Parting of the Sea

 

Parting of the Sea 2

Parting of the Sea 3

Parting of the Sea

My grandson and I attended the TRI-Met FX Divison Street Transit project opening on September 17th. For me, it felt like a messianic event. It was modern-day Moses parting the Red Sea. Jeff Moreland stood up and accepted the award for completing a very very successful $93 million Division Street Transit construction project. It seems like most folks in Portland and around the state don’t recognize how significant this event was and cannot appreciate the magnitude of how this project has changed the game for black and minority contractors. After decades of exclusion, finally, a black contractor gets a serious piece of the transportation construction pie. As I held my grandson I finally felt like his future was much brighter as a consequence of Raimore’s success.  The reason why I am so optimistic is that I know Raimore is focused on giving back to the community and not worshiping the almighty dollar. The point can’t be over-emphasized, for the first time, a very successful black contractor was willing to give back. It was a powerful event and when we look back, it will be seen as a benchmark for real Black economic progress in Oregon.

 

The Graffiti problem is a sickness

The Graffiti problem is a sickness

The Graffiti problem is a sickness 5

COMB helping youth remove tags

I was so glad to see KGW-8 do a story on graffiti. It’s a big deal because it tells us how sick our city is. It’s like an infectious disease all around us. The City doesn’t get it. Unless they can solve this problem, we are doubtful they can solve any problem.

The Coalition of Black Men has been working on this problem for many years without very much support. We hope the police will get even more serious and bust the taggers who have been operating without fear of punishment. We got to get at them.

Check out Pat Dooris’s piece:

https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/the-story/portland-graffiti-tagger-problem-clean-up-cost/283-dea641ad-095f-40af-bb63-d1f47b25b2e5

A Credit to their RACE

A Credit to their RACE 7

A Credit to their RACE

The past few weeks have been an inspiration to me looking back at the many battles for equity and inclusion in the construction industry and the present/future explosion of opportunities in Portland, I felt like the biblical Job, knowing that God would eventually bring us through. The battle is not ours, It’s the LORD’S.

More than a week ago, thanks to Angela Hill with support from the new Soul Restoration Center we celebrated the 81st birthday of O.B. Hill and Gloria McMurtry. At the event, I tried to explain that O.B. and Gloria were more than just the founders of Reflections Coffee/Book store and promoters of Portland’s black renaissance culture.  O.B. and Gloria are icons of the struggle and promise black people face everywhere. They dared to fight in the trenches while others reaped the benefit of their constant pressure demanding economic opportunity for black people in Portland. In the late 80s and early 90s, they protested the exclusion of black contractors and workers on the expansion of I-84 (known as the Banfield). They held ODOT’s feet to fire at every opportunity. They were part of the lawsuit against TRI-Met protesting the use of a “Front” minority company from Colorado Tri-Met proposed to use to build the Hillsboro light rail. Tri-Met finally realized the evil of their ways and provided significant opportunities for blacks on the Interstate light rail. Their advocacy extended to the Convention Center, the Rose-Garden Coliseum project, and many more.

You can see their efforts as the foundation and building blocks of what we see today with the large-scale success of Black Contractors achieving leading roles in the building of the expansion of the Rose Quarter I-5 projects, partnership in the remodeling of the Convention Center, key positions in the remodeling of Portland Public School projects and low-income housing projects.

Likely, O.B. and Gloria will never get the respect and appreciation they deserve, but God knows and history will record, that they are an absolute true credit to their Race. And because they have paved the way, our children will have a smoother economic road to travel. We owe them a lot.

A Credit to their RACE 8

In with “The Future:”

A Credit to their RACE 9

 

 

We love our Veterans “really”

We love our Veterans “really”.

We love our Veterans "really" 13

We love our Veterans “really”.

This Memorial Day as a twenty-year Air Force service veteran I was sitting down missing my Vietnam-era Army veteran brother, Jerry Posey. He died in December 2020 after a long series of injuries attributed to being shot in the Back in Vietnam. He barely survived the war but eventually was overcome by its consequences.

I just want everybody to know that even though your country talks a good talk about how they support Veterans, there is a downside few want to talk about.

