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The Portland City Council has been under fire of late for some of the actions that it has taken or proposed to take.  The last big mistake the Council made was proposing a “street fee” to fix the streets, and pay for other transportation projects like sidewalks. It was very regressive in its design and the whole city went ape-shit crazy.

 However, the City Council doesn’t get everything wrong, and actually does some things very right. One of the things the City Council did right was the creation of Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPIs) and Main Street Project.  

The NPIs are small, some very small, non-profits that work to help increase economic vitality to some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. They do this by working to help grow small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to start a business. Here are some facts about small businesses:

o    More the ½ of Americans own or work for a small business
o    Small business create 2 of every 3 new jobs in the US.
o    97% of Oregon’s Employers are small businesses
o    Portland’s neighborhood business districts contain 19,000 businesses and 250,000 jobs
o    98% of Portland’s businesses have 5 or fewer employees
o    70% of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the local economy.

Division-Midway Alliance is one of the NPIs. We serve the community along SE Division from SE 117th Ave. to SE 148th Ave. Forty-four percent of the businesses in this area are owned by women, immigrants, and/or people of color. Starting a small business is one of the best ways to pull yourself out of poverty. We also help people with becoming job ready, e.g. getting a GED, writing resumes, etc. We also help them access other job search services.

In addition to working to improve the business community, we also work with government entities to implement policies that will improve the lives of our residents. We are working to change zoning laws to prevent gentrification of our neighborhoods. We are working to bring investments to our community, like better transportation. And we are working to make our community more livable by cleaning it up, improving city services, and creating a sense of belonging.

You can help us do our work. We are competing for a $25,000 prize awarded by Wells Fargo. You can go to and vote for us.  If we win the prize, we will be able to fund a part-time staff person who can help with our many objectives.
We would be very appreciative, and your vote will go a long way to achieving our mission of making East Portland and the Division-Midway neighborhood a better place to shop and live.


There was a time earlier this year when I was writing fairly frequently. I have not been absent because I was tired of the pie fights or not interested. No I have been busy with a lot of volunteer and activist work in my neighborhood. While doing this, I have also been looking for work. My hope was that I could combine my desire to improve the community that I live in and also get paid for it.

I think that I have found the opportunity to do both. In my many activities, I kept running into the head of a small Community Development non-profit that operates in my community. It is called the Division-Midway Alliance for Community Improvement. I decided to go into the office and offer my services as a volunteer. I also said that I would like to focus on activities that will help grow the DMA in a way that might lead to a paying job.

The person in charge of DMA was very receptive to this idea, as was the board of directors. I was very excited because other non-profit organizations I had approached were cool to such an idea, much to my surprise.

Below the fold I will explain how you can help me, DMA, and the community of East Portland that is along SE Division St. between SE 117 & SE 148th Ave.

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Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:10 AM PDT

HR'ing "You don't belong here" rants

by kaminpdx

I am sick and tired of reading rants by people who claim to have a right to tell others that they don't belong on this site. There is ONE AND ONLY ONE PERSON who has that right and it is KOS or someone he says has that right.

So a little advise, if you don't like someone's behavior, call them out on it in the comments but don't write a thinly veiled call-out diary. I will HR it. If someone is abusive, HR the diary or the comment. Those are the rules.

But here is the crux of the matter. NO ONE, not even Kos, has a right to tell any of us how to think or that we are less of a Democrat or Progressive because we do not support candidate X, politician X, or policy X. So if you write a diary that says someone doesn't belong here because you disagree with them, I will HR it for being abusive.

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That is the latest news with respect to Bridgegate.  

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Now that we have more Christie staffers announcing that they will invoke their right against self-incrimination in what I like to call Jerseygate, at least with respect to the legislative investigation, it is reasonable to wonder if they are going to do the same in the federal grand jury investigation. The dynamics of a federal grand jury investigation are much different than a legislative investigation, and I will admit that I have no experience with them in any capacity.

