The skanner. (Portland, Or.) 1975-2014, April 05, 2017, Page Page 3, Image 3

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    April 5, 2017 The Skanner Page 3
cont’d from pg 1
for an end to the War on
Drugs and redress for
the way it has harmed
minority communities.
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
charges, and in the early
1980s his father served
time in prison after be-
ing arrested on cannabis
and cocaine possession
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-
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
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
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
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.
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-
cont’d from pg 1
partisan position, Henry said its work
embraces politics and process at every
“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
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
“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-
what is really happening in our com-
munity,” said Henry. “We want to do it
for everybody else, but not for Black
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.