Eliot Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Minutes 4/19/21

Board Present:

  • Allan Rudwick, Co Chair
  • Jimmy Wilson, Co Chair
  • Sue Stringer, Treasurer
  • Jennifer Wilcox, Recorder
  • Patricia Montgomery, Community Outreach
  • Shireen Hasan, Community Outreach
  • Harrison Osborn

Guests Present:

  • Justice Rajee, Project Working Group
  • Johanna Brenner, Portland Metro People’s Coalition
  • Caryn Shebowich, Bend the Arc Portland Metro People’s Coalition
  • Vicky Guinn, Legacy Health Public Relations
  • Community Members Present:
  • Tonya Canada
  • Andrew Champion
  • George Caceres
  • Dave Crout
  • Byrd, Emanuel Displaced Persons Association 2
  • Britta Reinan
  • Welcome and Introductions  7:04pm
    • This is a General Member meeting which means all those present who live and/or work in the neighborhood can vote
  • Agenda reviewed, no additions were made
  • Ground Rules: Sue shared the following ground rules for the discussion:
    • Use “I” statements – speak to your feelings and experiences; don’t speak of or for others.
    • It’s okay to disagree – challenge ideas, not individuals   
    • Talk about everyone with respect and dignity.
    • Respect everyone
    • Practice Active Listening
    • Purpose is for us to share ideas and feelings and so that everyone is heard
  • Russell and Williams Project (Bryson Davis & Justice Rajee, co-Chairs of the Project Working Group) 
    • The project has been working for three years, to develop property at Williams and Russell to something that will be enriching to the community. Their hope is to bring health to a community where there was harm in the past.  The working group meets twice a month. They have recently released a request for proposals (RFP) to find a development partner to team with. The priorities for the development are:
      • affordable housing (rental or home ownership)
      • community space,
      • support for black entrepreneurs. 
    • The group held a community event March 31.  The RFP closed on April 8.  Received several responses.  They will have an event in May for a community interview with the respondents before a final decision is made.  People are also welcome to attend the regular meetings and there is time for questions and comments at the end. 
    • A question was raised about who owns the land. Legacy currently owns the land.  The plan is that the non-profit that will be created to develop the land will take ownership of the lot at Russell and Williams.  The final details are not worked out yet.  Legacy has worked with the community for almost four years to get community input on what people from the historic community want to see on the land. 
    • Question: Jimmy asked who owns the other lot that goes to Graham? Discussion about the process and history and make-up of the work group. A suggestion made to gather the questions and concerns from the community and bring them to this group.  Perhaps we can have displaced members from the community on the new nonprofit.
    • Suggestion was made to look into the property that is now included in the urban renewal area and who is benefiting from the urban renewal money. A point was made that the people that should benefit are those that were affected by the destruction of the properties.
    • A suggestion was made that we set aside another time to discuss this issue.
    • The point was made that we as a board represent this community and we need to address the concerns of the neighborhood.
  • Presentation about letter on community policing (Johanna Brenner)
    • Eliot Neighborhood is being asked to sign on to a letter about community policing.  www.uniteoregon.org/policing
    • The Police contract is under current negotiation.  The letter was written by the Portland Metro People’s Coalition, a coalition that cares about community safety solutions that work for everybody.  Police accountability is part of community safety.  Last November the city voted to institute a new system of citizen review of the police. If the contract is not changed, then any system that is developed will be ineffective because the contract has systems that shield the police from accountability.  Want to address racial biased policing.  Want to change the contract to address concerns that affect accountability.  Four neighborhood associations have signed onto the letter. 
    • Question: This is a big thing to try to change. How are you going to move this rock? Answer: We have made more progress this time around than any time before:
      • Negotiations are public
      • Many of the City proposals are the things suggested in the letter
      • This will be one of many efforts that are being made
      • We are hoping that we are gathering support for future efforts
      • The fact that over 80% of the people of Portland voted for police accountability may be a basis to move forward on this issue.
    • Allan moved, Sue seconded that we sign onto this letter.  Motion passed. One abstention.
  • ENA Bylaws changes
    •  MOTION: Allan moved, Sue seconded to clarify who is on the executive committee. The purpose of the executive committee is to make quick decisions about things in between meetings or discuss topics in advance of bringing to the full board.   The new wording will be: “The executive committee is comprised of all the elected officers of the organization including those not specifically listed in this document.” Motion passed.
    • MOTION: Sue moved and Jennifer seconded. To add language that borders can’t be changed without an attempt to contact current occupants: “These boundaries may not be modified unless the owners, businesses and occupants of all property in the area to be annexed or removed are contacted and invited to testify.”  Motion passed.
  • Neighborhood updates
    • No More Freeways Lawsuit: The Eliot Board signed onto the No More Freeways Lawsuit which has been filed.  The purpose of the lawsuit is to delay the building of the freeway.
    • Dawson Park Concerts: Allan suggested that ENA sponsor concerts in the park this summer. Make it a big block party, unite everyone to come together as a community. Could we do this as National Night Out? Block off a couple of other blocks to have more space for spill over (go down Stanton and Morris). Porch music (small groups on people’s porches maybe?) Turn it into a fundraiser? Jimmy do barbecue, money go to ENA? Allan reached out the Lee Bohanan who has been part of the Dawson Park concerts in the past.  Next step to start an email thread to gather ideas.
    • Land Use
      • putting together list of priorities for land use, would like to publish in the next Eliot News to get feedback, Allan will send it to the board and others who are interested
      • working on recommendations to developers
      • 2 demolitions planned on Monroe Street, required to have 120 day demolition delay if someone wants to try to save the house
  • Financial Update:
  • Jennifer moved, Jimmy seconded we approve the report. Motion passed.
  • Adjourn 9:12pm

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