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We have been experiencing some challenging times with both the coronavirus pandemic, the subsequent economic impact and also the Black Lives Matter protests. We are currently collecting content for our fall issue of the Eliot News. Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus?Or perhaps a story from the Black Lives Matter protests you’d like to share? How you or your family handling the pandemic? Any silver linings or new routines or skills you’ve discovered? Please share with us by emailing to news@eliotneighborhood.org. We’ll follow up with any questions or clarifications. Thank you~ Sue Stringer, Editor, Eliot News

Eliot Neighborhood Association Meeting Agenda September 21, 6:30-8:30 pm

<see instructions for connecting to the meeting below, this is different than past meetings. You can call in or use video chat>


1 Welcome & Introductions (6:30pm)

2 Board of Directors Election and General Assembly Meeting Oct. 19

3 Angela Kremer – proposal for racism training

4 Greg Bourget, Portland clean air – regarding diesel pollution

5 Jeanine Nicole Morales (click for bio) from NARAL Pro Choice Oregon

6 Dawson Park update

7 Old Business/Updates:  

8 Approve minutes from last time

This meeting will be a WebEx meeting. See instructions below:

This is the invitation for the ENA meeting on Monday, Sept. 21.  For folks using phones or tablets, you may need to download the free WebEx app:  https://cart.webex.com/sign-up-webex

You can also call in.  Then you should be able to just click on the link below.

When it’s time, join your Webex meeting here:

Join meeting

Meeting number (access code): 146 614 8315

Meeting password: JKyxMpU28j7

Tap to join from a mobile device (attendees only)
+1-415-655-0003,,1466148315## United States Toll

Join by phone
+1-415-655-0003 United States Toll

Join from a video system or application
Dial 1466148315@cascadiabhc.webex.com
You can also dial 173.243.2.68 and enter your meeting number.

Consider Joining Local AARP Chapter 5624

By Richard Hunter

Northeast Portland residents may not know anything about the AARP local chapter 5624, and for those who know we exist, you might know much about us. 

We are the only Local Chapter of AARP in the State of Oregon made up of 158 African Americans, age ranging from 50 to 90 years old. Our membership is still growing.  We hope to double or triple our membership size by this time next year. 

Since the COVID19 shut down began in March this year, we have been unable to meet for our monthly luncheon sessions, so we created a newsletter as a way to stay in touch with our members and keep them informed.  We remain active through our executive board and small committee projects until we are able to all come together again.  Some of us are actively involved with our AARP State Office of Volunteers.  In the midst of a pandemic, nationwide protesting, fires, and bad air quality, we are a part of the most vulnerable in our community, but we remain healthy, encourage the wearing of masks, washing of hands, and social distancing.  We are resilient and our executive board is safely active.   

Keep us in your prayers and check out the newsletter here.

For more information contact Richard Hunter, Sr., Executive Board Member, 503-964-9137.

Incontinence Supplies for Low Income: Where and How To Get Products

By Harris Schacter

If you’re a part of a low income family that needs incontinence supplies, then there’s good news for you: You could get incontinence supplies at little to no cost.

There are many programs and organizations that provide incontinence supplies for low income individuals and families. The tricky part is finding them. We’ve put together a list of the best ones to make it a little bit easier for you to get the supplies you need. 

Medicaid Coverage of Incontinence Supplies for Low Income Individuals and Families

Here’s something awesome about Medicaid: most programs cover incontinence supplies for low income individuals and families. There are currently 45 states whose Medicaid programs offer some form of coverage.

Medicaid offers two major advantages for getting incontinence supplies for low income individuals and families:

  1. Reliability:
    Eligible Medicaid recipients can get a 30-day supply of incontinence products delivered to their door each month.
  2. Cost:
    In many cases, the cost of these deliveries is covered completely by the Medicaid plan.

Getting Supplies with Medicaid Benefits

To use Medicaid for incontinence supplies, you have to meet two basic requirements:

  1. You must be enrolled in a Medicaid program that provides coverage of incontinence supplies.
  2. You must visit a doctor and get a diagnosis for incontinence. Medicaid will only cover incontinence supplies if a doctor considers them medically necessary for your treatment.

You can learn more about getting supplies through Medicaid in our Medicaid Coverage of Incontinence Supplies Guide (https://www.hcd.com/incontinence/medicaid-incontinence-supplies/), including your state’s specific coverage options and requirements. You can also sign up for incontinence supply deliveries securely online at any time.  

Diaper Banks

Diaper banks are charitable organizations that provide diapers and incontinence supplies for low income individuals and families in their community. In most cases, these supplies are distributed by the organization for free.

