Hill to Hall July 1–July 5

July 1 Mayor Ted Wheeler responds to criticism of Portland protest

Protests between the left-wing group antifa and the right-wing group Patriot Prayer made national news after becoming violent in downtown Portland. Conservative media outlets have criticized Portland Police and Mayor Ted Wheeler after journalist Andy Ngo was assaulted, claiming that Portland Police allowed the attack to happen. Mayor Ted Wheeler has since responded to the criticism, standing by Portland Police. According to OPB, the protest left eight people injured, and police arrested three on charges of assault and harassment.

July 2 Gov. Kate Brown vows to continue fighting for climate bill

After the defeat of House Bill 2020—the cap-and-trade bill that caused a Republican Senator walkout—Gov. Kate Brown said she has not given up on passing climate legislation. She said she is looking to compromise and pass a bill similar to HB 2020 and may use executive authority if no decision is made. Brown has assigned her Carbon Policy Office to work with rural manufacturers and transportation interests to prevent future backlash. HB 2020 was predicted to raise around $1.3 million in revenue that would be reinvested in decarbonization, adaptation programs, forest cleanups and job retraining.

July 3 Anti-scooter lobby group forms in Portland

A group of twelve Portland residents announced they have formed a lobbying group called “Save Our Sidewalks” opposing e-scooters, such as Lime, Spin and Bird. Save Our Sidewalks has issued a list of demands to the Portland Bureau of Transportation, including stricter sidewalk and parking rules, a more developed complaint process and a way for residents to give feedback before the city makes changes to the program. Previous community frustration with the scooters started after email complaints were ignored by PBOT.

July 5 Oregon FFA to get State funding for the first time in 8 years

The Oregon FFA—an agricultural education and leadership organization—will receive $1.43 million appropriated to the Oregon Department of Education for FFA to provide funding for enrollment, leadership development and support for 24 state-level competitions through House Bill 2444. The funding will help reduce fees that prevent students from taking classes. The bill also appropriates $600,000 in grants to extend contracts for FFA advisors, according to East Oregonian. Nearly 7,000 students are already enrolled in the Oregon FFA, and the funding could help support as many as 5,000 additional students.