Within and Beyond the Borders of Eliot: Meet Your New Eliot Neighborhood Association Board for 2019

By Sue Stringer

This column usually features businesses, in Eliot and just beyond our neighborhood’s borders to help our residents learn what exciting businesses and opportunities are located in and around our amazing neighborhood. However, in this issue, we focus on the people that make up the Eliot Neighborhood Association Board.

Our Eliot Neighborhood Association board is made up of 12 members this year. Most live in Eliot but some just work in Eliot and live in other neighborhoods. We have included most of them here so you can get to know them better. Also, you can always stop by a neighborhood association meeting and come meet us in person!

Jere Fitterman

Jere has lived in Eliot since January 2009. She has been on the board for three years. Again this year she is the Chair. Jere wanted to join the board because she wanted to get to know more neighbors and get involved in local issues and events. Something you might not know about Jere is that she was very active in student government and the newspaper in high school, where she learned a lot about organizing and working together. Eliot Neighborhood Association feels a lot like that time to her. She really enjoys working with neighbors. Also, she is retired from teaching science in a Portland Public School District middle school. Jere likes to keep fit walking and biking. She leads active events in two Meetup groups. She is also interested in active travel. She has led walks across England and Ireland.

Maggie Gardner

Maggie has lived in Eliot for 13 years. This year she is our Recorder and is interested in exploring what might unite and engage our community. Something people might not know about Maggie is that she has a new passion for creating animation, thanks to Open Signal (check’em out, opensignalpdx.org !) When she’s not learning animation she is a Creative Director who spends as much time as possible outdoors.

Sue Stringer

Sue has lived in the neighborhood since 2012 but has lived in Portland on and off for 22 years. Sue joined the board as the Eliot News Editor in 2014. She joined the board because she wanted to get more connected with the neighborhood and meet new neighbors. Working on the newsletter, with a team of equally enthusiastic collaborators, she looks forward to learning about the history of Eliot, what it now has to offer and share those stories with the community at large. During the week Susan works as a business manager for a family run business selling swallowing rehabilitation products. When she’s not working she likes to garden, read, hike, bike and go camping. Susan sees the future Eliot as a more connected neighborhood with a larger number of neighbors participating in events like the neighborhood clean-up, and music events at Dawson Park.

Shireen Hasan

Shireen has lived in Eliot at two different times—once was when she was younger while she was growing up and recently for the past 10+ years. She has been a board member for 2 years and is a reporter for the newsletter. She is interested in building diverse communities. She also wants to participate in creating and building an educational institution for African American Children and their families to eliminate the systemic racism that they are continually subjected to in the current educational systems. She also focuses a lot of her time on homeschooling her son.

Brad Baker

Brad has lived in Eliot for a little more than a year. Before living in Eliot, he lived in Goose Hollow. Brad has been on the board for one year. He is also on the Land Use and Transportation Committee where he serves as Chair and is work on the Area Parking Permit installation in South Eliot. He is interested in helping Eliot be as wonderful as it can potentially be. To him, that means a diverse, safe, affordable, sustainable, and welcoming community. Some issues that he’s interested in are affordable housing, transportation, parking, and air quality. For most of his career, he has worked in tech. For the past few months, he’s decided to try something a little different and has started working at a wood shop in town. When he’s not woodworking he loves playing and listening to music.

Patricia Montgomery

Patricia is a native Oregonian and has lived in Eliot for 29 years. She has been on the board for seven years. Her favorite things about the neighborhood are the accessibility to the city, the diversity of the neighborhood and the sense of a caring community. Patricia works in the office for a local cab company. She volunteers at her church, St. Philip the Deacon, at NE Rodney and Knott where we also hold our board meetings. When she is not working at her job as a parking enforcement officer or volunteering at her church, Patricia loves to swim, play tennis and also basketball. One of the reasons she volunteers on the board is so that her church would have a voice in the community and also because she lives in the neighborhood and wants to stay informed and be a part of the changing community.

Jim Hlava

Jim has been a Portland resident for the last 35 years and has lived in the Hollywood District for 28 years. Jim has been a board member since 2008 and has been our Treasurer for the last two year and will continue on with that position this year. His connection to the Eliot neighborhood is through his employment as a social worker with Cascadia Behavioral HealthCare, Inc. Cascadia owns the building at 3034 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, which is the home of the Garlington Center and the new Garlington Place Apartments. He has worked for Cascadia for 31 years and currently is the VP of Housing. Jim likes the Eliot neighborhood because of its rich history and has joined the board to stay connected with the neighborhood where he works. In his free time, Jim likes to spend time with his family, bicycle, walk with his dog, garden and read. He has a vision for Eliot to have more outreach to the neighbors in order to get more people involved with activities, events, and issues in Eliot.

Jimmy Wilson

Jimmy does not live in the Eliot neighborhood but has worked here for 10 years. He is starting his second year on our board and will be responsible for Community Outreach. He wanted to join the board to change how people communicate with each other. He thinks that the most important thing is having a board that will work together and supports each other and the projects that the neighborhood wants to work on. According to Jimmy, he has a strong will and is results driven. He is also a real people person. Jimmy owns the food cart pod on Fremont and Vancouver.

Julio Mendoza

Julio is a new resident to Eliot having lived in the neighborhood for only one year but he is looking forward to being on our neighborhood association board. He owns one of the food carts, Pepe Chile Taqueria, located at the food cart pod at Fremont and N Vancouver (which Jimmy Wilson, another of our board members, owns). Julio also is a contractor by trade. As you can tell, Julio likes to build things and also cook taking both of his passions and turning them into an amazing business. Since he has not been on our board before and being new to the neighborhood, Julio hopes to be more connected with his community. So stop by Pepe Chile Taqueria and say hello to one of our newest board members as you pick up a taco or two.

Darren Holcomb

Darren is a Portland native who has lived in Eliot for the last four years. He lived in the neighborhood next to Eliot for the four years prior to that so he knows his way around our streets. This is Darren’s first year as a board member and he looks forward to gaining some experience in civic and community involvement in an official capacity while learning the processes and procedures of being on a working board. Darren wants to contributing his energies and ideas to those of other members of our neighborhood to address matters at hand. He has done a fair amount of public speaking so can help us spread the word about solutions to our neighborhood issues. Darren has been an in-home care assistant for the last 10 years. In his spare time, he likes to explore history and space science.
Jonathan Konkol

Though Jonathan has lived in various Portland neighborhoods for the last 25 years, he has only lived in Eliot since April 2017. However, Jonathan is not new to our neighborhood association. He has been on the Land Use and Transportation Committee for the last year and this year has taken on the position of Vice Chair. The LUTC is lucky because he is credentialed as a planner and currently works as an architect at Axis Design Group. He believes it’s his civic duty to serve on the board of the community he lives in. He is passionate about encouraging context-sensitive development and infill, and preservation of historic buildings. In his spare time when the weather is bad, Jonathan blogs about urban form, but likes to go hiking when the weather allows.

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