Board Meeting Minutes 2018-04-16

Eliot Neighborhood Association
Meeting Minutes
April 16, 2018
6:35 – 8:43 pm
St. Philip Deacon Episcopal Church NE 120 Knott St

Meeting called to order 6:40pm

General Meeting: Welcome to visiting guests and neighbors, introductions

*Motion to accept March meeting minutes – Sherry Staggs; Sue Stringer seconds; approved

Guest Presentation: Harriet Tubman Middle School – Natasha Butler

  • Natasha Butler is the planning principal of Harriet Tubman, she grew up in Eliot neighborhood and her father had a business on Williams and Graham
  • Harriet Tubman is re-opening in the fall as a middle school, grades 6-8
  • Tubman will serve as the middle school for 4 elementary schools: Irvington, King, Sabin, and Boise-Eliot, estimated 550 students
  • Extensive work needs to be done to get the school ready, there are some concerns if the construction will be fast enough for the August 18th deadline; work includes: air filtration system, new ducts, environmental testing, foundation work
  • Monthly community engagement meetings; the May meeting with have information about Summer plans; updates can be found here: https://www.pps.net/domain/4410
  • Tubman will feed into Jefferson and Grant high schools
  • There will be many kids in the neighborhood and many of them will be walking to school because PPS does not provide bussing for children who live within 1.5 miles of school; need to consider children who don’t have access to rainwear if they are walking
  • Safe Routes to School will work this Summer to create crosswalks
  • School hours will be 9:15am – 3:45pm; there is a question about whether there will be a need for before school care & after school care
  • Tubman is a community school, neighbors are invited to come and be involved
  • Principal Butler says she will let us know about the ribbon cutting ceremony and in July there will be an alumni gala for alumni to reconnect and to ask folks to be mentors to the new students

Discussion:
– Sue Stringer asks about air quality concerns being so close to freeway – Principal Butler says that the air filtration system is all new and there are also new ducts in the whole building
– Jessica Rojas says that she grew up in town and went to Whitaker and she has had asthma all her life; she hopes that Tubman will be an example for other schools to address students’ health concerns
– Jere Fitterman shares about the dirty air conditions in Eliot due to our proximity to the freeway and diesel particulates from unfiltered trucks
– Virginia Macrae asks if lead has been addressed in the drinking water – Principal Butler says that it has been addressed and so has the fire system and other issues in the building. They are now doing the heavy construction work to get the building ready.

Air Pollution Advocate Call to Action: Letter of Support from ENA

*Motion to write a letter to the city about ENA’s opposition to the renewal of an air quality permit and expansion of a solid waste permit for Oil Re-Refining Company (ORRCO) in North Portland; draft to follow; due May 1st – Sue Stringer; Maggie Gardner seconds; approved

Treasurer’s Report

  • Showing funds used for the past month, which includes printing and mailing the Eliot Newsletter
  • Need to calculate budgeting for neighborhood projects that we have already voted through; Jere Fitterman estimates $8K

Eliot Neighborhood Clean-Up and Litter Pick-up Event: Saturday, May 19th 10am-2pm

  • We have lawn signs designed and Sue Stringer will order them
  • Call for volunteers to help with posting signs around the neighborhood, help with loading and directing traffic the day of the event, taking down signs after the event because they will be reused for next year’s event
  • SOLVE is also teaming up with the Eliot Livability Committee to have a litter pick-up in the neighborhood the same day as the Clean-Up

Albina Cooperative Garden and Community Gardening Co-op Requests

  • Leah Walsh presenting from Albina Cooperative Garden
  • Garden has been operating for 8 years on 2 acres of Legacy Emanuel’s land; operates as a non-profit organization under Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust; there is room for more members
  • Members have a range of experience from people who have never grown plants to people who teach agriculture
  • The garden teaches the skill of growing food and helps neighbors come together, combats social isolation
  • Requesting money for scholarships to add 15 new members: $1125; ACG would handle logistics of scholarship applications
  • 30% of harvest is donated to Ronald McDonald House and Urban Gleaners
  • Many different organizations in the neighborhood have come to work on the garden

