Reclaiming Stolen Black Lands in the “Whitest City”- history and Q&A zoom

By Emanuel Displaced Persons Association 2

The City of Portland is in a sweet spot. There’s a ripe opportunity to redeem racist policies that destroyed Portland’s thriving Black community but whether city leaders will do the right thing remains unseen.

The Emanuel Displaced Persons Association 2, EDPA2 is an ad hoc community-based organization with membership comprised of survivors and Descendants of the Emanuel Hospital expansion forced removal. EDPA2 wants the City of Portland, Emanuel Hospital, Home Forward, formerly Portland Housing Authority, and Prosper Portland, formerly the Portland Development Commission (PDC) to do the right thing and return land they took from a majority Black community.

During the ’60s and ’70s, more than 70% of Portland’s Black residents lived in Central Albina. This was a problem for Ira Keller, then Director of PDC, concerned with the “high concentration of Negroes in Central Albina.”  Utilizing eminent domain under Federal Urban Renewal Law,  Prosper Portland and Emanuel Hospital demolished the houses and businesses in Central Albina. It was a contrived effort that involved the participation of a religious organization, local business, the City of Portland, the State of Oregon, law firms, financial institutions, title companies, electric company, elected officials and city leaders, prominent Portland families and an aggressive propaganda campaign to stoke fears of a “Negro Ghetto”. The City of Portland created a pamphlet and radio spot featuring an Ogre-like cartoon character called Creepy Blight whose sole purpose was to warn white residents of “Blight”. In 1967, the local NBC affiliate KGW produced a film titled “Albina: Portland’s Ghetto of the Mind”, The Portland Housing Authority, now Home Forward, exercised discriminatory housing practices like requiring a $20 deposit and monthly rent aimed at evacuees of the Vanport flood forced to relocate to Guild’s Lake. The Housing Authority also provided funding for the 1962 Central Albina Report used to justify and legalize the removal of Portland’s Black community from Central Albina. Prosper Portland created a pamphlet ameliorating the devastation caused by Urban Renewal and instructed residents on how to move!

In 1970, Black residents in Central Albina formed the Emanuel Displaced Persons Association, EDPA to combat the destruction of their community and to move “with dignity and without suffering financial loss” as stated in the 1949 Fair Housing Act. They filed a complaint with The Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD. Finding merit with the complaint, HUD’s involvement forced Emanuel Hospital, The City of Portland, PDC (now Prosper Portland), The Portland Housing Authority (now Home Forward) and EDPA to sign a Replacement Housing Cooperative Agreement. The Agreement demands all parties to work together to replace every home that was demolished, a 1:1 replacement for the families forced to relocate. For close to 50 years various organizations and individuals have tried to encourage Emanuel Hospital to enforce the Agreement. To this day, the Agreement remains incomplete. Note: adhering to the legal stipulations of a Cooperative Agreement, The City of Portland adopted a policy preceding the Agreement to address the 1:1 replacement housing; the policy and Agreement were never implemented.

On August 1, 2017, City of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler joined Executive Director of Prosper Portland, Kimberly Branam, and former President and Chief Executive Officer of Emanuel Hospital, Dr. George Brown, in a press conference to acknowledge racist policies responsible for the demolition and ultimate destruction of a once-thriving and self-sufficient Black community in what was Central Albina. Emanuel Hospital intentionally allowed portions of the demolished lands to “remain vacant for future development” for close to 50 years. A glaring reminder of a painful past for Portland’s Black community. Now, they claim to return a small parcel of land at the corner of N. Williams and Russell. For the record, Emanuel Hospital acquired more than 55 acres for their expansion yet less than an acre is offered for “return.”

To add insult to a longstanding injury, city officials claim the only way to develop the returned land is by placing it into the Interstate Urban Renewal Area, IURA. In the decade between 2000 and 2010, the IURA removed thousands of Black residents away from the city’s core in N/NE Portland where the majority of the city’s Black community used to reside. The IURA forced Black folks to relocate to east county, the poorest area in Multnomah County. The IURA is the largest, most gerrymandered and overused–it’s set to expire in 2021…

On August 9, 2017, at a regularly scheduled Prosper Portland meeting, members of EDPA2 and other community members stopped the vote to include the corner at N. Williams and Russell in the IURA. The vote goes before Prosper Portland’s Board of Directors again on March 11, 2020.

