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!
Good morning, Portland! Here's some good news to start your day with: The Mercury's Wing Week returns next week!
Here are the headlines.
• It's official: Oregon now has a new Congressional district map, with a sixth seat. The new map, which Gov. Kate Brown signed into law last night, was the result of a characteristically dramatic special session at the Oregon Legislature. Here's a look at the political leanings of those new districts:
• It's that time of the week again: Time for another Newberg School Board meeting! At tonight's meeting, the board is expected to officially pass the political symbol ban with new language. But before that happens, Newberg teachers will hold a rally opposing the ban. If this ban actually goes into effect, it's unclear if many Newberg school employees will be willing to enforce it. (A personal aside: I happened to drive through Newberg this weekend, and I saw a lot of Pride and Black Lives Matter flags out—it seems this ban is having a bit of a Streisand effect.)
• We've got another one: Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read announced yesterday that he'll run for Governor in May's Democratic primary. Read joins announced candidate House Speaker Tina Kotek—along with potential candidates Nicholas Kristof and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
• Pfizer booster shots have started for people with underlying medical conditions or who are 65 and older—and that second category includes President Joe Biden, who got his booster shot yesterday afternoon on live TV. Biden reminded viewers that about a quarter of American adults have yet to receive a single vaccine shot. "That distinct minority is causing an awful lot of damage for the rest of the country," Biden said. "One thing's for certain: A quarter of the country can't go unvaccinated and us not continue to have a problem."
• A new United States Supreme Court term kicks off next week, and the highly conservative Court could weigh in one some extremely consequential issues this time around. Potential outcomes include the Court further decimating abortion rights, weakening the government's power to regulate businesses, and collapsing the separation of church and state. Biden may be President now, but thanks to the Court, we're still living in the GOP's America.
• Checking in on our very functional government:
U.S. Senate votes 48-50 in a procedural vote on a stopgap spending bill—falling short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation that would avert a government shutdown and extend the debt limit; zero Republicans voted in favor of the bill. https://t.co/bnK9Grc81P— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 28, 2021
• Speaking of which: Biden is meeting with moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema—two people who have confused being owned by corporate interests with having a backbone—to talk about watering down his $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill. Ten years from now, when the last bits of our electrical grid have finally failed, it'll be comforting to know that the government was so fiscally responsible.
• California has been holding vote-by-mail elections since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and yesterday Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that will make voting by mail permanent in the country's most populous state. Welcome to a system already long enjoyed by rest of the West Coast, California!
• Check out this great Bon Appetite piece by Portland-based writer Lydia Kiesling about how difficult it is to be a parent working in the restaurant industry—and how some are working to changing that.
• And finally, get your chuckles here:
Comedian and Portland's own @alex_falcone returns to town this weekend to record his debut comedy album. The Mercury's Q&A asks about this, his appearance on Stephen Colbert, and his objectively great wife.https://t.co/wRRpejNhyf— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) September 27, 2021