The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

This isnt coffee... its cold hard cash.
This isn't coffee... it's cold hard cash. dutch bros

Good afternoon, Portland! Here's the latest on local news, national news, and a little bit of fun.

In local news:

• Today, Portland City Council voted 4-1 to direct $200,000 toward local organizations that offer reproductive healthcare services as a rebuttal to Texas' anti-abortion legislation, Senate Bill 8, which became law on September 1. The Texas bill effectively bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy (well before people even know they are pregnant) and allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a person obtain an abortion. The city funds are meant to bolster Portland abortion providers who may see an influx in patients from Texas seeking the procedure.

• United States Congressional Democrats are trying to pass a bill that would lower prescription drug prices—but three moderate Democrats have forced the bill to die in committee. One of those Democrats is none other than Oregon's own Kurt Schrader. Here's Schrader's contact info, in case you want to share your thoughts about this with him!

• Here's another update on the Newberg School Board saga, from a local reporter on the ground there:

• Oregon-founded Dutch Bros Coffee launched as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange today, and excited investors caused its stock price to more than double within a couple hours. Everyone drank some cookies-and-cream flavored milk with a little bit of gas station coffee mixed in to celebrate.

In national news:

• Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas, and other current and former US gymnasts testified before a Senate committee today about abusive former doctor Larry Nassar. "The organizations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete... failed to do their jobs," Biles said.

• The school bus driver shortage is getting dire in Massachusetts:

• This past Saturday was the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks—and Muslim Americans reported an uptick in hate incidents across the country over the weekend. The worst incidents include a pig head left outside an Islamic center in Texas.

• California Gov. Gavin Newsom easily avoided a recall in yesterday's election—but the campaign cost millions of dollars and drew attention and effort away from actually fixing the state's issues. Now, California Democrats are trying to make it harder to stage a recall election. As someone who came of age in Arnold Schwarzenegger's California, I support this!

And just for fun:

• If poetry is even remotely your thing, you'll want to check out this new collection about a poet's experience growing up in rural Oregon.

Support The Portland Mercury

• And finally, here's more of our arts guide coverage—and your cultural to-do list for the next couple weeks!

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30