The Eliot Neighborhood Association (ENA) stands in solidarity with the Black community and supports the recent protests denouncing police violence. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others – These tragedies now add to the staggering number of Black lives taken unjustly by a country which continues to devalue those lives. Their names and their stories matter. Their lives matter. Black lives matter.
In these times, as an institution that has worked with the City of Portland in maintaining systems of white supremacy, it is critical that we turn the lens onto ourselves and ask how we have been and how we are complicit, and what we will do to fix that. Knowing that a neighborhood association has an outsized voice in the zoning process in the City of Portland and that those decisions can help build or destroy wealth in our community, it is incredibly important that we take this task seriously. Because neighborhood associations and the public outreach processes that our representatives engage in are spaces that can exclude Black voices, these processes have prevented Black residents from receiving the same opportunities as their white counterparts.
As a result, we are committed to using our roles as leaders in the community not only to facilitate the necessary conversations but also to work towards community dialogues that are inherently anti-racist. The Eliot Neighborhood Association believes neighborhood associations can be for the greater good and can raise issues in ways that will be good for all residents.
Moving forward, the Eliot Neighborhood Association will continue to try to have Black representation on our board and our Land Use committee in addition to other committees in our neighborhood. We are committed to empowering those that are often left out of critical conversations. Additionally, we are always looking for new members and have open seats for those who would want to get engaged. We are continuously looking for articles for the Eliot News that amplify marginalized voices and we encourage more submissions that do so.
Neighborhood Associations are far from the most important conversation right now in a time when communities are grieving. However, as leaders of this institution, we have the responsibility to use our position to advocate for the Black community. We will donate $1000 to the Black Resilience Fund.
The Eliot Neighborhood Association Board of Directors