uestion is one o f a
pair introd u ced this session. This
bill, sponsored by Rep. Ed I cck (D
Portland) and others, states that no
investm ents are to be made a fte r
January I , 1984, in companies that
em ploy more than 50 people, p ro ­
duce net earnings o f $ 5 0 0 ,0 0 0 or
more, or invest $2 m illio n or more
in South A fric a . The b ill docs not
include banks and allows the Stale
to make such investments if it can
show it has no belter or equal o p ­
Another bill. H B 2028, would re
(Please turn to p age 2 colum n /)
ONA cuts spark citizen protest
by C. Eddie Edmondson
C om m issioner Iv a n c ie wants
neighborhood associations to be
as unregulated as possible; there­
fo r e O N A (O ffic e o f N e ig h b o r­
h oo d A sso ciatio ns) sh o u ld be
abolished except p ossibly f o r a
minim al liaison between the asso­
ciations and the city.
(E x c e rp t fro m an in te rv ie w w ith
now Portland M ayor Frank Ivancie
in N o v ., 1975, responding to a
League o f W om en Voters study in
Portland on city funding for neigh­
borhood associations.)
Portland M ayor Frank Ivancie's
o ffic e was pushed to the b rink o f
verbal surrender last F riday, A p ril
15, within days following release of
his proposed 1983-84 budget, revi­
sions designed to cover an a n tic i­
pated $5 million revenue shortfall in
the city's coming fiscal year.
Neighborhood Association leaders
and supporters gathered Friday at
the Northeast Neighborhood office
at King N eig h bo rh o od F a c ility to
publicly express the fact they were
incensed at Ivan cie's proposed 34
percent cut in O N A ’ s o p eratin g
bud g et. T h e e ffe c t o f the cuts,
moreover, would mean a 46 percent
reduction in O N A ’s five neighbor­
hood outreach offices* budgets.
T h e tw o s ta ff positions in (he
Northeast o ffic e would have to be
reduced to half-tim e or the staff re­
duced to one, according to coordin­
ator Edna Robertson. In addition,
O N A 'a s crime prevention represen­
tatives who work out o f these area
neighborhood offices, would face
budget cuts o f 31 percent. C rim e
p rev en tio n representatives w ork
with neighborhood groups and asso­
ciations in developing ways for peo­
ple to protect their homes and each
other. A recently released study in ­
crim e in the city is a ttrib u ta b le in
part to the co o perative e ffo rts o f
police, community crime prevention
specialists, and the judicial process.
" W e 'v e been h earing fro m
fo lk s ," T im G allagher in the M a y ­
or's office said last Thursday before
O N A supporters met the press to
criticize the M ayor. Gallagher is an
economist and special assistant to
Ivancie, responsible for preparation
of the mayor's budget.
" I d o n ’ t want to say how badly
we screwed it u p ,” he went on.
" W h a t is proposed in the budget
will not come out the d o o r.”
T h e visit to the M a y o r 's o ffic e
was part o f an o verall strategy by
neighborhood representatives to let
C ity elected officials know that the
mayor's revision o f O N A 's budget
would destroy the viability of neigh­
borhood associations as initial com­
m unity links between city residents
and city officials who provide essen-
dicates that a 5 per cent reduction in
iPtease turn to Section I I Page J)
Coleman Young's view: What Chicago did—and did not—do
bv Frank Viviano,
D E T R O I T — C o lem an Y o un g is
not inclined to believe that a new era
fo r black p o litic s in A m e ric a has
dawned with H aro ld W ashington's
victory in Chicago.
Ironically, when Chicagoans went
to the polls on A p ril 12, m any o f
them had this city and its mayor on
their minds. For fearfu l w hite vo t­
ers, D e tro it has long sig n ified a
community "taken over” by blacks,
a precedent that almost certainly in­
fluenced their support for Republi­
can Bernard E p to n . F o r b lacks,
however, D e tro it was an inspiring
m odel— a place where black voters
had already acquired the urban poli­
tical power sought by Washington.
