New Fundraiser at TwentySix Cafe 1/1/21 plus Knott Street Boxing Gets a Big Surprise from Les Schwab

Help out the Knott Street Boxing Club on January 1st from 7 am – 1 pm, at TwentySix Cafe at 2723 NE 7th Avenue
just north of Knott Street

In our fall issue, we reported on the Knott Street Boxing Club that normally works out at the Matt Dishman Community Center. However, because of Covid, the center is closed and the boxing club had to relocate for its workouts and training sessions. Stanley Dunn, both trainer and mentor, has dedicated numerous hours to the kids that are part of the club. They are now training at the Vancouver Avenue side of Dawson Park in the covered area.

The Knott Street Boxing Club has been around for a long time. According to its Facebook page, “It was once a top boxing club in the nation and produced championship level fighters. It has remained a solid community club in a neighborhood that has gone through a lot of changes. Boxing gyms are often recognized for helping to keep kids out of trouble by giving them a place to go and teaching them the value of discipline and hard work.”

Currently, the club needs equipment like a heavy bag and is saving up for a van to transport equipment to the park and drive the boxers to tournaments when they are able to participate in those events again. There is a new Go Fund Me page to make donations and any amount is greatly appreciated.

The kids at Knott Street Boxing Club training at Matt Dishman Park. Photo is a screenshot from the video link below.

One day this fall, the club, and also Stanley, got a big surprise. A film crew and reporter from KPTV were interviewing Stanley about the club and, unbeknownst to him, this was more than just an interview. The Les Schwab Surprise Squad arrived on the scene and presented the Knott Street Boxing Club with some much-needed equipment and a check for $2000. Stanley was so surprised and grateful. Check out the video here.

Hopefully, with the help of Portland residents, that van that they are saving up for will be acquired in the not too distant future.

You can help out now! On January 1st from 7 am – 1 pm TwentySix Cafe is holding a fundraiser for the Knott Street Boxing Club. Stop by, grab a coffee or tea and chip in to help out the club and the kids.

Eliot Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Minutes 10/19/20

Board Members Present:

  • Allan Rudwick, Co-Chair
  • Jennifer Wilcox
  • Sue Stringer, Newsletter Editor
  • Shireen Hasan, Community Outreach
  • Jimmy Wilson, Co-Chair
  • Pat Montgomery

Others Present:

  • Kelli Fagan
  • Alexis Croucher
  • William Van Hevelingen
  • Harrison Osbourn
  • Craig D
  • Kim
  • John Engleheart
  • Emma Holland
  • Jell Morgan
  • Jared Hobbs
  • Esme Harbour
  • Angela Kramer

Meeting opened at 6:34 pm.

Welcome & Introductions

Neighborhood Update

Dawson Park: met with the police over Zoom.  They said they were not aware of the magnitude of the problems at the park.  Officer Quackenbush (LT Jim Quackenbush  James.Quakenbush@portlandoregon.gov  503-793-9681) came by the next day and saw firsthand what was going on.  Since then people have not noticed police presence.  Will meet with the police again in two weeks. It was suggested that now is the time to get working on a solution so that when the weather gets better again we will have a solution in place.  It was noted that Central City Concern has been in the neighborhood quite a bit trying to engage the people using drugs. 

Can use pdxreporter.org  to report crime.  This is part of the city government and may be easier than waiting on hold on the non-emergency line.  

Some questions that were raised included:

  • What can we do proactively?  
  • What are our hopes?
  • Could we have the hospital invite some folks to put a food cart there?
  • What are the next steps up the chain:
    • NECN Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods 
    • PSAT Public Safety 
    • ONI Office of Neighborhood Involvement

It was suggested that we should have a representative from Emanuel on the board.  That was an agreement made in the past. There has not been an Emanuel representative in over a year.

Board Elections – Choose Directors for the Coming year

There was a brief discussion of the role of a director.  The role includes attending meetings regularly and doing some work between meetings (small tasks such as write letters, articles for newsletter)

Allan reviewed the process: We will open for nominations, develop a slate, then vote in the slate.  Then next month we will elect the officers. People can nominate themselves or anyone else.  

Allan re-nominated all those currently on the board: Allan, Jimmy, Shireen, Pat, Jennifer, Sue

Johnny Engleheart nominated himself, Allan seconded

Harrison Osbourn nominated himself, 

Kelli Fagan was suggested but declined but is interested in the livability committee.

The slate (Allan Rudwick, Jimmy Wilson, Shireen Hasan, Pat Montgomery, Sue Stringer, Jennifer Wilcox,   Johnny Engleheart, and Harrison Osbourn) was unanimously elected. 

Jimmy made a statement that we need to have a level playing field that need to be addressed before we bring new people into the board.  In the past, there has been new leader training for new board members.