Each organization has its own policies for what kind of products they provide and how they are given out. Some diaper banks only provide diapers for young children, while others may also provide products for adults. Many organizations only hand out supplies at designated times, and some require a request for supplies before pickup.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility requirements are also different for each diaper bank. In some cases, the diaper bank mayrequire evidence of low-income status in order to get supplies. This may include the following:

  • Enrollment in Medicaid
  • Food Stamps
  • Letter of Assistance from the State
  • Prescription showing a need of supplies

Before you visit a diaper bank, you should call to find out if they offer the type you need, and what their eligibility requirements are. Keep in mind that most diaper banks operate through donations, and may not always have a regular supply of incontinence products when you visit.

You can search for a diaper bank in your area at the National Diaper Bank Network’s online directory (https://nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org/home-covid19/). If you can’t find a bank in your area, try your local food banks, which sometimes also provide incontinence supplies.

Family Caregiver Grants

Another way for low income families and individuals to get incontinence supplies is through family caregiver grants. Family caregiver grants are designed exclusively for caregivers who need assistance in caring for aging family members. This includes getting incontinence supplies.

Family Caregiver Grant Eligibility

Eligibility for participation is outlined by each state’s Department of Health and Human Resources, and could include the following requirements:

  • Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 and older providing care to individuals 60 years of age and older.
  • Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 and older providing care to individuals of any age with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders
  • Older relatives (not parents) age 55 and older providing care to children under the age of 18; and
  • Older relatives, including parents, age 55 and older providing care to adults ages 18-59 with disabilities.

A good place to learn more about caregiver grant services is through the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (www.n4a.org). Here, you can search for participating aging agencies in your area and find resources for caregivers. You can also contact your local Department of Health and Human Resources to find out what grant options are available.

Other Resources

Incontinence supplies for low income individuals and families are not always easy to find, but they are out there. If none of the previous options are available, there still may be a solution for you. Here are some resources that may be able to help you find incontinence products in your area.  

Administration for Community Living (ACL)
The ACL is a government-funded organization dedicated to providing support for aging and disabled people. They provide a wide range of services that includes assistance grants, connecting people needed services, and support networking for aging and disabled populations.

2-1-1
2-1-1 is a service that helps connect people in need to services and organizations that can help them. Their website offers an online search, and you can also call to speak with their trained professionals who will help locate a service that potentially can help you get incontinence supplies.

The Simon Foundation for Continence
The Simon Foundation for Continence keeps a directory of diaper banks that supply adult incontinence products. They also provide educational resources and support about incontinence and how to manage it.

The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army partners with many diaper and food banks to help provide incontinence supplies to those in need.  In some areas, they also provide referral services that can help connect people who need incontinence supplies to the organizations that can provide them.

The Road to a New Road, Interstate 5 Updates

By Ruth Eddy

The Oregon Department Of Transportation’s (ODOT)  plans to expand I-5 in our neighborhood are not moving at highway speeds. The reshaping of an asphalt landscape is slow. The big machinery that digs the dirt is quiet, the bureaucratic gears of planning and design are fully in motion, with three significant meetings occurring in the last few months.

First, the Oregon Transportation Committee (OTC) met on April 2nd to make a decision that had been delayed since December at Governor Brown’s request. At the end of the three-hour meeting, which was held on Zoom and live-streamed for the public on YouTube, the five-member board voted unanimously to move forward into a design phase on the I-5 Rose Quarter Project without completing an Environmental Impact Statement

In response to the forward motion set by the OTC, the project’s Executive Steering Committee (ESC) had its first Zoom meeting on May 22nd to set a framework by which to make future decisions about the project.  The 16 members of the ESC were led by facilitator Dr. Steven Holt. Half of nearly two-hour-long meeting was dedicated to introductions. Dr. Holt asked each of the members to answer the question, “What does restorative justice mean to you?”  The answers varied in detail but addressed similar themes. Marlon Holmes answered succinctly, “Calling on a community to address ills or wrongs committed against that community, and with the perpetrators addressing how those ills and wrongs have affected the community.” 

A week later, on May 28th, the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) held its second meeting, also on Zoom. According to Megan Chanel, the Rose Quarter Project manager, the project design was approximately 15% completed and CAC would advise all further work. “Think of it as we’ve brought the sandbox, but we need your help in burying some sand helping us build the sandcastle,” Chanel said.

Christopher John O’Connor, one of 24 members on the committee, believed the metaphor to be overly optimistic and offered his own saying, “The house has been built, we know how many bathrooms there’s going to be, we know what the general layout is, we’re going to be discussing… what color to paint it.”

