Oasis of Change- Response to Coronavirus

By Dov Judd

I hope everyone is staying safe and finding constructive ways to keep occupied and connect with those around you. We at Oasis of Change miss seeing everyone around especially as the spring is starting and the farm is coming to life. Eating meals on the farm with no community around is just not the same.

Some welcome relief from staying at home – planting starwberries at Oasis of Change. Photo credit Dov Judd

We have been thinking hard about how we can help the community in this time and so far we have come up with a couple special ideas. We have been so saddened to see how empty it has gotten and our mission is to create community so we are going to try to start inviting people back in safe ways. We are opening up our garden and farm space to the public as a community coffee and tea hangout. We have partnered with Karma Cup, a really amazing organization who is working to end homelessness.  We have so much beautiful outdoor space we might as well share it and the benefit of being outdoors is that the sun actually disinfects! 

We just finished re-doing the garden space to allow us to have all the distance we need. We can accommodate up to 6 people per group and we have 10 private outdoor seating spaces all separated by a beautiful farm. So, come relax and see everything coming to life and feel some normalcy in this time. It is recommended that you call ahead to reserve. We are also opening up our outdoor gym and trampoline to families and individuals who miss working out all you have to do is reach out and book a 30 minute to hour time slot. So if you’re feeling stuck and want a little breath of normalcy in your life come out and have a cup of coffee.

1. We launched Oasis of Change online which will hopefully give you something to laugh at and you might even learn some cooking tips.  The link is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp_2HabSRwCzlvnThpsKwzQ/ please feel free to share. 

2. Dr. Kat is opening up a covid-19 drive through no contact testing program here. The link to more information and to sign up is http://www.drkatlopez.com/covidtestpdx

3. We are keeping the farm space semi-open as we can all keep distance and get our hands in the dirt. Contact us directly if you would like to get dirty with us, 301-467-8441

Land Use and Climate Change

By Brad Baker, LUTC Chair

Climate change has been top of mind a lot for me recently. I used to think that individual consumption choices could help make a change, but recently I’ve adapted more of the mindset that we need to advocate for systemic changes that enable people to lead more sustainable lives and help make sustainable choices the default. Luckily, the city has been pushing for some land use and transportation policies recently that will help achieve more sustainable outcomes.

I’m personally excited about the Residential Infill Project. I will admit that it has flaws, but I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. At a high level, it ends the ban of building 2, 3, and 4 plexes in single family zoned lots. By allowing for the construction of higher density living arrangements, heating will be more efficient (less energy usage!), and transit, walking, and bicycling for daily errands become more viable (less fossil fuel consumption!). Another benefit is that the requirement for off-street parking is removed which will hopefully lead to more tree coverage as there will be fewer driveways and more space for trees. The city’s own analysis also showed that this proposal would decrease displacement in Eliot which is a huge win for the neighborhood.

Another policy proposal the city has recently put forth is the Rose Lane Project. The aim with this proposal is to get busses out of car traffic on the most utilized routes. By helping the bus move more quickly, we’ll be helping move people more quickly and we’ll make taking the bus a more viable alternative to driving for more people. The more people who choose taking the bus over driving leads to less emissions. This project will also benefit Eliot as some of the busses to be prioritized are the 6 on MLK and the 4/44 on Vancouver/Williams.

It’s an exciting time to be involved right now as a lot is changing and there are some projects that make me feel optimistic which can be hard to come by right now. If this kind of thing sounds interesting to you, we’d love for you to come to our Eliot Neighborhood Land Use and Transportation Committee meetings on the second Monday of the month at 7pm at St Philip the Deacon.

Introducing the Eliot Business District!

By Corey Kaster

I am Corey Kaster, with Insurance Masters NW (directly behind the Nike Factory Store), and want to share with you an exciting transformation coming to the Eliot Neighborhood! 

The present state of the neighborhood with graffiti, crime, and litter doesn’t work. Business owners and residents have been taking the only action they know how and adding lighting, fencing, cameras, etc. While this may be somewhat effective, it also hasn’t made the neighborhood feel like a better place to live/work. 

