Beginning this fall, a new class will be taught at PCC, called "Understanding Prostitution." Though Patricia Barrera has taught the class before at Red Rose School--an activist school--she's never led this class at an accredited institution. Barrera says she anticipates students from all over the map. "When I've taught this class before, we've had parents of prostitutes, police officers, social workers... It's surprising how many different kinds of people it attracts."
Barrera, who has studied the sex industry for over 10 years, plans to focus on prostitution as a manifestation of society, rather than a deviance. "Prostitution has always been an academic subject," she explains. "But the problem is that people have looked at it as a social ill--a problem with the woman. No one has ever really considered it to be a form of oppression." KATIA DUNN
A deep sense of worry permeated a rally last Thursday. Plans to extend the Tri- Met into the long-neglected North Portland's Interstate Corridor have led to a surge in development, and many residents see housing costs skyrocketing. According to a city study, 38% of renters worry about meeting the new, higher rates.
The Portland Development Commission (PDC) had funds earmarked to help locals adjust to the inevitable price hikes. But that money fell through a few months ago. Without assistance, many current residents fear they will be displaced.
Held at Jefferson High School, the rally was orchestrated by a new umbrella organization, the Interstate Alliance to End Displacement (IAED). Many attendees bemoaned the tangled yards of red tape that surround anti-displacement funds. According to one study, just a third of those who qualify for assistance actually receive money.
Commissioner Erik Sten, who attended the rally, thinks a Real Estate Transfer Tax could provide necessary funds to offset rising property prices. By taxing property sold in the neighborhood and using those funds for anti-displacement projects, residents would benefit from the same market activity that drives prices so high.
City Council will discuss ways to address housing displacement at 9:30 a.m. on April 3rd. DAVE YANOWITZ