Eliot Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Minutes 3/21/22

Submitted by Laura Schuchardt,   APPROVED at the June board meeting

Board present

  • Laura Schuchardt
  • Allan Rudwick
  • Elliott Armstrong
  • Jennifer Wilcox
  • Eric McFarlane
  • Shireen Hasan-McFarlane
  • Jimmy Wilson
  • Patricia Montgomery

Guests present

  • Winta Yohannes
  • Andrew Champion
  • Shannon Olive 
  • Andre Miller 
  • Serena Li
  • Ian Lindsay
  • Cassie Muilenburg

Welcome and Introductions – 7:00pm

Agenda Additions?

Andrew Champion reiterated his request from January to have “follow up from the Stop & Go” added 

Eric – Finding community partners to improve public safety

Eric recapped some of the discussion from our board only meeting. We want to find community partners to create a coalition to remove barriers to access to housing and jobs to combat violence in our neighborhood.

Andre, from Commissioner Hardesty’s office, brought up a community engagement event at 6pm Wednesday, 3/30, at Matt Dishman Community Center, which will hopefully be a good way to join together to align our efforts. 

Shannon spoke to the importance of connecting with apartment complexes in the area to try to build resident service coordinator programs, which build community connection/involvement. Organizations like PCRI, Innovative Housing, REACH, NW Housing Alternatives are good resources to help with this.

Winta Yohannes/Albina Vision Trust – presenting their Community Investment Plan

Albina Vision Trust is preparing to present their Community Investment Plan to the City Council soon and would like a letter of support from our Neighborhood Association. The city often responds to proposals like this by saying that they need more studies. Albina Vision Trust needs the city to see that they’ve already done that work and that it’s time to act. 

Five to six years ago, they started working on a plan to develop the neighborhood around the Convention Center (Steel Bridge to a bit past the Broadway Bridge and between the waterfront and I-5). This is complicated, because the disruptions that past infrastructure decisions have caused must be addressed in order to move forward. Albina Vision Trust has worked with the community to develop a plan that keeps wealth circulating in the neighborhood and doesn’t displace residents.

Winta presented a slide show of their Community Investment Plan, and then opened up for questions:

Concerns were raised that this project does not address the immediate needs of individuals who were displaced, which Winta acknowledged. Albina Vision Trust won’t be able to address these immediate needs, but they do seek to prevent these problems from occurring again in the future.

MOTION: Allan proposed that we write a letter acknowledging past harms to the neighborhood and the impossibility of fixing everything. We feel that this is the best plan we’ve heard and we want to help it move forward. Eric seconded. Motion passed.

Winta is available for additional meetings to discuss questions and concerns in depth. She may be reached at winta@albinavision.org.

Shannon Olive from WomenFirst

WomenFirst is a small nonprofit based in Gresham that provides transitional assistance and referrals to women who were recently incarcerated. 

They offer many programs including Navigate Back Home, which aims to provide long-term housing and address the challenges of moving from prison to short-term to permanent housing, and wraparound services.

They’re growing quickly, so they’re trying to raise enough money to get a company van. They need around $15,000, and they’ve raised about $8,000. 

MOTION: Shireen proposed that we give $500 to WomenFirst. Eric seconded the motion. Allan mentioned that ENA has limited funds and serves a specific geographic area; WomenFirst is not located in Eliot. Jennifer advised we have around $8k in our budget. Allan opposed. The motion passed.

MOTION: Officer positions (included in executive committee) will be listed as:

Co-Chairs or Chair/Vice Chair

Treasurer

Recorder

Community Outreach (Lead and Vice)

Newsletter Editor

Shireen clarified that her specific concern is regarding the Newsletter Editor; that wasn’t a board position while the last editor was installed, so we need to reinstate that as an executive committee member. Proposed by Shireen. Seconded by Allen. Motion passed.

Neighborhood Updates

Eliot News – Deadline for content to be submitted for the next issue is 3/28.

LUTC Update – Met last week and heard from Albina Vision Trust

Resignation – Maleka Blake resigned from the ENA board

Public Comment

Follow-up regarding Stop & Go (Andrew Champion)

Andrew asked the board to revisit the ENA liquor policy and to set a moratorium on sweeps. As the policy is quite old and a moratorium on sweeps would require additional discussion, these points will be added to the April agenda.

The discussion from our January meeting regarding the issues in the area surrounding Stop & Go was recapped. 

Cassandra mentioned that she’s been involved with planning the community engagement event at Matt Dishman Community Center, and that this is the exact type of issue that they’re hoping to problem-solve. All are encouraged to attend to align our efforts.

Allan said that ENA does not have the power to affect change in a vacuum. This problem is bigger than the Stop & Go. We should all attend the meeting next week at Matt Dishman, so that we’re aligning our efforts.

Approve minutes from January 

Shireen and Eric asked if we could hold off until they’ve had the chance to review. The board will approve via email.

Adjourn – 9:20pm

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