Two excellent stories from Street Roots

We don’t support all of the editorial decisions at Portland’s alternative “street” newspaper Street Roots, but besides routinely printing our own plaintive mutterings on occasion, it’s most recent issues have two excellent must-read articles for all sentient members of the Portland community: Jon Ross’ interview with David Prescott, and Emily Green’s detailed review of the city’s arms-length and half-assed effort to reform it’s own police bureau.

David Prescott gives good witness to what it takes to recover from heroin addiction: changing all your people, places and things, which of course ends up changing you and allowing time for spiritual inquiry. Ross met Prescott through an Oregon Humanities program and Street Roots gives Ross the time to explain all the twists and turns – and opportunistic to fail – which Prescott has navigated. We too often hear about addicts going to jails or being locked up in hospitals – or worse, anonymous and dead on the streets of Portland. Ross and Prescott explicitly show what victory over heroin looks like – from rock bottom on up.

READ – David Prescott’s return from rock bottom, by Jon Ross

Emily Green is Street Roots‘ sole full time reporter so when you give a vendor a dollar for your weekly copy a few pennies chink into her pocket. They’re the best deal in Portland journalism at the moment. Street Roots gives Green, like Ross, has the space to tell her complicated story about how the US Department of Justice and the city-hired facilitators have tried and failed to engage community members and especially people with mental illness in a public policy discussion about police reform. She illustrates the infighting, mistrust and general frustration with a lack of process which has been the hallmark of both public meetings and private emails. Other medias, caught up in their tight time lines and overdrawn budgets, can’t keep up with a “street” newspaper. Streetwise, that is.

If you’re not reading everything Green is putting out there, you’re missing the inside scoop.

READ – Why are so many members of a Portland police oversight board calling it quits?, by Emily Green