Pat recommended that the executive committee review Angela’s proposal for racial justice and diversity training and make a recommendation to the full board. 

Old Business/Updates  

Land Use committee met last week.  The city is slightly changing the conservation district rules. They are being more flexible in how the houses can be used so that they will be used more and be less likely to be demolished.  

Newsletter went out and looks great.  Sue is open to people writing articles because she is down writers.  She is hoping to connect with some high school students to get a youthful perspective. 

Clean Air Team: Sue and Allan contacted everyone and heard back from some people.  Most people were not able to participate at this time. Allan was going to send the letter to XPO Logistics but realized that the letter was not ready to send.  It is unclear what we really want to ask for in this letter. The committee needs to meet to hammer out the details. Angela will do some research on community partners in the schools and try to connect them to Allan or Sue. After some discussion, it was decided that we will ask XPO logistics to filter their trucks.    

Approve amended minutes from September’s meeting

Sue moved to approve the minutes as amended.  Passed unanimously. 

Meeting adjourned 8:17pm

Adopt a Block Update: 26 and Counting… Can We Count You In?

By Jody Guth

PickUpTrash
Keep the Neighborhood Clean!

The Eliot adopt-a-block program is currently 26 members strong.  A few folks have moved, and busy schedules have put others on hold (to resume later, they promised!) However, we’ve added several new members in the last couple months, and the solve bags and disposable gloves I have stacked on my porch have started to dwindle – a good thing!  I’m committed to keeping those supplies stocked and am hoping other Eliot neighbors might wish to join our caring group of clean-street-defenders.  Please contact me, Jody, at 503-331-1511 (land line) and I’ll get you set up, and tell you everything you need to know. (regarding trash, that is….) My email address is jodyguth@gmail.com. 

 For those wanting to join but not quite ready to commit, there is also a way for you to help out.  Metro has a program called RID Patrol.  All you need is a phone or computer, and a few minutes of your time to report any illegally dumped items in the public right of way. Their contact info is oregonmetro.gov and their phone number is 503-234-3000 option 6. If reporting online, go to the search bar and type in rid. There is a wealth of information for you there. See a dumped mattress, appliance, large bags of illegally dumped trash, etc.,  just contact RID and they will have someone out to pick it up.  How cool is that?

Of course, we still need our feet-on-the-street citizens to tackle the cigarette butt’s, (no, they don’t degrade) fast food beverage cups and wrappers, and so many other bits of flotsam and jetsam swirling about our neighborhood streets. This is where a committed adopt-a-blocker (maybe you?) comes in. We’d love to have you join us. Oh, and there is a bonus. We have a quarterly drawing for one lucky member to receive a $100 New Season’s gift certificate compliments of our Eliot Neighborhood Association. I have picked 2 winners this time around as there had been some adjusting and uncertainty the past quarter.  Congratulations to Jan Landis, and Cindy Irvine! Couldn’t have happened to two more committed members.  Jan patrols the area around Boise Eliot school (and mentions she could use more help in that area!) and Cindy tackles Cook St between Rodney and MLK. She has also mentioned being overwhelmed on that street, especially closer to MLK. If anyone living in either of those areas would like to join/help I know both women would appreciate it.  

Cleaning up leaves from storm drains are just one thing that volunteers for Adopt-a-Block can help with. Photo credit Sue Stringer

Summer’s almost over and the fall rains will soon begin. (don’t think I’ve ever been so anxious for THAT to start happening). Going forward, please do your best to keep your leaves from blocking sewer drains. Those who live on corners where the leaves flow down to them will be appreciative of any efforts “upstream”. Be kind, and consider your neighbors. Other bits of trash also get strewn about in the mix and keeping things clear makes it so much easier for adopt-a blockers to do their jobs without having to pick through heavy, wet piles of leaves.  Come on along….make keeping YOUR Eliot neighborhood clean a part of your good deeds. We look forward to having you join us.

Slow Streets for Cyclists and Pedestrians

By Monique Gaskins

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/76829 Link for Tillimook Improvement Project

Autumn is upon us! As the summer temperatures start falling and the days continue getting shorter, here is your friendly reminder to keep or start spending time outside. Especially with the limitations of Covid-19, being able to maintain social distancing while also running, walking, or bicycling can be helpful to mental and physical well-being. Although all of us might not have easy access to parks or gyms right now, we do have access to some innovative use of our city streets. Eliot holds at least two major greenways (Tillamook and Rodney) and is adjacent to at least two more (Siskiyou and Going). 

The Portland Bureau of Transportation, PBOT, launched a new initiative, Safe Streets, during Covid-19 that encourages Portlanders who are not in an automobile to stop limiting their usage to the sidewalk on some of our local roads. The goals of this program are as follows: 

1) Facilitate access to more outdoor space

2) Enable walkers, runners, and bicycles to maintain social distance while using city streets and sidewalks (Also called Slow Streets)

3) Provide more options for businesses to allow social distance

Here is a written response to a couple of questions from PBOT’s Communications, John Brady: 

MG: How does the city see Safe Streets? Successful? Not?

