We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider donating to the Mercury.
GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! And if you want more, if you want more, more, more... then jump for my love, jump in. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
• HAPPY JUNETEENTH, EVERYBODY! Gov. Kate Brown is recognizing this day of celebrating Black people's freedom from organized slavery (though it definitely still exists) by saying she will introduce a bill making it a state holiday, and creating a new police accountability task force. If you need a historical refresher course on Juneteenth, check this out.
• Now it's time for your daily update on last night's protests: As we enter into our third (!!) week of nightly rallies and marches, there were three separate groups at work yesterday—a large rally at Jefferson High, a smaller (but still feisty!) gathering of around 200 around the Justice Center's Sacred Fence™ that dispersed around midnight... after throwing hot dogs at the cops? And, in the most defining moment of the evening, a group that marched to 57th and Sandy toppled a statue of George Washington, our slave-owning first American president. No arrests were made last night.
• Multnomah County is officially reopening today—Friday, June 19. And starting this coming Wednesday, residents of the Portland Metro area will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, like grocery stores. According to the governor, the reopening is happening despite an uptick in COVID-19 cases (eight consecutive days of over 100 new cases), because our hospitalization rate is so low.
• HOWEVER, and hold on a ding-dong second! According to an Oregon Health Authority press conference this morning, there were more COVID hospitalizations that originally thought due to an error in reporting. From our Alex Zielinski's article: "In total, Multnomah County saw 14 hospitalizations last week, with a significant cluster of them occurring at the end of the week, hinting at a continued surge." Despite the counting error, the county is opening up anyway. Sooooo.... WASH YA DAMN HANDS, WEAR YA DAMN MASK.
Starting 6/24, face coverings are required for indoor public spaces in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Hood River, Marion, Polk, & Lincoln counties. As we live with this disease for the foreseeable future, face coverings need to become a part of our daily lives to stay safe. pic.twitter.com/x1uQ7xxwWK
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) June 19, 2020
• A mother has brought a $300,000 lawsuit against the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department after three deputies pinned her 12-year-old Black son on the ground, while one kneeled on the boy's neck.
• In Washington state, both King and Pierce counties have declared racism a public health crisis.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Instead of buying former national security adviser John Bolton's new tell-all book (which he wrote to make money rather than serve the national interest by testifying in front of the House), check out this analysis that repeats all the juicy parts about how Trump has been using the highest office in the land to pursue his own selfish interests.
• Trump (once again in his own self interest) issued a thinly veiled Twitter threat to any protesters intent on ruining his rally/COVID super spreader party in Tulsa this Saturday. Meanwhile the city of Tusla has enacted a 10 pm curfew for the area around the rally. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!
• Trump and his administration seemingly had no idea of why holding his racist rally on Juneteenth was a big deal—until he was informed of the meaning of the holiday by a Black Secret Service agent.
• Senior State Department official Mary Elizabeth Taylor has issued her resignation based on the way Trump has handled the recent racial tensions across the nation.
• While it may have been a foregone conclusion, former presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar has taken her name out of contention for vice president, and is encouraging Joe Biden to choose a woman of color.
• Due to their wildly unsafe way of managing the coronavirus, Florida has once again shattered its own record with a whopping 3,207 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday alone.
• You look hot... in a good way! Now you can look even hotter by purchasing the new Mercury Tiger Tank Top (sizing available for all genders and body types) for only $25! BUT HURRY: THE LAST DAY FOR BUYING ONE IS TODAY, FRIDAY JUNE 19. Thank you, you'll be supporting our continuing journalism... while looking like a million bucks!
• Now let's jerk our heads skyward for a look at the WEATHER: Another warm day with a high of 84!
• And finally... Ben & Jerry's: They ain't dishing up soft serve.
Defund the police, defend Black communities! This #Juneteenth, it’s more important than ever that we dismantle the racist and ineffective model of American policing. Learn more about how defunding the police works and why we so desperately need it: https://t.co/JLY6f0u5y3 pic.twitter.com/3UnML38dDx
— Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) June 19, 2020