Nobody would blame Portlanders for wanting to pull the covers over their heads when they woke up Nov. 9.
The night before, Americans summoned what has all the makings of a calamity upon the nation: They elected Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States.
Trump’s election doesn’t just mean a triumph for Republicans at the far right edge of the party. It means that a boor, admitted sexual predator and racist will occupy the White House. His victory emboldens white nationalists who would make this country great by silencing anyone who doesn’t look like them.
Yet the citizens of this city didn’t stay in bed.
Instead, they took to the streets.
For six nights in a row, thousands of Portlanders marched against the Trump presidency, vowing to do everything within their power to halt Trump from achieving his aims.
The protests have not always been pretty. Masked anarchists armed with baseball bats overwhelmed march organizers Nov. 10, smashing car windshields and shop windows. A 14-year-old boy allegedly shot and injured a protester on the Morrison Bridge early Nov. 12.
Mayor Charlie Hales and his Police Bureau have deployed compression grenades and tear gas, struggling to maintain balance between freedom and order. A leading Republican called for Gov. Kate Brown to impose martial law.
But the nonviolent protests are not cause for alarm. They are a reason to hope.
The marches deliver a clear message to Trump, one that few top Democrats have been willing to send:
This city will not kowtow to a president whose backward-looking policy proposals would turn America into a banana republic. Instead, Portlanders will resist. They will defy this president as he tries to turn the clock back. They will stand arm in arm with our most vulnerable neighbors and defend their right to an equal place in this country.
But to rise against Trump, we must understand where he actually threatens us.
In the following pages, we’ve assessed the dangers to Portland and Oregon posed by a Trump presidency. We have not attempted to rank them by significance—it’s impossible to weigh the risk to Latinos from mass deportation against the safety of women from sexual violence, and we’re not going to try. Instead, we’ve graded these threats by probability, on a scale of one to five Trumps. (Five is the most threatening.)
Predicting what Trump will do is not simple. He flips positions so fast that some of the risks we’ve identified could be obsolete by the time this story comes out.
“Donald just has no interest in information,” his biographer Wayne Barrett told The New Yorker this week. “He has no genuine interest in policy. He operates by impulse. And I don’t see any of that changing. Why would you change it?”
Yet it is possible—and necessary—to judge Trump by what he has already done, and what he has promised to do.
Those facts are sobering, at times terrifying. But we aren’t presenting them to frighten you. We’re listing them so all of us can understand what’s at stake, and prepare to fight for it.
There are many ways to battle Trump. Street protests are an important form of resistance, but they are hardly sufficient. Most of the causes in the following pages have advocacy organizations that will use their energy and resources in positive ways to fight for the causes in which they believe. Oregon has progressive politicians, powerful organized labor, and deeply committed activists, all of which are bulwarks that can be forces of resistance—a more productive approach than despair.
But the first step is knowledge. It is the one thing that most frightens Donald Trump, and the greatest weapon against him.
—Nigel Jaquiss, Rachel Monahan, Beth Slovic, Aaron Mesh, Piper McDaniel and Sophia June
Women will lose reproductive rights when the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
Having recently decided he’s pro-life, Trump says no one’s getting onto the U.S. Supreme Court who doesn’t share his views on abortion.
But overturning Roe v. Wade, decided in 1973, would take filling two court seats—not just the vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February.
Even then, success for Trump is no guarantee. A case directly challenging Roe would have to wend its way to the Supreme Court. That could take years. “Roe v. Wade has withstood some very conservative courts,” says Janel George, director of federal reproductive rights and health with the National Women’s Law Center.
If the court struck down abortion rights, the matter would turn to states, some of which still have laws on the books banning or criminalizing abortion.
That’s not the case in Oregon, but advocates here are already planning to buttress the defenses.
Michele Stranger Hunter, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, said her organization is “absolutely preparing” for worst-case scenarios in which Oregon becomes an island of reproductive freedom. “It’s beyond belief,” she says, “that my daughter will be fighting this fight, too.”
Meanwhile, providers in Oregon remain defiant. “Our health center doors will stay open,” says Jimmy Radosta of Oregon’s Planned Parenthood. —BS
Trump will launch a nuclear weapon.
The risk is not nil. Multiple political opponents—including Marco Rubio—have warned that Trump lacks the temperament to oversee America’s 2,000 nuclear missiles. And it’s not exactly reassuring that the nation most likely to provoke Trump—North Korea—shares the Pacific Rim with Portland.
