Stopped While Black
The Northwest Constitutional Rights Center (NWCRC) has performed their own analysis of the recently released Portland Police Bureau traffic stop data, and their findings are disturbing. Their analysis shows that African Americans are more likely to be pulled over and searched in areas of Portland where there are less African American residents by percentage of population. For example, in 2005 black drivers were 3.9 times more likely to be pulled over than whites in Portland's central precinct, where only 2 percent of residents are black. But in the northeast precinct, where 20 percent of residents are black, the disparity is considerably lower (though certainly not equal)—blacks are 2.3 times more likely to be pulled over.
The NWCRC's Alejandro Queral says the figures reinforce what he's heard in recent racial profiling community meetings about so-called "lifestyle stops," where police pull black youths over, allegedly just to ask, "What are you doing in this neighborhood?" MATT DAVIS
Paying for Process
With more than a million people projected to join our region in the next 25 years, Metro is updating long-range land use and transportation plans to accommodate the growth. And on Friday, June 23 at the Convention Center, Metro is hosting a half-day regional forum to gather community input. "It's really important that people participate," says Jill Fuglister, executive director of the Coalition for a Livable Future.
The problem is, Metro's charging $30 a person. "From our perspective, this is part of the process that leads to a legislative decision, and it just seems wrong that citizens should pay to be involved in the process," Fuglister says.
Thankfully, Metro's offering scholarships to anyone who asks. "I hope as many people as possible will apply for the scholarship to send a message to Metro that these events should be free!" one miffed neighbor wrote on the Neighbors West/Northwest email list. AMY JENNIGES
Pinchin' the Pension
On Wednesday morning, June 14, just after press time, city council was expected to jumpstart the next phase in the ongoing reform of the Fire and Police Disability and Retirement (FPD&R) system.
All city council members have signed on to a resolution that would dissolve the FPD&R board, which makes decisions on disability claims. In its place, the resolution would set up an independent Board of Trustees, on which union members would have a minority.
If approved by council, the full list of changes will be presented to voters in the general election. SCOTT MOORE