EDPA2 does not want the property at N. Williams and Russell included in the IURA where it’s expected to generate millions of dollars. How will the descendants of the Emanuel Hospital expansion receive any of those funds? EDPA2 wants city leaders to enforce and adhere to the Agreement that was signed many years ago. They want anything Emanuel Hospital and Prosper Portland “returns” to go to impacted families of the Emanuel Hospital expansion some of whose names are listed in the ten-panel historical display located in the Emanuel Hospital atrium. EDPA2 has met with City of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on this issue for more than 3 years. In December of last year, EDPA2 responded to the Mayor’s request for a plan with a presentation that includes long term economic development with a focus on community inclusion naming an internship program for neighboring students at nearby Harriet Tubman Middle School, job opportunities for high school students and a training/mentoring program for college students and ownership for Descendants of the Emanuel Hospital expansion. This plan is backed by an international company.

According to the August 1, 2017 press conference, it appears Wheeler and Branam want to relegate the Black community to affordable housing only, omit input from EDPA2 and deny long term economic development opportunities like the plan EDPA2 presented to the mayor.

On April 27, 2020 via zoom (rescheduled from March 31), EDPA2 aims to interject the omitted experiences and stories of impacted families into the current political discussion by presenting The Reclaiming Black Lands in the “Whitest City” lecture. Follow EDPA2 on Facebook. Contact EDPA2 at contactedpa2@gmail.com.

Join EDPA2 for Q&A Session for Reclaiming Stolen Black Lands in the “Whitest City”

Monday, April 27, 7–8:30pm on Zoom

Correction by editor of Eliot News: Prosper Portland reports that 1.7 acres are being redeveloped.

New Covid-19 Testing Site through One Medical

One Medical, a nationwide healthcare provider, has opened a new location at 4141 N Williams (Skidmore and Williams). Their unique style of healthcare offers a membership model and a virtual medical team you can reach by phone or video 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

One Medical is offering 30 days free from membership fees (normally $199 per year) during this Covid-19 crisis so that residents can get testing if needed. They have a testing site in the parking lot of Vancouver Baptist Church. If you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus you can get tested at this site after making an appointment through the medical facility.

In addition to the services listed above, One Medical helps to mitigate copays by offering information in the “Treat Me Now” section of the website for colds, allergies, UTI, etc.

Call 503-342-2520 for more information and appointments or visit onemedical.com.

Celebrate Spring at the Boise Eliot Native Grove

By Andrine de la Rocha

Boise Eliot Native Grove as seen from Google Satellite

Hello from Andrine and Howard,

How’s your Covid-19 Staycation / Artist-in-Residence going? As you are likely aware, everything involving being close to people is cancelled, including all EarthDay events, so we’re not hosting one on April 18 after all.

Good News:It’s still okay to take a walk, either by yourself or with members of your own household, and the Grove is a very lovely place to do that! We just finished installing our last few signs (funded by Kay at Sunlan Lighting on Mississippi) around the hexagonal bench & the salmon sculpture, a couple of new species signs, and one other. Come take a look! 

As always, you’re welcome anytime to bring a trash bag/gloves and pick up any garbage you find on site. Say hi from a distance if we’re out there or on the front porch. We have a lot of time on our hands, so we will be out there weeding and grooming the plants, putting out more Mason Bees, weaving the willow dome as we are able…If you’re itching to do some real work in the Grove, email us at NativeGrovePDX@gmail.com and we can send you specific instructions with photos about what things need to be weeded, etc.

For now, we’re going to postpone our EarthDay projects to the Fall, when we will likely have a September or October clean-up, refresh & planting party. Until then, stay home, stay safe & healthy, and come take your isolation walk in the lovely Grove you’ve planted. Tell your friends and family about it too. Since we have the time to slow down, let’s enjoy the spaces near home and introduce them to our loved ones.

