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The Wage/Working jukebox has moved to Likewise, 3564 SE Hawthorne

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KYC is excited to partner with AARP Oregon AGAIN for a new tour of Portland's Waterfront, 10/24 10am

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Thank you to all our Kickstarter Supporters! Click to find your name.

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Thanks! Portland Timbers Commmunity Fund honor Jade Journal students.


Reflection on KYC Panel about Oregon’s Climate Movement

Guest blog post written by Page Atcheson

On January 25, Know Your City partnered with
Renew Oregon to host “Building Oregon’s Climate Movement,” a community discussion on how efforts to reduce climate pollution can be strengthened and conducted with the input and leadership of diverse constituencies. Moderated by Maggie Tallmadge of the Coalition of Communities of Color, panelists included State Representative Lew Frederick; Mark Gamba, Mayor of Milwaukie; Barbara Byrd, Secretary-Treasurer of AFL-CIO; Nik Blosser, CEO of Celilo Group Media; Laura Stevens, Field Representative with the Sierra Club; and Mia Reback of 350 PDX. Needless to say, it was quite a powerful panel!

The discussion kicked off with the question of whether Oregon currently has a diverse and inclusive climate movement. All were in agreement that we have a lot of work to do for our movement to genuinely reflect the economic and racial diversity of our state — and it’s work that cannot be completed overnight. In fact, it might require rethinking how we engage people on these issues.

Rep. Frederick pointed out, if you live in a neighborhood with high asthma rates, and somebody knocks on your door to talk about polar bears, how are you going to respond? Climate advocates must move away from presenting the problem as something that’s in the future and affecting distant places. Our job is “to bring people in by understanding what their issues are,” said Rep. Frederick. This means listening to those who are concerned about losing their jobs because of climate policy, to farmers and ranchers who are feeling the impacts first-hand and to social justice movements who are advocating for other, often related and equally important, issues.

Reaching new people and constituencies is only the first step. We need to ensure these relationships develop in ways that are not transactional, but which instead enable us to collaborate effectively while supporting one another’s work. “We need to show up to Black Lives Matter without expecting something in return,” said Laura Stevens of the Sierra Club. And as Mia Rebeck of 350PDX pointed out, it’s a challenge to build these relationships, given limited time and capacity. “There’s a tension between sense of urgency to act on climate, and the slow work of building relationships, especially across movements.”

Despite the difficulties, we are starting to see these collaborations happening more in Oregon, thanks to the work of the Coalition of Communities of Color, Blue Green Alliance, and Renew Oregon among others. “We have to keep moving forward on things we do agree on,” said Barbara Byrd, after referring to various issues like coal export and timber that have at times divided environmentalists and labor. There was agreement among the panelists that we seem to be entering an exciting new phase of the climate movement in Oregon, with growing coalition work, and also the acknowledgement that climate change could present an opportunity to address other inequities, and help us achieve racial and economic justice.

Two concrete examples of how this coalition-building has resulted in tangible policy proposals can be seen this legislative session. First, the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition bill (HB 4036), which would transition the state off coal and double renewable energy. Second, the Healthy Climate Bill (SB 1574), which would enforce limits on carbon pollution and generate revenue for disadvantaged communities and a Just Transition Fund. Both of these proposals have had input from environmental groups, health advocates, communities of color, ratepayer advocates, labor, and businesses. They are a step forward in realizing our collective potential to craft policies that not only protect historically disadvantaged communities, but also provide benefit.. We still have a long way to go, but we are well positioned to approach climate change as an opportunity, and a challenge to all of us to work across movements to protect our state and its people.

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Know Your City Job Opening and Other Updates

Other updates from the Know Your City team:

The Our Stories Matter campaign launched successfully! We had powerful testimony in front of City Council last Wednesday, including MRG Foundation’s Katharine Quaid, 2014 Oregon Teacher of the Year Brett Bigham, and PPS School Board Member Mike Rosen. Read the coverage of our campaign for inclusive cultural studies in the Portland Tribune and the Portland Observer. Sustain our momentum by signing the petition and sharing it with your friends.

Make a donation and strengthen our push to teach the real history of Oregon.



The Jade Journal, Volume 2 is starting at Harrison Park on February 26th! And we need your help—our 6th graders are in need of more digital point and shoot or SLR cameras, 6 megapixels or better, to use during their photography workshops. Email ask@knowyourcity if you have a digital camera that we can borrow!

We’re grateful for the positive response with the Hidden History of Albina Tour – make sure to register for tickets on the 13th and 27th here! If these dates don’t work for you, contact us about scheduling a private tour!

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The Last Week of January is Jam Packed!

We’ve got a lot planned for the last week of January! Here are some exciting opportunities to stay plugged in.

1. Tonight we’re partnering with Renew Oregon to host the “Building Oregon’s Climate Movement” panel. Speakers who organize in very different communities, from labor to business to grassroots, will be discussing the work ahead to secure Oregon’s clean future. Doors open at 6pm at SEIU Local 503—this is your last chance to RSVP online!

Our Stories Matter campaign image

2. We’re officially kicking off the Our Stories Matter campaign at City Hall on Wednesday! Join us and advocate for the history of marginalized people in Oregon to be included in our textbooks.

3. We’re starting the year singing with this Saturday’s Sing a Song of Portland Tour. RSVP here!

BONUS: We just announced a new tour for February!

In commemoration of Black History Month, Know Your City is partnering with NECN to offer “the Hidden History of Albina” for folks who are unfamiliar with its importance as the historic heart of Portland’s African American community. We are offering the walking tour February 13th and February 27th.

Continue to support Know Your City! 2016 is going to be the best year yet.

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