 However, the ramifications of a grand jury investigation are pretty simple; comply with a subpoena and possibly incriminate yourself, don't comply and see what the US Attorney does. The USA's options are also fairly straight forward; file contempt charges to force compliance, attempt to reach a deal that includes immunity or a beneficial plea to the person to get them to comply, or just go around them.


What are your thoughts about possible search warrants?

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The Newark Star Ledger has a story out entitled Christie scandal: New allegations emerge from Zimmer lawsuit. A New Jersey Assemblyman named Carmelo Garcia who is also the director of the Hoboken Housing Authority is accusing Dawn Zimmer of strong-arming him to use contractors to her liking, aka, politically connected. He is suing Zimmer, claiming:

In the lawsuit filed last week in Superior Court in Jersey City, Garcia claims Zimmer pressured him to award contracts to her political allies. When he resisted, Zimmer and her husband, Stanley Grossbard, “began to subject Director Garcia to an unlawful pattern of harassment, threats, intimidation and extortion,” the suit claims.
It is an interesting article and I recommend reading it. Below the fold I will explain the title of the diary.
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Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:35 PM PST

Myths About Lawyers

by kaminpdx

There are tons of myths about lawyers/attorneys. One myth, or, misunderstanding is that all attorneys are rich, or at least that they are well off. If that were the case, I would have a big IRA waiting for me in retirement. That is partially why I quit.

Last night while watching Lawrence O'Donnell, I saw another.  

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Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 07:27 AM PST

Mr. Christie meet Mr. RICO: Part 2

by kaminpdx

In my diary UPDATED: Mr. Christie meet Mr. RICO I put forth the idea that things might lead to the US Attorney looking at RICO violations in the developing scandals coming out of New Jersey. BTW, it is time to drop "Bridgegate" and start calling the scandals "Jerseygate" or "Christiegate" or something else.

My diary was received with a generally good response, getting me on the Rec list. I appreciate everyone who T&Red the diary. We also had a very interesting comment thread, which to my surprise got pretty heated. There was some blowback from a few lawyers, but to my surprise, not for a lack of "briefing" it in more detail. No, it was just for the idea that RICO might even be in play. This might have been in part for a lack of explaining, and documenting, concept of RICO. Thus, I want to flesh out the issue a little more.  


Do you think it is reasonable to discuss RICO at this stage of the scandals?

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David Wildstein wants immunity before he testifies or gives any information to a prosecutor or legislative body. Smart man. Or at least his attorney is. Wildstein is also smart enough to make sure he has the goods on all the others so that he doesn't take the fall.

So lets talk immunity.

There are two ways immunity works. One, the guy who is about to get hammered, by and through their attorney, goes to the prosecutor and says, "hey, I got stuff you might want to know, but I ain't talkin' unless you promise not to charge me with a crime." The second, is where the prosecutor has information that indicates that the subject has information that will lead to other information that is bigger and better. In the latter, the prosecutor is going to compel the person give up the information. The second is normally through the grand jury process.

There are also different types of immunity. I have referenced some of this below, but generally it has to do with what a person is immunized from, and how the evidence they provide can be used vis-à-vis the informant if at all.  

The purpose of this diary isn't really to do in-depth analysis or to predict what will happen with Wildstein and his cohorts. It is solely to give information as to what the USA Manual says about the subject. If I have missed anything that is pertinent, it has been purely by mistake and by all means include it in any comments.

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I have been trying to wrap my head around that news conference by NJ Gov. Christie for an entire week.  All I can come up with is that his legal and political advisers committed a serious case of malpractice.  

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The reason that Gov. Christie will not be nominated by the GOP to be president is you cannot run for office when you are sedated. And you must be sedated when you get a colonoscopy.  And he will most certainly be getting one, maybe even many between now and 2016. Let me explain.

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Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 02:07 PM PST

Get out the Jelly, Christie is toast

by kaminpdx

Chris Weigant. writes in the Huffington Post that he doesn't think Chris Christie is DOA in the Republican primary, saying it is too early to know how much affect Bridgegate will have on his chances. The reality is that he never in my mind had a chance. He was doomed from the start.


Which Do You Pick?

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