The primary bicycle lobbyist in Salem is out of a job. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance fired lobbyist Karl Rohde on Friday, April 3—a surprising move in the middle of a legislative session. BTA Executive Director Scott Bricker was tight lipped about the reason for the sudden staff change, but said that he and a political consulting firm will pick up where Rohde left off. The BTA is pushing for several large bike policies in the legislature this year, including millions of dollars for infrastructure funding and the contentious Idaho Stop Sign Law. SM
The City of Portland's controversial secret list program may or may not be constitutional ["Secret List on Trial," News, Jan 15]. That's the upshot of a ruling in Multnomah County Circuit Court Tuesday morning, April 7, which could leave the door open for a class-action civil rights lawsuit by more than 400 people who have been affected by the list since 2003.
Judge Dale Koch ruled that the secret list, which is part of the city's Neighborhood Livability Crime Enforcement Program (NLCEP), is not an appropriate basis for defendants to be denied access to the county's drug court. Meanwhile, Koch said that the constitutionality of the list itself would be up to another court to decide. "These are very appropriate questions that are being raised here, but they are not questions for this court," he said.
"I'm hopeful that the city will now work with the various concerned parties, the public defender's office, and the rehab and civil liberties community to fix the system," said American Civil Liberties Union partner attorney Elden Rosenthal. "I think, based on [Koch's] ruling that the use of a secret list in Portland, Oregon, is inappropriate. I think it is very important that Portland recognize that there's a secret list that was affecting the civil rights of people in this city." Rosenthal said that if the city didn't fix the system, it could be subject to "costly litigation and potential damages claims." MD