Young has been D etro it's mayor
for nine years now, the first black to
gain that post; and despite sizeable
economic and political odds, he re­
mains one o f the strongest m unici­
pal leaders in the United States to­
d ay. H e has his ow n conclusions
about what the Chicago election did
— and did not— mean.
W h a t W ash in g to n 's victo ry did
not amount to, he argues, is a signi­
fican t change in p o ll-b o o th beha­
vior: The black electorate is still on
its own.
Says Young: " T h e n atu re o f
white attitudes toward black candi­
dates has been the same fo r a very
long tim e. There is enough liberal
feeling to goad people into salving
their consciences by supporting a
black fo r an im p o rta n t post — fo r
commissioner o f education, for sec­
retary o f state, sometimes for m ay­
or. But not for the top post. That's
why I was one o f those who doubled
th at (L o s Angeles m a y o r| Tom
Bradley would be elected governor
o f C alifornia.
" W ith the exception of Bradley in
a city where the mayor is essentially
a figurehead, all o f the black may­
ors to d a y — H a ro ld W a s h in g to n ,
A n d y Yo un g in A tla n ta , m yself,
Richard Hatcher in G ary, you name
th e m — were elected in cities w ith
near-majorities o f black voters," he
continues. " T h e fact o f the matter is
that when black candidates win, it is
almost always from a district where
there is at least a n e a r-m a jo rity o f
blacks. It is a simple political axiom
and it still holds to d a y."
T h e question all alo ng in Chi­
cago, according to Young, was whe­
ther or not the city’s 40 percent pro­
p o rtio n o f black voters w ould be
enough. And in fac t, those voters
accounted for an estim ated three-
fourths o f Washington's total, while
white ethnics in usually Democratic
districts cast their ballots as much as
six-to-one in favor o f Epton.
Nevertheless, the Detroit mayor is
convinced that Chicago's unprece
dented black vo ter tu rn o u t did
prove an im portant point: " W h e n
the chances are real, as they seemed
to be in Chicago, people work for a
candidate and show up at the polls.
T h e key fo r the grassroots is that
element o f promise. The kind o f en­
thusiasm that we saw among blacks
in C h icag o w ill increase and w in
even bigger battles— but only when
the prospects are real. Nobody turns
out in great numbers fo r a phony
W h a t can a black m ayor do fo r
. r
those who put him in office? When
Young himself took charge in 1974,
D etro it was reeling from racial an­
tagonism and vio lent crim e. L ike
C h ic a g o , it had also long been a
deeply segregated com m unity, with
black in h a b itin g an in n e r-u rb a n
core surrounded by nearly all-white
Y o u n g set out on an am b itio u s
program designed to cool tensions
as white flight and the rise o f a new
black middle class finally put an end
to that longstanding segregation. To
an extend once unim aginable here,
he succeeded. Nine years later, D e­
troit has emerged as one o f the na­
tion's most peacefully and fully in­
tegrated cities. Indeed, the improve­
ment is so d ram atic that even the
Justice D epartm ent o f the Reagan
a d m in is tra tio n — no su p po rter o f
lib e ra l, fo rm e r D e m o cratic P arty
vice-chairm an C o lem a n Y o u n g —
was forced to adm it (his year that
his crime-fighting program is the na­
tion's most successful.
In Young's view, the key to such
achievements is giving more people
reason to believe that they have a
stake in their city— developing some
sense that the prospects for change
are real
"T h is will be W ashington's ch al­
le n g e ," says Y o u n g , " a n d he w ill
have to meet it by com ing to grips
with an ingrained, overw helm ingly
white bureaucracy. W hen you arrive
in power in a city that is h alf black,
but where 95 percent o f the m unici­
pal ap p o in tm e n ts are held by
w hites, you have to deal ra d ic a lly
with the situation. In the beginning,
(Please turn to page 5 column 4)
ta fF
.V W