A couple of nights ago, I had the opportunity to attend the last Oregon Governor live debate in the KGW studios and meet Kate Brown, the current Oregon Governor. While sitting in the audience, I got this nagging feeling that bothered me for the entire hour. I couldn’t help but admit to myself that this experience was the singular moment of the November 2016 election season that stood out to me the most, more than the presidential debates or the stream of analysis delivered by political pundits about partisanship that has been flooding my newsfeed since this summer. I found myself profoundly inspired. As difficult as it was to admit, the fanfare of the election was not quite as exciting as this local debate.
The level of political discourse at this debate was a refreshing reminder of what representative democracy has the potential to be at its best. Both candidates touched on true policy positions and highlighted the significance of state level legislation, from Measure 97, a corporate t...
Trayvon Martin. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Tamir Rice. Freddie Gray. I’ve heard the names of these African American men paraded across the endless stream of news media in the past couple of years. The tragic frequency of the same stories, of unarmed black men killed by police officers, is striking. It’s often horrifying to think about the all too many more people who share the exact same story that don’t become household names.
The widespread racial profiling, police brutality, and unjustified killing of unarmed African Americans has sparked protests and demonstrations in cities across America, from Chicago to New York. Certainly, the rally cries of the Black Lives Matter movement speak to the collective frustration of the African American community, “Hands up, don’t shoot”, “I can’t breathe”, “Is my son next?”, among others. And more disappointingly, in their aftermath, the police officers responsible for the killings are not charged.