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Good morning, Portland! We're just two days away from Halloween—and while the Oregon Health Authority is warning against most in-person celebrations, you can still get spooked out with the Mercury. You can stream our new amateur horror film fest, SLAY, or attend a drive-in screening at Oaks Park.
Here are the headlines.
• After a surprisingly riveting six-hour Portland City Council meeting that saw public comment from hundreds of Portlanders, the council decided to wait on a vote on some fall budget amendments—including, most notably, a potential $18 million cut from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). That amendment was introduced by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, and supported by Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Amanda Fritz will likely vote against it, making new Commissioner Dan Ryan the mysterious swing vote. If you missed that meeting, you can get some of the highlights from our own Alex Zielinski's marathon thread, if that's your kind of thing. It starts here:
I'm tuning in to Portland City Council's hearing on proposed amendments to the Fall "Budget Monitoring Process" or "Fall BuMP"—an opportunity to adjust the annual budget approved in June.— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) October 28, 2020
• One vote Portland City Council did hold yesterday: A resolution that will restrict the 56 PPB officers who were federally deputized last month. The resolution requires those officers to only enforce local and state laws, and to not take direction from federal agents when policing protests.
• Up in Washington, emails between Clark County Jail employees and agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have become the focal point in a trial that involves a Mexican immigrant who was arrested and deported in April. Emails show the jail employees tipped off ICE about the man's status, telling them to "go get him!"—which is illegal in Washington, a sanctuary state.
• Oregon's slow, archaic unemployment system has been well documented during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's stopped thousands of Oregonians from receiving their unemployment benefits in a timely manner. But apparently the Oregon Unemployment Department also erroneously sent an extra $300 in federal aid to thousands of people who didn't even apply for it.
• Do you ever find yourself perusing the crowded aisles of Fred Meyer, thinking "Gosh, the only thing that would make this better is if someone pricked my finger with a needle"? If so, you're in luck, because Freddy's will soon start offering rapid COVID-19 antibody testing!
• Bad voting news: Iowa is closing hundreds of polling places across the state—many of them churches, schools and senior centers—because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means voters will have to find a new polling place that might be further from their homes, which could result in lower voter turnout. That's especially infuriating considering that Iowa is thought to be a swing state this year in the presidential race.
• Good voting news: Arizona has only voted for a Democratic presidential candidate once since the 1950s. But now, young Latinx voters—politicized by racist policies passed by Arizona's state government—could be the force that finally flips the state blue for Joe Biden.
• More bad voting news (sorry!): Donald Trump is trailing in the polls behind Biden in Pennsylvania, which is a crucial swing state. A new report from the Times finds that the Trump campaign has been engaged in a months-long effort to undermine Pennsylvanians' faith in vote-by-mail, hoping to suppress voters. Lower turnouts tend to favor Republicans.
• Is it Friday yet? Not quite, but you can still relax with some new music, curated by the one and only Jenni Moore:
There's no shame in taking a break from refreshing that news feed. Refresh your mind instead by diving into these new music releases that match the current mood, curated by @JenniferKayMo. https://t.co/dQLitwVExP— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) October 28, 2020