Portland Small Business Owner Suing Oregon After Being Denied State Pandemic Relief Funds Reserved for Black-Owned Businesses
A Portland small business owner is suing the state of Oregon for denying her fair opportunity to coronavirus pandemic relief funds intended solely for the state’s black population.
Maria Garcia is the owner of Revolucion Coffee House in Portland. After being denied for relief funds for not identifying as black, Garcia filed a lawsuit in federal court last week against Governor Kate Brown, citing a violation of her 14th Amendment rights under the constitution. The 14th Amendment requires the state to provide equal protection to its citizens.
The Oregon Cares fund is described on its website as “a Fund for Black people, Black-owned businesses, and Black community based organizations.” The state legislature has allocated more than $62 million dollars for the fund, which is intended solely for those who identify as black.
Garcia has received backlash from far-left Portlanders, who insist that the operator of the Mexican coffee house is “racist” for challenging the state’s discriminatory coronavirus relief practices. A logging company has also sued Oregon for reserving relief funds for members of one race, with Governor Brown firing back at Great Northern Resources for challenging the constitutionality of the Cares Fund. Brown, a far leftist, has alleged that racially discriminatory stimulus practices are needed to reverse the impact of what she claims is “400 years of racial violence and strategic divestment from the Black community, deepened here in Oregon through intentional policy and practice.”
Oregon may be forced to significantly alter its black-only coronavirus relief fund in response to the lawsuits, as its unconstitutionality seems relatively obvious. Oregon’s Legislative Counsel has warned administrators of the state’s coronavirus relief board that the structuring of the Cares Fund violates the 14th Amendment, and it’s unlikely to stand up to scrutiny in federal court.