Neighborhood Livability Partnership

The Eliot Neighborhood Association has a vital role in helping leaders connect to each other. Our meetings increase the sense of cohesion and community through partnerships and funding with other groups and through special initiatives. In April of 2012, a group of Eliot residents secured a partnership agreement, the Neighborhood Livability Partnership. The Partnership has three equal partners, the Eliot Neighborhood Board, the Lloyd District Community Association, and Portland Arena Management (PAM), the management group that oversees the Rose Quarter. Like all partnerships, each entity has shared goals and individual perspectives. The Partnership has been formalized with a signed Agreement between each of the three partners that focuses on preserving the historic character of Eliot while improving the livability and accessibility of the area.

The Neighborhood Partnership evolved out of the question residents asked themselves: “What are our conditions right now and what do we want for a place to live and raise children or age in place?” Justin Zeulner, Senior Director of the Sustainability and Public Affairs for PAM, attended some meetings and investigated the impacts of games on the neighborhood and is now a key member of the Partnership. The goals of overcoming the parking, traffic and trash, were clear. To take immediate steps, the neighbors began talking to the Toyota dealer about employee parking and exhaust. These meetings with key partners led to reduced parking issues at times.

The neighbors also met with the Port City Development staff, from the Project Grow program which had focused on growing food as part of its programming. This led to another kind of partnership and a grant from the Bureau of Environmental Services to find land in Eliot in order to grow food collectively rather than on individual plots. Meeting again in resident’s homes, the Lloyd District, Port City, PAM, and Eliot leaders joined forces with Emanuel to secure funds for the Albina Community Garden. As a result of these coalition efforts, the Albina Garden is now accepting members on land owned by Emanuel Hospital, near the Russell Street end of the campus. Throughout all these meetings, the ability to work together led to visible improvements throughout Eliot while at the same time building of capacity and shared leadership between residents, nonprofits and businesses.

The Neighborhood Livability Partnership is designed for getting work done together while building collaborative actions like the Albina Garden. The Partnership is a signed agreement that was ratified by Board members of each entity and is governed by a steering committee. Ideally this will allow for the exchange of ideas and provide funds for improvement and action for the common good of all. Steering committee members meet monthly, allowing information exchange and weighing in on funding partnerships. For example, the Agreement contains the use of a Rose Quarter Comment Line monitored by PAM and reviewed by the oversight committee (503-963-3861 or e-mail rqcomments@rosequarter.com). Through comments, there is the potential of monitoring issues related to Rose Quarter operations impacting your neighborhood. This comment line is intended for non-emergency matters (your local public authority should be called in an emergency). In addition, the independent Eliot Beautification Committee will plan to use an annual $5000 grant (PAM funding for three years) for abating the issues of trash and increasing the livability and identity of the neighborhood.

Since they began meeting late last year, the Neighborhood Livability Partnership has accepted a proposal to join forces to study the parking patterns between the Lloyd District and Eliot and worked collaboratively during the N/NE Quadrant planning as part of the updated Portland Plan. The team has also discussed potential projects that might be effective in the Spring for beautification and heard the report of the first Eliot Beautification Committee which is still open to members. That committee is considering a wide range of options such as street trees, major sculpture or art, Historic Eliot street sign mastheads, a mural, and mosaic-sided trash containers. Partnerships with area businesses and the nonprofits will be essential for the success of the improved livability of the area.

For more information conatat Vice Chair and NLP representative Angela Kremer at angelahkremer@gmail.com – (503) 284-9136

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