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Oregon Protesters Confront Weakened Minimum Wage Increase and Lack of Renter Protections

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 By Daniel Vincent and Shane Burley, Black Cat Films | Video Report
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Oregon Protesters Confront Weakened Minimum Wage Increase and Lack of Renter Protections from Shane Burley on Vimeo.

On Thursday, February 18, minimum wage and housing justice activists in Oregon descended on Salem to protest a weakened wage proposal and delayed renters' rights legislation. $15Now Oregon - the state wing of the larger Fight for $15 movement sweeping the country - saw opposition over the last several months coming from the much more moderate Raise the Wage coalition and its $13.50 minimum wage proposal. The bill that passed the Oregon Legislature, which would raise the minimum wage to the highest in the country, would bring the minimum wage in Portland to $14.75 by 2022. This six-year process is dramatically slower than what organizers had been proposing, and it leaves smaller cities like Eugene to only $13.50 and the majority rural areas of the state at only $12.50.

At the same time, another bill aimed at providing modest extensions in the notification periods for "no-cause" evictions and protections from rent increases for new tenants was progressively weakened after meetings with landlord trade organizations before being sent back to committee.

Groups rallied around the common economic hardship that is hitting the working-class areas of Portland, as the massive influx of new resident has allowed developers and landlords to raise rents faster than in any other urban area in the country. $15Now was joined by Portland Tenants United, Don't Shoot PDX, the Hazelnut Grove Houseless Community, the Portland Solidarity Network and other groups to talk about how the economic climate has been assaulting the most vulnerable in their communities. After activists stormed into the active legislative session to drop a banner that read "Housing S.O.S. Fight High Rent and Low Wages," more than four dozen protesters occupied the entrance to Gov. Kate Brown's office to demand local control over the minimum wage and rent control. 

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Shane Burley

Shane Burley is a writer and filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon. His work as appeared in places such as In These Times, Waging Nonviolence, Labor Notes, ThinkProgress, ROAR Magazine and Upping the Ante. He is the author of forthcoming book Fascism Today: What It Is and How We End It (AK Press, 2017). He has provided research and interviews on the far-right to places like The Guardian, the Huffington Post Magazine and Between the Lines. His most recent documentary Expect Resistance chronicles the intersection of the housing justice and Occupy Wallstreet movement. Follow him on Twitter: @shane_burley1.

Daniel Vincent

Daniel Vincent is a photographer based in Portland, Oregon.  His work has been featured in places like The Skanner, The Industrial Worker and It's Going Down.

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Oregon Protesters Confront Weakened Minimum Wage Increase and Lack of Renter Protections

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 By Daniel Vincent and Shane Burley, Black Cat Films | Video Report
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

Oregon Protesters Confront Weakened Minimum Wage Increase and Lack of Renter Protections from Shane Burley on Vimeo.

On Thursday, February 18, minimum wage and housing justice activists in Oregon descended on Salem to protest a weakened wage proposal and delayed renters' rights legislation. $15Now Oregon - the state wing of the larger Fight for $15 movement sweeping the country - saw opposition over the last several months coming from the much more moderate Raise the Wage coalition and its $13.50 minimum wage proposal. The bill that passed the Oregon Legislature, which would raise the minimum wage to the highest in the country, would bring the minimum wage in Portland to $14.75 by 2022. This six-year process is dramatically slower than what organizers had been proposing, and it leaves smaller cities like Eugene to only $13.50 and the majority rural areas of the state at only $12.50.

At the same time, another bill aimed at providing modest extensions in the notification periods for "no-cause" evictions and protections from rent increases for new tenants was progressively weakened after meetings with landlord trade organizations before being sent back to committee.

Groups rallied around the common economic hardship that is hitting the working-class areas of Portland, as the massive influx of new resident has allowed developers and landlords to raise rents faster than in any other urban area in the country. $15Now was joined by Portland Tenants United, Don't Shoot PDX, the Hazelnut Grove Houseless Community, the Portland Solidarity Network and other groups to talk about how the economic climate has been assaulting the most vulnerable in their communities. After activists stormed into the active legislative session to drop a banner that read "Housing S.O.S. Fight High Rent and Low Wages," more than four dozen protesters occupied the entrance to Gov. Kate Brown's office to demand local control over the minimum wage and rent control. 

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Shane Burley

Shane Burley is a writer and filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon. His work as appeared in places such as In These Times, Waging Nonviolence, Labor Notes, ThinkProgress, ROAR Magazine and Upping the Ante. He is the author of forthcoming book Fascism Today: What It Is and How We End It (AK Press, 2017). He has provided research and interviews on the far-right to places like The Guardian, the Huffington Post Magazine and Between the Lines. His most recent documentary Expect Resistance chronicles the intersection of the housing justice and Occupy Wallstreet movement. Follow him on Twitter: @shane_burley1.

Daniel Vincent

Daniel Vincent is a photographer based in Portland, Oregon.  His work has been featured in places like The Skanner, The Industrial Worker and It's Going Down.