Portland Activist Demand Higher Pay, Lower Rents, Amid Minimum Wage Vote

Cornelius Swart, producer- Protesters from Portland Tenants United, #BlackLivesMatter and other groups disrupted the Oregon Legislature on Thursday and demanded a higher minimum wage and more protections against no cause evictions and rent hikes.

After the short interruption, the Oregon House of Representatives resumed it's discussion and pasted Senate Bill 1532. The bill will raise the state minimum wage to $14.75 an hour by the year 2022, according to The Oregonian. SB 1532 now heads to the Governor Kate Brown's desk for her signature.

Protestors blocked the entrance to the Governor Kate Brown's office during demonstration at the state capitol Thursday.  The legislators voted hours later on a historic hike in the state's minimum wage. 

Protestors blocked the entrance to the Governor Kate Brown's office during demonstration at the state capitol Thursday.  The legislators voted hours later on a historic hike in the state's minimum wage. 

The legislature is still wrestling with a new set of proposals that advocates say would protect renters and provide more affordable housing in Portland and other parts of the state.

A new bill would forbid rent hikes for the first year of month-to-month leases and require a 90-day notice for rent hikes after that.  The bill would also repeal the state’s ban on Inclusionary Zoning. Such zoning would allow Portland and other cities to require developers to include affordable units in new housing developments.

The legislature has tried to repeal the state's ban on Inclusionary Zoning several times in the past and some advocates worry that the bill will be gutted to make it more acceptable to landlords and lobbyists. One proposed amendment currently circulating would significantly change how the word "affordable" is defined. 

The legislature is not expected to vote on the housing bill for at least another week. 

Video above produced by Cornelius Swart and Parker Shoaff