Another member of the committee, Liz Fouther-Branch, expressed frustration with the obtuse language used to describe components of the project. Fouther-Branch said, “We need to be able to go back to our communities and speak to them in plain English about what the benefits are, what the impacts are. Breaking down the transportation language into community language so that you can build that trust in community.”

The CAC will meet again on Tuesday, June 23, 5:30-7:30. The next ESC meeting has not yet been scheduled, but all meetings are open to the public and archived on ODOT’s Youtube page.

We Can’t Stand By While Highways Are Widened

How I-5 was planned and built through Eliot in the 1950s and why we should not widen it

At a recent meeting, my Co-chair, Jimmy Wilson, asked me a pertinent question: “Where were white folks standing when Interstate-5 (I-5) was run through North Portland in the 1950’s?”  I decided to dig through archives to find out, visiting the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) website and then spending a significant amount of time on the Oregonian’s historical archive (found through Multnomah County Library). I also tried to find some other local news sources like the Northwest Clarion but unless I go find someone with an extensive microfilm archive and dig through it manually I don’t think I would find anything.

Eastbank Freeway Construction through the Broadway-Weidler Interchange in 1962. Photo courtesy Portland City Archives

In Northeast Portland, the intersection of Urban Renewal policies and Freeway Construction Policies combined to remove the heart of the Black community’s housing stock (over 800 units from the Eliot area alone) between 1955 and 1970. The Eliot and Lower Albina neighborhoods were decimated to make room for I-5, but even larger pieces were removed to make Memorial Coliseum and its parking lots. Later, Emanuel Hospital’s expansion dreams and the I-405 off-ramps removed even more of the community’s buildings and dislocated its people.

I was struck by the sheer pace of highway planning and construction during the late 1950’s through the Portland region. Planning or construction of all of the highways we now know within 5 miles of Eliot happened within 5 years. The roadway engineers had a seemingly limitless budget during those days, and they had tremendous power to reshape the city as well. They knew that highways became clogged with cars a few years after they were constructed through a process we now call “induced demand.” The highway engineers knew that I-84 (“the Banfield Freeway”) would soon become congested and had plans for a “Fremont Expressway” taking an east-west route through Northeast Portland and another “Mount Hood Freeway” taking an east-west route through Southeast Portland. Those routes will never be built, and from what I can tell, many of the existing highways should not have either. Uprisings over the removal of so many housing units prevented the later highways from being built, but not before Eliot and North Portland received the scar of I-5. These routes have served to increase the geographic footprint of our region and helped make everything more quickly accessible by car.  In doing so, these highways have also increased the dependence on the car for transportation throughout our region, increased the average distance of trips and increased the basic cost of living of citizens of the Portland Metropolitan Region.

The Interstate System was funded through the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 which authorized $25 Billion for the construction of 41,000 miles of the Interstate Highway system over a supposedly 10-year period. In the act, a Highway Trust Fund was created that paid for 90% of highway construction costs. This meant that state highway engineers could dream up huge plans and only needed a 10% match from local governments to build highways. This amazing subsidy may have helped highway builders of the time become desensitized to the value of the buildings they were destroying in the name of “progress.”

I found that there were other options considered for the “Minnesota Freeway” that we now know as I-5 from I-405 to the Washington border.  However, the main other option was the “Delaware Freeway,” a route more along N Greeley and N Delaware Avenues, one which would have removed slightly more houses and been slightly more expensive to construct. This option would still have taken the same path through the Eliot Neighborhood. The opposition to the Minnesota option was disorganized and didn’t coalesce around one specific alternative, which contributed to it being ignored. There was a bridge built at N. Ainsworth across the highway to mollify the principal of Ockley Green School, which would have had its district separated by the highway had that bridge not been built. To this day N. Ainsworth is one of the calmest places to cross I-5 in north Portland.

After this research, I thought to myself, okay, what about the section of highway that actually runs through Eliot?  It turns out that this was a bit challenging to find out about because it was actually considered a part of the “East Bank Freeway” even though this stretch between I-84 and N. Russell Street was not along the river.  This route may have been chosen by planners at the City of Portland signing off on plans prepared by the Oregon Department of Transportation. From the news of the day, it appears that the people living and working on the east side of the river were not substantially consulted in the process, even though hundreds of families would be displaced for the highway project. The first mention of this highway running through Eliot in The Oregonian was from January 1959, and in February and March there were some articles talking about the number of buildings to be torn down. At one point they were referred to as “Ancient Buildings.” By December, the right of way had been cleared. This is unbelievable to me:  Less than 6 months from the first timely public mention of the highway going through this area to the mayor approving the demolition, and 12 months from the first mention of the highway to complete demolition. A cursory note of the design of the Broadway, Williams, Weidler, Flint and Vancouver overpasses was made, as was a note that 29 other streets would be “terminated” or turned into dead ends.

