Hill to Hall July 31–Aug. 1

July 31: Pedestrian fatalities increase in Portland’s older populations

Approximately 12% of Portland’s population is made up of people 65 years and older, and according to a report by the city, that same age group accounts for nearly 26% of pedestrian fatalities since 2010. In June 2015, Portland City Council passed Vision Zero, a plan for reducing traffic-related deaths and serious injuries. However, Portland has already matched its 2018 traffic death toll as of July of this year. According to the city’s analysis, most fatal car crashes dating back to 2010 occurred when pedestrians were hit while legally crossing the street.


Aug 1: Governor Brown signs new death penalty bill

With SB 1013 taking effect in September, it will now be harder for the state to pursue to the death penalty, which has been on hold in Oregon since 2011. The new bill now reserves capital punishment for crimes Gov. Kate Brown describes as the “rarest and most heinous.” According to OregonLive, the state hasn’t executed any criminals for 22 years, but there are currently 31 people on death row in Oregon. Those who no longer fit the criteria for the death penalty will be resentenced under the new bill, according to KVAL.


Aug 1: Student Success Act gets its first employee

Tamara Dykeman is the first to be hired for the Student Success Act, a $1 billion-a-year plan to reform Oregon public schools which passed the senate in May. The act is intended to better the educational experience and long-term success of Oregon K-12 students by improving their grades, graduation rates and mental health, according to the Mail Tribune. About 70 more workers will be hired in the next year—paid for by $25 million Oregon lawmakers set aside for the task—according to the Salem Reporter.