This past Martin Luther King Day, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kefoury sent out an email with the subject line "Pressing on toward Dr. King’s Beloved Community in the face of ongoing challenges." She concluded the email with this statement: "The last several years have stretched us and knocked us down. But we must make room for the pain and adversity that we’ve endured to push us toward action — action that can bring Dr. King’s vision of a just, equitable society to life."
On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with County Chair Kefoury about concrete steps that Multnomah County is taking to address Oregon’s and Portland’s long history of racial exclusion, redlining and economic disempowerment of communities of color. How will the County design a criminal legal system built on restorative justice, true accountability and safety, rather than the racist assumptions, practices and policies that spawned the current system? How to we provide equitable healthcare and adequately address homelessness? And how do we directly face the impact of fossil fuel infrastructure development along the Portland waterfront, including hazardous oil and gas tank farms that line the river?