During the demolition process, salvagers would pay prices as low as $5 for the right to salvage parts out of houses that would be demolished for the East Bank Freeway Route. One hundred and eighty households with 400 people were displaced by one count; another count I read included 250 households. Is it possible that those with the power to demolish buildings might not have been particularly concerned with those they were displacing?  To me, this is obviously the case. One article I read talked about the shocking record of non-litigation by homeowners on the route. Either property owners thought they were getting a fair deal by the Oregon Department of Transportation, or they had no leverage in the courts to make it worth the legal troubles.

With the power of hindsight, we do not have to repeat the mistakes of the past. ODOT is planning to widen I-5 underneath the 5-bridge intersection we now have around Broadway, Weidler, Vancouver, Williams and Flint Avenues. During the 1960s, there were a series of highway revolts across the country, resulting in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1959 governing roadway construction. As a result of this, the current proposal by ODOT to widen I-5 around the Broadway/Weidler Interchange, rebuild all of the roads that cross the highway, and provide some minor and questionably valuable “ community benefits” has been in the planning and engineering process for the past 10 years. During the time since the planning process started, the process of “approving” this project has been orchestrated in a way that no elected body has had a simple vote on whether they wanted to build this project or not. There have been several votes about what type of environmental review process to do, about whether we want to pass a huge transportation funding bill including this project, and about whether to approve buying land for the right of way of the project. However, no politicians have ever been asked to vote on whether to actually build this project.

The project is not particularly popular. Roughly 90% of the public comments about the project have been in opposition to building it, including the Eliot Neighborhood Association’s comments at every step of the way. The effects of highway construction are generally worst for those that live and spend their lives closest to the freeway. The local residents are subjected to detours, construction noise and pollution during the construction process. In addition, after project completion, the increased traffic on local streets and the highway will make quality of life for those living around the project worse. That increased traffic is all but guaranteed while widening highways. There is a nearly 1-to-1 relationship between the number of highway lane miles and traffic, whatever name you give to the lanes that you are building. If we look closer at what “local benefits” the project would have, we can see that just tweaking the street grid above the highway will have minor impacts at best. A new pedestrian crossing between Winning Way and NE Clackamas street was intended to be an asset, but highway planners have put such a curve in it that it will not shorten any journeys with its meandering path above a noisy highway. The Hancock-Dixon overpass will not substantially connect streets that are not served with the current Flint overpass we have now. Even the new “public spaces” created by the project will be small and triangular, possibly the site of camping since no accommodation for productive buildings on them is being made.

The only real change the project would make to the surrounding area would be widening the highway, a car-capacity increase that will barely change travel times through the area. It would also serve to put more cars into our local street network, which has led to renderings showing even wider streets through the area than we have now. This would increase road noise and reduce the value of land around the project area. Although trumpeted as a “traffic and safety project” it serves neither. Safety on other ODOT-managed streets is a much higher priority than in this corridor, which has not seen any deaths in a decade. Only congestion pricing has proved to improve traffic in urban environments, and we should be pursuing that sort of system instead of putting down more concrete.

Before this project started, drawings of how to reconstruct I-5 in a wider configuration with “minimal” impacts to traffic above were generated. This project has always been about a wider I-5 through the Broadway interchange, and everything else is just window dressing. It is not too late. Any benefits this project might have could be achieved at a much lower cost through other means.  We can still stop this $800 million boondoggle, which is clearly a continuation of the shameful history of highway construction in Portland’s inner neighborhoods. It is not too late.

A-dec and Legacy Health Announce Joint-Effot to Fight COVID-19

By Jordan Bean Blossom and Kristin Whitney

Rachel Boggs, NTICU nurse at legacy Emanuel medical Center and Bryan Goodin, Manager of Employee health at Legacy. Photo courtesy Legacy Health

A-dec and Legacy Health today announced an agreement for A-dec to manufacture and provide much needed supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) for Legacy hospitals and health care facilities.

“For more than 55 years, A-dec has lived by the principle of prioritizing concern for people above all else.” said Scott Parrish, A-dec President and CEO. “As a family-owned, Newberg manufacturer, A-dec is proud to partner with Legacy Health to bring much-needed PPE to Oregon’s health care workers. This is what we should be doing during this unprecedented time: working together to solve problems and take care of communities.”

A-dec has been working to develop PPE that are in critical demand by health care workers who continue to prepare to meet demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Legacy has a significant need for headband face shields and plastic shield coverings for their Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) helmets worn during procedures that provide protection against airborne illnesses.

