We’ve seen a lot of divisiveness in 2020 nationally, but even locally it has been hard for many people to see eye-to-eye with their neighbors. I’m hoping in 2021 we find some common ground to work towards addressing some of the problems facing Portland.
I’ve been surprised to see folks with similar values end up advocating for opposing outcomes. For example, I’ve seen people who care about addressing the coming climate catastrophe advocating for infill and development while others are calling to stop nearly all demolitions because buildings that are built have embedded carbon. I’ve seen people who care about addressing our housing affordability crisis call for more affordable housing and decreasing the cost of building new housing while others want to punish greedy developers and make development more expensive for them. I’ve seen people who want to address our problem with so many neighbors suffering from houselessness by providing more services and temporary solutions, while others want their houseless neighbors swept away to some location that doesn’t impact their daily lives.
If we’re going to make progress on these issues, we’re going to need to come together, recognize our common values and shared goals, and start talking with each other. Once we get through COVID, I’m really looking forward to spending more time talking with folks on both sides of the spectrum to see where we can find common ground and compromise with actionable solutions.
If you’re interested in looking at these and other issues and through a land-use lens, please consider coming to a Land Use and Transportation Committee meeting on the 2nd Monday of the month at 7 pm. More info and the agenda can be found on the Eliot website at https://eliotneighborhood.org/agendas.