JB: So far, the Slow Streets program is helping keep traffic volumes and speeds low on the neighborhood greenway network. In addition, nearly 800 calls and emails to the city’s 823-SAFE line have been overwhelmingly positive with many people requesting additional or specific locations for Slow Street installations.

MG: Are there any plans to improve Rodney, Going, or Tillamook Greenways in the near future?

JB: NE Tillamook just completed a capital improvement project that improved crossings and reduced speeds along the neighborhood greenway from N Flint to NE 28th. We are in the planning stages for the next phase of the project from NE 28th to NE 62nd. NE Rodney and NE Going are not in line for construction projects in the near future.

Within the Eliot neighborhood, Northeast Rodney Avenue and Northeast Tillamook Street both fall under the Slow Streets program. Since the initiative kicked off earlier this year, I’ve enjoyed more space to run and bicycle without worrying about being limited to the space of a sidewalk. So, consider this an open invitation to all of our neighbors: I hope to see you getting some fresh air on the neighborhood greenways! 

Thai MLK—New Food Cart Next to Billy Ray’s Tavern

There’s a new food cart in town located on MLK at Sacramento and it sits right next to Billy Ray’s Tavern at 2210 NE MLK.

Thai MLK is a great new food cart on MLK at Sacramento. Julie Wilson, owner, shows off their extensive menu.
Photo courtesy Julie Wilson

Julie and Brandon Wilson have opened Thai MLK and the patrons of Billy Ray’s Tavern are, I’m sure, happy to have food that can be purchased at the cart and then consumed at the Tavern.

Julie Wilson moved here from Hawaii after working with her auntie who had a restaurant in Kauai, Hawaii. She learned how to make delicious Thai cuisine. Her sister owns a restaurant in Troutdale, Thai Carnation, so it’s no wonder that Julie would accept the offer to buy the food cart that used to be owned by her sister.

The menu at Thai MLK has a nice variety of appetizers, salads, stir fry, noodles, soups, and curries as well as beverages and desserts. Main dishes range from $9-10 and appetizers are $5-7.

Crab Puffs – just one of the delicious options at the Thai MLK food cart. Photo courtesy Julie Wilson

At this point they accept cash but also accept credit cards. Conveniently, there is an ATM at Billy Ray’s Tavern that can be easily accessed during the bar’s business hours.

As a bonus, Thai MLK is giving away free masks so you won’t have to worry if you order your food and then decide to go next door to the tavern.

Soon the Wilsons plan to build a patio next to the food cart to protect customers from the rain which will definitely be appreciated.

Thai MLK is open Tuesday—Saturday from 1—10 pm.  Be sure to try this food cart soon and welcome Julie and Brandon to the neighborhood. From personal experience, the food is delicious and I highly recommend the Pad Thai. It is so flavorful and you can increase the spice with the additional chili peppers included on the side.

We are happy to have them in Eliot!

Memorial Garden for Oregon’s First Black Politician

By Ruth Eddy

The Gladys McCoy Memorial on MLK and Knott. Photo credit Sue Stringer

At the busy intersection of Knott and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, a small semi-circle of grass with a few roses gives a break to the surrounding concrete. At the center of a faded, red brick wall is a portrait of Gladys Sims McCoy etched in stone, with wafted hair and bright eyes watching over passersby. McCoys’s smiling face is surrounded by an engraved list of her accomplishments, as well as the mindless graffiti tags familiar to underappreciated spaces of a city. 

McCoy’s accomplishments were many. She was the first African American elected to public office in Oregon. She was elected to the Portland Public School Board in 1970.  She also served for many years as a Multnomah County Commissioner. In remembrance, her name now graces a public park in Portland, public housing, and most recently, Multnomah County’s new downtown health department building.

Gladys McCoy – Photo courtesy Multnomah County

When she died in 1993 from thyroid cancer, her name wasn’t on any buildings, and her friend, Venerable Booker, wanted to ensure her legacy was remembered.

Booker was then the President of American State Bank, the first Black-owned commercial bank in the Pacific Northwest, which was located in the building directly north of the memorial, now a dialysis center.

A few blocks north of the bank, Hillary Mackenzie owned an architecture firm. As a customer of American State Bank, she got to know Booker well and was hired to design the memorial. She recalled he had a clear vision for the project, which would include “a walkway so you have to enter in the site, to settle in and read it. He wanted that recognition and then he wanted it to be pretty, so it was a place people would linger for a few minutes.”

McCoy’s portrait has recently had a front-row seat to many protests marching past in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. After the first night of protests in May, Irvington resident Kate Thompson went to survey the damage she had heard about on MLK. Across from the smashed Nike store windows, she found herself lingering at the memorial. “I walked past it for over a decade, walking to work at Good Sam’s,” she said. “It was not until I retired that I had time to be curious about its history’.