The safety and well-being of our patients, their families and our staff is Legacy’s top priority. We continue, along with other area hospitals, to pursue aggressive measures to secure PPE and are increasing our PPE stores, including partnering with local companies such as A-dec to replenish critically needed supplies,” said Lewis Low, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer for Legacy Health. “We are incredibly fortunate to have exceptional local manufacturers, like A-dec, aggressively pivoting business operations and innovating to help us support the health needs of our community during this pandemic.”

Face shields made by A-dec for Legacy health. Photo courtesy A-dec.

A-dec is a family-owned, privately held dental equipment manufacturing company with headquarters in Newberg, Oregon. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company launched programs and infection control resources to support healthcare professionals practicing dentistry during the crisis.  The collaboration started when a Legacy Health nurse and an A-dec employee began discussing hospitals’ needs for PPE and A-dec’s manufacturing expertise. Following that conversation, A-dec employees worked around the clock over a weekend to develop prototypes of needed supplies. Over the course of just over a week, the company has converted several of their manufacturing areas to produce PPE for other health and emergency responder systems in the local area.

In their ongoing response to the COVID-19 health crisis, Legacy Health has a critical need for other personal protective equipment, as well as monetary contributions for a COVID-19 Response Fund. For information on how you can help, visit www.legacyhealthgiving.org/covid-19

A-dec reports considerable challenges with obtaining the quantities of raw materials needed to manufacture these products. The company is actively looking for partners in both the public and private sector to support their efforts during this global emergency.

About Legacy Health
Legacy Health is a locally owned, nonprofit health system driven by our mission to improve the health of those around us. We offer a unique blend of health services – from wellness and urgent care to dedicated children’s care and advanced medical centers – to care for patients of all ages when and where they need us across the Portland/Vancouver metro area and mid-Willamette Valley. With an eye toward a healthier community, our partnerships tackle vital issues such as housing and mental health. Legacy strives to help everyone live healthier and better lives, with the vision of being essential to the health of the region. For more information, visit www.legacyhealth.org.

About A-dec, Inc.
A-dec is one of the largest privately-owned dental equipment manufacturers in the United States. We are recognized as a global leader in the dental space and are committed to our mission of providing a quality environment where people work together for the betterment of dentistry worldwide. A-dec has over 1,300 employees globally, with manufacturing facilities in Newberg, Oregon, Fenton, Missouri, and HangZhou, China. A-dec markets its manufactured dental products, including dental chairs, delivery systems, dental lights, dental furniture, and mechanical room air compressors, vacuums, and water control valves. For more information, visit www.a-dec.com.

Consider Donating Money to Knott Street Boxing Club

By Ruben Bansie

Knott Street Boxing Club is part of the Matt Dishman community center in N.E. Portland. It’s been around for a long time. Inside you can see trophies and newspaper clippings that go back to the 50’s. It was once a top boxing club in the nation, and produced championship level fighters. Back in the day there could be 70-90 kids at the gym everyday. 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. 

Knott Street plays another important role in the community: it brings people from different backgrounds together. Portland has become more expensive, and as a result, less diverse and more divided. At Knott Street, people from all different backgrounds- race, income, age- come together. It’s one of Portland’s few melting pots. You go to Knott Street and spend time with people you might not otherwise know. These kinds of institutions are fundamental in teaching kids to understand prejudice. And inside a boxing gym, the only way you can feel superior to someone else is by working harder than them.  None of this would be possible without Stanley Dunn, who acts as the coach and mentor to the boys and girls who train at Knott Street. When I boxed there, I was struck by Stanley’s commitment to the club. He puts his whole heart into it, almost every day. He’s been doing it for over 16 years.

Stanley and the kids at Knott Street Boxing

At Knott Street, Stanley teaches the sweet science to anyone who wants to learn. He teaches the kids how to be humble when they win, and how to deal with loss. He inspires them to be fit and take responsibility for their health. He helps them rise to their full competence. He even picks them up if they have no way to get to the gym.  

Stanley does all this for no pay. He doesn’t ask for pay. He is truly dedicated to serving the community by always being there for the kids. When Covid hit and training indoors became a risk, he trained the kids at Dawson park. Often a scene of drug addiction and crime, he turned it into a positive environment. The whole neighborhood, the police and ambulances, clapped their hands and honked their horns in support as they passed by. 

