Eliot Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Minutes Monday 4/17/2023

Submitted by Laura Fay – DRAFT not yet approved

Co-Chairs: Jimmy Wilson and Pat Montgomery

BOARD ATTENDEES:

  • Jimmy Wilson – Co-Chair
  • Pat Montgomery – Co-Chair
  • Jennifer Wilcox – Treasurer
  • Etheric McFarlane – Vice Community Outreach
  • Cassie Muilenberg – Vice Community Outreach
  • Laura Fay – Recorder
  • Andrew Champion
  • Katheryn Le Pore
  • Serena Li
  • Alice Newman
  • Bliss Suh

OTHER ATTENDEES:

  • Shelley Devens
  • Marguerite Feuersanger
  • Tessa Fowler
  • Ananda Gordon-Peabody
  • Sara Griggs
  • Anne Hill
  • Mae Holsapple
  • Richard Hunter
  • Officer Mark Kelly
  • Begin Lanse
  • Emily Lindsay 
  • Sergeant Adrian Matica
  • Ian Meisner
  • Mary Tompkins
  • Jack Vollert
  • Alyssa Whitesides

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS Jimmy Wilson called the meeting to order at 7:04pm

AGENDA ADDITIONS: There were no additions to the agenda

REVIEW MEETING AGREEMENTS: [Link] Pat Montgomery reviewed the meeting agreements

APPROVE MINUTES FROM MARCH 20 MEETING: Andrew Champion called for a motion to approve the minutes from the March 20, 2023 meeting. Bliss seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

VOA UPDATE ON STEP: Tessa Fowler provided an update on the STEP program. Since the March meeting the MRC has welcomed one additional STEP participant, bringing the total to five. The updated screening protocols requested by the Eliot review panel are in place and being used. If the ENA wants additional changes please bring them to Tessa and she will talk to the VOA intake team. The STEP participants are settling in and responding well.

MRC recently hosted an alumni event at the New Song church, attended by over 300 participants who represented a total of 1,000 years in clean time. Tessa will also bring flyers for their August block party.

NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY: Mary Tompkins introduced herself, as the program manager for the Eliot Safety Project. She has been meeting with many neighborhood and community partners to talk about safety issues. She intends to have a space at Legacy, and welcomes neighbors to join their meetings.

Among the many connections Mary reported on, she noted that she is talking to Dishman about what youth programming they will have this summer. She also intends to speak with Legacy about bringing outreach workers to Stanton Street. Traffic calming is an option for Stanton Street, although they do not yet have the PBOT engineer on board.

The City will again streamline August block parties with its Party on Portland program. Registration opens May 15.

Pat encouraged Mary to connect with a committee of community elders who had been focused on Dawson previously. She also asked if the city would help fund concerts again this year.

Jimmy stressed the need for jobs, especially for the folks hanging out around the park area.  

Jennifer Wilcox encouraged Mary to talk to Vancouver Avenue First Baptist about the first Tuesday event they host in Dawson Park every month.

Next, Marguerite Feuersanger and Anne Hill introduced their work with the Public Environment Management Office. PEMO is the response to one of the mayor’s four emergency declarations, and is responsible for garbage, graffiti, vandalism, and initiatives to stabilize public spaces. They assemble in their 30-minute meetings a broad coalition of city resources, to respond quickly to community crises. Eliot is being handled separately from the other N/NE neighborhoods in recognition of the need for community-initiated solutions. They work closely with Mary Tompkins, Tiffani Penson and the ENA. Currently they are working on better lighting in Dawson Park, and around Matt Dishman. PEMO’s job is stabilize communities so that Mary’s work can be effective. They are also working to address re-opening the bathrooms in Dawson Park.  

Eric stated that we need a safe place where people can be taken to detox, like Hooper did for alcohol. He asked attendees to think about how do we get people in need away from Stanton Street, and on to something that’s better for them.

Anne emphasized that addiction and mental health services require a county response, and we need to have them at the table.

Officer Mark Kelly and Sergeant Adrian Matica from the North Precinct introduced themselves. Officer Kelley described recent work in the Dawson Park area, and that the DA has presented full charges on three people arrested for dealing drugs. But dealing is so lucrative for dealers, it’s very difficult for people to stop. They need options. Officers are not pursuing buyers, who want and need help. He stressed the need for outreach workers to connect with people who want to get out. Hooper provides three days of detox, but it isn’t enough. We need to work together.

He also shared that they had made an arrest for the homicide at the Hancock encampment. Witnesses were very helpful.

He introduced Officer Matica, and shared that Matica is committed to Eliot. They want and need to work with the community. He reminded attendees that the Urban League is a valuable partner: they have resources; jobs, housing. They are running the old Palms motel on Interstate. 

CASCADIA NEIGHBORHOOD NEEDS ASSESSMENT Sara Griggs described Cascadia’s Community Needs Assessment. The survey organizers would love to connect with Eliot residents about the neighborhood so that they can best understand the area’s wellness and case management needs.

Shelley Devens described this as an opportunity to identify community needs that they are not serving. They intend to use survey findings to help Cascadia improve the quality of its services.

KERBY STREET OFF-RAMP PROJECT Ian Meitner provided an update on the Fremont Bridgehead Reclamation Project. Organizers have been learning about existing conditions, and understanding the damage done to the neighborhood by off-ramp. They are researching the potential opportunities given zoning restrictions. Over the coming weeks, they will engage with the community to understand our values and our ideal vision for the area. They will present a plan in June. 

NEIGHBORHOOD UPDATES

Eliot News: No report 

Treasurer’s Report: Jennifer reviewed the financial report. She noted that the newsletter is down to one page or less of advertising. The total cost of the newsletter is $5,000 annually, against $1,400 in advertising revenue. We absolutely need advertisers to continue the newsletter. Jimmy offered to check in with NECN to see if we are owed any communication funding.  

LUTC Update: Andrew provided an update. There was no meeting in April, but he has been meeting with Legacy safety staff to understand their goals around Stanton Street.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Serena Li shared that Alice Chang, our neighborhood Adopt-A-Block organizer, has received cleanup supplies. Please let Serena know if you would like to connect with Alice about picking up trash bags or grabbers for your litter pick-up.

Richard Hunter introduced himself as a volunteer with AARP Oregon. Through AARP’s Neighbor Walks program, Richard has developed a Black History Walk called “The Williams District and Eliot and Boise History.” He will lead the next walk on Saturday, July 22nd at 10am. Last time he had 75-100 attendees.

ADJOURN: Jimmy adjourned the meeting at 8:41

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