Meanwhile, here’s some more good news from the past month or so: 

· We were GIFTED $150 from Kay, owner of Sunlan Lighting to finish our signs for a few more plants, the bench, and our salmon sculpture in time for Earth Day. Thank you, Kay and Sunlan for your generosity and commitment to community! (Next time you’re buying light bulbs on Mississippi Ave, be sure to let her know you appreciate her support of the Grove!)

· Students at The Ivy School took time last week to process our Mason Bee straws from last summer and have delivered dozens of bee cocoons to be released soon at the ‘Let Bees Inn’ Mason bee hotel in the Grove. Just in time, as the Osoberry/Indian Plum and Red Flowering Currant begin to blossom.

· We were granted a $500 Native Plant Grant from the Bureau of Environmental Services through the Neighborhood to River Program, so we can go to Bosky Dell and buy plants to replace some that died over the winter and bolster our rain forest ground covers for the coming spring.

· SOLVE IT for Earth Day has also granted us $100 to purchase mulch and even more native plants for our Earth Day event. We’ll be getting a load of wood chips for everyone to help refresh our paths on Saturday, April 18 (postponed til Fall).

· We’re in the final stages of permitting and stewardship arrangements with PBOT, and will hopefully be ‘on the map’ sometime soon! Stay tuned!

We’re excited to share another year with you Restoring Habitat, Cultivating Education and Growing Community!

Websites to check out before the Eliot Neighborhood Association Meeting on 4/20/20

Here are two websites and links to previous articles in the Eliot News and on OPB for you to read before the discussion at the Eliot Neighborhood Association General Assembly Meeting

Let’s get educated and join the fight for cleaner air!

Neighbors for Clean Air—www.whatsinourair.org

Portland Clean Air—www.portlandcleanair.org

What You Need to Know About Diesel Particulates and Air Filters—

https://eliotneighborhood.org/2020/03/10/what-you-need-to-know-about-diesel-particulates-and-air-filters/

Portland Neighbors Addressing Diesel Pollution—

https://eliotneighborhood.org/2018/10/26/portland-neighbors-addressing-diesel-pollution/

OPB Here’s How Portland Can Reduce Diesel Pollution: Report

https://www.opb.org/news/article/diesel-pollution-portland-reduce-lewis-clark/

Open for Take Out!

With the shut down of most businesses we wanted to make sure that Eliot residents knew which businesses are still open for business and specifically take out for meal options, coffee shops to keep you caffeinated and more importantly to show these businesses appreciation for keeping us fed and that we want to keep them viable during these tough times. Below is a list of open businesses which will get updated as needed:

  • Bridges Cafe 503-288-4169 Monday – Sunday 9am-2pm
  • Compass Coffee 888-723-2007 Monday – Friday 6am-6pm Saturday-Sunday 7am-7pm
  • Tiny’s Coffee 503-467-4199 Monday – Sunday 7am-2pm
  • Queen of Sheba 503-287-6302
  • Sparky’s Pizza 503-282-3000 Monday – Sunday 4-8pm (call in orders only for pickup)
  • Brick and Motor Pizza Cart 971-998-6575 Wednesday – Sunday 5-10pm
  • Caffe Destino 503-284-9455 Tuesday – Sunday 8am-4pm
  • Pocket Pub 503-287-3645 Wednesday – Sunday 4-9pm
  • People’s Pig 503-282-2800 Wednesday – Sunday 11am-8pm (call ahead for to go orders only)
  • Labrewatory closed but can order beer through Tamale Boy
  • Tamale Boy 503-477-6706 Monday-Sunday 11am-8pm or order online: tamaleboy.com for pick up (or delivery with 24 hours notice)
  • Bernstein’s Bagels Saturday – Sunday 8:30am-12:00pm DELIVERY ONLY (order online: bernsteinsbagels.com)
  • Memoz Dessert Cafe 503-477-6030 Wednesday – Sunday 4-8pm or order online: memozcafe.com
  • TwentySix Cafe 503-284-6033 Monday – Sunday 8am-12pm

How can we help?