Photos courtesy Knott Street Boxing Facebook page

Knott Street Boxing Club subsists on donations. It needs new equipment and more resources to keep its members involved. It needs funds to be able to put on exhibitions and travel to tournaments; the cheapest way to do this is to purchase a van to transport the boxing ring for set-up at exhibitions and for the team to travel to tournaments. And it needs the financial ability to help the kids who can’t afford the $20 monthly youth memberships.
The dream is to restore competitive greatness to the Knott Street Boxing Club by enabling it to compete. This gives the kids something to work towards. The minimum necessity is to keep the gym going, and provide the necessary equipment for it’s members to train.

There is a lot of awareness being raised right now about race and inequality in America. Donating to a charity or cause to help bring change to these issues is a good thing. I encourage you to research how your donations are being used, and better understand how you are helping. One of the best ways to help is by investing directly in your community. Small places like Knott Street make a big impact on the community. Knott Street is a throwback- there aren’t too many places like it around anymore. Let’s help keep it going and make it accessible to anyone who needs it, regardless of their income. 

The easiest way to donate is through the facebook page. Go to: www.facebook.com/knottstboxingclub and click on the “Donate” tab. 

Any questions, email Knott Street directly at knottstboxing@yahoo.com

 

40 is Plenty?

Residents on Eliot’s eastern edge have noticed the City recently installed “traffic calming devices (speed bumps)” on NE Seventh.  This is a result of the Transportation Commissioner’s rejection of the designation of NE Seventh as a Neighborhood Greenway in favor of NE 9th, despite the fact that route is blocked by Irvington Park, where bike riding on park paths is prohibited, and the direct connection of 7th to the new bike bridge over I-84 by Lloyd Center.  For those new to the area, Eliot has demanded traffic calming measures along Seventh for over 40 years due to the dangers presented to children accessing Irvington School, Tubman School and park, and Dishman Center.  At that time (the 1980s), Eliot was home to a many minority families and lower income residents.  Instead, the City put a higher priority on traffic calming measures on Irvington streets (15th and Knott) to benefit a predominately upper-class neighborhood.  Much of the traffic on Seventh in Eliot is from Irvington.  Nevertheless, I am glad the City has concluded that 40 years is long enough to delay desperately needed safety improvements for Eliot’s children, parents, and increasing number of seniors.  So far, the bumps are doing little to slow SUVs, pickups, and landscape companies, but sedan drivers are taking notice and will hopefully slow the rest (although I still see people passing “too slow” drivers!).  And, a word of caution, speeding between bumps and then breaking is the worst thing you can do for your car, so just slow to 20, or switch to MLK where speed limits are higher.

Sign Up for a FREE Backpack and School Supplies TODAY!

If your child is in need of school supplies this school year, we invite you to sign up for a FREE backpack filled with grade-specific school supplies (based on the Portland Public Schools recommended supply lists). You can sign up for each kindergarten through grade 12 student in your household, while supplies last.

Backpack distribution is from August 26 – 28, but you need to sign up so that we can reserve a backpack for your student. To sign up, please read and complete the following steps:

  • REGISTER: Select a ticket for the date and time you prefer for pickup, and please select one ticket per student. REGISTER >>
  • COMPLETE SURVEY: Once you’ve registered, fill out the following survey for each student. This will help us make sure your student gets what they need. TAKE THE SURVEY >>

We will be reaching out with more detailed instructions for pickup, including COVID-19 health and safety protocol to ensure staff, clients, and community members are protected.

Thank you for being part of our whole community! If you have questions, reach out to communications@cascadiabhc.org

Amazing Start to the Black Resilience Fund

By Cameron Whitten

The Black Resilience Fund (BRF) has raised $500,000 and counting from over 6,500 donors in its first two weeks.

Cameron Whitten, former Q Center Executive Director and candidate for Metro Council District 5, started the fund on Cash App and Venmo on the morning of May 31, with the goal of providing an opportunity for allies to support the healing and resilience of Black people in the Portland community.

The next day, Whitten formally launched the Black Resilience Fund on GoFundMe and it raised more than $55,000 in a single day. The following day, community organizer and lifetime Portlander Salomé Chimuku joined the team as a Co-Founder of the emerging movement.

“Our country is grappling with a storm of emotions right now. Our systems are so broken. How do we even begin fixing them? To me, the answer is clear. We start by taking care of our neighbors,” says Whitten. “We’ve gotten responses from people we’ve helped who said things like, ‘holding that check in my hand is when I finally felt I could come up for air’.” To be living during the era of ‘I Can’t Breathe,’ and to hear that coming from someone we’ve directly helped–– I find that to be incredibly powerful.

This morning, Whitten posted to Facebook a list of successes the BRF has accomplished in two weeks’ time, including over 600 volunteers signed up and over 200 recipients interviewed and funded.

To date, over $108,000 has already been distributed to pay for immediate support, including warm meals, groceries, life emergencies, and unpaid bills. A breakdown of funds are posted on the GoFundMe and are updated on a daily basis.

