Submitted by Laura Fay – Approved February 27, 2023
Co-Chairs: Jimmy Wilson and Pat Montgomery
· Jimmy Wilson – Co-Chair
· Pat Montgomery – Co-Chair
· Jennifer Wilcox – Treasurer
· Elliott Armstrong – Newsletter Editor
· Shireen Hasan – Lead Community Outreach
· Laura Fay – Recorder
· Andrew Champion
· Nate Jones
· Kathryn LePore
· Serena Li
· Cassie Muilenburg
· Alice Newman
· Bliss Suh
David – Standard Dairy Building resident
Marie DeCamp – Standard Dairy Building resident
Tessa Fowler – Volunteers of America Men’s Resource Center
Allan Rudwick – LUTC
Stephanie White – Black Men and Women in Training
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS: Pat Montgomery called the meeting to order at 7:03pm.
AGENDA ADDITIONS: There were no additions to the agenda.
REVIEW MEETING AGREEMENTS: The meeting agreements were posted for individual reference.
APPROVE MINUTES FROM NOVEMBER 22ND MEETING: Jennifer Wilcox called for a motion to approve the minutes [LINK] from the November 22, 2022 meeting. Andrew Champion seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
VOA UPDATE ON STEP: Tessa Fowler, Education and Prevention Coordinator at the Volunteers of America’s Men’s Resource Center (MRC), provided an update on the Strategic Treatment and Engagement Program (STEP).
The MRC is a 54-bed treatment facility on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Through a three-month amendment to our Good Neighbor Agreement, the MRC is able to admit STEP participants. STEP is a diversion program targeting those who have committed certain person-to-person violent crimes within the last year. Outside the temporary amendment to our GNA, the MRC would not admit this category of offender.
The MRC currently houses three STEP clients. Tessa reports that it has been great. STEP participants are not dissimilar from the other clients at MRC, and do not obviously stand out. They are however tremendously grateful to be in the treatment program. She anticipates that there will a few more STEP residents, but does not know what the intake waitlist looks like.
As a member of the VOA Review Board, Allan expressed concern that he is not seeing applicants flagged as STEP participants. The reviewers may not be aware that they are looking at a STEP applicant.
Pat asked that a VOA MRC representative attend ENA Board meetings every month to keep the neighborhood updated, which Tessa agreed to do. Tessa also noted that MRC clients are interested in volunteer opportunities in the neighborhood. Pat and Cassie noted that this has happened in the past and has worked well.
Jimmy wishes to attend VOA Board meetings, and to join VOA’s Board.
DISCUSS VOA REVIEW BOARD: Allan Rudwick shared that the VOA Review Board is currently composed of himself, Jimmy Wilson, and two former ENA board members. Those former board members are willing to continue their work, or to be replaced by current members. The ENA board controls who is on the board, but membership hasn’t been reviewed in a long time. Also, there are likely additional questions we should ask to add to the candidate questionnaire.
A discussion ensued about what information would help the board in their deliberations. STEP court Judge Bloch has said that he welcomed our feedback to improve the questionnaire. We should consider what would be useful to us, and request that information.
Allan noted that the questionnaire provides age, current status, grade completed, employment, date of last drug use, previous treatment completion, consequences of drug use, and previous felony charges and convictions, what conviction is sending them to this program, among other information.
The Review Board has on a few occasions rejected an applicant, but offenders committing severe crimes aren’t presented to them for consideration. Occasionally they are presented with someone who they determine will not respond well to this treatment.
Allan called for additional volunteers to join the Review Board, noting that the work load is 3-5 emails each month, with response expected within 24 hours.
Marie volunteered to join the ENA board, so that she could join the review board.
MOTION: Bliss Suh calls for a motion to Add Marie DeCamp to the Board. Laura Fay seconds. The motion passes unanimously.
MOTION: Jennifer Wilcox calls for a motion to add Bliss and Marie to the VOA Screening Committee. Pat seconds. The motion passes unanimously.
Bliss intends to start a google doc where ENA Board members can share their suggested questions for candidate questionnaires.
CASCADIA ACTION ON AIR QUALITY IN ELIOT: There was no report on Cascadia Action’s recent air quality survey, however there will likely be in a future meeting.
EMANUEL DISPLACED PERSONS LAWSUIT: Discussion was postponed to a future meeting.
