Portland's Finally Going to Talk to Disadvantaged Folks About Their Filthy River

As reported in The Portland Mercury:

But it turns out this latest hiccup may also result in an unanticipated positive. After weeks of outcry from groups keeping tabs on the process, the City of Portland has agreed it should do more to educate the public about the cleanup and what's at stake—like potentially billions of dollars and decades of chemically tainted fish.

Specifically, the city has quietly agreed to spend an as-yet unknown amount of money to reach out to marginalized communities who rely on the river more than others. Advocates say those groups have been harmed most by the century-long befouling of the Willamette, but have been cut out of a cleanup process that's lasted more than 15 years.

"The public needs to be aware of the Superfund situation," says Cassie Cohen, who works with the Portland Harbor Community Coalition (PHCC), a collection of 12 groups that work with a range of communities in the city (homeless people, recent immigrants, tribes, minority groups). "Largely, folks have no clue. It was not a good public process for the city, period."