RACIAL PROFILING DIVISION
Cop union boss Robert King is frustrated over an apparent reluctance in the mayor's racial profiling committee to let him present a new report that suggests Portland isn't collecting enough data to be able to tell whether or not cops are racial profiling.
The report, by Brian Withrow, a criminologist at Wichita State University, concludes that the police bureau's system of tracking traffic stops by ethnicity is flawed and insufficient to prove or disprove the existence of racial profiling in Portland.
But the committee's co-chairwoman, Jo Ann Bowman of Oregon Action, is reluctant to take up the report. King says he's surprised by this: "It's stunning that Jo Ann would say she doesn't want the information discussed. I thought people were getting to the point where we were able to have difficult conversations, so I certainly intend to present the report. I think it would be hugely unfortunate if the committee decided to do anything other than let me present it."
Bowman hits back, saying King is "throwing flames" on the committee's work. Bowman says, "We've had this conversation two and a half years ago. I think what he's doing is trying to throw flames onto the process that's just starting to get beneath the surface." The next meeting is on April 17. MATT DAVIS
Oregon's anti-gay activists gave their domestic partnership repeal effort another shot on March 31, filing a second initiative to repeal the state's new law. Their first initiative, filed on February 29, had repeated and convoluted references to "civil unions," which are not mentioned in Oregon's law. An attempt to amend their original proposed initiative came a day past the deadline, which meant the state elections division ignored the request for changes.
So now the anti-gay campaign is back at square one when it comes to their repeal effort—and they've lost a month of valuable signature collection time. There's an April 22 deadline for comments on this proposed initiative, which has to be approved before they can start collecting signatures—82,769 of which are due on July 3.
Meanwhile, Concerned Oregonians—one of the groups heading up the signature-gathering effort—is recruiting volunteers in "hub cities," and is trying to raise $50,000 to fund the repeal effort. AMY J. RUIZ