REPORT ON MAYOR’S OFFICE DECEMBER 9 MEETING AND SAFETY UPDATES FROM STEPHANIE HOWARD: Cassie reported on progress in getting the City’s attention on neighborhood safety concerns:
· The City’s Safe Blocks program offers free safety assessments, reviewing properties to recommend steps businesses can implement to be less susceptible to crime. Safe Blocks visited the Stop N Go market on January 12 to offer their services. The business owner was welcoming but declined an assessment.
· Chief Lovell and the North Precinct commander attended a meeting in November with Jimmy and Cassie, and listened to their report on recent gun violence incidents. They were receptive and acknowledged Eliot’s problems. They have a plan to address retail and auto theft, with the same officers as a continued presence. They wanted to reassure the neighborhood that our concerns are their priority.
· Stephanie Howard, the City’s Director of Community Safety, announced that the Mayor’s office is launching a safety project focused on Eliot. Community Safety Division will conduct community outreach and the ENA will be given a main point of contact. We have invited their presence at future ENA meetings to learn more.
· Howard also announced that the Office of Violence Prevention intends to significantly expand the City’s street-level credible messenger work, through Cure Violence Global. Organizations that have received funding in previous rounds will have opportunities to continue their work through this effort.
DAWSON PARK LIGHTING: In the interest of time, Laura moved this report to email.
ENA COMMUNICATION WITH PPB: Bliss introduced Marie DeCamp and Dave, residents of the Standard Dairy Building who were recently victimized by the same offender. They had concerns about police’s inability to help keep the offender out of and away from the building. Based on this experience, Bliss asks that the ENA Board clarifies what engagement we want to have with PPB.
EXPUNGEMENT CLINIC PROPOSAL: Bliss calls for volunteers to join her in working on an expungement clinic. Jennifer volunteered, and noted that she, Shireen and Cassie are among the volunteers working on the regular job fairs in Dawson Park. An expungement clinic is a natural addition. Cassie further noted that Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said that he would partner with us.
STEPHANIE WHITE FROM BLACK MEN AND WOMEN IN TRAINING (BMWIT) TO DISCUSS NEW INNOVATIVE CULTURALLY SPECIFIC MENTAL HEALTH GROUP PRACTICE SERVICES: Stephanie White introduced her project, a mental health group practice targeting people of color.
Their model is to partner with non-profit organizations wanting to use BMWIT’s fee-based, specialized services. In return, they will donate back to their non-profit partners.
She is building a well-skilled, knowledgeable multicultural team and intends to being offering services this month, including occupational therapy, martial arts, and massage therapy.
INTRODUCE PSU MURP STUDENTS STUDYING THE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL AROUND THE KERBY RAMPS: Allan reminded the board that he had applied for a grant on behalf of ENA. The grant provides for the time of six students who will study redevelopment of the Kerby ramp. Allan invites broad community involvement to shape project outcomes. He anticipates that there could be occasional events, and a monthly committee meeting for 5-6 months. Allan will send out information and updates, and agrees to bring regular updates to ENA Board meetings.
Serena Li and Jennifer both volunteered to join.
WEBSITE ORGANIZING: Serena intends to work on the website so that information is more easily found.
· ELIOT NEWS: Elliott reported that the next issue is about finished. We should be looking for additional volunteers, ideally writers and anyone who could help with advertising. Advertising is down, and we are looking to regroup on the next issue.
· TREASURER’S REPORT: Jennifer reported that she, Jimmy and Pat are now all signers on the checking account. In August 2022 we had $5,588 in the account. Expenses related to events in Dawson Park were covered by a grant from the city. We had a charge from Zoom, which we had reversed. With other expenses balanced by income from newspaper advertisers we now have $5,699.48 in the account.
Pat asked that we take time in the next meeting to prioritize what we want to accomplish this year.
MOTION: Bliss makes a motion that the major item on next month’s agenda be planning our priorities for the year. Pat seconds. The motion passes unanimously.
· LUTC UPDATE: Allan shared that there are plans for a new tower on N. Vancouver and Russell, the current site of Sloan’s. Also the city seems willing to continue talking about the diverter on NE 7th and Tillamook.
PUBLIC COMMENT: Andrew wished to remember Miguel Rivero Francisco, a victim of gun violence in our neighborhood. Mr. Francisco’s murder one year ago this week remains unsolved.
ADJOURN: The meeting was adjourned at 8:37pm