April 5, 2017 The Skanner Page 3 News cont’d from pg 1 for an end to the War on Drugs and redress for the way it has harmed minority communities. “There’s so much low-hanging fruit,” he said. “There’s a lot that can be done.” From ‘big-time consum- er’ to advocate Horton told The Skan- ner that until a few years ago, he was mere- “ data yet. His organiza- tion has 450 members, most of whom live in states where marijuana is legal. There are multiple rea- sons the industry has so far not enriched many people of color. One is jurisdictions to legalize marijuana – Washing- ton, Colorado and Ore- gon – have large White The green boom has almost overwhelmingly benefited White entrepreneurs ly a “big-time consum- er” of cannabis. But the War on Drugs affected Horton, who is African American, personally: in college he had a few misdemeanor arrests on marijuana-related charges, and in the early 1980s his father served time in prison after be- ing arrested on cannabis and cocaine possession charges. The trend towards le- galization has meant big money for legalizing states – Oregon pulled in $25 million in tax rev- enue in its first year and birthed an industry with its own trade magazines and trade shows. Just a few years ago, marijuana growers and dealers in Oregon and other states ran their businesses quietly and at great personal risk, but after Oregon voters legalized marijuana in 2014, dozens of clean, brightly-lit dispensaries sprang up. But the green boom has almost overwhelmingly benefited White entre- preneurs. Horton said his orga- nization is working with UC Berkeley on a study breaking down the de- mographics of people in the legal marijuana industry, but don’t have OABA majorities. Another reason is that despite increasingly per- missive attitudes toward marijuana use, African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans are more likely to be arrest- ed on marijuana charges. State and national data from the ACLU also showed an increase in the number of marijua- na-related arrests be- tween 2000 and 2010, both in Oregon and na- tionwide — despite a trend in more socially relaxed attitudes toward the drug, borne out by surveys and by success- ful voter initiatives to le- galize medical and recre- ational use of the drug. In 1973 Oregon became the first state to decriminal- ize possession of small amounts of pot; Oregon voters passed a measure to legalize medical use of cannabis in 1998, and legalized recreational marijuana in 2014. But nationwide and in Multnomah County, African Americans are more than three times as likely to be arrested for marijuana use as their White counterparts, de- spite no significant dif- ference in use. Read the rest of this story at TheSkanner.com PHOTO BY SUSAN FRIED Cannabis Remembering MLK Seattle King County NAACP President Gerald Hankerson joined dozens of distinguished speakers April 4 at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park for the event "Remembering The Life and Legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 49th Anniversary of his Assassination.” Other speakers included, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, City Council President Bruce Harrell, represenatives from the Ethiopian, Filipino, Cambodian and Hispanic Communities and King County Council member Larry Gossett who read a proclamation from the County declaring April 4 Remember Martin Luther King Jr Day. Housing cont’d from pg 1 so. Cannady was also the publish- er of the Advocate, Oregon’s larg- est African American newspaper at that time. The 80-unit housing project re- ceived a $7.35 million loan from the Interstate Corridor Urban Re- newal Area fund. While the Portland Housing Bureau, which owns the site, is pitching in the land’s value — ap- praised at $4.1 million. Spearheaded by the African American-led Portland Commu- nity Reinvestment Initiatives, in partnership with real estate de- veloper Gerding Edlen and Colas Construction, the Morrow build- ing will offer 23 units to renters with zero to 30 percent of the area median income. Sixteen units will serve those with up to 50 percent of the area median income, and the remain- ing 41 units with up to 60 percent. Based on 2016 incomes, that puts rents roughly at $350 to $1060 per month, depending on the number of bedrooms. More than 6,000 square feet on the ground will be allotted com- mercial space. PCRI said construction is sched- uled for May 2017, after financing is closed. Beatrice Marrow will also be “ “Those were the areas that Afri- can Americans were forced to live in, because they weren’t allowed to live elsewhere,” Travis Phillips, director of housing development at PCRI, told The Skanner. Beatrice Marrow will also be the first city-funded project to use Portland Housing Bureau’s “preference policy” to prioritize rental homes for previous- ly-displaced residents the first city-funded project to use Portland Housing Bureau’s “preference policy” to prioritize rental homes for previously-dis- placed residents. Put forward in 2015 to mitigate the marginalization and displace- ment of historic residents, the policy gives first dibs on housing developments to families and their ancestors – African Amer- icans, in particular – who were ousted from their North and Northeast neighborhoods by ur- ban renewal. “And yet at the same time they did not have access to conven- tional mortgage loans in order to buy their properties. So once the neighborhood turned and rents started getting more expensive, we know they’re the vast major- ity of folks that got displaced," Phillips said. The preference policy falls un- der the city’s $20 million 2015 North/Northeast Housing Strat- egy. Read more at TheSkanner.com cont’d from pg 1 partisan position, Henry said its work embraces politics and process at every turn. “One of the things the OABA has tried to do — with Black people, White peo- ple, or any other group – is to say: un- derstand your role as a citizen and un- derstand who makes the policies that represent you in the community,” Hen- ry told The Skanner. “And be willing to participate on all levels.” Today, the OABA is proud to see an upturn, if incremental, in the number of Blacks elected to office and a more active dialogue between public officials and the Black community. Yet for Henry, the bottom line has re- mained constant: while progress had been made, there’s still much work to do. Among major problem areas, he cites the lack of Black homeownership in Portland and the displacement of his- toric residents; a dearth of Black busi- nesses and equal education opportuni- ties; and a reluctance to support Black accomplishments. “We’re still not working together to solve problems, we’re not looking at “ Tracy MacDonald and Matt Zodrow to develop the 90‐minute documen- tary “Whitelandia”. The film examines the his- ‘We’re still not working together to solve problems, we’re not looking at what is really happening in our com- munity’ what is really happening in our com- munity,” said Henry. “We want to do it for everybody else, but not for Black folks.” Moreover, he expressed, Black Orego- nians should understand their state’s grim history of racism and exclusion. “If you don’t know Oregon history, you can’t make any changes.” Along those lines, the OABA has teamed up with Portland producers tory of state sanctioned discrimination against African Americans in From left to right: Aneesah Furqan, OABA vice president; Calvin O. L. Oregon, and how it pre- Henry, OABA president; Bruce Broussard, host of the public access vails today. television show "Oregon Voters Digest". (Photo courtesy of OABA) With 40 years of change-making behind nity for OABA members, legislative it, the OABA will be reflecting on its dignitaries, and community partners successes Friday. to speak on the organization’s achieve- The anniversary event, held at the ments — and on how to build a better State Capitol in Salem, is an opportu- Oregon for the Black community.