But that bleak scenario depends on dozens of other things going wrong, all of them outside your (and Trump’s) control. Say a prayer that the White House keeps its cool, and focus your energy elsewhere. —AM
Thousands of Oregonians will lose their health insurance with the elimination of Obamacare.
The biggest headlines surrounding the Affordable Care Act in Oregon centered on the high-profile failure of the state’s online health care exchange, Cover Oregon. But the biggest effect of President Obama’s policy on citizens was different: the federally funded expansion of the Oregon Health Plan, which insures low-income Oregonians.
One of candidate Trump’s most consistent pledges was that he would treat the ACA like an unqualified contestant on The Apprentice. Here’s what his position paper on health care says: “On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.”
State Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) has been working on health care policy for more than 50 years. He says Trump and his supporters don’t understand what the ACA is. “I don’t think they know what the hell they are talking about,” says Greenlick. “They think it’s Obama and, therefore, it’s bad.”
Oregon has already applied for an extension of federal funding for its innovative coordinated care organizations, which could bring in $1.25 billion next June. And Trump is already walking his promises back. Early indications are that Trump may retain key elements of the ACA, such as requiring insurers to cover pre-existing conditions and allow parents’ coverage to extend to their children until age 26.
But if Trump goes along with critics of Medicaid expansion and pulls the plug, that could be a disaster. “Besides having horrible health outcomes, we’d have horrible economic outcomes,” Greenlick says. “That would take billions of dollars out of Oregon’s economy.” —NJ
Mexican immigrants will be deported.
Trump has made one thing abundantly clear: He will build that wall. Or maybe a fence. Maybe a wall and a fence.
Whether Trump ever succeeds in building anything—Mexico has said it won’t cough up one peso for the project—he’s not relenting on his vehement anti-immigrant rhetoric, telling 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl on a Nov. 13 broadcast that he wasn’t ruling out the possibility of a mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. His first priority, he says, is the removal of undocumented immigrants with criminal records.
His threats of deportation—and the acceleration of immigration policy under President Obama—tear at the fabric of Oregon, where between 120,000 and 160,000 undocumented immigrants, mostly Latinos from Mexico, live in mixed-status families. Many of those families include children who are U.S. citizens, whose lives would be turned upside down if their parents were deported.
“I cannot imagine the magnitude of the pain,” says Francisco Lopez, political director of Portland’s Hispanic Voice for Community Change. “It’s beyond what we’ve seen before.”
It’s also likely Oregon’s annual harvests of Christmas trees, hazelnuts and strawberries will suffer, says Jeff Stone, executive director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries. “We have a hard time getting enough labor as it is,” he says. “Uncertainty does not help.”
Portland Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler pledges this city will continue to serve as a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants threatened with deportation—even though Trump has threatened to yank federal funding for so-called “sanctuary cities.”
Carmen Rubio, executive director of Latino Network in Portland, says her group will align with others to ensure no one’s rights are trampled. “We’re going to demand that our communities are respected,” she says, “and that justice prevails for all of us.” —BS
LGBTQ rights will be rolled back.
There are a range of threats to LGBTQ protections, although some safeguards are more at risk than others.
Amy Herzfeld-Copple of Basic Rights Oregon says overturning same-sex marriage would be difficult, because the president can’t simply change Supreme Court rulings at his discretion.
“The law is very strong that once people are married it can’t be taken away,” says Herzfeld-Copple. “It’s unlikely according to national legal partners. Courts generally respect prior [Supreme Court] rulings.”
Similarly, Herzfeld-Copple says, many of the Obama administration’s landmark LBGTQ inclusive efforts, such as the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which were congressional acts, would also be more difficult to undo.
Other protections are more vulnerable, such as anti-discrimination acts and protections for the trans community through health care. Herzfeld-Copple notes a lot will depend on the makeup of the Trump administration and what it targets. The onus will now be on states to play a stronger role as advocates and places of sanctuary. Oregon, one of the most LGBTQ-progressive states, has a broad array of protections, including a ban on conversion therapies that try to “cure” kids of being gay.
“We’ve seen really encouraging statements from officials in counties and cities,” says Herzfeld-Copple, “and we are positioned well with a strong governor. A lot will depend on how much the new administration can have an impact over federal law and orders.” —PM
Poor kids will go hungry more often.