She started pulling weeds that day and has been returning most Friday mornings for the last three months. She has recruited others who wanted to help and started calling the group the Gladys’ Garden Gnomes.  The garden has become a place for Thompson to channel her outrage of racial injustice into something positive.  “We all need time for reflection,” she said. “Quack grass gives us that opportunity.”

For Thompson and her fellow volunteers, pulling up weeds provides an apt metaphor for our nation’s racism. The grass is deeply rooted and sends out runners in many directions, making it difficult to remove. Thompson acknowledges that she doesn’t know what good it will do, but that “it’s a choice to have hope.”

Thompson has been in contact with Mackenzie to add irrigation and some other features to the original design, including a way to memorialize Venerable Booker, the man who made sure our community knew Gladys McCoy’s life was a Black life that mattered.

Kate Thompson and the five arborists from Mossy Tree Care – photo courtesy Kate Thompson

Update: In October Mossy Tree Care donated their time to get the trees in shape which was very appreciated especially after the big windstorm. According to Kate Thompson, “Five men from Mossy Tree Care each donated two and a half hours of energetic labor to clean up the hardscape of the garden. They were a delight to work with.”

Obituary: Errol Michael Beard—Bridging Art, Light and People in Portland and Beyond

Born in Portland, Oregon. Raised in Vancouver Washington. A 1968 graduate of Ft. Vancouver High School, he also attended the University of Washington, studying architecture. As a youngster he found it easiest to go by Mike, but in recent years many friends knew him as Errol. Mike passed away peacefully in his home from ongoing health issues. He was preceded in death by his brother Gary. He’s survived by his children, Christopher M. Beard 26, and Nicole M. Beard 24, both of Portland, as well as his brothers Ed and Jeff and his sister, Cheryl Cristobal.

Mike spent his life working in the arts, focused on architecture, bridges and serving the community. He started his business, Errolgraphics, in 1979. He was well known for his series of Mt. Hood Jazz Festival posters, beginning in 1983 with the piano floating on Trillium Lake and for his 19 years of posters promoting the Bite of Portland. He’s also known for his series of architectural renderings of Portland’s bridges and his images of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as New York’s, Chicago’s, Pittsburg’s and London’s bridges and many other iconic structures. Mike did many projects promoting Portland, including the Portland Opera, Chamber Music Northwest, the Portland BridgePedal, the Arial Tram and more. His national works were often featured in popular cinema. Mike was a founding member of the Willamette Light Brigade, focusing on lighting the city’s bridges, and he was a driving force behind the Winter Light Festival. Mike’s body of work is large and included national treasures, some of which can be found in the National Archives.

He loved the arts, golfing, rafting, camping and connecting with friends and strangers alike. As a child he spent summers camping and waterskiing with his family. When his own children were young, he spent endless hours at their sporting events and camping with them around the Pacific Northwest. He loved where he lived. His neighborhood in NE Portland filled him with energy. His neighbors knew him to sit on his porch and talk with everyone. That porch was a neighborhood gathering place. Mike will be remembered by those who knew him as a fun and generous spirit. He was creative, thoughtful and talkative. He was a loving father, brother, neighbor, and friend.

Due to COVID-19, there will be no funeral service. Mike will be laid to rest at Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Vancouver WA.

Mike’s children, Chris and Nicole, intend to honor his life by continuing to manage and sell his works at Errolgraphics.com.

Community Flu Shot Clinics

From Legacy Health

We’re making it easy to protect your family and community from the seasonal flu. While supplies last, we’re offering free flu shots at select Legacy locations in Oregon and Southwest Washington. The vaccine is even more important this year with the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s especially important for children to get vaccinated, even though they are not physically in school, because this group tends to be largest transmitters of the flu. The annual flu shot is the greatest defense against this yearly infection. These flu clinics are providing flu shots for anyone aged six months and older. No payment or insurance is required.

Our staff follows all necessary safety precautions to ensure you and your family can safely get your flu shot. You can also visit one of our two drive-thru location to get your shot in the comfort of your vehicle. Locations and details listed below. 

Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center
11/3 & 11/10
1pm – 7pm | Main Lobby
2211 NE 139th Street,
Vancouver, WA 98686

Legacy Medical Group
Family Wellness Clinic
11/6
1pm – 7pm | Drive Thru
1000 S.E Tech Center Drive, #120,
Vancouver, WA 98683

Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center
11/7 & 11/14
1pm – 7pm | Cascade Classroom
Cascade Building Sleep Center
24700 S.E Stark Street,
Gresham, OR 97030

Legacy Emanuel Medical Center
11/6 & 11/13
1pm – 7pm | Conf. Rm East / West
Medical Office Building 2
501 N. Graham Street,
Portland, OR 97227

Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center
11/4 & 11/11
1pm – 7pm | Drive Thru
Overton Parking Garage
2145 N.W. Overton Ave,
Portland, OR 97210

Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center
11/2 & 11/9
1pm – 7pm | Rm 117
Health Education Center
19300 S.W. 65th Ave,
Tualatin, OR 97062

Legacy Silverton Medical Center
11/4 & 11/12
1pm – 7pm | 1st Flr Lobby
Family Birth Center
342 Fairview Street,
Silverton, Oregon 97381

Legacy Holladay Park Campus
11/5 & 11/12
1pm – 7pm | Lab Conf. Rm
1225 NE 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97232

You Can Still Chat with Senator Lew Frederick

By Nathan Soltz

The regular Senator Frederick’s Second Saturday Chats have been held virtually since March. They’re still the second Saturday of every month at 9 am, but they are live-streamed on Senator Frederick’s Facebook page: facebook.com/SenLewFrederick. The format is the same as it would be in-person. Senator Frederick gives his updates and then answers any questions from people watching. They ask their questions by typing in the chat and then they are relayed to Lew.

Please feel free to sign up to join our mailing list at oregonlegislature.gov/frederick (e-Subscribe at top right of page). We send out reminders every week before the chat and also post one on Facebook.

We’ve had a pretty good turnout, getting about 40 people each time and lots of views afterward as well (we post the live stream recording as soon as it’s over). They go about 40 minutes to an hour, ending when we’re out of questions.

For more information or questions contact Nathan Joseph Soltz, Chief of Staff, Senator Lew Frederick, 900 Court St. NE, S-419, Salem, OR 97301, (503) 986-1722 (Office)

Eliot Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Minutes 9/21/20

Board Members Present:

  • Allan Rudwick, Co-Chair
  • Jimmy Wilson, Co-Chair
  • Jennifer Wilcox, Recorder
  • Sue Stringer, Newsletter Editor
  • Shireen Hasan, Community Outreach
  • Pat Montgomery

Others Present:

  • Thursday Bram
  • Nate Hildebrand
  • Jeanine Morales (Jeanine@prochoiceoregon.org)  NARAL Pro Choice Oregon
  • Greg Bourget, Portland Clean Air

Meeting opened at 6:34 pm.

Welcome & Introductions

Presenters:

Greg Bourget, Clean Air Oregon

  • Working on addressing smoke stack and diesel emissions. 
  • Doing a citizens’ effort to rein in pollution.  
  • The biggest problem in the Eliot Neighborhood is diesel emissions.  We are one of the worst counties in the country. 
  • Have been working with a committee from the ENA.  Did monitoring with bike mounted monitors and are setting up some stationary monitors. Have a new map of truck traffic.
  • XPO Logistics has a large fleet of trucks with no filters. The suggestion from Portland Clean Air and the ENA committee is to focus on XPO Logistics as a next step.  
  • NARAL may be able to join us for support.  Greg will connect with them. 
  • Our next step is to decide if we want to send the letter to XPO Logistics.  Allan and Sue will call all the members on the committee to try to encourage participation in the committee. Next steps are for the board to read the letter to XPO Logistics, make any changes and then finalize and vote on the letter and send to XPO Logistics.  Allan will send the letter to the full board for review. 

Jeanine Morales, Deputy Director, NARAL Pro Choice Oregon 

  • Focus on reproductive rights and equitable access to reproductive care through three separate arms:
    • NARAL Pro Choice
    • NARAL Pro Choice foundation
    • NARAL Pro Choice PAC
  • Trying to let everyone know who they are
  • New leadership is working to redefine NARAL in terms of reproductive justice, focusing on BIPOC community

Angela Kremer/ Racial Diversity Training (Was not at the meeting, update given by board members)

  • Angela met with Pat and Sue
  • She has surveyed some of the members of the board but not all of them
  • The plan was for her create a proposal and present it to the board but she needs to complete her surveys before she is ready to present

Dawson Park Update

  • Continue to have crime with no response from police
  • Ivy Street is having the same problems
  • Was a discussion of having a group of people work on addressing this but no progress has been made on this front. 
  • Knott Street Boxing was doing their training in the park which was helping some
  • Need to find a way to address the problem without the law, perhaps more pro social activities Care not Cops has a lot of resources that may be helpful