As we all know, the Covid 19 virus situation is changing daily. As of the printing of this issue, the events listed  in the newspaper were still planned.  However, many businesses may need to be closed and events may need to be cancelled or postponed.  Please check the websites or contact the businesses or events for the latest status.

Stay safe, check on your neighbors, and remember our neighborhood businesses would appreciate your patronage whenever possible.  We need to work together as a community to get through these tough times. 

If you are elderly, disabled, or part of the defined vulnerable population, or know someone who needs help, please contact the neighborhood association. If we can help you with delivery of groceries, prescriptions, or supplies, contact us at info@eliotneighborhood.org.

For other resources and how to handle sharing and caring during a pandemic, check out the Buy Nothing Get Everything post below(www.buynothinggeteverything.com in the Blog tab) and consider joining the “Buy Nothing Lloyd District/Eliot/Irvington (West), NE Portland, OR” Facebook group and join Nextdoor.com to stay connected. https://www.buynothinggeteverything.com/post/how-share-during-pandemic?fbclid=IwAR2vFaPqZWaVAXlgmNjUAQHwE4e5IxogQGot2r5WtiuSNLW0dAJgkp6LolU

The Black Parent Initiative Appoints New Executive Director

By Ann Beckett

The board of directors of Black Parent Initiative is pleased to announce they have selected Bahia Overton to lead and champion its community-driven programs and to steer its strategic goals and objectives into the future. Bahia Overton holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work. She is completing her Ph.D. in Social Work Research, focusing on the experiences of African American female adolescents in foster care.

Ms. Overton most recently served as the Director of Equity and Partnerships at the Chalkboard Project. She is also the Executive Consultant for Joy DeGruy Publications. She assists Dr. DeGruy in researching historical trauma and developing new models and methods for culturally responsive service delivery. Ms. Overton has also assisted with training and development for government agencies in creating and sustaining equitable policies and practices.

With over 14 years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work, she has served as Child and Family Therapist, Curriculum Developer and Culturally-Specific Treatment Specialist in several states, with various community-based organizations and government entities.

Ms. Overton serves on the following Boards and Councils:
• College Possible
• Oregon Student Voice
• Organic Oneness
• Oregon Educator Equity Advisory Group

Ms. Overton is also an active member of the Bahài’ Faith which espouses the oneness of the human family.

As always, the staff and board of directors at BPI are grateful for our community’s support as we continue to deliver high-quality programs and services to families of Black and multi-racial children to break generational cycles, achieving financial, educational, health and spiritual success and well-being.

For more information or to donate contact ann.beckett@thebpi.org.

Microcosm Supports Kickstarter’s Union

Microcosm, a publisher and retailer located on North Williams, drew national attention last fall for their principled stance on working with companies with anti-union practices. Microcosm routinely uses Kickstarter’s crowdfunding platform to offer pre-orders on upcoming titles. Joe Biel, the founder of Microcosm, explained that the publisher “…uses Kickstarter to promote our books to new audiences who may never walk into a bookstore and discover them. Essentially, it widens the reach and hits a different readership that doesn’t compete with our regular retailers. We have used other platforms, but Kickstarter truly has the best politics, metrics, and success rate.” During a crowdfunding campaign last summer, Kickstarter’s leadership announced that they would not voluntarily recognize a union organized by their employees. In September, when Microcosm was running another crowdfunding campaign, Kickstarter’s leadership fired two employees who had been organizing the internal unionization effort.

For Biel, supporting unionization efforts is an obvious step, based on his own experiences: “My grandparents were immigrants who came to the U.S. in the 1890s and were able to establish what we saw as middle-class lifestyles as a result of unions. Obviously, economics are different today and even more in favor of the wealthy with a rapidly disappearing middle class.”

When Microcosm discovered that Kickstarter’s employees had asked for union recognition, their first step was to check with the union:
“We checked in with union organizers who told us to carry on and that they would let us know when different actions would be helpful.” Those actions included sharing an open letter to Kickstarter on Microcosm’s website and advocating for Kickstarter’s employees on other platforms.

