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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 apprciated especialy 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.”

Eliot Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Agenda 11/16/2020 6:30pm

Incoming co-Chairs: Jimmy Wilson and Allan Rudwick

Monday, November 16 6:30-8:00

Join Zoom Meeting (phone instructions at bottom)

Agenda:

1. Welcome & Introductions

2. Eliot NA Officer Elections

3. Racial sensitivity training proposal

4. Committee Updates – LUTC – Diesel Letter – crime (do we want an official subcommittee?)

5. Public Comment

6. Approve October Minutes

7. Adjourn

please join by phone if you have connection issues:

Dial by your location
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 847 8809 4161
Passcode: 097864  

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

What Do I Need to Know About the Portland City Charter?

The City of Portland uses a foundational document, known as the City Charter, as a guide to how the city should be governed (similarly to the way the US relies on the Constitution). Portland’s charter requires that the document be reviewed and updated at least once per decade. It’s time for just such a review and the city is kicking off the process now.

The Charter Review Commission has an opportunity to examine the way the existing charter works, including how the government operates, how officials are elected, and how the government is structured. The commission determines its own scope and sets its own timeline. The City of Portland oversees the selection of 20 Portland residents to form the commission and has vocally committed to creating an inclusive commission that is representative of Portland’s demographics (as well as the city’s geography). Each city commissioner selects four Portland residents to serve, including the mayor, for a total of 20.

Due to COVID-19, the Charter Review Commission will meet virtually. Commission members will receive a stipend of $500 in place of childcare, food, and transportation they would have received under normal circumstances. Commission members should expect the process to last for 18 to 24 months.

Several key issues are expected to come up during the commission’s review process:

  • Portland’s form of government: Portland is one of the few remaining cities using a commission-style government. Portland City Club published a report in 2019 (https://www.pdxcityclub.org/new-government/) on the inequities of commission-style governments and our need to adopt a more inclusive form of government. In the report, they directly connect the incredibly low numbers of women (9) and people of color (3) elected to the local use of a commission-based government. JoAnn Hardesty, elected in 2018, is the first woman of color to be elected to Portland’s city government. 
  • The City Auditor’s office: While Portland’s City Auditor is independently elected, the city charter grants control of the auditor’s budget to the city council, effectively allowing the city council to limit the power of the city auditor. Given that the auditor’s job is to examine the city council’s work and report back on the results to the people of Portland, the current city auditor, Mary Hull Caballero has concerns about that control. The city council asked that the Charter Review Commission examine the question.
  • Policing and community safety: The city charter sets expectations for public safety and could be used as an avenue to address defunding police, as well as implementing new approaches to public safety in Portland. 
  • Election reform and security: As other cities have adopted ranked-choice voting and other reforms through ballot measures, the city charter review process offers an alternative opportunity to explore municipal election reform. Furthermore, during the primary, the incumbent mayor and police commissioner, Ted Wheeler, accepted donations significantly larger than those allowed by the city charter.
  • Neighborhood associations: Portland’s neighborhood associations wield significant power and are primarily composed of affluent White home owners. The past few years have seen major critiques of these neighborhood associations as well as the Office of Community and Civic Life (formerly the Office of Neighborhood Involvement), which oversees the associations.
  • Prosper Portland: Previously known as the Portland Development Corporation, Prosper Portland’s existence is based on the city charter. The organization is responsible for a variety of so-called “urban renewal” projects that have gutted Black communities and stolen Black wealth in Portland, as well as displacing other communities.

Critics of the charter review process do suggest that city commissioners can prevent meaningful action by the Charter Review Commission, because they can vote to block the commission’s recommendations from taking effect. During the last charter review, in 2011, the commission pushed for the adoption of a new form of city government, but were largely ignored by the then-mayor and city council. The Charter Review Commission can choose to send recommendations directly to voters, provided 75 percent or more of the commission members agree to do so.

While the Charter Review Commission’s power is limited, there are arguments for participating in the process: commission members are empowered to investigate the way the City of Portland conducts business, which could help all residents of Portland better understand whether elected officials truly are working on our behalf. The city council may feel more pressure to listen to residents during these times of heightened attention on police forces and governments. And if city commissioners don’t listen to the Charter Review Commission? Portlanders know how to throw a good protest.

Tentative Timeline

  • June 30, 2020 — Charter Review Commission Work Session -read notes from the work session here. (https://www.portland.gov/omf/charter-review-commission/events/2020/6/30/charter-review-commission-work-session)
  • Fall 2020 — The City of Portland appoints Charter Review Commission members
  • Winter 2020 — The Charter Review Commission develops a work plan, including community engagement strategy and procedures
  • Early 2021 — The Charter Review Commission meets with community members to gather feedback.
  • Late 2021 — The Charter Review Commission provides an initial report to the Portland City Council.
  • January 2022 — The Charter Review Commission provides recommendations to the Portland City Council.
  • Spring 2022 — The Charter Review Commission and the City of Portland determine if changes to the charter must be voted on as ballot measures before implementation.

Additional Resources

Compiled by Thursday Bram. Please contact @ThursdayB on Twitter with comments, questions, and concerns. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. If you’re interested in using this information to create a more visually-oriented explainer, please contact Thursday!

I-5 Community Advisory Board Disbanded

I-5 freeway and surrounding area. This aerial view is from Google Maps.

View Posts

The Oregon Department of Transportation just decided to dissolve its community advisory committee (right before a meeting where about half the committee was going to resign) because they wanted to “ensure more input from Albina’s historic Black community”.

Not mentioned was the fact that the community advisory committee was given almost no power to make any changes to the project and was basically asked to be a rubber stamp on the project. The city of Portland and the Albina Vision Trust have both stepped back from the project, removing their support.

It feels like the internal politicians inside ODOT are trying desperately to keep this project moving in their desired direction. It also feels like community activists are very close to getting the project killed completely.

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

Eliot Neighborhood Association General Member Meeting Agenda 10/19/2020 6:30pm

Chairs: Jimmy Wilson and Allan Rudwick

Monday, October 19 6:30-8:00

Zoom link

(or for audio only, call +1 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 891 8010 0204,
Passcode: 253756)

1 Welcome & Introductions (6:30pm)

2 Neighborhood Update

3 Board Elections – Choose Directors for the Coming year

4. Old Business/Updates  

5. Approve amended minutes from September’s meeting