From the Hill to the ‘Hall: Oct. 4–10

Do as I say, etc.

United States Rep. Tim Murphy (R–PA18) announced his resignation on Oct. 5 after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette revealed how the strongly anti-abortion congressman urgeda past mistress to get an abortion when she was worried she may be pregnant. House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement announcing the resignation, which is effective Oct. 21.

Department of Justice expands definition of “religious freedom”

The U.S. Department of Justice moved to expand its definition of religious freedom this week in an effort to prevent prosecution of employers and businesses that choose to discriminate against others for religious reasons. This move is widely seen as enabling increased discrimination against the LGBTQ community, especially in light of recent moves by the Trump administration against the trans community.

Contraception circumvention

President Donald Trump issued a rule this week to roll back the Obama Administration’s requirement that contraception be picked up by employers under their health plan. Under this change, a religious or moral objection would be generally sufficient to get around such requirements. The American Civil Liberties Union has promised to sue.

Lake Oswego may go public?

In a media release issued Oct. 5, the Oregon State Supreme Court announced it will consider at a future time the case of Mark Kramer v. City of Lake Oswego. The case asks whether the public can swim in Lake Oswego, the lake, or if Lake Oswego, the corporation, can be allowed by the city of Lake Oswego to ban public use. Lower courts have determined since the initial filing in 2012 it was permissible for Lake Oswego to allow Lake Oswego to ban the public from Lake Oswego.

Sanctuary Law repeal initiative ballot title approved

The same Lake Oswego media release announced that the ballot title for Initiative 22, a voter measure to repeal the state’s Sanctuary State law, was approved by the OSSC. After other administrative matters, the initiative will move toward signature gathering and will need 88,184 signatures to be put on the Nov. 2018 ballot.

Earthquakes might take out your building
9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 11

Time is set aside and several folks will speak out about the unreinforced masonry issues Portland has at the moment. Long story short: an earthquake could take out quite a large number of buildings in the city, and the city has a detailed map of what buildings those are.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation
9:45 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 11

The mayor and council will issue a proclamation declaring Domestic Violence Awareness Month, followed by the presentation of a check to the YWCA of Greater Portland for services related to DV assistance.

Streetcar supervisors can tow you now
No time set, Wednesday, Oct. 11

A minor change to the city’s codes will allow supervisors and superintendents of the Streetcar system to tow a car blocking the tracks. Practical, sure, but it just sounds ominous, doesn’t it?