On Supremacy in Oregon


On April 29th, over 100 White people came to 82nd Ave in Portland, Oregon, chanting “Go back to where you come from” and other racist and anti-immigrant sentiments. A portion of 82nd Avenue sits within the Jade District, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Oregon state.

Where did this come from, and what does this say about our region?

Zahir Janmohamad profile photo
Zahir Janmohamed
is the Policy Director for APANO, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon. He is also the co-host of Racist Sandwich, a podcast about race and food.


Scot Nakagawa
has spent the last four decades as a pro-democracy activist, addressing issues of race and gender inequity, religious bigotry, and anti-LGBTQ oppression through community-based campaigns, cultural organizing, popular education, writing, and public policy advocacy.

Scot Nakagawa profile photoScot has worked with numerous organizations and movements over the years, having served as Fight the Right Organizer and Field Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force; Education Co-Coordinator of the Highlander Research and Education Center; Associate Director of the Western Prison Project (Partnership for Safety and Justice); and Executive Director of the MRG Foundation of Oregon, and of the Social Justice Fund, NW.

Scot’s primary contribution has been to the fight against vigilante white supremacist groups, white nationalism, Nativism, and authoritarian evangelical political movements. In this work, he has served as a strategist, organizer, and social movement analyst. Scot is busy at work on a number of projects, including writing a playbook for anti-authoritarians and a primer on race and power. His writings have been included in Race, Gender, and Class in the United States: An Integrated Study, 9th EditionKilling Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence; and Eyes Right!: Challenging the Right Wing Backlash. Scot is a former Alston/Bannerman Fellow, and the recipient of the 2017 Association of Asian American Studies Community Leader Award.

Find him on Facebook.

Roll credits: 

Today’s show was produced by Steph Routh and Alexis Gabriel. Music is by Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet. You can find us on our Facebook page and on Twitter @whyisntanyone.

If you liked this show, help us keep it going by donating via our website, whyisntanyone.com, where you can also leave us comments, questions, and ideas for future topics. Check out the people who have supported us on Crowdrise!

We are a project of Umbrella, a Portland-based nonprofit that encourages community-based street culture. We record from the delightful Airstream-now-studio, StreamPDX.

The Portland People’s Climate Movement March

Vivian Satterfield photoIn this episode, we will be talking with Vivian Satterfield with OPAL about the Portland People’s Climate Movement March.

Vivian is second-generation bilingual Chinese American, born and raised in inner city Chicago. She believes in the power of organizing, the efficacy of people-centered public policy, and the therapeutic benefits of a long bike ride. Vivian is currently the Deputy Director at OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, where she’s helped bring grassroots-led campaigns and coalition efforts around issues such as lifting Oregon’s 17-year long ban on inclusionary zoning, and the extensions of transfer times on TriMet, to success.

Portland People's Climate Movement March, April 29th, 2017 12:00pm-5:00pm at Dawson Park

Roll credits: 

Today’s show was edited by Steph Routh with help from Alexis Gabriel. Music is by Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet. You can find us on our Facebook page and on Twitter @whyisntanyone.

If you liked this show, help us keep it going by donating via our website, whyisntanyone.com, where you can also leave us comments, questions, and ideas for future topics. Check out the people who have supported us on Crowdrise!

We are a project of Umbrella, a Portland-based nonprofit that encourages community-based street culture. We record from the delightful Airstream-now-studio, StreamPDX.

Displacement and Wage Theft: An Interview with NMASS

The NMASS crew with co-hosts Leslie and Steph in front of the Stream.The National Mobilization Against Sweatshops (NMASS) is a multi-trade, multi-ethnic workers center where working people unite across industry, race, nationality and gender to fight for the changes needed in workplaces, communities and lives.

JoAnn Lum, Karah Newton, and Kai Wen Yang from NMASS joined us from their headquarters in New York City to discuss wage theft, displacement, and their “ambitious” plans for a just future.

Roll credits: 

Today’s show was produced by Leslie Lum and edited by Steph Routh. Music is by Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet. You can find us on our Facebook page and on Twitter @whyisntanyone.

If you liked this show, help us keep it going by donating via our website, whyisntanyone.com, where you can also leave us comments, questions, and ideas for future topics. Check out the people who have supported us on Crowdrise!

We are a project of Umbrella, a Portland-based nonprofit that encourages community-based street culture. We record from the delightful Airstream-now-studio, StreamPDX.

Anita Yap & the Multi-Cultural Collaborative

“There must exist a paradigm, a practical model of social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures.” – bell hooks

Anita YapThe MultiCultural Collaborative is a people-of-color-led consulting firm based in Portland, OR empowering communities to build capacity in local governments for equitable public policy decisions and service delivery.

Anita Yap is the founding partner of the MultiCultural Collaborative.

Anita has worked in Oregon’s communities for most of her life in public policy, health equity, community development, land use, transportation, natural resources and housing with government, nonprofit and small business.

Vision Zero & Campaign Zero: A National Conversation


Campaign Zero

Vision Zero and Campaign Zero are two platforms describing a path to safer streets. If you’ll remember, we were lucky to have Tamika Butler and Keith Benjamin in Episode 5 to talk about the importance of a racial justice lens in Vision Zero work. In this episode, we will build on the ‘why’ racial equity should be central to this policy (or any policy) discussed earlier, and focus today on the ‘how’, like, what are the critical next steps to make racial equity central.

Join a conversation with guest co-host Naomi Doerner, Sam Sinyangwe, Nora Liu, Leah Shahum, and co-host Steph Routh.

Naomi Doerner is a social justice and racial equity strategist within the national active transportation community. She is Principal Planner & Equity Strategist for Assembly for Equitable Cities.