Trump hasn’t been specific about poverty programs. His tax plan, however, would slash an estimated $6.2 trillion in revenue from the federal budget, according to the Tax Policy Center in Washington, D.C.—with most of the benefit accruing to the top 1 percent of Americans. Trump has also pledged not to cut the military, and to cut at least 1 percent from other agencies to fund the tax cuts, slashing the safety net.
When House Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed Trump in June, Trump pointed to Ryan’s vision for how to address poverty as a point of agreement, and Ryan has not been short on specifics about poverty programs. The House budget proposal from June would cut $3.7 trillion in programs to low- and middle-income families if you include cuts to Medicaid, according to an analysis by the Washington, D.C., think tank Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
Oregon’s projected budget deficit could exacerbate the effects of a Ryan/Trump budget. “These are all concerns to vulnerable populations,” says Oregon Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland). —RM
Trump will reverse efforts to halt climate change
New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert, among the country’s pre-eminent climate-change reporters, tweeted Nov. 9, “Yesterday may have been the worst single day for planet Earth since the end of the Cretaceous.”
The election of a climate-change-denier-in-chief may not really be the death knell for the planet as we know it: Truth be told, the chances were slim for humanity already. It’s possible to argue that the Paris climate-change accord, which Trump has pledged to overturn and which committed nearly every country in the world to lowering greenhouse gas omissions, wasn’t likely to be enforced anyway.
The Environmental Protection Agency rules designed to lower carbon-fuel emissions are likely to be revoked by the new administration or overturned by a newly conservative Supreme Court.
The result is no cap on fossil fuels and a steadily warming planet, close to reaching a point at which there will be no way to limit global warming.
“Things just went from really, really bad to worse,” says Adrianna Voss-Andreae, who founded the environmental group 350PDX. She spoke to WW through tears. “I’m a mom with young kids. And it’s hard to fathom.”
But cities like Portland have capacity to meet a substantial portion of international emissions goals. “Because cities are where the carbon is, climate actions delivered by mayors have an enormous effect,” says Josh Alpert, director of special projects for C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. —RM
Free-speech rights will wither.
Attacks on the First Amendment could range from a crackdown on pornography and strip clubs to curtailing a free press.
That second possibility is more grave—and more likely.
In February, Trump pledged to “open up those libel laws, so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.” He explicitly named the county’s foremost papers—The Washington Post and The New York Times, in particular—as his adversaries. (And this was before their stories on his tax returns or his admitting to sexual assault.)
The most immediate threat to the practice of journalism even without a Trump administration was probably billionaire-backed lawsuits, akin to the one funded by Peter Thiel against the now-defunct website Gawker. Thiel now serves on Trump’s transition team.
“What we saw there is the power of money; the power of money can undo civil liberties and civil rights,” says Mat dos Santos, legal director of the ACLU of Oregon.
The court’s interpretation of libel protections, notably in New York Times v. Sullivan, could be overturned through an amendment to the Constitution or a radical overhaul of the courts. But neither is remotely likely, says the Media Law Resource Center. And Oregon has exceptionally strong protections for frivolous so-called SLAPP suits.
Dos Santos pledges to keep fighting. “Free speech rights embedded in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution have been in place for centuries and have been protected by the ACLU and other groups for at least a century. We think they’re not going anywhere.” —RM
Nike will be crippled by trade restrictions.
Yes, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is toast. The trade deal—championed by President Obama at a May 2015 rally at Nike headquarters—died a quick death after Trump’s election, with Democrats and Republicans saying it had no chance of moving forward.
The deal would have lowered duties on footwear companies like Nike doing business in Asia. A spokesman for Nike declined to comment on the deal’s demise. But the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America calculated the deal would have lowered 18,000 taxes on U.S. businesses, possibly saving consumers money at checkout.
Some on the left aren’t mourning the loss. Shanti Lewallen, a Working Families candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2016, campaigned against trade agreements like TPP, arguing they represent a race to the bottom in terms of global wages. “I think the Nikes of the world will be heartened by a President Trump,” he says, “who on the campaign trail stated that American workers are paid too well.” —BS
There will be more homeless people, because federal dollars for affordable housing will dry up.