After all the ceremonies and hoopla thanking veterans for their service, today sit down and write your public officials, President, Congressional people, etc,  about the following issues on behalf of all veterans:

  • Unwilling to inform and accommodate key family members at critical points in the illness
  • Lack of communication and individualized treatment plans to share with all involved in treatment efforts
  • Uncoordinated treatment access and integrated processes and procedures
  • Third-rate treatment facilities at many stages. Some animal shelters might be rated better.
  • Enabling additive and harmful pharmaceutical treatment regimens and drug therapy
  • Bureaucratic delays and obstruction to timely treatment resources and information
  • No sense of service oversite or evaluation of the performance of staff and program outcomes in all program areas.
  • No holistic approach to psychological /physiological patterns of behavior of patient as seen by family or recommended and presented by various providers.
  • Failure of outcomes not adequately addressed.
  • Lack of support for external family members in recovery and healing processes.
  • Lack of professional social workers and behavioral professionals necessary to address ongoing and advancing illness.
  • No end-of-life counseling or planning for anticipated death consequences.
  • No method to provide levels of transparency to families
  • A general alienation of family and support groups. Sometimes using intimidation tactics to avoid interventions.
  • Financial care resources/benefits are not adequate to provide end-of-life care commiserate with commercial market prices and services. The veteran must be declared indigent to be qualified for inpatient services.
  • Oh I forgot, black veterans face persistent ongoing racism into the grave!!!!!!!!

 Yeah, we love our veterans.

We love our Veterans "really" 14

NOT THIS TIME JoAnn

NOT THIS TIME JoAnn 16

NOT THIS TIME JOANN

I knew at some point, I had to address my opposition to JoAnn Hardesty’s reelection for Portland City Commissioner. Since we have only a few days before the May election I had to let our community know my thoughts. Most do not know I served as a fundraising Co-Chair for her last campaign. Let me say at the outset I do not know her opponents well, but my God, they couldn’t be any worse than JoAnn. You would have to be blind not to recognize that all of the City Commissioners are on the hot seat given Portland’s deplorable condition right now.

 

Besides the obvious, there are several reasons why she shouldn’t be re-elected and they are as follows:

  1. She is a stone-cold bully and drama queen and most people know it. Most of us who have personally been in meetings and public conversations with her have to acknowledge these faltering traits. It’s her way or the highway and not to dare promote an opposing point of view. This was in full display in October of 2019 when she bullied her way into the nominating committee chair to elect and install E.D. Mondaine as the President of the Portland Branch of the NAACP following her election to City Council. She was warned that E.D. was a freak and she ignored the facts and proceeded to promote and leverage him throughout government and with other influential people and organizations.

 

  1. She is ruthless and vindictive. What I originally thought was courage, turns out to be the insistence on being right and in control at all costs. If you oppose her you can be guaranteed to be blackballed and ostracized to the margins. If it doesn’t fit into her worldview, it doesn’t exist. If that wasn’t bad enough, she is genuinely toxic, polarizing, and disruptive.

 

 

  1. She is willing to shave moral principles to get what she wants regardless of who is harmed in the process. She had to know that suing the City and the police union regarding the union’s false report would only inflame the already impaired and degraded relationship with the Portland police. We are all less safe, particularly black males as a result of JoAnn’s unbalance assault on law and order. Stevie Wonder can see how this City is consumed with lawless behavior across-the-board. Her willingness to skirt moral imperatives also showed up in her administration of NAACP business when she was President of that organization. These are items her endorsers would not have a clue about.

 

  1. She has an enormous big head. You have to notice that she is willing to take credit for anything successful she is vaguely associated with. She is always clambering to be in the media and promote her agenda, excluding or minimizing the work of the other commissioners. One would think the City of Portland was her private property and she had some unilateral power to control decisions. In other words, she is a power control freak. She does things like exaggerating her military service. You would think that she commanded a battleship in the Navy when it is clear she was only a low-level secretary type, barely separating with an honorable discharge if that.

 

  1. She has some personal life skill control issues well documented in the media. If you can’t manage personal business issues, how can you be expected to manage the City’s business? We can’t afford another four years of her insane drama. Character Matters. While she tries to associate herself with Avel Gordly, in truth she is the polar opposite.