Running a crowdfunding campaign on a platform undergoing such turmoil is not ideal. Perhaps more difficult, though, is deciding whether a refusal to recognize a union merits public response. Biel notes, “It’s hard to trust a company that doesn’t respect its own values and precedent. The vast majority of employees that we work with there are phenomenally smart and committed so it seems that there is a growing rift between management and the company itself.” Kickstarter’s CEO, Aziz Hasan, argued that unionization would inherently damage Kickstarter as a company, but that position is difficult to justify.

Objectively, unionized organizations tend to do better, both increasing earning capacity and improving employees’ lives: Unionized workers can be up to twice as
productive as their non-unionized workers, which should please most Microcosm Supports Kickstarter’s Union employers. Marginalized employees also see smaller wage gaps with unionized employers. Objectively, communities benefit when our local employers work with unions. Employees (who may both live and work in a given community) are better equipped to participate in the community, from both social and financial perspectives.

The process of organizing a new union, however, can be difficult. Many of the strikes we’ve seen recently, especially here in Portland, are the result of employers
refusing to recognize new unions.

Given that unions are good for the communities they serve, what are our responsibilities here in Eliot when we see efforts to unionize companies here in the neighborhood?

First, we have a responsibility to respect requests made by the union: just as Microcosm respected requests by Kickstarter United to continue using the crowdfunding
platform as discussions with management continued, we should follow the lead of the people actually doing the organizing. Sometimes, that may mean respecting a strike
and changing your spending habits to avoid an organization that won’t work with its own employees. Sometimes, that may mean continuing to work with the company in
question while reminding them you that you support their union. Support can look different depending on the organizations involved.

Second, we have an obligation to stay informed about organizing efforts both here and elsewhere. Portland saw numerous union actions in 2019, only a few of which were covered by most of Portland’s media. Fred Meyer’s union went on strike, as did Burgerville. Employees at companies like Little Big Burger and Grand Central Bakery organized and asked for official recognition. Nationwide strikes, like that of Instacart workers in November, also impacted Portlanders. Staying informed can be tough but a few local organizations offer good reporting on labor news: KBOO and NW Labor Press. Microcosm also has several publications that are relevant reading: How to Boycott shares the history of American unions, while Labor Law for the Rank and Filer highlights the rights each employee has.

This is an issue that will continue to impact the Eliot community throughout 2020. There’s at least one company serving the neighborhood whose employees have asked to form a union: New Seasons. While New Seasons’ website states the company is not antiunion, it has opposed internal efforts to unionize. In October, New Seasons Workers United shared that the National Labor Relations Board had ruled that New Seasons’ managers were required to post reminders that unionizing is legal and that employees would not face repercussions for joining a union.

Legacy Health Announces New President for Columbia Region

By Vicki Guinn

Legacy Health today announced Gretchen Nichols BSN, MBA, as president for the Columbia Region. Her responsibilities will include leadership of Legacy Emanuel and Legacy Mount Hood medical centers. Legacy’s new regional president role combines leadership of two hospitals to better focus on meeting the health needs of the community and providing patients with an integrated health care experience across its array of services in the region.

“Gretchen brings a strong track record of developing new services and programs and a deep experience in East County to the regional president role,” said Trent Green, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Legacy Health. “Her leadership will help Legacy Emanuel and Legacy Mount Hood continue to grow and innovate while providing outstanding patient care.”

“Legacy Emanuel and Legacy Mount Hood both play critical roles in meeting the health needs of the region,” said Nichols. “I look forward to collaborating with the physicians and staff at both hospitals on how we work together to best care for our patients and this growing community.”

A registered nurse, Nichols came to Legacy in 2007 as Legacy Mount Hood’s chief nursing officer. She served as president of Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center from 2009 to 2019. Most recently, Nichols served as interim president of Unity Center for Behavioral Health. During her tenure at Legacy Mount Hood, Nichols oversaw a significant expansion of services, including the addition of advanced cardiac care, a fast-growing robotic surgery practice, and the launch of a regional gastroenterology and endoscopy center, and led the hospital in achieving high marks in quality and service.