As with many other policies, Trump has been silent on this. Housing appears to be a low priority for him—one reason for cautious optimism that housing dollars won’t completely disappear.
If Trump includes housing in his infrastructure plan, that could mean dollars for housing. And the two key pieces to federal housing policy—rent assistance and the tax breaks for building housing—assist poor people but line the pockets of developers.
“They benefit private property owners and landlords,” says Kurt Creager, director of the Portland Housing Bureau. “I don’t see that changing going forward.”
The tax credits awarded to developers to build affordable housing have powerful senators in their corner.
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who is chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has co-sponsored a bill to expand low-income housing tax credits with the ranking Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Home builders are lobbying to expand that tax credit.
But Trump is also likely to slash federal spending—eliminating any gains—and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is vulnerable, like any federal agency other than the Department of Defense.
“In terms of the priorities, I didn’t hear one word the entire election about housing,” says City Commissioner Nick Fish. “And Republicans are always targeting HUD.” —RM
Pay equity and workplace child care are lost causes.
“Equal pay for equal work.” That was Ivanka Trump’s pledge on behalf of her father to female voters in the U.S.
Trump, though, already has a poor track record. The Boston Globe reported in June that Trump paid female campaign aides 35 percent less than their male counterparts. And child care? All Trump thinks companies need to offer working parents are four walls, a warm body and a box of Legos.
“You know it’s not expensive for a company to do it: You need one person or two people, and you need some blocks, you need some swings, you need some toys,” he said last October. “It’s something that can be done I think very easily by a company.”
More than on most issues, Trump makes noises about wanting to help: He claims he supports giving new moms six weeks of paid time off, for example. But it’s difficult to believe he’ll do so, since he offers about as much detail about how he’ll pay for this as how he’ll pay for the wall. —BS
Gun control will be abandoned, and gun violence will increase.
Forget about gun control at the federal level. Trump has shown no interest in limiting firearms.
“The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own,” he says in a position paper. “The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit.” During the campaign, Trump said mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., would have ended differently if victims had been armed.
Jenn Lynch, spokeswoman for the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety, says this election will further delay action at the federal level requiring background checks. “More people are going to die in the interim than if we had elected a president willing to push those through,” Lynch says. ”Our charge to make something happen federally has realistically disappeared for the next four years.”
State-level gun control efforts are Lynch’s hope. For example, three gun safety measures passed in Nevada, Washington and California last week, which extended background checks. In her election night victory speech last week, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown teed up the issue for the 2017 legislative session. “Now, I’m asking you,” she said to the crowd at the Oregon Convention Center. “Will you join me in the fight to pass common-sense gun legislation?”
President Trump will not. Oregonians might. —SJ
The Portland Police Bureau’s settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice will be gutted.
The U.S. Department of Justice under President Obama scrutinized police departments that had “patterns and practice” of excessive force. That included Portland, which in 2014 agreed to reform police officers’ interactions with the public, especially people with mental health problems.
Reforms are already underway, and the Police Bureau has made strides to reduce the use of force. But a DOJ under an attorney general such as Kansas’ Kris Kobach may not have patience or interest in continuing to monitor the bureau.
Jo Ann Hardesty, a longtime advocate for police reform and a possible City Council candidate in 2018, says she expects the DOJ to keep to the terms of the agreement, which lasts for three more years. “I suspect,” she says, “there will be zero new investigations into police violence and that the federal allocation of resources to the DOJ will be reduced.” —BS
Food products, such as avocados, could disappear under agricultural tariffs.
Trump’s promise to tear up existing trade agreements has been central to his campaign. That’s scary because Oregon is a heavily trade-dependent state.
Trump will have unilateral power to make decisions about trade deals due to the North American Free Trade Agreement’s implementation law, which appears to give the president power to levy tariffs without congressional approval. If he abolishes NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, and enacts a 35 percent tax on Mexican goods, as he’s suggested, then many products could disappear from Oregon shelves—or just get really expensive. Those include avocados, limes, coffee and tomatoes.
“I don’t think it would be feasible to actually withdraw from NAFTA,” says Rossitza Wooster, a Portland State University economics professor who specializes in international trade. “Our economies are so well interrelated. If we all of a sudden change the relationship with that market, it’s not difficult to convince anyone that that will have huge implications for us.”
