Category Archives: Public Information

Portland’s Neighborhood Coalitions Release Citywide Covid Resource Guide

Earlier this week, Portlanders across the Metro area opened their mailboxes to find the Covid Resource Guide, a publication put out jointly by Portland’s neighborhood coalitions. Representing a combined effort among these nonprofit organizations, the Resource Guide is a wide-ranging collection of vital information to help Portlanders navigate the fallout of the Covid-19 outbreak.

[Click here to download the Covid Resource Guide]

The information in the Guide is a compendium of existing community resources that are suddenly more necessary than ever. In addition to graphics and instructions on staying safe and healthy during this crisis, it also includes a map of food pantries around Portland and instructions on how to postpone your rent payment, as well as answering simple questions about what is and isn’t allowed during the Governor’s stay-at-home order.

Many of the needs it addresses are lesser-known but just as vital. With domestic violence, mental health crises and addiction struggles on the rise in quarantined households, the Guide also provides listings of social service agencies for anyone who needs that support. “This crisis is not just about the coronavirus,” says Sylvia Bogert, Executive Director of Southwest Neighborhoods Inc (SWNI), the coalition representing Southwest Portland. “It’s how the virus exacerbates problems that already plague our communities: lack of access to food, housing instability, mental health crises and domestic violence. Our goal was to point anyone who needs it to the right organization, hotline or online portal for help with any of the problems that may arise from this situation.” 

Although Portland’s neighborhood coalitions have traditionally supported neighborhood associations, they have evolved over the years to be a one stop resource center for Portlanders, community groups and grassroots organizations looking for tools or guidance to improve their communities and access civic resources.

As the Covid crisis unfolded, the coalition directors collaborated to determine the best way to respond. They realized that the lack of access to quality information about Covid was the common denominator across the city. “We know that all of Portland’s communities have unique needs in normal times, and in this unprecedented public health crisis, we were hearing from community members that vital information just wasn’t reaching them,” says Adam Lyons, Executive Director of Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN).

Drawing upon their work publishing community newspapers, the coalitions knew that the best way to reach people is through direct mail. Adds Bogert of SWNI, “We have found that even in 2020, the most equitable and effective way of reaching all Portlanders with important information is to produce, publish and mail it straight into their homes.” 

In their goal to reach and impact as many households as possible, the Guide is bilingual in English and Spanish and includes links to other information portals in twelve different languages online. “It’s easy to take for granted that this information is easy to find, but that’s not true for everyone,” says Lyons of NECN. “When you’re in crisis, or speak a different language, or are working long hours as an essential worker, you may not have the means or the time to track this all down. Our goal with this mailer was the same as our mission everyday: to be a resource for all Portlanders to thrive in their own communities. That mission is more important now than it has ever been before.”

For Information Contact Central Northeast Neighbors

Ronda Johnson, Equity Outreach Manager

rondaj@cnncoalition.org  or by phone 503-823-2780

Code Changes Affecting Neighborhood Associations

The following is a letter drafted by the Roseway Neighborhood Association in response to the proposed “Civic Life” code changes originating from the office of Commisioner Eudaly. Here is a link to a PDF copy of the letter. The letter was approved by the board of RNA at the meeting of September 10, 2019.


September 11, 2019

Dear Mayor Wheeler and Members of Portland City Council,

We are writing to express concerns about the Code Change 3.96 proposed by the Office of Community & Civic Life.

We acknowledge the systems of oppression that have shaped Portland’s development and shut many out of decision making, and strongly support expanding civic engagement to address this disparity and elevate the voices of marginalized groups.

We acknowledge the neighborhood system as an essential route to participatory democracy and as the sole form of jurisdictional representation available to Portlanders under our commission form of government. Neighborhood associations must retain their full recognition, privileges and support.

As a Neighborhood Association, we were alarmed as we learned of Civic Life’s process mismanagement during development of revisions to Code 3.96. Civic Life provided no direct notification to neighborhood associations regarding 8 meetings and 3 draft rewrites and allowed only limited neighborhood representation on the code change committee. The bureau has struggled to follow the city’s own Public Involvement Principles. Reporting on public records revealed a troubling internal bias. Taken together, these things discredit the code change process to date and call into question Civic Life’s stated objectives.

Civic Life has advanced through this process a notion that dismantling of the neighborhood system in code is a meaningful step toward inclusion of other groups. Inviting groups to the table does not and should not require this tradeoff. Such a suggestion is unfounded. To date, Civic Life’s substantive plan for explicit inclusion of more community groups remains elusive.

Civic Life must re-orient this effort to acceptable standards and complete its process in no less than 18 months with a higher level of oversight and accountability from city leadership. Until this is accomplished, we ask that you vote NO on 3.96 as written.
Regards,

Roseway Neighborhood Association Board

A New Look for Glenhaven Park

Portland voters passed a bond measure to upgrade and replace some of our parks. Glenhaven Park is in line for a face-lift this spring and summer. Click here for a  look at what’s ahead.

Below are notes about the project taken from the recent RNA meeting:

1. What will be dates and level of impact on which streets for parking, walking? Construction is to run from May/June 2019 to November 2019. NE Siskiyou will be the main contractor access with a single construction entrance. The public way and sidewalk will remain open during construction, material/equipment storage in the street is generally not allowed unless arrangements are made with Portland Bureau of Transportation. Parking is available in designated on street parking areas and within the construction site as needed. The contractor will be asked to limit their parking to the park side only, trying not to park in front of residences as best as possible.

2. What will hours and days be of noise impact? City code governs work hours  which are from 7AM to 6PM. Typically contractors will work from 7AM to 3:30-4PM (M-F).  Any weekend hours must be informed in advance.

3. What will impacts be on facilities (i.e. impacts to the park amenities like fields, tennis courts, bathrooms)? All play area facilities will be unavailable during construction. Softball, baseball, lawn field, and skatespot remain open through construction. Access from the west entry near NE 78th will likely be closed for the duration of the project- it is suggested to enter the park from NE 77th + Alameda for tennis court and softball field access. The contractor will arrange for temporary access from the east entry near NE 80th up to the baseball field for the beginning of the project. Restrooms will remain open unless water connections need to be made. The restrooms will be closed for short periods. A temporary wood chip path will be installed from at minimum the baseball diamond to the restroom, and potentially to connect to the path to the tennis courts, as materials allow. The pathway will serve as a durable surface to walk on, but may not be fully ADA accessible. Tennis courts, at this time are planned to be open and available,  however the parks bureau is looking at tennis court repairs in several locations, Glenhaven is one of those locations. If chosen, construction would also be this summer, but that project is based on funding.