Board of Directors Update

  • Could we use money to pay for a Zoom account? $150 per year.  Look into NECN see if they have an account they would share with the Neighborhood Associations. Allan moved Sue seconded to set up a Zoom Account for Jennifer to host the ENA meetings.  It could also be used for committee meetings. Sue will look into how to share an account.  
  • Treasurer position: Jim would like to step down.  He is willing to stay on in a minimal capacity as bookkeeper and check writer for a short period of time but not to attend meetings.
    • Is there any one that would be willing to step into this role?
    • The bylaws require a Treasurer position
  • Next month is our general election meeting in the fall 
    • How will we do the election? What we have done generally in the past is to open the floor to nominations and just keep nominating and seconding until there is nobody else who is interested in being on the board.  
    • Advertising: Put on the front page of the website, put on NextDoor, pass out flyers (Shireen, Jimmy, Pat, Allan, Sue) 
    • We need to recruit active members for the board and subcommittees.  Our subcommittees are dwindling.  Many of the issues we are trying to address are not getting traction or making progress. 
    • Put a general article on our webpage about the board and our goals
    • Set a goal of each board member invite one person to the next meeting

Committee Updates

  • No updates

Minutes

  • Sue moved Allan seconded the August minutes be approved. One abstention, one opposed, three in favor, motion passed. 

Meeting adjourned 8:29pm

The ABC’s of Food Pantry Donations and Harvey Roberts Pantry Story

Food pantry at 3617 NE 7th Avenue organized by Harvey Roberts.
Photo courtesy PDX Free Fridge.

It started with having a lot of extra time and energy and nowhere to use it. Being out of work, stuck at home, feeling the need to help those struggling with food insecurity, one Portland resident wanted to help her community.

An idea was born a couple of months ago and Harvey Roberts wanted to make it come to fruition. The small food pantry now in the parking strip in front of her house just a block and a half north of Fremont Street at 3617 NE 7th Ave was transformed from more than just a daydream into a real lifesaver for nearby neighbors and houseless residents.

Harvey was living in Columbus, Ohio, and wanted to be part of a larger LGBTQ community. She identifies as queer and as she said, “There were only 7 queers in Columbus and I had dated all of them.” She is also a social worker by trade and wanted to move to a city that offered more social services.

Enter Portland, Oregon.

Portland was a perfect fit for Harvey and she got connected quickly. She has only been here 5 years but has been able to work with several grassroots organizations providing mutual aid through yard sales and other fundraisers with money going to the Black community members.

Her work experience has been with the houseless and survivors of domestic violence so she has experience with those that are vulnerable and needing assistance and services.

After purchasing a reasonably priced pantry from a neighbor, Harvey filled up the pantry with food and toiletries and placed it in the parking strip in front of her home. She added hand sanitizer, a mini-fridge, and a box with grocery bags for ease of carrying away food and supplies. A friend of hers was working with PDX Free Fridge and linked Harvey up with the organization. They listed her pantry on their food pantry map and also, at no cost to her,  built a structure to house the pantry to keep it weather-resistant this winter. It has been a great partnership.


Harvey has met a lot of the people that access the pantry. Houseless residents, seniors needing additional food, neighbors with large families that need to supplement their meals, and those needing toiletries that the SNAP funds don’t cover. It is heartwarming to see how many she has helped but sad to see how many need help.

How can others help out? What’s the best way to give?  What’s most needed?

It’s simple. When going to the store, buy extra of what you already are purchasing or buy additional items the pantry could use. Next, drop your food or toiletry donations by the pantry or leave them on the porch if the pantry is full. Harvey restocks and organizes the pantry daily to make sure there are a variety of items available.

The best items to donate are soups, tuna or other canned food with PULL TOP lids, beef jerky, applesauce, peanut butter, sardines, crackers, bread, produce, and other items that don’t need to be cooked for very long. She suggests not donating dry beans or rice. It is nice to have access to foods you want to eat not just the same items over and over again.

Toiletries are also in high demand. Toilet paper, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, menstrual products, and soap are needed.

Be mindful and intentional and donate what you would like to eat or use. Monetary donations are also accepted. See below for payment app account information and also contact information or stop by and say hi to Harvey if you have more questions or need suggestions for donations.

So let’s come together, give what you can and take what you need. We’ll all be better because of it.

  • Harvey Roberts
  • 3617 NE 7th Ave
  • harveyjeanroberts88@gmail.com
  • Cash App $payharveymoney
  • Venmo App @harveymoney
  • (Please type PANTRY in the memo line of Cash or Venmo donation)

Within and Beyond the Borders of Eliot: Community Resources

The Hand Up Project is a non-profit organization working to break the cycle of homelessness.  According to their website, they are offering pantry locations addressing increased food insecurities in communities of color and the LGBTQ community. They also offer peer support and insurance navigation and are a member of the Northwest Community Network Referral Network. They offer a shopping style food pantry at the Q Center (4115 N Mississippi) the 2nd and 4th Mondays from 12-4 pm and also at St. Philip the Deacon church (120 N Knott) every Tuesday from 12-4 pm. Check out their website at HandUpProject.org.

