Oregon settled a second lawsuit filed against the state’s race-based pandemic aid that set aside $62 million in the Oregon Cares Fund solely for black Oregonians.
Maria Garcia, owner of Revolución Coffee House, sued last year, contending that the state’s allocation of money only to black business owners was unconstitutional because it was based on race. She said the state should be inclusive rather than exclusive and provide equal opportunity to access help during the pandemic. The Center for Individual Rights represented her in the lawsuit
According to the Oregonian, the state provided more than $46,000 to the court in December, the maximum Garcia could have accessed under the program.
The white owner of Great Northern Resources, a timber salvaging company, filed a lawsuit in March, and the state agreed to pay up to $230,000. The company’s lawyer, Edward Blum, contended Oregon’s unconstitutional decision to set aside money solely for black Oregonians adversely affected businesses owned by whites, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans.
According to Fox News, despite the settlement, Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, defended the race-based program, saying the government has a duty to help black-owned businesses, nonprofits, and individuals affected by the pandemic who suffer from systemic racism.
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