Not only are things bad, but without action I foresee them getting worse resulting in more incidents, disconnection, fear, and reactionary actions. 

I envision a new future…. one where there is a vibrant, connected, and engaged business community that is a powerful force in transforming our neighborhood into something currently unimaginable. Imagine spotless streets, connected business owners that powerfully engage with the Neighborhood Association and Sustainable Eliot, and a neighborhood we are excited to live and work in with a sense pride! 

If you have a business in the neighborhood and are inspired by this future please email me to connect at corey@im-nw.com.


The new Eliot Business District Facebook Group that can be accessed here to build this community is at this link – eliot.im-nw.com

Bernstein’s Bagels: A Good Bagel Can Be Hard to Find, But at Bernstein’s Bagels It’s Easy

By Abby Morgan

On a clear morning, as the sun traces a path from east to west, the light eventually breaks out over the treetops of the Eliot Neighborhood, slips under the freeway passes and spills sunshine onto North Russell Street. Still a quiet strip that’s surely poised to grow, right now it’s a mix of industrial shops peppered with business storefronts.

It’s during this time of day, at about 7:30 A.M. that you’ll want to make your way over to Bernstein’s Bagels. In the winter of 2018, Bernstein’s grew into the space that was formerly home to Mint, one of Portland’s mainstay cocktail bars. A labor of love and dedication, the renovation at 816 North Russell by owners Noah Bernstein and Peter Hurteau, features plenty of seating room and hand-painted wallpaper by Melanie Nead.

In fact, Nead’s studio that focuses on custom wall treatments and ceramic objects, Lonesome West Studio, sits beside the bagel shop. Her Arts and Crafts Movement inspired designs bring a coziness to the space and certainly do the historic property justice. All things boiled and baked dough, the frieze pays homage to the venerated everything bagel. Concentrate on it closely and the subtle ingredients begin to pop out: sea salt, barley, wheat, and poppies.

Even as they bid farewell to their firstborn, a location in St. Johns, a whole year after moving into the Eliot, Bernstein thrives. They continue to serve up delightfully hearty bagel sandwiches. However, the old adage rings true: the early bird catches the worm. Except, in this case, it’s bagels and they are very popular. They are “hand-rolled, boiled, and made onsite twice daily.” Looking for a classic lox combination? You got it. Schmear not, their spreads change from time-to-time. Flavors you may know—cinnamon raisin, herb, and strawberry—tossed in with wildcards like carrot cake and once upon a time even pizza. The bagel is merely a blank canvas; how you dress it is up to you.

Arrive eagerly and on time—your weekday and weekend windows to visit vary. Hot bagels come out of the oven at 7:30 A.M. Monday through Friday and at 8:30 A.M. on the weekends. Stop in or check out their Instagram (@bernsteinsbagels) for updates on specials.

A Lot of Great Opportunities Await at Labrewatory

Labrewatory brewpub is a place bustling with opportunity. Rachel Wilson, the owner of Dawn Patrol Coffee and Labrewatory brewery manager, wants Eliot to know that the space at Labrewatory is available for a variety of uses. The brewery has an event space that can hold around 30 people and can be reserved for parties or other get-togethers. There is no charge for the space for 30 people or less but it must be reserved through Rachel. Email her at rachel@labrewatory.com to get on the schedule and get more details.

Also, don’t forget about the free live music every Tuesday from 6-8 pm by local musicians.

Need a place to work outside your office or just a change of environment? There is a workspace above
the brewing room with couches, free wi-fi and a comfortable space to work or just hang out. Rachel is now roasting her own brand of coffee, Dawn Patrol Coffee, for those looking for their dose of caffeine and wanting to buy local and support a small business. You can enjoy the coffee at Labrewatory or buy a bag to take home.

Also, spread the word, both beer and coffee are available for distribution to local restaurants and businesses if you are looking for creative and tasty beverage inventory.