Discussion:
– Pat Montgomery asks if there are two different gardens – Leah says there is a garden with raised beds “the garden” and a garden with in-ground permaculture “the farm”
– Monica Choy Salazar asks about equity considerations in the selection process of scholarships – Leah and Erin say that there are 2 members who will handle the scholarships and they have not formally structured the selection process yet; they used City of Portland community garden scholarship form as template – Jessica Rojas says that she can help them with their application to include equity concerns
– Pat Montgomery asks about how the garden is funded – Dan Franek says that there are few members now, but later in the season membership picks up and the garden is sustainable with its current membership
– Jimmy asks if there are just vegetable gardens or flowers too – Dan says that they plant vegetables, fruits, flowers, and there is a little orchard as well

  • Heru Ka/Shireen discussion of revisions; previously presented proposal has been revised – suggested by chair officers due to bylaws for ENA
  • Requesting money for 21 scholarships: $1890 ($90 each person/growing season May-Oct)
  • CGC facilitates growing food in containers, people’s yards, and in community garden plots
  • Provides seeds and materials, gardening course and workshops, presentations on gardening and the power of food
  • Shireen and Heru-ka have canvassed part of the neighborhood for interest; talked to people in housing complex who came from many diverse backgrounds and folks were interested
  • Spoke with Urban League who has their own community garden and they would like to partner
  • Working with Shellmire Unlimited: Food Power Community Co-op

Discussion:
– Maggie Gardner asks how scholarships will be distributed – Heru-ka says that it would be to residents of Eliot who seem like they are hesitant because of the membership fee
– Sherry Staggs asks where the plants will come from – Heru-ka says from the grant through the ENA and funding through other organizations like Shellmire Unlimited
– Dan Franek asks where the community garden is – Shireen says that the CGC would work at Mudbone in NE
– Jere Fitterman has added up our committed costs for approved ENA projects and we’ve agreed to over $8K budget for projects, adding both the gardening projects would bring us to over $11K

Overall Garden Discussion: 
– Sue Stringer says perhaps we should just give each organization a grant and let them determine what it would be used for
– Brad says that he would like a report back to show how the ENA funding was used
– Jim says that there should be flexibility, but also accountability for the funds, good to hear back at the end of season about how things went, what didn’t happen, etc.
– Pat says maybe we should give 1/2 the funding and then see how it goes before fully funding; later amended that the Community Gardening Co-op needs the funds as starting costs and it is okay to fully fund
– Maggie likes designation for scholarships because it shows that the ENA is investing in neighbors
– Erin says that the extra membership would really help the ACG to run because it is such a large area of land
– Heru-ka says that accountability is important and with Shireen being on the Board, she can report back every month

*Motion to provide scholarship funding for Albina Cooperative Garden (15 @ $75/yr = $1,125) and Community Gardening Co-op (21 @ $90/yr = $1,890). This includes a consultation with Jessica Rojas of NECN to determine equity in selection of scholarship recipients, as well as a report to the ENA at the end of the season to recap membership status. – Maggie Gardner; Jim Hlava seconds; approved

Eliot Parking Permit Program 

Brad Baker says that we submitted an application to be part of PBOT’s pilot permit program, but our neighborhood was not selected

  • ENA needs to go through the existing process: canvas neighbors for interest, meeting about permit program, decide on areas for the program, etc.
  • Maybe we should have a meeting designated for the parking permit discussion with neighbors?

Mural Project 

Monica and Maggie say that the project has been put on hold until we can secure funding from RACC, which will likely be in June due to RACC’s funding freeze

Meeting adjourned 8:43pm

Guests/Residents present: Jessica Rojas (NECN), Dan Franek (Albina Co-op Garden), Erin Severi (Albina Co-op Garden), Natasha Butler (Portland Public Schools), Sherry Staggs, Karla Gostnell, Virginia Macrae, Leah Walsh (Albina Co-op Garden), Heru-Ka Anu

Board Members present: Anna Daggett, Brad Baker, Jere Fitterman, Jim Hlava, Jimmy Wilson, Maggie Gardner, Monica Choy Salazar, Patricia Montgomery, Shireen Hasan, Sue Stringer

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