Nora Liu is the Racial Equity Here Manager for the Government Alliance on Race and Equity at the Center for Social Inclusion.

Sam Sinyangwe is the Co-Founder of WeTheProtesters, a national advocacy organization equipping activists with cutting-edge tools, research and policy solutions to end police violence in their communities. Examples of their work include MappingPoliceViolence.org, CheckthePolice.org and ProtesterProgress.org.

Leah Shahum is the founder and director of the Vision Zero Network, a national campaign supporting cities working toward Vision Zero—zero traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

 

The 2016 Olympics in Rio: An Interview with Jules Boykoff

Logos of previous Olympics gamesEvery four years we tune in to the excitement, passion, and drama of the Olympic Games. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in all the the anticipation and celebration, for one of the most widely watched events in the world. Each successive Olympics seem to be a bigger spectacle than the last, with dramatic and expensive changes to the city itself. What are some of the ways the Olympics transform the physical structure and form of the host city, and who pays for the hefty price tag?

Jules Boykoff profile photoJules Boykoff is a former professional soccer player, and represented the men’s US Olympic soccer team in international play. Jules has extensively researched the politics and activism in the Olympic Games, including the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver Canada, the 2012 Summer Games in London, the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi Russia, and the upcoming Summer Games in Rio De Janeiro Brazil. His writings on the Olympics include Activism and the Olympics: Dissent at the Games in Vancouver, Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games, and the recently published Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics.

Photo credit: Luke & Jules

Israel Bayer and Jes Larson: Getting Real About Housing and Homelessness

Picture of Monopoly housesWhere did our housing and homelessness crisis come from, and how do we create solutions as a city and country? How are people talking about housing and homelessness, and how should that narrative change?

Join Street Roots Executive Director, Israel Bayer; Welcome Home Coalition Executive Director, Jes Larson; and “Why Isn’t Anyone…?” co-hosts Justin Buri and Steph Routh for a history lesson and a conversation about housing, homelessness, and the future.

Photo credit: Woodley Wonderworks

On Rebuilding New Orleans and Jacmel, Haiti: A Chat With Diane Jones Allen

profile photo: Diane Jones AllenDiane Jones of DesignJones, LLC has engaged in planning and design efforts related to the rebuild and recovery of the Lower Ninth Ward, the cypress forest restoration in the Bayou Bienvenue Wetlands Triangle, the dismantling of the I-10 freeway and regeneration of Treme within the Claiborne Avenue Corridor, and rebuilding and restoring the Historic District, post-earthquake Jacmel, Haiti — a district that heavily influenced the architecture and urban design of the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Join Diane and “Why Isn’t Anyone…?” host Alexis Gabriel as they explore community planning, post-disaster rebuilding, and what race has to do with it.

What Happened in Salem This Year: EP 008

What Happened in Salem This Year: EP 008

Salem Capitol buildingEvery other year, the Oregon Legislature meets for a short session—35 days—to discuss budgets and other timely issues. This year was a whirlwind for housing advocates and others looking to squeak through some laws.

For this episode of “Why Isn’t Anyone…?” Team members Justin Buri and Vivian Satterfield are joined by Kristina Narayan from the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon to discuss what went down in Salem during February and what that means for inclusionary zoning and other hoped-for changes.

Correction to the audio: HB 4071, the COFA Premium Assistance Program, was amended and passed with continuous funding.

Roll credits:

Today’s show was produced by Justin Buri and Vivian Satterfield, and edited by Eric Klein. Music is by Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet. You can find us on our Facebook page and on Twitter @whyisntanyone.

If you liked this show, help us keep it going by donating via our website, whyisntanyone.com, where you can also leave us comments, questions, and ideas for future topics. Check out the people who have supported us on Crowdrise!

We are a project of Umbrella, a Portland-based nonprofit that encourages community-based street culture.

Q&A with Peter Koonce, Portland’s Signals Guy

Why are there so many different types of audible signals?” The person in charge of Portland’s traffic signals answers questions from an advocate for the blind. Peter Koonce, Portland’s Signals and Street Lighting Division Manager responds to 3 specific questions from Jim Jackson, a member of the local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind.

Q: Why are there so many different types of audible signals?

A: There are different types because the people writing the standards (public officials and industry vendors) are doing this sometimes on a volunteer basis with some modest support from the Federal Highway Administration and the National Cooperative Research Program. It is done with support from State DOTs that approve the research agenda. This takes time. Tests are done and studies conducted through students and research teams that are not processed quickly by practitioners. Vendors also invest in new technology but these are not large companies for the most part that can retool their systems easily.

The research concepts have changed as technology has over the past 15-20 years. The latest thinking is how to incorporate Smart phones that are very usable and conceivable, whereas 10 years ago that future wasn’t so clear. Traffic signal technology often lasts 30 years so the evolution is very slow and products as installed remain on street for a long time if it isn’t damaged.

Researchers like Janet Barlow (http://accessforblind.org) have done some work over time informed by tests. The City has been a long time supporter of Janet’s work nationally with in kind support.

Q:  Does it cost more to add the name of the street to an audible signal? (like “Cross Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd”)

A: Yes, there is effort in maintaining that equipment, but that is the City’s standard. Some agencies go for cheaper devices. Some practitioners argue against the audible because of the difficulty in maintaining those types of buttons. You have to have staff learn how to program them.

Q: Some signals are both audible and vibrate, which works for both deaf and blind road users. Why is this not the universal standard?

A: It is currently for the City of Portland. The Federal Highway Administration actually doesn’t require pedestrian signals at every crossing still. This was a debate in this past years meeting and several progressive engineers could not believe this was still possible.

We do then have to install poles for the buttons which is something the engineers get criticized about because the poles are in the sidewalk.