“Receiving this money from this fund makes it so I don’t have to choose between paying my rent or attending my oldest son’s funeral service,” says BRF recipient Elontene. “I was the first person to hold him, and thanks to the BRF I can be the last person to hold him.”

The Black Resilience Fund has been active for two weeks, and Co-Founders Whitten and Chimuku have no intention of slowing down their efforts. Their current goal is to raise one million dollars in order to ensure that as many of the 3,400 Black Portlanders who have applied receive real and tangible support.

“We need healing. We need justice. And that requires action,” says Whitten.

NOTE: Updated funds raised to date are over $1.15 million and counting.

Eliot Neighborhood Association Minutes July 20, 2020

Board Members Present:

  • Allan Rudwick
  • Jimmy Wilson
  • Jonathan Konkol
  • Shireen Hasan
  • Sue Stringer
  • Pat Montgomery
  • Jennifer Wilcox

Others Present:

  • Elliot Parr and Vlasta
  • Ruth Eddy
  • Ali Hardy of Immaculate Heart Catholic Church
  • Emma Holland and Jess Morgan
  • Katheryn LePore
  • Hillary Mackenzie
  • Rachel
  • Jessica Needham
  • Angela Kremer
  • Harrison Osbourn
  • John Engleheart
  • Alice and Andrew
  • Cornelius Swart

Welcome & Introductions (6:32pm)

  • Allan encouraged those in attendance to join committees including Land Use, Livability, or the Board.

Gladys McCoy Memorial – Hilary Mackenzie

  • Hillary Mackenzie spoke briefly about the Gladys McCoy Memorial on MLK.
  • If people are interested in helping with the upkeep of the memorial contact Hilary Mackenzie.  hilary@sundeleafmackenzie.com    

Dawson Park update

  • Neighbors reported on updates to the situation in the park including shots being fired last night and bullets being found in two cars.
  • Jimmy Wilson, Co-Chair of ENA attended a city council meeting with members of the neighborhood to express concern and ask for help with the Dawson Park situation and help for the neighbors who live on Stanton Street
  • Cornelius Swart spoke about how this same problem was addressed many years ago.
  • Suggestions of next steps included:
    • Building a coalition of partners including
      • Emanuel Hospital
      • Home Forward
      • Immaculate Heart Church
      • The corner grocery store
      • Cascadia
      • City of Portland Parks and Recreation department
    • Some neighbors are putting up fencing to keep people from sitting on their steps
    • Adding speed bumps to the street or a speed camera and sign
    • Putting in concrete planters to make it a dead end street
    • Immaculate Heart church is working on having the trees and parking removed
    • Creating a phone tree including all partners
    • Put up cameras in the park
    • Talk to the people in the park and find the root of the problem, understand their story
    • Contact the media
    • Ask for help from the office of neighborhood involvement
    • Be a squeaky wheel: every time something happens, contact city hall
    • Welcome people and connect them to services
    • Connect with each other one on one to build stronger community
    • Create a shared google doc to track what is happening
  • Action steps:
  • Have weekly meeting to talk about this issue. Allan will send an email to arrange the meeting.
  • Work on letter to Emanuel and other partners to join the committee
  • Cornelius will reach out to the media
  • Elliot will write a letter to the City council about the shooting last night

Dialogue about racism – Angela Kremer

  • Angela spoke about the need to learn to work together and address privilege and racism. 
  • Angela, Sue, and Pat will talk offline to help make a plan. Angela will put together a proposal.

Old Business/Updates: 

– Livability – down to 1 member

  • Sue willing to be the Board rep to that committee and get some of the adopt a block people on the committee. 
  • Angela and Jimmy will meet about the Blazers money. 

Amended minutes from June meeting were approved.

Meeting ended 9:04

What Will Be the New Normal Post-quarantine?

Recent development in Eliot has had two notable impacts on the area.  The first is construction of large apartment blocks.  The second is the flourishing of new cafes, bars, and restaurants in small storefronts.  The big question in my mind is what will happen to these in the immediate, as well as long term future?  Effort to allow bar and restaurant service in adjacent parking lots and sidewalks this summer is a necessary first step, but unlikely to be sufficient to preserve all of them.  Will the storefronts left behind by those that close just be boarded up, returning Williams/Vancouver and MLK to the way it looked prior to these developments?  Will residents in those multistory apartment blocks relocate to lower density rental properties where they have fewer contacts with strangers and high-touch surfaces?  Will folks who are allowed to continue working from home relocate, either to larger accommodations (2-bedroom units from 1 or studios) or leave the city altogether?  Any of these trends would change the character of Eliot as we have known it. 

