Saturday, May 21, 2022

Play

The election fraud movement resurfaces on the campaign trail, Vice President Harris and abortion providers discuss an action plan, and as New Mexico's wildfires rage, nearby states face high fire danger.

Play

Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Senate Primary still too close to call, a $40 billion Ukraine aid bill is headed to President Biden's desk, and Oklahoma passes the strictest abortion bill in the country.

Play

From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

OR Voting Maps Could Weaken Indigenous Communities' Electoral Power

Play

Monday, December 27, 2021   

Indigenous communities in Oregon are raising concerns about the voting maps drawn and approved in Oregon.

Brian Smith is a political consultant and Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma citizen who worked with the organization Better Together to propose legislative maps for tribal community voting rights activists in Oregon.

He said it's important to keep the state's tribal communities together but feels as if the final map dilutes their power.

Smith said because indigenous people mainly live in rural parts of the state, their strategy differed from Black, Indigenous and people of color, or BIPOC coalitions in urban areas such as Portland.

"What we need is consolidated power to get people in to represent us," said Smith. "So it's different from rural BIPOC communities than urban BIPOC communities."

Smith said members of three tribal nations - Klamath Tribes, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs - were cut off from the cities where they live, such as Klamath Falls, or from high concentrations of latino populations, who often vote as one coalition.

Smith said he feels as if the process happened too quickly, giving communities little time to comment on the proposed maps.

"Essentially," said Smith, "I feel like Natives were thrown under the bus with the realization, it's like, 'Oh, they don't have real voting power. We don't have to be accountable to these folks, and then we can say whatever we want after the fact. People will forget.' "

Smith said redistricting this year should be a teaching moment for the next time redistricting comes up in a decade.

"I think tribal communities need to have this awareness that don't assume you have friends," said Smith. "You have to work as hard as you can, scratch and fight to protect yourselves."

The maps were approved in late September and tribes did not challenge them legally by the deadline in October.




get more stories like this via email

Over the past two years, pro-democracy groups say more than 30 states have proposed nearly 230 laws viewed as an attempt to undermine elections. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Examples of proposed policies and candidates tied to false claims of election fraud have spread to Minnesota, and a new national report found the …


Environment

New Mexico continues to battle the largest wildfires in its history, and other states including Nevada, along with parts of Arizona and Colorado…

Social Issues

A new museum exhibition in Baltimore opening to the public today aims to tell the story of Maryland's fight for civil rights, both in the past and …


The Federation of Virginia Food Banks' seven regional food banks distributed approximately 165 million pounds of food in 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Virginia's food banks are facing a perfect storm of issues. High inflation for everyday goods is driving up food costs for lower-income families…

Health and Wellness

Vice President Kamala Harris met with abortion providers from Missouri and other restrictive states Thursday to consider ways the Biden administration…

The fatality rate for Black bike riders is 30% higher than for white bike riders, according to the League of American Bicyclists. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Today is National Bike to Work Day, and while it may sound "easier said than done," it may not be as daunting as you think. Enthusiasts said the …

Environment

Connecticut is celebrating its first estuary reserve, which will help identify environmental threats to waterways and natural resources. …

Health and Wellness

A new report urges states to take steps to minimize Medicaid coverage loss when the state of emergency for the pandemic comes to an end. COVID …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021