Street Roots

for those who cannot afford free speech

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Street Roots creates income opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and poverty by producing a newspaper and other media that are catalysts for individual and social change.

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Updated: 3 min 46 sec ago

Rep. Kurt Schrader: Health care bill would have returned us to ‘dark ages’

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 15:38
Even when the GOP plan was still on the table, the congressman from Oregon was working on a revised proposal

After a grueling 27-hour debate, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Oregon’s Rep. Greg Walden, voted March 9 to advance the GOP health care plan. The vote was party-line, with the Republican Walden praising the bill for its “affordable, patient-centered reforms,” with “greater flexibility, lower costs for families and greater choice for patients.”

His fellow representative from Oregon, Democrat Rep. Kurt Schrader, was also in that marathon committee meeting, and his description of the American Health Care Act was less flattering.

Editorial cartoon: March 24, 2017

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 13:28
Sheeptoast

Elizabeth Considine — the creator of Street Roots' editorial cartoon, Sheeptoast — was born in Portland and has been drawing since she could hold a pen. She loves theater, poetry, chickens, growing food, and walking her three dogs in the park. “I find inspiration in the strangeness of life and the character of human nature. I hope my art will inspire contemplation, curiosity and an odd thought or two.”

(Click or tap the image to enlarge it.)

SR editorial: Revise Oregon’s mortgage interest deduction

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 13:22
The largest housing subsidy dwarfs the funds dedicated to housing Oregon’s most vulnerable populations

The time has come, Oregon. It’s time to modify the state’s mortgage interest deduction. 

Of course it’s popular, and of course people love it. It’s a tax deduction, and an old one at that, dating back to the earliest days of income taxation when it was used to bolster business growth.

It has become, however, the largest housing subsidy in the United States, dwarfing the funds dedicated to housing Oregon’s most vulnerable populations. 

Hope Partnership unlocks a future for incarcerated youths

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 15:23
COMMENTARY | A conversation with Kathleen Fullerton, who's been with the program from its inception

One was about betrayal. One about suicide. And another about the perils of life as a bee.

The scripts-in-progress were being workshopped by a class of a dozen teenage boys. The kids were self-reflective and open to feedback and pushed themselves outside of their comfort zones, which made it just like any other play writing course, except that these students were incarcerated.

Street papers partner for best practices

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 14:56
Street Roots, Real Change join others to mentor young publications

Street papers from the U.S., Serbia, Finland, Australia and the U.K. will come together in the next few weeks for International Network of Street Papers’ new Intensive Learning Program, or ILP.

The ILP allows street paper leaders to undertake a week-long placement at a well-established street paper, observing and learning about key areas of street paper operations and development.

Jordan Cove LNG pipeline ‘a never-ending nightmare’

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 14:33
Concerned property owners in Coos County are pushing back after the blocked proposal resurges

In the whirlwind of deregulation and corporate jubilance surrounding President Donald Trump, Canada-based Veresen Inc. hopes to find some new wind in its sails.

Al Sharpton: ‘We are not going backwards’

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 14:03
The civil rights activist talks about holding ground under renewed threats to minority communities and police oversight

On Jan. 19, the eve of the Presidential inauguration, the Rev. Al Sharpton stood outside Trump International Hotel in New York City with Mayor Bill De Blasio, filmmaker Michael Moore, actor Alec Baldwin and thousands of protesters to kick off their 100 days of resistance to the president-elect’s agenda.

“We are sending you a message from your hometown. You can try to turn back the clock, but you won’t turn back time,” Sharpton said to the cheering crowd. “We are not going backwards.”

Street Roots vendor profile: ‘God has something planned for me’

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 13:35
Maria says Street Roots has always welcomed her

Maria D. radiates human warmth and openness. Talking with her, it’s hard to feel you’re not right at home, regardless of where your conversation takes place. She speaks with a self-effacing kindness that belies the years of travel and hard work in her life.

Maria has lived in Portland for three years. She was born on the West Coast but spent many of her formative years in a much different climate.

“I grew up Southern California till I was 12 and after that, Minnesota. It was a big, huge culture shock,” she says, laughing. 

‘Distracted and distractible’: The rise of propaganda

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 13:19
Media literacy expert Renee Hobbs talks about how to recognize and combat the propaganda coming at us from all sides

Do you think of “Saturday Night Live” as propaganda? What about those commercials of sad-looking puppies in cages that can’t be helped “without your support”? 

At Mind Over Media, a crowdsourced online collection of media messaging, you can explore these and other examples of contemporary propaganda. Users can comment on how they perceive the messaging and rate it on a scale of “beneficial” to “harmful.” 

Sheeptoast: Editorial cartoon gallery

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 12:52

Elizabeth Considine — the creator of Street Roots' editorial cartoon, Sheeptoast — was born in Portland and has been drawing since she could hold a pen. She loves theater, poetry and chickens; growing food; and walking her three dogs in the park.

“I find inspiration in the strangeness of life and the character of human nature. I hope my art will inspire contemplation, curiosity and an odd thought or two.”

(Click or tap the image to browse the gallery.)

