Pods for the homeless in Portland

Immigration and 45 – This Week Better: Jan 29, 2017

City Issues & Ideas, Take Action

We’re one week into 45’s administration and a lot has happened. I will now be referring to Trump as 45. For all the people during the campaign who said they take him seriously, but not literally – I hope you’re awake now. Track Trump is a new site that tracks what 45’s promise was for his first 100 days against what’s really happening. This is a useful “at a glance” list. However, I would recommend two improvements. 1. The green, yellow, red method of done/not done, easily lends itself to a “green = good” or green = complete. I believe that most of the things on this list aren’t good for the American people, and a lot of the items can’t just be “done” by an executive order by the President. The list should also state the channel or department it has to be approved by or the legality and enforceability of any of these Executive Orders. It’s been a long week.

What I’m reading this week:

Anne Frank and her family were also denied entry as refugees to the US  – Anne Frank would have been 87 this year. Her father applied for visas to the US. Frank wrote on April 30, 1941, “Perhaps you remember that we have two girls. It is for the sake of the children mainly that we have to care for. Our own fate is of less importance.” Anne, her sister Margot, and mother all died in concentration camps. Holocaust Remembrance Day was this week. I believe Anne Frank would have continued to write and advocate for more empathy and kindness in immigration policy. –via Washington Post

DO: The majority of American’s don’t agree with 45’s new Executive Order on Immigration that bans refugees and even green card and visa holders from seven Muslim countries from entering the US. Get vocal about this. Donate your time or money (ACLU and IRC are two organizations leading this fight.).

“Sanctuary city” means Portland will remain welcoming to all
– Our new mayor Ted Wheeler (along with many other cities and states around the nation) has taken a stand against 45’s EO about cutting funding to sanctuary cities if they don’t comply. Here are a few highlights if you’re unfamiliar with what this is all about:

  • much like it is the responsibility of the Internal Revenue Service to enforce federal tax policy. Immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility. (ie. your local police aren’t going to come after you because you owe back taxes)
  • “Oregon state law dating back to 1987 prohibits state and local police from enforcing federal immigration law if a person is not involved in criminal activity.”
  • Residents, regardless of immigration status, should not be afraid go to the police with information on crimes for fear that they might be deported. They should not be afraid to access critical services or seek refuge from domestic abuse and homeless services. They should not be afraid to bring their children to school. –via Oregon Live

DO: Oregon is fairly insulated already by our leaders taking a stand. It remains to be seen how this particular issue will impact us later. The easiest way to keep up on what’s happening on these issues is to follow your local leaders on social (Twitter or Facebook). Here’s my Twitter list of local leaders.

How to Culture Jam a Populist in Four “Easy” Steps – Quick read by a Venezuelan comparing 45 to Hugo Chavez and their mastery of Populism. The Advice:

  1. Don’t forget who the enemy is. You. “Populism can only survive amid polarization. It works through caricature, through the unending vilification of a cartoonish enemy. Pro tip: you’re the enemy.”
    2. Show no contempt. Don’t feed polarization, disarm it.
    3. Don’t try to force him out. “A hissy-fit is not a strategy. The people on the other side, and crucially Independents, will rebel against you if you look like you’re losing your mind. All non-democratic channels are counter-productive: you lower your message, and give the Populist rhetorical fuel.”
    4. Find a counter-argument. “the problem is not the message but the messenger. It’s not that Trump supporters are too stupid to see right from wrong, it’s that you’re much more valuable to them as an enemy than as a compatriot. The problem is tribal. Your challenge is to prove that you belong in the same tribe as them: that you are American in exactly the same way they are.” –via Caracas Chronicles

These ‘Sleeping Pods’ Provide Safety and Warmth for Portland’s Homeless – Jumping on the tiny home craze, architects in partnership with PSU students have designed a bunch of tiny home sleeping “pods” that will be used in a pod village in Kenton. The village will be for women. “An estimated 3,800 people in Multnomah County are houseless, according to a 2015 report by the city, and of that population, 49 percent sleep unsheltered every night.” –via Portland Monthly

This Week’s Actions: This week, I sent a few emails to my Senators and House rep about issues that are important to me (Oregon reps are very vocal about where they stand and I don’t need to tie up their phones to tell them I agree), read and researched more about how executive orders impact us, donated to IRC to help their work with Syrian refugees, and started re-reading Don’t Think of an Elephant.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

–Emma Lazarus