But if Trump does keep his promise, an increase in price is likely. “For the consumers at home,” Wooster says, “we’ll probably have less of the products, and by the law of supply and demand, they’ll be more expensive.” —SJ
Trump might place Muslims in internment camps.
Trump’s Islamophobic claims have a historical precedent: the Japanese internment camps during wartime.
“The Japanese community were the first ones to reach out” after the election, says Laila Hajoo, director of the Islamic Social Services of Oregon State. “They said, ‘You people need to understand, we see this is a possibility for you because of what we suffered from.’ I was thinking, is history going to repeat itself? Are they going to feel justified for safety reasons to do what the Japanese Americans had to go through?”
Like Franklin D. Roosevelt, who enacted internment camps with an executive order in 1942, Trump would have the power to issue a similar order. It would be subject to judicial review, and could be struck down if the courts determined it was unsupported by statute or the Constitution.
What’s more likely to happen, says Hajoo, is discrimination on personal levels—against Muslim women who wear head scarves, for example. According to a recent study from California State University, more hate crimes were recorded against Muslims in 2015 than in any year since 9/11. —SJ & PM
White supremacist groups will flourish.
There’s no question that Trump’s victory has emboldened the white nationalist movement known as the “alt-right.” In fact, one of Trump’s first acts as president-elect was to appoint Stephen Bannon, who has given racist and anti-Semitic ideology a megaphone at Breitbart News, as his chief strategist.
“There should be no sugarcoating the truth here: Donald Trump just invited a white nationalist into the highest reaches of the government,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said Nov. 14. “Steve Bannon bears substantial responsibility for the open and disgusting acts of hatred that are sweeping across our nation.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports a spike in hate crimes since Election Day—more than 200 reported incidents nationwide in a week. In Portland, hate speech has been spotted this month at both Lake Oswego High School and Reed College, where racial epithets and a swastika were scrawled in the library Nov. 12.
“Of course we’re concerned about that,” says Bob Horenstein, director of community relations for the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. “We always remind our community institutions to remain vigilant. As they say: If you see something, say something.” —AM
Trump will award Oregon’s top federal legal jobs to right-wingers.
The state’s most powerful federal law enforcement official, the U.S. attorney for Oregon, gets his or her job through presidential appointment. The president relies on congressional recommendations both for the U.S. attorney and for federal judgeships, which are even more coveted because they carry lifetime appointments. “The plum jobs are federal judgeships,” says Kerry Tymchuk, former chief of state for U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.).
Traditionally, the president relies on members of Congress from his party to suggest candidates. That means U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, rather than Oregon’s Democratic U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, will likely shape Oregon’s federal legal appointments.
Current U.S. Attorney Billy Williams, an apolitical career prosecutor, got his job by default when Amanda Marshall resigned in 2015. Williams will probably stay on until a permanent U.S. attorney is appointed—and because the job is one of the biggest political prizes Republicans can bestow, he’s unlikely to keep the gig.
Perhaps more significantly, Trump gets a chance to appoint a successor to Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, who is retiring from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the country’s largest, busiest—and most liberal—appeals panel. —NJ
Organized labor will be gutted by right-to-work laws.
Organized labor dodged an artillery shell in March, when the U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 on Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association—a case aimed at slashing the power of public employee unions by allowing members to opt out of paying dues.
Joe Baessler, statewide political director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, expects Trump’s victory will give anti-union forces a second shot—and this time they won’t miss.
“We are a year away from a Supreme Court case that takes away our ability to operate like we do right now,” says Baessler.
One of the greatest powers a president wields is the naming of Supreme Court justices. Trump has said he plans to replace the late Antonin Scalia with another conservative, probably ensuring unions lose the next test case.
What might that mean for Oregon? Baessler points to two Midwestern states where unions got their wings clipped in recent years by state legislation curtailing union activity. Those states used to be solidly blue. “Look at Michigan and Wisconsin,” Baessler says. “They both supported Trump.” —NJ
Federal lands in Oregon will be lost to cattle grazing and strip mining.
If Ammon Bundy’s occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge put conservationists on notice, President-elect Donald Trump’s victory has them on red alert.
The federal government owns 53 percent of Oregon, a higher percentage of federal ownership than in all but four states. On the campaign trail, Trump made ominous promises.
“We will allow energy production on federal lands in appropriate areas,” he said in a Sept. 15 speech to the New York Economic Club. “We will also open up vast areas of our offshore energy resources for safe production.”
That kind of talk scares conservation groups such as Oregon Wild. “This administration is going to provide the treasure trove for logging, mining, and oil and gas industries,” says Steve Pedery, Oregon Wild’s conservation director.
Timber companies, frustrated for decades at environmental protections that have sharply reduced timber harvests, are likely to push legislation reopening Oregon’s forests. Pedery says conservation groups have faced Republican presidents before and know how to mobilize support.
Yet the pet issue of the Bundy gang—turning federal lands over to the states—is unlikely to gain traction within a Trump administration. Trump was a rare Republican presidential hopeful who dismissed selling federal lands during the primary.
In January, the candidate told Field & Stream magazine he opposed it.
“I don’t like the idea because I want to keep the lands great,” Trump said. “And you don’t know what the state is going to do. I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble?”
Public lands have an unlikely champion in Trump’s inner circle: Donald Jr., an ardent hunter of elephants and other big game. “Donald Jr. has been very outspoken about his opposition to public lands privatization,” Pedery says. —NJ
Light-rail projects will be scrapped for a decade.
Along with two mighty rivers and the view of Mount Hood, light rail defines the Portland metro area. Transit boosters had hoped the next extension would be a $2.5 billion line from Portland to Tigard.
Such projects require heavy federal funding—half or more. Under President Trump, such funding is unlikely to materialize.
Former Metro Council President David Bragdon, who now runs a New York advocacy group called TransitCenter, says the consensus in the transit world is Trump and the GOP-led Congress are likely to favor new highway projects in red states over urban train lines: “It would be a real stretch of optimism to expect this administration or this Congress to be anything other than antagonistic to transit.” —NJ
Intel will lose workers here on H-1B visas.
Incoming first lady Melania Trump secured an H-1B visa—the kind typically offered to immigrants with specialty skills—to work as a fashion model. Trump’s companies sought more than 1,000 of the same visas for his own workers, The New York Times reported in August.
Over at Breitbart News—the springboard for Trump’s new chief White House strategist, Stephen Bannon—Intel takes a beating for using thousands of H-1B visas to fill temporary jobs for engineers.
Trump has pledged to curtail the use of H-1B visas in the hopes of forcing companies like Intel—Oregon’s largest private employer and one of the United States’ biggest users of H-1B visas—to first seek American-born workers.
“I remain totally committed to eliminating rampant, widespread H-1B abuse,” Trump wrote on his website in March. “I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program.”
William Moss, a spokesman for Intel, said the company wouldn’t comment on Trump’s stance. But past policy papers from Intel show the chipmaker believes strongly that its use of foreign workers boosts the U.S. economy through higher payroll taxes and the creation of additional jobs. —BS
Oregon will lose all influence in Washington, D.C.
This state was no powerhouse in the nation’s capital under President Barack Obama. It’s about to get much worse.
Of our seven members of Congress, only one—U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.)—belongs to the party in power. Walden, just elected to his 10th term, has plenty of juice in his caucus: He just finished his second cycle chairing the National Republican Congressional Committee, a post from which he helped Republicans build their majority. He’s also reportedly close to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, a fellow former radio broadcaster.
But depending on Walden to generate pork is dicey because Oregon is small, far from the Beltway and still overwhelmingly blue. After the Nov. 8 election, Oregon is one of only six states still ruled by a Democratic trifecta—the governor and both legislative chambers.
“We will have much less influence than we have had before,” says former U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.). “That’s just a reality.” —NJ
The U.S. Department of Justice will try to outlaw legal cannabis.
The power of states like Oregon to legalize cannabis essentially rests on a document from the U.S. Department of Justice called the Cole Memo. Issued in August 2013, the memo called for limiting federal prosecution of marijuana crimes in states where pot is legal. A memo is not strong legal grounds for a continued guarantee the feds won’t crack down, and leading candidates for Trump’s attorney general—including Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—are no friends of cannabis.
But the new administration seems likely to stay out of our stash. Trump pledged on the campaign trail to let states decide this issue. It helps that marijuana has proved popular at the ballot box. Last week, California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine voters passed measures similar to Oregon’s on recreational use. It will soon be legal for nearly half of Americans to smoke up.
“It is obviously concerning,” U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) tells Marijuana Business Daily. “But…there were millions of Trump supporters who were part of this movement in the states that voted on [pro-cannabis ballot measures Nov. 8]. I do believe that the next administration will follow the policies of the Obama administration.” —RM
Trump will eliminate the U.S. Department of Education.
Trump likes his federal agencies like his women: slim and compliant. And he’s characterized the U.S. Department of Education as fat and sloppy, with too many responsibilities that should be in the hands of local school boards.
But undoing the agency would take an act of Congress—a feat unlikely to attract enough Republican support to pass. —BS
FEMA will fail to respond in the event of a Cascadian megaquake because the West supported Clinton.
Are we headed for another Katrina-style response if the Big One hits under the Trump administration? Or something worse? Trump has shown himself to be vindictive toward his political enemies—which Oregon clearly is. But the West Coast, even if it voted to soundly reject Trump, remains an economic powerhouse of our country. Observers of the Federal Emergency Management Agency say incompetence remains a bigger threat than spite.
“I’m not sure that even Donald Trump and Paul Ryan would deliberately fail to respond to an earthquake,” says City Commissioner Steve Novick, who has overseen part of Portland’s efforts to prepare for a Cascadian quake. “I would fear that the head of FEMA will be someone at least as unqualified as ‘heckuva job Brownie.’” —RM
Any progress on the Portland Harbor Superfund cleanup will be lost.
After 16 years of study, cleanup of the polluted Portland Harbor is likely to be on hold again. Trump has even floated the possibility of abolishing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That’s the regulatory body enforcing the cleanup of the Portland Harbor.
The best-case scenario: Republican leadership no longer requires polluters to clean up after themselves, and offers them tax breaks as an incentive.
“This could not happen at a worse time,” says City Commissioner Nick Fish. “If they eliminate the EPA or replace it with a toothless tiger, it could put our Superfund process in limbo.”
Environmentalists are holding out hope that the EPA will issue its formal decision for harbor cleanup by the end of the year, but cleanup will still require consensus from the polluting companies, who have no reason to come to the table and every reason to battle this in court.
“We’re looking at an unprecedented assault on the framework of environmental laws that has been in place for years,” says Bob Sallinger, conservation director for the Audubon Society of Portland. “A huge part of [Trump’s] four years will be fighting rollback of federal mandates. We’ll be looking for the Oregon [congressional] delegation to play a huge role in that.” —PM & RM
The Columbia River could become a freeway for fossil fuels.
In recent years, environmental advocate Columbia Riverkeeper and its allies have waged a series of battles, mostly successful, against projects that would transport fossil fuels across Oregon.
The projects include a series of proposed coal export terminals, a propane terminal at the Port of Portland, and a dock in Vancouver, Wash., that would be the largest shipper of North Dakota crude oil. That crude would arrive on oil trains passing through the Columbia River Gorge—another mode of transportation opposed by Columbia Riverkeeper and its allies.
Under a Trump presidency, those battles will begin again.
“We are very concerned that the federal government will not comply with the laws that require protecting clean water and endangered species—or gut the laws that protect them,” says Brett VandenHeuvel, Columbia Riverkeeper’s executive director.
Government agencies—including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (which oversees pipelines), the U.S. Department of Transportation (trains), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (marine terminals)—have ultimate authority over whether fuels can travel to and through Oregon. Trump has pledged to eviscerate those agencies.
He says he “will reduce and eliminate all barriers to responsible energy production, creating at least a half million jobs a year, $30 billion in higher wages, and cheaper energy” and “unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.” —NJ
Violence against women could spike.
The genital-grabbing president-elect’s behavior and campaign bluster has ignited concern that violence against women will soar.
“The fear of escalation of violence against women is very real,” says Erin Ellis, executive director of the Sexual Assault Resource Center in Beaverton. “When we have a national leader spewing such deplorable rhetoric around devaluing the status of women, we now set a new tone for our children around what is acceptable.”
The accusations of sexual harassment a dozen women have leveled against Trump, his dismissive response to them, and his boasting about his predatory tactics have lowered the bar for acceptable conduct and discourse.
“The campaign rhetoric is an open invitation to everyone that we no longer are practicing tolerance and acceptance and inclusion, and that women are valued on their appearance,” Ellis says. But she and others are ready to defend women’s safety.
“Our agency has been open for 40 years,” she says. “We are not going anywhere.” —SJ