St. Philip the Deacon church has hosted a Saturday lunch at Deacon’s Dining Hall for over 20 years. They have served over 200 hot meals a week. Currently, the free Saturday lunch program is still operating just under different terms. You can pick up a sack lunch at 12:30 pm every Saturday at the church dining hall. For more information contact the church at StPhiliptheDeacon.org  or call 503-281-5802

PDX Free Fridge is a new community organization that has organized the creation of street-side pantries. Their motto is “a project by the community, for the community” available 24/7 to “take what you need, leave what you can” and “increase food access for all”.

There are two pantries close enough for our residents here in Eliot. One is actually in Eliot at Open Signal at the corner of MLK and Graham. The full-size refrigerator has food available for the taking and also for contributions.

The other pantry is located at 3617 NE 7th Avenue  north of Fremont just south of Beech St. Harvey Roberts  organized this pantry and has linked in with PDX Free Fridge. This pantry offers some refrigerated items, meals that do not require a kitchen and also some toiletry items. See the article about Harvey Roberts who started this pantry to find out more and how this pantry got started and how best to contribute to the pantries. 

Oregon Food Bank is usually only associated with food pantries, but they have organized a page on their website with options for food plus a full range of resources from help with your rent, childcare, health services, and more. The information can be found on the Oregon Food Bank website.

Multnomah County has curated an extensive list of services with contact information ranging from addiction and recovery services to mental health services, legal, and employment assistance. Click here for the Multnomah County Resource List.

Nextdoor is the neighborhood social media platform that works also like a bulletin board or classified ad site. Their website states, “It’s where communities come together to greet newcomers, exchange recommendations, and read the latest local news. Where neighbors support local businesses and get updates from public agencies. Where neighbors borrow tools and sell couches. It’s how to get the most out of everything nearby.” Find free items, get help with a project, make new friends, and connect with your neighborhood at https://nextdoor.com/.

Irving Park Nature Patch – Calling for Volunteers

From Portland Parks and Recreation website edited for clarity

Irving Park at the east side of Eliot neighborhood with sports fields, a dog park, playground and now an opportunity to make the park better for everyone. Photo credit Sue Stringer

Portland Parks & Recreation and the Bureau of Environmental Services are collaborating at Irving Park to create nature patches and rain gardens that will capture rainwater, foster habitat for wildlife, and add natural features for you to enjoy.

This project will bring nature to the neighborhood that works to protect public health and the environment by helping prevent flooding, sewer backups into basements, and overflows into the Willamette River during heavy rain. 

Areas targeted for nature patch landscaping include the degraded slopes around the basketball courts and between the dog-off-leash-area and the picnic areas. View the design concept here.

While the rain gardens are currently in the early design phase, landscaping to create the nature patches will begin this fall and planting will take place over next winter.

To sign up to volunteer to help create this space click here.

For more information about this project and other nature patches around the city visit the city website’s Nature Patch page.

The Irving Park Nature Patch is funded through the BES Percent for Green Program.

Cartside PDX– Tap House and More Carts Now Open for Business

We reported in the summer issue that a new food cart pod had opened on N Williams and Hancock. At that time only a couple of carts were open and we were anxiously awaiting more carts and also the tap house to start serving. Well, that time has come. Each have different hours so check them out or give them a call.  They are all listed in the Dining in Eliot list to the right. Check out their website for more information and menus at  https://www.cartsidepdx.com/

Lots of options at Cartside the new food cart pod on N Williams at NE Hancock

The following carts have joined the pod:

  • L’Unico Italian Street Food
  • Poblano Pepper Mexican Food
  • Yaba Yabaa Mediterranean
  • Ko Sisters Korean Soul Food
  • Let’s Roll Sushi PDX
  • Smaaken Waffle Sandwiches
  • PP Thai Food Cart

The Cartside Tap House is also now open 7 days a week from 11:30 am —7:00 pm and serving up beer, cider and wine with 25 different beers and ciders on tap.

Check them all out-  there’s lots of great food and drink to enjoy!

COVID-19 From One Black Perspective

By Monique Gaskins

This year has not gone as expected. I’ve hesitated to address our country’s current situation because there are so many different issues impacting us right now. In Portland, there won’t be a return to normality for the foreseeable future. Many people are struggling with feelings of anxiety, our economic indicators show vast discrepancies across socioeconomic groups, we are still in the midst of a global pandemic– with limitations to our physical movements and social interactions, and underneath everything, is a widespread awakening to the struggles and injustices that Black people have experienced for hundreds of years. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.” In other words, while changing our behaviors to lower our risk of exposure to COVID-19, we may also be feeling anxious or stressed. Since we are practicing social distancing to help lower our exposure risk and opportunities to spread the disease to others, we might be isolated from our friends, family, religious organizations, and other support systems. For some people, this anxiety and isolation have led to an increase in suicidal thoughts. The CDC finds reports of suicidal ideation to be higher in Hispanic and Black individuals than in the general population. As neighbors and friends, we can respond to these facts by intentionally checking in on friends and family. 

