Public information about COVID-19 has lagged or simply not been available in Spanish. Spanish-speaking communities are being asked to turn on the “closed captioning” or use the “google translate” function to understand the information coming from our local health systems, governments, community services, and businesses. The lack (or lag) of information available in Spanish, makes these communities more vulnerable. Oregon Health Authority data shows that at least 22% (340) of Oregonians who tested positive for COVID-19 are Latino or Hispanic, likely more.
This is not a new issue. Access to translated materials is one of many system failures amplified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. High-quality translations are produced by trained professionals, and must be included in official communication plans. Too often, bilingual staff are asked to do these translations, or even worse, community volunteers.
We need systems and resources that prioritize and deliver timely bilingual communications now and every day.
Re: Tenants and Landlords "In It Together" for Now, 4/13
Tenants NOT paying rent?
I sell shelter. I am a landlord. I don't sell pizza or groceries, beer or medical services. I sell shelter. It is a service. The money I receive is spent by me for my own groceries and shelter.
The government has decided I don't need to receive money for my service. The government allows grocery stores, pizza restaurants and doctors to charge for their products and services.
Shifting a tenants' problem to his landlord doesn't solve the problem.
The City of Bend still collects sewer use fees, and for water used. Rubbish collection, electricity, property tax, insurance, and mortgages still need to be paid by landlords.
The state government could raise taxes, and build three million residential units, and become the landlord. Instead they expect private investors to become social welfare agencies.
The state is engaging in an unlawful taking of my property without compensation.
- John Foote
Saving our local farmers, restaurants, caterers, 4/15
There is an urgent need to bring purchasing power to the impacted consumers, so that they can decide what is best for their own food needs and who to buy from, but most importantly also pay for the products. SNAP is a logical tool to use and expand. Programs such as “Double Up Food Bucks” can bundle local donations and not just help the individual, but also stimulate the local economy at the same time. Same idea goes for the local food bank, lobby government to provide funding to these groups but also funnel donations to enable them to purchase from local producers.
Another option is to establish a local currency, most easily accomplished on short notice with a voucher program. In either case, redemptions can be specified and limited to a specific range of products as well as participating vendors. This is an enormous challenge to our community, and will impact us all for a long time to come. Will our favorite restaurant, bakery, butcher shop still be here when this is over?
Re: Despite CDC Pandemic Guidance, City Moves Forward with Homeless Camp Evictions 4/16
Come on, put yourself in their shoes. How would you like to be treated this way? Remember the Golden Rule.
Faith without works is dead.
-Tom Fosdick, via Cascades Reader