Some other trends that are likely to persist include the reduced travel to work, for those who can, and for shopping as well as general avoidance of malls and theaters where strangers are thrown together (undermining the need to widen I-5).  Will this be the end of the Lloyd Center?  Its plan to become an “event center” seems especially poorly timed now, especially with the future of some of its tenants, (Lloyd Cinemas, Macy’s) unclear.  And what of the Blazers?  The Rose Quarter is already one of the smallest NBA venues.  Can the Blazers tolerate having only half the seats available for sale?  And, what about the large conventions needed to support the Convention Center and new hotel?  Perhaps the transition may be more “business as usual,” than a new normal governed by social distancing and mask-wearing with few risks for a rebirth of the pandemic.  Somehow, I doubt it.

Livability Committee and Adopt-a-Block Update

By Jody Guth

While the corona virus has kept the majority of us homebound – other than  for essential services – I’ve found that the streets have reflected this slowdown of activity. Less activity does equate to less trash but several adopt-a-blockers I’ve spoken to have been equally less motivated, myself included. Less people on the streets to collect garbage equates to certain areas not receiving “the love” a thorough trash pick-up will provide. 

Almost as an answer to that reality, I noticed a lone soul picking up trash along MLK Jr. Blvd the other day on my way to the store.  Pulling over to the curb and rolling down my window I asked the good Samaritan if he lived in Eliot, did he wish to join the Eliot Adopt-a-block program, and what was his name!  Fortunately he answered “yes” to the first two questions, and I happily added Michael Schwern as the newest member of our team. 

Michael lives on the corner of Rodney and Tillamook. He’s been living there for three years and lived for another number of years not far from his current home. He told me he was motivated to help pick up based on his affiliation with Burning Man and their ethos of “leave no trace”. He felt compelled to do so along MLK as a way to give back as he supports the peaceful protests and vigils that make their way through Eliot. I thought it a wonderful way of supporting our neighborhood and the surrounding streets. Michael would like to adopt Sacramento Ave between Rodney and MLK plus other areas of need during his daily walks. Thanks, Michael, and welcome.  

In addition to Michael, I met another Eliot neighbor, Julie Cushing, who was picking up garbage along Rodney Ave. Julie also felt compelled to give back and make a difference.  She said she hated seeing trash in the streets and wanted to do her part. When I asked Julie if she wanted to join the adopt-a-blockers as well, she was happy to join and becomes the latest member of our little group. Julie lives on the corner of Rodney and Thompson, and has been in the neighborhood for 20 years. She would like to help out on Tillamook from Rodney to MLK, parts of Russell, and Williams. Wow…thanks, Julie! 

Both she and Michael will be entered into the drawing coming up in a few days for those in the Adopt-a-Block family. They and/or you could be the lucky recipient of the $100.00 gift certificate to your local New Season grocery store, who we randomly pick each quarter. My trusty pal, Adrian, will draw the name from a current list of 28 trash-eliminators, and I’ll notify the winner. The odds are pretty sweet.

I encourage anyone with a desire to lend a hand to email me at jodyguth@gmail.com to join. (If you prefer phone its 503-331-1511 which is a LAND line, so no texts). I’ll get you stocked up with gloves, garbage-picker-uppers, and bags for trash.  The trash can be left for pickup by the city on the corner or address of your choice. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get you set up with numbers, and everything you need to help keep Eliot lookin’ good. 

Letter from the Neighborhood Association Co-Chairs

By Allan Rudwick and Jimmy Wilson

Being co-Chairs of the Eliot Neighborhood Association (ENA) has not been what we expected this year. We started out the year wanting to work on vacant land, diesel pollution and wanting to see the city pushed on houselessness. This year has seen the City put up people in the Convention Center for months. It has seen a dramatic reduction in pollution due to the pandemic. And it has seen neighborhood meetings move to the internet. One last thing we wanted to do was to keep space for neighbors to local residents to get help with their issues.

Along the way, the Eliot Neighborhood has been dragged into multiple other issues that we didn’t foresee. Interstate 5 widening near the Broadway Interchange seems to be moving ahead despite a high volume of comments in opposition to the project. The ENA has been vocally opposed to the project from the beginning and we may be getting our toes wet again. We have been contacted regarding rezoning land in the name of providing more affordable housing. We also have been approached by neighbors about crime around Dawson Park and the surrounding blocks. This issue is attracting neighbors to reach out to each other and rally around a common cause. 

We are still here, we are still supporting people in Eliot even though we are not always doing it in person. Thank you for continuing to be neighborly through these challenging times. It is not easy but we will get through this. Together