Also, starting in 2020 you can brew your own beer right at Labrewatory which is Portland’s only award-winning experimental brewery on a professional system. Have friends that would like to learn how to brew beer and make your own unique recipe? Sign up for a class for only $125 per person for six or fewer. There’s a discounted price of $100 per person for seven or more. After the class, you can take home a free keg or a six-pack of 32-ounce growlers.

Want to rent out the whole brewery space? For a flat fee of $2000, you can brew your own beer and pair it with food from Tamale Boy which is conveniently located next door. For any of the classes or for more information, email Rachel at rachel@labrewatory.com or call the brewery at 971-271-8151.

Diversity Gardening Co-op Harvests Food and Fosters Community

By Darren Holcomb

The Diversity Gardening Co-op is a citizen-led project envisioned by Eliot Neighborhood Association board member, Shireen Hasan, with the generous support of the members of St. Philip the Deacon Church led by Reverend Maria McDowell. It was designed and constructed by myself and other Eliot residents and community members.

This garden had its beginnings in August of 2018 and in April of this year 2019, construction began. By May we planted our first crops. Those crops were harvested this summer. Currently, the garden consists of nine 3’x6’ planter boxes growing a variety of vegetables for the members of our community. Our ultimate goal is to expand that number to provide gardening space for the members of the church, the unhoused, African Americans, low income, flash disadvantaged, veterans, youth who are in our area and even a raised gardening box for those needing wheelchair accessibility. There will also be an extensive herb garden for all to plant in as well as a meditation garden including artwork to reflect the African American Diaspora in the neighborhood.

These additions are currently in the design stage. This project is breathing renewed life to an area that was starting to slip back upon itself. The pooling of our group’s talents, community and business organization’s resources and other partnerships and support of the neighborhood have been key to helping us proceed past a number of obstacles, both inherent to the project and that arose from unexpected sources along the way. With the continued support of all involved, we are looking forward to the completion of this vision in the summer/fall of 2020.

Stay tuned for quarterly updates and please consider volunteering at the garden this year. It’s a great way to meet some new neighbors and friends and give back to your community.

New Plant Shop Takes Roots

By Ruth Eddy

On one of the last sunny days of the year, Tylor Rogers looks out an open garage door at Arium Botanicals, soaking in the fresh air with a room full of plants behind him. Just outside the door is the busy traffic at the intersection of MLK and Tillamook Streets and the skeleton of a sign left vacant from the previous tenants. “A sign is next,” Tylor says, “maybe something that just says ‘plants’.”

Over the last few months, Anthony Sanchez, 22, and Tylor Rogers, 24, partners in life and business, have taken over the former home of the Land Rover repair shop, Green Oval, which moved to a larger space at 121 NE Weidler Street, and the old garage is blooming with new life.

“I love seeing people’s faces when they walk in,” Rogers says. Most of the people who came to Arium’s grand opening this summer were plant enthusiasts who had started following the shop when it was only online. Like a well-cared-for plant, the business has grown visibly. Prior to their recent move, they rented a 400 square foot space in the Standard Dairy Building further north on MLK. There, they shipped online orders from the store half the week and were open to the public the other half.

“We would drive past this building every day on our way to work and imagine what it would be like,” said Rogers, who wasted no time when the building went up for rent. “It’s nice to be able to branch out and grow, so to say,” he said with a laugh. The new space is more than six times larger than their old shop. It’s painted a bright
white, with garage door windows inviting sunlight for cactus arranged on the floor. Other house plants are paired with locally made ceramic pots and macramé hangers. Rogers and Sanchez say they feel like they have found their forever home.

The shop’s name, Arium, is a representation of the space. It’s a play on “terrarium”, which breaks down into to Latin roots Terre, or Earth, and arium, or container.
“This is an entire vessel,” Rogers said, “Think of it as a large terrarium to host these plants and grow them to bring into other people’s spaces.”

Tylor and Anthony have a clear love for plants and are enthusiastic and approachable about sharing their knowledge with people looking to buy their first house plant or
to add an exotic aroid to their collection. “We have definitely killed plants in the past from not knowing how to take care of it. So we want to set everyone up as best as we can,” said Sanchez, recalling the fate of his first houseplant, a parlor palm from The Home Depot.

