Slant – Eugene Weekly
Big wins last week in the battle to force Big Coal, Big Oil and Big Gas to act immediately to tackle climate change. Perhaps there has been a radical change in the climate? One victory came in a district court in The Hague, another in a shareholder vote in Exxon’s boardroom, giving power to climate activists. Meanwhile, the Our Children’s Trust case, which has its origins primarily in Eugene, has been ordered by U.S. District Judge Aiken to begin settlement discussions. This case aims to establish a constitutional right to a healthy environment and was brought by a group of young people, some from Eugene. The case lost a series of decisions in federal court. Also of note this week: President Joe Biden suspended oil drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
• Good news from Salem. The Oregon Senate passed a bill that makes June 19 – Juneteenth – a public holiday. The Senate passed the bill unanimously on June 1 (Republican Senators Kim Thatcher and Dallas Heard being excused). It passed the House in April and is now heading to Governor Kate Brown’s office. Juneteenth, for those unfamiliar with it, commemorates the moment the slaves of Galveston, Texas learned they had been freed, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Oregon’s very first state-recognized holiday will be in 2022 as the bill doesn’t go into effect right away, but it’s still good progress as we continue to grapple with the history of the state and the nation with the black community.
• Without unions, work would be a whole different place for the working American – from 40-hour workdays and weekends to resisting the demands of profit-hungry capitalists. Eugene Weekly is delighted to announce that he has received a grant from the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics to report on the Oregon labor movement. The late eponymous senator was a big supporter of the union, so we are delighted to share news of organized labor. If you have any advice on unions, send an email to [email protected]
• What we read: Susan, Linda, Nina and Cokie, The Extraordinary Story of NPR’s Founding Mothers by Lisa Napoli. This biography of four defining voices on public radio is easy to read in the summer and is a nice break from all the depressing non-fiction. If you listen to National Public Radio like we do, you’ll appreciate knowing how these four remarkable women put it together. Published by Harry H. Abrams press, find it in your local bookstore.
• Oregon women’s basketball scored another big The New York Times sports section, May 31st. Sedona Prince, the outspoken player fighting for level playing field for players, has been profiled for her courageous advocacy. Coach Kelly Graves was quoted: “How blessed am I to coach a young woman like her? Prince and Sabrina Ionescu, now with New York Liberty, are both stars with Time sports writers and Duck fans.
• State Senator Betsy Johnson is the latest name to be gossiped for the Oregon governor’s race in 2022. Rumor has it that the conservative Democrat is running as independent, thus avoiding the primary. No one, including Johnson, has officially announced their intention to run, but as we mentioned in a recent Slant, the names we’ve heard so far include Treasurer Tobias Reid, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum , Multnomah County President Deborah Kafoury and Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle.