By Emily Scarvie
(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Monday, Nov. 15 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.
The Portland Public Schools board has delayed a vote scheduled for Tuesday on whether to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for students 12 and older for at least six months. District staff asked for the extension to further examine how a mandate would impact schools. The board is still scheduled to discuss the mandate at Tuesday’s meeting.
“We have decided it best to not get out in front of public health officials among many other reasons to delay making this important decision,” Board Chair Michelle DePass said, per The Oregonian.
The board will decide when the final vote will take place.
Multnomah County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services said they have shelter beds available for roughly 2,000 people right now, more than any winter in years prior. During severe weather, the county also plans to use community centers, adding room for another 700 people.
When asked if there are plans to expand these shelters long-term, Public Information Officer Denis Theriault said, “There’s been a lot of coverage on how much more we’re adding, not just in winter. The supportive housing services measure that voters passed, that money started coming in July. There’s several hundred shelter beds that are going to be part of the long-term system all year.”
According to Theriault, when Portland City Council votes on the surplus budget, that may expand options for sheltering as well.
A Lake Oswego teen is part of the new national advisory board for Students Demand Action, a youth-founded group that advocates for gun safety measures around the country. Flynn Williams, who is a senior at Lakeridge High School, was one of 20 students chosen for this year’s board.
“We’re a bipartisan organization. We have gun owners. We have Republicans. It’s not just a liberal, non-gun-owning movement,” Williams told KGW. “We’re not trying to take guns away from law-abiding citizens… Our intention is to keep communities safe.”
Williams has participated in efforts to raise awareness on the disproportionate impacts of gun violence on marginalized communities. Suicide prevention is another priority of the group.
Students Demand Action also advocates for Oregon Senate Bill 554, which requires stricter storage and safety measures for firearms and allows public entities to prohibit people from carrying guns on those properties.
On Thursday, Providence Health and Services, in partnership with the Portland Timbers and Thorns FC, will host a walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic for children ages 5 to 11 years old at Providence Park. The clinic will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and attendees are asked to enter through Gate F on Southwest 20th and Morrison Street.
The vaccination clinic is administering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine while supplies last. Other vaccination sites in Oregon can be found here.