Eliot Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Minutes 8/22/22

Submitted by Laura Schuchardt,  DRAFT- not yet approved

Board present

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

Guests present

  • Kamesha Robinson from Legacy Health
  • Stanley Ong from PBOT
  • Kathryn Doherty-Chapman from PBOT
  • Jesse Rawlins from Commissioner Jayapal’s office
  • Chandra Robinson from Multnomah County Library
  • Tyler Nishitani from LEVER Architecture
  • Jason Place
  • Alyssa Whitesides
  • Andrew Champion
  • Lori Guerrero
  • Samantha Hart
  • Max Blumenthal
  • Laura Fay
  • Maggie Gardner
  • Kim & Craig
  • Marjorie
  • Andy
  • Zach
  • Katherine
  • Alice
  • Janet 

MINUTES

  • Welcome and Introductions – 7:00pm-
  • Agenda Additions?
  • 7:05-7:10 – Announcement – Eliot Parking Task Force committee applications (Kathryn Doherty-Chapman, PBOT)
    • PBOT is looking to form a parking task force to look into the possibility of parking permits or other parking solutions
    • There’s a survey on the PBOT website for current residents, business owners, and property owners to help with this effort, too:
    • Reach out to Kathryn at Kathryn.Doherty-chapman@portlandoregon.gov if interested
  • Safety and Livability around Dawson Park and NE Stanton Street – neighboring business and property owners were invited, County Commissioner Jayapal’s office will have a rep
    • Most recent meeting on 8/12 included a number of core stakeholders (Legacy, county staff, neighbors, churches, Friends of the Children)
      • Focused specifically on Dawson Park, whereas past meetings have tried to address issues in Eliot as a whole
    • Four Proposals 
      • Proposal 1: Increase violence interruption interventions such as credible messenger programming and targeted community engagement to build relationships, promote peace, and prevent shootings.
      • Proposal 2: Increase area policing through methods such as the Focused Intervention Team, a community policing model, and more with the Portland Police Bureau to engage in reducing gun violence.
      • Proposal 3:  Introduce a collaborative community safety effort that offers community stakeholders and the legal system a credible alternative to booking people into jail because of unmet behavioral health needs or poverty.
      • Proposal 4 Transform areas such as empty lots or streets into dynamic community spaces to activate areas and allow community members to gather safely and engage with one another.
    • Kamesha works for Legacy and has the ability to advocate for funding for community programs. Looking for overlap between different efforts.
    • Jimmy Wilson reiterated his past request for a room at Legacy to use for community interventions
    • Other actions being taken:
      • Applying for community place-making grants
      • Reporting trainings (what, how, and why to report)
        • First meeting tomorrow, 8/23
        • Repeat on 8/31
      • Advocacy training (time TBD)
      • Ongoing meetings to work through ideas
  • Neighborhood Updates
    • News
    • LUTC
      • No meeting this past month
      • Brad (chair) moved out of the neighborhood and stepped down
      • Allan is acting chair
  • 8:15-8:45 Chandra Robinson and Tyler Nishitani – Library presentation about new Albina library
  • Public Comment (5 min)
    • Andrew spoke to the public safety issues at Dawson Park and the surrounding area asking that they be urgently addressed by the ENA
      • See full text of comment on the next page
  • Approve Minutes from July
    • MOTION: Allan
    • Seconded: Jennifer
    • Passed unanimously
  • Adjourn – 9:01pm

Andrew Champion’s public comment:

Since the [July 2022 board] meeting, on my block alone, I have witnessed one woman being beaten, two fences erected, and three households moving out. At least as many homes sit empty, and only one has been moved into: it is rented from an investment company which bought it at a 14% loss to the owners who used to live there, even as homes just one or two blocks away appreciated by half. If you were talking about any other 20 properties in the city of Portland it would be an anomaly, but here it is not.

These are the products of issues being brought to many of the people here for more than two years. In January the board spoke of urgency, yet six months later failed to produce more than letters. To date, their efforts in and around Williams and Stanton have passively and actively pushed noise, trash, violence, and drugs further into our community while failing to improve conditions at the park. Recently, [my partner] and I were minding our own business there when she was accosted for being a “white bitch” with no right to be there, and as we left a man repeatedly threatened to kill us. The park has picnic tables, grills, and bathrooms: Why do so many of the same people we see in that park decide to bring furniture, barbecue, and defecate across the street where people live, work, and worship?

To those who find this tiring, I can only say that after years without sleeping more than six hours before being awakened by a 500 watt “songbird”, I have all the energy in the world. It has not always been like this and there are no angels coming to restore our peace but you, my neighbors, when you finally confront this issue head on with the urgency it deserves.

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