The house plant industry has seen huge growth in the last decade. Arium is a boat on that rising tide. A recent article in the NY Times reported a botanic design company, Greenery NYC saw a 6,500 percent increase in business in the past ten years. “I think it does something different for everyone,” Rogers said, “For us, we don’t have pets.”

Sanchez added, “But when we come home, it’s nice to walk into a space with living things.” Just like pets, houseplant owners find ways to communicate with their floral family, picking up hints about their plant’s needs.

Sanchez and Rogers have become more selective with the plants they have at their house as the collection in the shop has grown. Occasionally, they do become attached
to new plants for sale, but they are always happy to see them go to a new home. Many customers come back to share pictures of new growth. “It’s cool to create relationships with the people who acquire our plants,” Sanchez said, “You kind of feel like the plant is still in our life.”

On a recent walk in the neighborhood, the couple spotted a plant in a window, with the Arium tag still attached. Sanchez shook their head
recalling the feeling. “That’s really weird, like bizarre.”

“It’s super special to know we are playing a little piece in people’s lives,” Rogers added.

Arium Botanicals
2046 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
503-719-4763
Ariumbotanicals.com

Black Hat Books Program Offerings

By Ruth Eddy

Local book shop, Black Hat Books, has an ongoing workshop and a reading group worth checking out. Learn confidence and become more well read while supporting a locally owned business.

Public Speaking!
1st and 3rd Saturdays 2:00 PM
Performative Reading and conquering stage fright twice monthly. All ages workshop taught by actor and musician Chrissy Sukboriboon

Reading Group
Mondays 7:00- 9:00 PM
Excerpts, essays, and poetry on a rotating monthly theme centering on black authors

Black Hat Books
2831 NE MLK Jr. Blvd

Mayo House Update

Many of our readers may remember the series of articles we have printed about the Martin Mayo House. You can find them on the Eliot Neighborhood Association website at eliotneighborhood.org. To recap, this Victorian house has had a very mobile history in our neighborhood moving three times to where it now stands at 236 NE Sacramento Street.

Back in the middle of 2018, the owners of the house were going to have the house demolished as they had sold the land to a developer who was going to build a new apartment complex. Enter, Cleo Davis, whose family has lived on the street since the 1980s. Just a few doors down to the east, where a little house sits at the back of the lot, is a piece of vacant land that once was occupied by an apartment building owned by Cleo’s grandmother. Unfortunately, the property, that was supposed to be income-producing for the family, was demolished in the late 1980s because of being deemed as blight.

Cleo is a local artist who was looking for a place to house the ARTchives which will focus on Black history in our neighborhood as well as other Black people who have made contributions to the community. When he saw that the house was going to be demolished, he went to work on buying the Mayo House, getting it moved down the street and then getting the property rezoned to accommodate businesses and residences. This was all accomplished by January of 2019 and the little house moved again, hopefully for the last time. It now sits on its new foundation awaiting renovation.

The history of the Davis family and the house move can be seen in a touching, short documentary called “Root Shocked” by Cecilia Brown, which can be found on Vimeo.

Most recently, potential ideas for renovations have been undertaken by the University of Oregon graduate students in the architectural program. Cleo co-instructed the course as students learned about the history of the neighborhood covering redlining and displacement. Then the students used the theories of spatial justice to draw up plans to build out the space using the existing Mayo House in the plans and provide community space and opportunities for displaced residents and artists. Each graduate student displayed creative uses of the space and house as final exam projects.

What the future holds for this historic home is uncertain as to the design and final architectural plans, but one thing is certain, this little house will not have to move ever again if Cleo Davis has any say in the matter. His grandmother can rest easy knowing that her property will be a place of community, provide financial security to her family and that future families will have a place to live that honors the past and provide bright opportunities for the future at the Martin Mayo House.

Portland’s First Motorcycle Shop and Cocktail Bar: Legion Motorcycle Co.

