Mask Requirement | Mask Exemption | Gun Locker | Congo Peace Project

1 hour ago
Originally published on June 30, 2020 10:12 am


Gov. Kate Brown issued an order Monday requiring all Oregonians to wear a mask when indoors in a public space. All of Oregon’s 36 counties are in Phase 1 or Phase 2 of reopening, and the state’s coronavirus case count is rising steadily. We talk with Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority, about the new order, the latest on what the numbers mean and what he expects and hopes for from Oregonians going into the July Fourth holiday weekend.

Last week, seven Oregon counties started requiring masks inside businesses. But one of those counties received a lot of national media attention: Lincoln County’s mask requirement included a clause that “people of color who have heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment due to wearing face coverings in public” were exempt from the rule. After people of color in Lincoln County told commissioners the racist backlash was making them feel more unsafe, the county changed the rule. Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall joins us to talk about the decision.

Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson recently created a safe firearm storage program. People can drop their firearms off at the sheriff’s office, store them for however long they need, and then pick them back up when they are ready. Nelson says some people may want to store their weapons if they are a safety hazard for a family member or if they have visiting guests. We hear from Nelson.

One year ago, Portland teenager Asukulu Songolo started the Congo Peace Project. The grassroots nonprofit provides resources for students and women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Songolo’s family is from. Now, amid the global uprising against systemic racism, Songolo is organizing rallies in Portland to support Black liberation worldwide. He joins us to talk about his activism work.

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