Editorial cartoon: March 17, 2017

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 12:40
Sheeptoast

Elizabeth Considine was born in Portland and has been drawing since she could hold a pen. She loves theater, poetry and chickens; growing food; and walking her three dogs in the park. “I find inspiration in the strangeness of life and the character of human nature. I hope my art will inspire contemplation, curiosity and an odd thought or two.”

(Click or tap the image to enlarge it.)

Want to see more Sheeptoast cartoons? VIEW OUR GALLERY

Director’s Desk: Hateful acts against the homeless in Portland

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 12:20
Trump's grave promises make local and state housing legislation essential

In the past few months, a bar owner brandished an assault rifle at police. He was drunk and upset at individuals experiencing homelessness in the community. Another man tossed a homemade bomb under an RV frustrated at people experiencing homelessness camping outside his residence. The bomb didn’t go off, thank goodness. Both of the individuals walked with only a slap on the wrist. 

Pope talks to street papers: ‘Humanity’ for homeless, refugees

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 07:01
‘It is always right to give help,’ Pope Francis says in his second interview with street papers

Pope Francis has always had a special connection to those living on the street. So much so that last year, in Rome, where approximately 6,000 vulnerable, poor or homeless people gathered for the Jubilee of the socially excluded, he delivered a touching mea culpa: “I ask your forgiveness, on behalf of the Christians who, when reading the Gospel, do not see the matter of poverty at its heart; for all the times we, as Christians, have found ourselves before a person trapped in poverty, and turned away from them.”

Open Signal’s Justen Harn at helm of public-access transformation

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 21:54
Justen Harn is ‘a perpetual fan of the underdog,’ committed to fostering public engagement in the Portland area

“Public access television” usually conjures mediocre musicians and unhinged political pundits, TV color bars and bleeding type on a low-quality picture. 

Street Roots vendor profile: Good work ethic from a young age

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 16:36
Ben is getting back on track and making new friends in Portland

Ben Eiland is a personable, hardworking man who says he is healing one day at a time.

He grew up in both Buena Vista and Leadville, Colo., after his parents divorced when he was 7.

“I come from a good family,” Ben said. “I’m just very fortunate and blessed with my mom and my stepdad and my dad. 

His father gave him the skills to live in the forest.

‘Carbon pollution isn’t free’: How Oregon can cap, trade, reinvest

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 16:18
Michelle Romero wants Oregon to follow California’s lead: Price carbon emissions and put the revenue back into communities most affected by climate change

Lawmakers in Salem are considering five different bills with the same goal of significantly reducing Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

Two of the proposed bills would create a cap and trade program, two would create a cap-and-price permitting program and the other would create a carbon tax.

A public hearing on these bills before a joint meeting of Oregon’s House and Senate environmental committees on March 1 was packed, with names of testifiers filling five pages. 

Oregonians favor softer penalties for drug users

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 15:16
Poll finds widespread support among voters for defelonizing simple drug possession

As lawmakers in Salem consider a bill to make possession of illicit drugs a misdemeanor rather than a felony, a statewide poll of Oregon voters reveals widespread support across party lines.

Now, drug users caught with even trace amounts of illegal drugs, such as the residue left on drug paraphernalia after use, can be convicted of felony drug possession punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Chrysanne O’Dell’s journey out of homelessness

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 15:03
FINDING HOME | She knows life’s highs and lows, and what it means to have a place to come home to at the end of the day

“I always have a hustle,” Chrysanne O’Dell tells me. We are in a Starbucks, talking about her journey out of homelessness, and she is frank about her obstacles. “My credit sucked, bad financial history, criminal record.”

But her eye for opportunity eventually helped her get out of homelessness.

She comes to our meetings directly from her daily appointment at an Old Town mental illness and addiction treatment clinic. She seems both frail and steely.

SR editorial: Destructive immigration policies call for action, caution

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 14:38
ICE's draconian measures are terrorizing families and children

It’s heartbreaking to watch. A young man, taking his 13-year-old daughter to school, is handcuffed and taken away by immigration officers, all while his daughter – still in the car –  films it on her phone. Her wails are audible on the recording.

It’s a scene of great sorrow and anguish, brought to you by your tax dollars, and one played out by families across the country as draconian immigration policies hit the streets.

Editorial cartoon: Sheeptoast

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 12:32

Street Roots welcomes Elizabeth Considine to our pages with her new cartoon, Sheeptoast. (Click or tap the image to enlarge it.)

Elizabeth was born in Portland and has been drawing since she could hold a pen. She loves theater, poetry and chickens; growing food; and walking her three dogs in the park.

“I find inspiration in the strangeness of life and the character of human nature. I hope my art will inspire contemplation, curiosity and an odd thought or two.”

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Our Friends Speak About Street Roots

Street Roots and its writers and vendors are an invaluable part of our community's fabric. Social justice is only within our grasp only when we all participate in learning about, supporting, and fighting for this mission. Street Roots is a daily reminder, on blocks throughout Portland, that we are all in this together.

- Mara Zepeda, co-founder, Switchboard