There’s a new place to hang out in Eliot. Whether or not you are into motorcycles, Legion Motorcycle Company has something for everyone. Need to repair your motorcycle? Legion can help with that. Want a place to hang out, drink a beer or grab a snack with your friends? Legion can help with that. Want to take a class or hold an event? Legion can help with that. Or maybe you need a haircut? Legion can help with that… well, actually the barber that is located in Legion Motorcycle Company’s shop can help with that.

Gabriel Court and Alex Glover opened Legion Motorcycle Company last August. The two, who met while working with homeless veterans, wanted to open a shop that supported the motorcycle community but with less of a cliquey and exclusive feel and making it comfortable and accessible to anyone interested in cycling. After settling on their current location at 2145 NE MLK Jr Blvd across from Billy Ray’s Tavern and next to Jayne dispensary, the two envisioned a DIY motorcycle repair shop, but it has morphed into a full service motorcycle repair shop/bar/barber shop complete with events, classes and a relaxed space to hang out. This is not a motorcycle club but is open to the public and is a place for anyone to come check out, hang out, and enjoy.

Gabriel and Alex were both combat veterans. Alex was a master of arms in the Navy and Gabriel was an airborne medic in the Army. After their military service, both ended up working with homeless veterans in Portland which is how their paths crossed. Alex worked for Transition Projects and was the director of housing. Gabriel worked for Multnomah County as an Emergency Operations Manager. They worked together and ended up opening several homeless shelters across the city. Spending time together and becoming friends they discovered that they both liked motorcycles and were getting burned out on social work. Thus, when they talked about their futures, combining what they loved about motorcycles and their skills with motorcycle repair seemed to lead to creating a business that is unique in Portland especially with all the additional services that Legion Motorcycle Company offers. The name is a nod to their military service which they credit with their meeting each other and fulfilling their future adventures.

The business started as a DIY motorcycle shop where one could work on their bike using Legion’s tools and getting advice or assistance they needed with repairs. However, the DIY only format was not sustainable so Legion has developed into a full service shop while still offering a small segment of their business devoted to do it yourself repairs as well as membership opportunities. Legion purchased Portland Moto Collective and also some machining equipment for metal fabrication from the onsite scooter rental that recently went out of business. Add a barber and a bar and you have a unique new business in Eliot. The barber, Fabian Redondo, already had his station in this location with a prior barbershop onsite. Fabian has 11 years of experience and is available to make you look sharp Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm.

The addition of the bar makes the business even more sustainable and of course, a more entertaining place to hang out. What started as a few cans of beer and a tip jar has jumped to a whole new level with fellow veteran Lucas Plant, the bartender and  , pouring beer from Labrewatory, serving up vegetarian/vegan snacks, and mixing up reasonably priced, creative, low ABV wine and beer cocktails such as the Misunderstood Genius (red wine and Coca Cola) and Paradise City (champagne with elder flower and bitters).

Besides motorcycle repair and libations, Alex and Gabriel want to focus on education and events. They teach classes on motorcycle maintenance and electrical work, sell parts and jackets and are starting to offer themed parties. On Valentine’s Day they projected a movie on the wall, served heart shaped pizza and had a tattoo artist giving Valentine themed tattoos. Another event was a makers market with crafts for sale by local crafters and artists.

The next event is a restaurant pop up on March 15. The event is called Atomic Pickles and they will be serving spicy food items.

Legion currently hosts a women’s motorcycle group and offer a women specific motorcycle maintenance class. They also hope to bring in veterans who are looking for a different career path such as working in a bar or working on bikes.

It is important to Alex and Gabriel to support local nonprofits. They particularly focus on homeless services for homeless veterans and will soon offer a motorcycle tour of all the affordable housing facilities in the city. Also, they will be offering classes like earthquake preparedness, first aid, and CPR.

The Legion bar space can be rented for events. For pricing and availability email to luckyyou@legionmoto.co or call 503-954-1546.

