I love living in Eliot Neighborhood. I love the proximity to shops, restaurants and services. I love being near the River for walking and enjoying beautiful views. But mostly I love running into people I know and how easy it is to get to know neighbors. People are friendly and helpful. I’m looking forward to all the outdoor events over the summer (see Spring-Summer Events 2016) where I’m sure to meet folks I know.
With construction and remodeling going on all over the neighborhood, Eliot will more than double population when all these projects are full! We could go from 2000 residents and businesses to 4000! What will it be like then? Will Eliot lose it’s small friendly vibe?
Gentrification is another aspect of growth and change that has been an issue for sometime. Many old-time residents, new ones and nonprofits are working to heal wounds created by past events which have led to this gentrification.
The real question now is what are we going to do now? Can we come together and get to know each other, work together to shape a livable future for our changing neighborhood? And how do we do that?
I believe being involved, talking with folks, helping neighbors and especially accepting folks who live here (our neighbors) without judgement can bring us together. My goal as Co-Chair is to work through the Eliot Neighborhood Association to bring about forums for this type of communication and interaction. In the past year several group activities have brought neighbors together: the Street Tree Inventory through Portland Parks and Rec’s Urban Forestry resulted in the Albina Neighborhood Tree Team, ANTT, and their activities like the Dead and Dying tree Replacement Project; The Eliot Neighborhood Block party and Intersection Repainting at Tillamook and Rodney has created friends and pride of neighborhood; Eliot Neighborhood Spring Clean-Up and Litter Pick-up have raised money to support other activities like Summer Concert and Movies at Dawson Park; and the Newsletter is now being mailed to every residence and business.
But is this enough? Have these touched your life, connected you with your neighbors? What else can we do together?
The ENA Board invites you to respond via letter to the Editor, come to a Board meeting (3rd Monday of each month at St Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church, 120 NE Knott, 6:30 pm) or the Land Use Transportation meetings (2nd Monday same place and time), or show up at Neighborhood events and volunteer to help out.