Vaccine equity is still a problem in Oregon—even as the state relaxes their COVID safety restrictions.
Vaccine equity is still a problem in Oregon—even as the state relaxes their COVID safety restrictions. Mario Tama/Getty Images

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IN LOCAL NEWS:

• As restrictions state-wide begin to fade away, community-based orgs are still working hard to get people of color vaccinated at the same rate as white Oregonians—but why do these inequities still exist and what still needs to be done? Do not miss this great explanatory investigation from our Isabella Garcia!

• The Oregon House is scheduled to vote tonight on whether or not to kick Republican Rep. Mike Nearman out of the legislature for planning in advance to help violent Trumpers storm inside a closed session at the state capitol, putting his fellow co-workers in potential serious danger. (Is it too soon to chant, "LOCK! HIM! UP!"?)

• Those busy Oregon lawmakers also passed two new pieces of houseless legislation yesterday—one that would require local governments in the state to give at least three days’ notice before clearing homeless camps, and the other allowing houseless Oregonians to sit, lie, and sleep on public property in most cases. So what does this mean for Portland? Our Alex Zielinski breaks it all down for you.

• After being repeatedly tear gassed by local cops and federal officers for much of last year during nightly protests in Portland (and suffering the side effects), it's nice to know that House Democrats in DC have opened an investigation into the health effects of tear gas regularly used by police.

• Hey vinyl lovers! This Saturday is the beloved, annual Record Store Day! And our Blair Stenvick has a great rundown of where to get new vinyl releases from Prince, Lady Gaga, Joni Mitchell, and more.

• Looking for fast, affordable, and delicious bibimbap in NW Portland? Suzette Smith has cracked the code in the latest, must-read edition of "Takeout Club!"

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• During his trip abroad, President Biden announced that the US is purchasing and donating 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to countries who are struggling with the pandemic. This is in addition to the 1 billion shots that the Group of Seven nations are committing to sharing with the world.

• Biden's Department of Justice is furiously backpedaling after originally saying they would "vigorously" defend religious institutions who choose to discriminate against those in the LGBTQ+ community, and now are softening the language—though until the Equality Act is passed they still say they're forced to defend the current discriminatory laws. :(

• Though Republicans and police organizations (Hi, Portland police union!) are screaming bloody murder about rising homicide rates and blaming it on Democrat-led cities, the facts are clear: Homicides are going up across the entire country, including those cities that increased police funding. (Sorry to pee in anyone's corn flakes.)

• In case you haven't noticed, prices across the nation are rising fast—the fastest in 13 years—and while it's not a cause for concern yet, economists and the federal reserve are reportedly making plans to take action if necessary.

• After getting a LOT of backlash from angry employees, Amazon—who previously ordered all workers back to the office—are now allowing employees to telecommute from home two days a week.

• Today in Florida Republicans are the WORST: Florida’s state Board of Education has banned “critical race theory” from public school classrooms in a very stupid attempt to deny their long history of racism. (They're claiming that learning the true facts about how white Americans built their own wealth by stealing land and labor from people of color will "distort history.")

Support The Portland Mercury

• If you like laffin' your guts out, don't miss the Outdoor Live Comedy Spectacular at Oaks Park TONIGHT through Saturday. Local and nationally-recognized comedians, food, beer, picnic tables, and LAUGHS!

• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: And so starts a rainy weekend, starting tomorrow with a high of 65.

• And finally, THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON in this tweet about a woman who looks exactly like comedian Amy Schumer—but with a tear drop tattoo. (And yet, why is no one freaking out about the "Stop Pooping in Our Parking Lot" sign?)