Starting any new business can be both frustratingly challenging and pleasantly surprising. Alex and Gabriel say that the permitting process for food service was particularly challenging because there is not one specific place that the requirements can be found. However, the biggest surprise was how welcoming the neighborhood has been and how active the neighborhood is.  Many residents have come by and said how glad they are that Legion is here and what great neighbors they have been so far. Keeping the noise down at night and respecting the neighbors is important to the motorcycle company owners.

So when looking for a place to spend an afternoon or evening, waiting for a table at a nearby restaurant, or want to explore the world of motorcycle maintenance, stop by Legion Motorcycle Company and join your neighbors in welcoming Alex and Gabriel to Eliot. I know I’m glad they chose our neighborhood to make their dream a reality.

Legion Motorcycle Co.
2145 NE MLK Jr Blvd
Wednesday – Sunday 10 am-8 pm
503-954-1546
http://www.legionmoto.co

 Fabian Redondo
503-206-9215
@Barber_Fabian
Tuesday – Saturday 10 am-6 pm

Zumba for Your Life

By Shireen Hasan

Okay, all you couch potatoes (especially men), I challenge you to get up and prepare to ZUMBA!

Start your New Year’s resolution off on the right foot. Michelle Jones, at Matt Dishman’s Community Center, is the girl to move you on your way to better health and overall wellness. Michelle has been teaching ZUMBA for 9 years, starting at Sellwood Community Center, and has spent the last 7 years at Portland Parks and Recreation. Michelle says that she loves to dance, she prefers community centers and loves to see others’ joy of dance and the mental and physical benefits from ZUMBA.

Although Michelle teaches at a few locations for PP&R, she especially loves teaching her ZUMBA class at Matt Dishman Community Center because of the camaraderie and
diversity of a community of all ages, ethnicities, and all different levels of physical abilities. Her class even includes folks with developmental and physical disabilities participating in their own way, all dancing together.

Michelle feels that it is more than just exercise, it is a fellowship with each community exposing folks to music from around the world from Costa Rica or Africa, to name a few, which folks may not have the chance otherwise to experience. The Creator of Zumba, Alberto Perez, formatted ZUMBA for all folks to follow from beginner to advanced and all walks of life.

Elks Lodge Open to the Public

There is a big banner hanging from the Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge at Tillamook and Williams. The yellow lettering boldly says “Open to the Public.” The fraternal organization hasn’t always been open to the public. The club has occupied the corner since 1959 and historically has been members only. The club is now hosting many weekly events, like free Jazz on Sundays from 5-8 pm. Their full bar serves cocktails, Executive Groove lays down the music, the dance floor is open and food is available. The club hosts card games on Mondays and Thursdays, has a DJ on Friday nights and is finishing a new kitchen soon.

The Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge is a great place to meet neighbors and support the boldly standing Black-owned building of Portland’s African-American community.

Free Jazz
Sundays 5-8 pm
Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge
6 N Tillamook St

You’re Invited: Weekly Events at Cascadia’s Garlington Health Center

By Jennifer Wilcox

There’s a lot happening at Cascadia’s Garlington Health Center located at 3036 NE Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. Everyone’s invited to join in and you don’t have to be a Cascadia client to participate. See below for some weekly events.

There’s more to come in the new year but check out these fun events now! Mark your calendar or check out Cascadia’s website at https://cascadiabhc.org/services/wellnessprogram/

Family Game Night

Come join us on the first Thursday of each month from 5:00-7:00 pm at our Garlington Health Center for a Family Game Night! Bring your family and friends each month to socialize, have some snacks, meet community members, explore our health center, and play some fun games! For more information or to ask questions, please email Jennifer Wilcox at wellnessprogram@cascadiabhc.org or call 503-238-0705 ext. 1109.

Walking Group

Come join us every Thursday at our Garlington Health Center to join our weekly walking group! Get out in the fresh air, meet new friends, and improve your health by joining our group. Walkers will meet in the Garlington Wellness Center on the first floor and walk from 11:30 am- 12:30 pm.