Unsurprisingly, the increase in uncertainty has manifested itself in the economic realm too. Unemployment rates are significantly higher than they were earlier this year. In August, as I write this article, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Oregon’s unemployment rate at 10% for July. In February of this year, before the impact of the Coronavirus became widespread, our unemployment rate was 3%. Oregon’s state legislature has responded with a moratorium on evictions (currently through September 30th) and a six month grace period to pay back rent. This bill should provide some relief to Oregonians impacted by job loss or underemployment this year. Again, Black people might struggle from an outsized impact from job loss. Although Black Americans constitute 13% of the U.S. population, they hold less than 3% of the country’s wealth. Many systemic reasons are contributing to this discrepancy, but the result is that Black people may have a smaller safety net and a more difficult time finding a new job if they are laid off, furloughed, or able to access fewer shifts. 

Systemic racism as demonstrated by police violence and political apathy has played a prominent role in mainstream media this summer. Across our country, Americans can watch recordings of police officers killing Black Americans while suffering few consequences. An organization called Mapping Police Violence measures 751 fatalities from police violence from January 1st to August 24th of this year. Although Black people represent 13% of the United States’ population, they represent 28% of these deaths. Across the country, this has sparked discussions about defunding the police and using that money to instead support social services and other organizations to uplift our communities rather than relying on disciplinary-first tactics. 

The city of Portland’s 2021 budget, including funds for the Portland Police Bureau, was approved even after racial unrest and protests had become more prominent. Although some organizations and city council members supported a more significant cut to the Portland Police Bureau’s budget, only a fraction of that proposed 50 million dollars was re-routed to other parts of the city’s budget. However, Portlanders have dedicated their time and risked their safety to continue to push for changes from the Police Bureau and our city’s leadership.

The impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic are being felt differently by different parts of our population. Black people are more likely to be negatively impacted in many ways; we are more susceptible to economic instability, more likely to hold jobs that increase exposure risks, and more likely to suffer from the effects of police violence. Through the repeated acts of public violence against Black people, it may feel like society is saying that Black Lives do not matter. Locally, our city’s protests demonstrate empathy for Black Lives from a majority white city. Protesters demonstrate their willingness to risk their safety in solidarity with Black people by showing up nightly and standing against police brutality. Portland’s recurring protests demonstrate that there are people in our communities who are willing to support Black Lives.

I’m a Black Portlander, and this is only my opinion. I’m sure my background is very different from many other Black Portlanders. My perspective cannot represent everyone’s point of view. But, if any of this resonates with you, there are ways for you to provide support. Locally, you can join nightly protests or donate to the Black Resilience Fund or PAALF (Portland African American Leadership Forum). Local organizations, like Black Feast, also support Black joy as their way of resisting the violence and inequality felt by many Black Americans. You can donate to these organizations or support Black-owned businesses and artists here in Portland. 

Across the country, many professors, authors, and artists have shared resources to help us understand racism better. We have options spanning books, articles, movies, and podcasts such as Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, The 1619 Podcast by the New York Times, and “Where do I donate” by Courtney Martin. We can support national and local elections and get out the vote campaigns. Portland’s next mayor and potential Police Bureau Commissioner will be decided in this cycle along with national leadership. There is no reason for us to sit on the sidelines. This year has not gone as expected. COVID-19 highlights some of our systemic failures and shortcomings. This year has been challenging for so many people; I hope that we can look at our collective weaknesses and take this opportunity to build a more just society.

Sources: 

CDC – stress from coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html#:~:text=The%20coronavirus%20disease%202019%20(,services%20you%20rely%20on.

CNN – increase in suicidal thoughts: https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/14/health/young-people-suicidal-ideation-wellness/index.html

Oregon unemployment statistics: https://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.or.htm

Rent moratorium: https://multco.us/chair-kafoury/covid-19-eviction-moratorium-information#:~:text=If%20you%20are%20a%20tenant,for%20nonpayment%20during%20the%20moratorium.&text=Tenants%20will%20have%20a%20six,rent%20from%20the%20moratorium%20period.

NPR – Black Americans and Covid 19: https://www.npr.org/2020/06/03/868469779/black-americans-bear-the-brunt-of-the-covid-19-pandemics-economic-impact

Mapping police violence: https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/

Paalf defund police: https://www.paalf.org/defund

Police budget: https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/2020/06/portland-passes-budget-with-millions-in-cuts-to-police-spending-but-short-of-public-demand-for-50-million-reduction.html

Resources:

Where do I donate: https://thebolditalic.com/where-do-i-donate-why-is-the-uprising-violent-should-i-go-protest-5cefeac37ef9

Just Mercy: https://justmercy.eji.org/

1619 Podcast: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/23/podcasts/1619-podcast.html