 

  1. We have to take another critical look at her previous background and positions of influence; the NAACP, ACTION, former State Legislator, and private business experience. There are dysfunctional patterns on display and the broader media needs to tell the full story, especially WW.

 

I won’t criticize her for being poorly educated because of the racist history of the miseducation of black people in America.  And we know the supposedly highly educated are making fools of themselves too. Nevertheless, I find myself struggling to oppose a black woman in a most prominent position, but the truth is the truth and she must go for the sake of the entire community.

It’s The Little Things

It's The Little Things 18

It’s the little things.

I’m happy to see that Legacy Health systems have stepped up to repair the damage on the corner of NE Willams and Stanton. A few months back, some likely intoxicated fool drove a vehicle into the fence and signage on this corner and destroyed everything. And within the last month, a black man (not the first) was killed 50 feet from the corner. Across the street, there is an open drug market right next to Immaculate Heart catholic church. They are exchanging everything from Pampers to stolen chain saws for drugs. I’ve lived down the street for nearly 40 years and know it is a menacing corner where outright lawlessness abides. I attribute this situation to our local politicians who have devalued police scrutiny on corners like this and thrown our entire criminal justice system into chaos. Moreover, as was the black man recently killed, for months now, it has been a source of various criminal activity adjacent to and inside historic Dawson Park. I see no end in sight. 

However, it’s very heartening to see the Emannuel hospital (Legacy Health) take responsibility for restoring some sense of order and decency to this corner. It is the little things that are going to make a difference in our community. We all know that Legacy historically has done some bad stuff to the black community but we need to give a shout-out to Legacy Health Systems for today attempting to repair the breach with a little thing. 

 Daye, Rustie A :LSO Facility Services <RDAYE@LHS.ORG>

It's The Little Things 19It's The Little Things 20

The “Walking Dead”

The “Walking Dead”

I know I am not the only one who is confused and frustrated by the precipitous decline in the quality of life for us living in Portland.  And I have always been perplexed by the lack of empirical analysis from academia as to why things have gone south and how we change this miserable situation. Well, this explanation by Don Dupay is the best I have seen so far addressing the issue of homelessness. Just yesterday it was heartbreaking driving north on NE 33rd toward Marine  Dr. I felt like I was entering a real-life episode of the “Walking Dead”. Don’s explanation makes sense to me or am I missing something?

The "Walking Dead" 22https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fmedium.com%2F%40dondupay%2Fwhat-should-be-addressed-first-homelessness-in-portland-29912a513929%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR2tRM6PNrwgX-JF3WdCFpqVLw-ukO_2IgoJlwcpQkq7rbB12fFABVdRVag&h=AT3AkSwnf8rPXJQlWh10L9Ceu_xdvtE8hVUO7NkPVhFbFd7c7un2GoncajLTJ8c5AjHlDfRMm6vU4i8il2sa3DyqwXlRbSqz9B5GEzqi9X18n54EbQKjEUxvMHpEsxzjBy2mY_L3ybUxY7Rrb6XD&__tn__=H-R&c[0]=AT2aDnvvcalf3gx8m5HfYt8nTdeu2fbIlOkcfj0gnFmfpsRecxnJkLKOFypC8LAziyX8-_x7PH5QeWzhDEBSe6zTR_WQbBOLO2yF1AHxutn7jP-WtWK9ys8NQDRhb4IMU8rp

Canaan made it happen.

He really made it happen

Without airing a lot of dirty laundry, the Oregonian headlines only tells part of the story.

.Canaan made it happen. 24

Not to diminish anyone’s efforts, and while all these politicians are taking credit, when in fact this one tall brother (Canaan Chatman) working inside of Andersen Construction brought this project across the finish line. Without Canaan, Allen Temple could have been struggling in the wilderness for at least another 7 years.

Canaan made it happen. 25

Thank you Canaan, I’m going to tell the truth.

Local Portland Business Support Hero=Tony Jones

Local Portland Business Support Hero=Tony Jones

Local Portland Business Support Hero=Tony Jones 27

Tony Jones, Jr. – YouTube

This is one of the most powerful stories I have ever heard featuring a real black hero survivor in our community. I know this guy and no one exemplifies black community commitment, resilience, economic insight, and hard work than Tony Jones. If you don’t already know, he is a powerful force for good in our community and I am proud to be associated with his team.