Healthy Eating Class

Come join us every Monday from 11:00 am -12:30 pm at our Garlington Health Center for our weekly Healthy Eating Class! Learn about nutrition, and how to create healthy, delicious meals for yourself and your family.

Music Meet Up/Sing-Along

Ready to make some music? Join the Music Meet Up and SingAlong on Thursdays from 2:30-3:30. Sing in a group hits from the 50s and beyond. Lyric sheets and percussion instruments are provided.

More to come in the new year so stay tuned!

A Brief History of MLK, Jr. Blvd

On May 28, 1873, under the direction of Edwin Russell, the townsite plat of Albina was laid out and filed with Multnomah County by George H. Williams. Many of the street names have stayed the same such as Page, Russell and Williams. However, many street names have been changed, some even multiple times. Our current NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard is one such street.

The original name of the boulevard was Marguretta Avenue named after Albina founder Edwin Russell’s wife. In 1888 Portland & Vancouver Railway built tracks for a steam-powered line along Marguretta Avenue. The rail line stimulated business and residential and some commercial development. The name Marguretta didn’t last long. In June 1891 an election was held for all residents of Portland, Albina, and East Portland to consolidate the three cities. With this new city formation, the street name was changed to Union Avenue. The street was widened in the 1930s and streetcar tracks were laid.

Union Avenue held its name until 1989 when the Albina Community Plan was developed to revitalize distressed neighborhoods in and around the Albina community. After inquiries about why Portland didn’t have a street named after Martin Luther King, Jr, especially since the minister had visited the Vancouver Baptist Church back in 1961, Union Avenue eventually was renamed Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard after a long and tumultuous process.

Historical data are from Roy Roos’ Book, The History of Albina, ISBN#0-9662224-2-3 and also from the Skanner article, “Renaming the Boulevard,: a Retrospective” which can be found at https://www.theskanner.com/news/history/6518-renaming-the-boulevard-a-retrospective2010-01-14

Letter from the Chair: Co-Chairs That Work Together

Our co-chairs Allan Rudwick and Jimmy Wilson recently sat down for a discussion about priorities for the coming year. We came away with a few things. Firstly, we are committed to being co-chairs because we want to work together. Working together means taking the shared experiences of our lives and using them to guide where we are going.

Co-chair Jimmy Wilson expressed a vision to help the homeless community. “As a city, we have been in a ‘housing emergency’ for 5 or so years and we don’t have much to show for it.” It was further discussed what it would mean for the Eliot NA to do something about it.

Co-Chair Allan Rudwick expressed concern about the desire to see vacant land in the neighborhood turned into useful places for people to thrive. This means a bunch of different pieces, working with the city and landholders to actually motivate building on vacant land. Some of that is just
reaching out to landowners, some of it is working with the city.

In addition, Co-Chair Allan Rudwick’s desire is to see something done about Diesel pollution. “We have a problem in Portland and in Eliot in particular with the number of unfiltered Diesel trucks rolling down I-5 in particular and other streets in the area. This is leading us to breathe more Diesel Particulate (aka Black Carbon) than other neighborhoods farther away from major truck routes. There are some solutions that seem obvious like requiring filters on trucks.” Cochair Jimmy Wilson mentioned that the problem of diesel particulates has been an issue for a long time and people have complained heavily in the past to no avail. This new effort may have legs but it should recognize those that came before and tried.

It is the sentiment of the co-chairs that “we are second to the community. We aren’t attending meetings just for fun, we’re doing it to try to make this a better place. Whether it is picking up trash, feeding people, or keeping a space for local residents to get help with their issues, we want the people of the neighbor to know that the Eliot NA Board is here for them. “We are trying to support the strong citizens in the neighborhood. Sometimes that is advice on how to get in touch with the city, sometimes it is financial grants but always it comes from a place of respect and understanding that everyone is trying their best.”

Further, we are out here trying to make the world better for the next generations.

Our time is now, but if we can’t clean up pollution and build a great place, what are we leaving for the young people? There is no personal glory in this job, but there is satisfaction with helping people make a difference.