Tina Kotek, speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives and graduate of the Comparative Religion Program at the UW, expects to tackle the housing crisis taking place in Oregon. She said she will push to end no-cause evictions, lift the state’s ban on rent-control laws and ban all rent increases above a “reasonable” percentage for the foreseeable future. Rents in the state have been increasing by 20 percent, or 30 percent, or more, she said. “Evictions have skyrocketed as some owners make way for new tenants with bigger salaries, or evict entire buildings with plans to renovate and join the luxury apartment market.” Demand has further been stoked by affluent workers, some arriving from out of state, willing to pay a premium to rent in high-end buildings.
“Thanks to a close alliance between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin, religion has proved a particularly powerful tool in former Soviet lands like Moldova, where senior priests loyal to the Moscow church hierarchy have campaigned tirelessly to block their country’s integration with the West. Priests in Montenegro, meanwhile have spearheaded efforts to derail their country’s plans to join NATO. But faith has also helped Mr. Putin amplify Russia’s voice farther west, with the church leading a push into resolutely secular members of the European Union like France….”