Briefly

Oregon set to impose rent controls

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Faced with a housing shortage and skyrocketing rents, Oregon is poised to become the first state to impose mandatory rent controls, with a measure establishing tenant protections moving swiftly through the Legislature.

Many residents have testified in favor of the legislation, describing anxiety and hardship as they face higher rents. Some have gone up by as much as almost 100 percent — forcing people to move, stay with friends or even live in their vehicles.

The town of Medford recently authorized churches to offer car camping for the homeless on their parking lots. Cities across the West Coast are struggling with soaring housing prices and a growing homelessness problem.

A House committee on Wednesday backed the measure, sending it to the full chamber for a vote as soon as next week. The Senate passed it last week.

Oakland teachers go on strike

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Teachers in Oakland, California, went on strike Thursday, part of a trend of discontent by educators over classroom conditions, pay and other issues. Recent walkouts have taken place in West Virginia, Los Angeles and Denver.

The city’s 3,000 teachers want a 12-percent retroactive raise covering 2017 to 2020 to compensate for what they say are the among the lowest salaries for public school teachers in the expensive San Francisco Bay Area. They also want the district to hire more counselors to support students and more full-time nurses.

Kindergarten teacher Kaki Blackburn, 30, was among dozens picketing outside Manzanita Community School with signs saying “On strike For a Living Wage.”

Blackburn, who has 29 kids in her class, said her main concerns were class size and wages. She said her salary makes it impossible to afford an apartment on her own.

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