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

What You Need to Know About Diesel Particulates and Air Filters

Diesel particulates are a problem in the Eliot neighborhood. There are several organizations, both inside and outside of the neighborhood working to change legislation and business practices, including the Eliot Neighborhood Association’s eACT group and Portland Clean Air. While activists are working to limit pollution in the future, we need to reduce the impact of diesel particulates we currently face to the greatest extent possible. Because Portland Public Schools commissioned research into the air quality at Harriet Tubman, we have data on what sort of changes can make a difference in the air we breathe here in Eliot, especially indoors. Harriet Tubman Middle School relies on an $18 million air filtration system. Most Eliot neighbors aren’t in a position to spend millions of dollars on air filtration systems, but there are air filtering options available at a variety of price points.

Adding an additional filter or two to your home can make sense, but there are several factors to consider. Not all air filtration systems are capable of catching diesel particulates. Air filters are graded the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) scale, which runs from 1 to 20. MERV ratings are based on the size of the particles that can pass through the filter, with a filter with a rating of 1 stopping relatively large particles like pollen or spray paint dust and a filter with a rating of 20 stopping viruses and smoke particles. Filters rated MERV 16 or higher are typically needed to stop diesel particulates. MERV-rated filters may also be HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters. HEPA filters must pass a test on their ability to stop particles the size of bacteria and paint pigments, corresponding roughly to a MERV rating of 16. That’s also about the size of the diesel particulates we’re trying to stop.

If you have an existing HVAC or furnace system with a built-in filter, make sure you replace filters regularly, as well as clean any prefilter system. They’ll help improve air quality, although they may not be entirely effective on diesel particulates. Many residential systems aren’t equipped to use filters with a MERV above 10, though some homeowners choose to use filters with higher MERV ratings with minimal issues.

Consider adding a portable air filter to your space. The most effective air filters, like the Coway AP1512HH Mighty and the Austin Air HealthMate HM400, range from $125 to $600. There are options at every price point, however: you can even build your own air filter with a box fan and two replacement filters. Popular Mechanics provides a tutorial at https://bit.ly/2Ldtmt1.

Limiting time spent outdoors can be helpful, especially for folks closer to the interstate. For those with health concerns, using a respirator mask (look for an N95 or a P2 rating) will limit exposure to diesel particulates while outside. Increasing the greenery within Eliot is one of the most effective options we have. In the PSU study on Harriet Tubman’s air quality, researchers recommended increasing vegetation around the school by 50 percent. (The full report is available as a PDF at https://bit.ly/2Y6gBG8.) A similar increase throughout the neighborhood could help reduce diesel particulates somewhat.

Plants can help mitigate pollution in the air, without the replacement costs that go along with filters. Trees are particularly helpful — and organizations like Friends of Trees make the process of planting trees simple. Certain plants are especially effective at filtering air indoors: during a NASA study on which plants filtered air most effectively, these plants removed the most particulates from the air.

English ivy (Hedera helix)
Green Spider plant (Chlorophytum elatum)
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)
Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
Variegated snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)
Selloum philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)
Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)
Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’)
Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)
Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
Florist’s chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
Aloe vera (Aloe vera)
Janet Craig (Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”)
Warneckei (Dracaena deremensis “Warneckei”)
Banana (Musa oriana)

Consider adding a few of these plants to your home — NASA suggests adding one plant per 100 square feet.

We may not be able to stop diesel particulates overnight, but we can lessen the impact they have on our community.

Congratulations! Vera Warren, Attorney at Law

By Shireen Hasan

In our last issue of the Eliot News, we featured an article about Vera Warren, a woman of color and aspiring, student attorney.

Vera has passed the bar exam and it is now official, she is an Attorney at Law and is well on her way to continue doing great things for justice in our society.

The community wishes Vera much success!

Portland Police Bureau Stopping Crime in its Tracks

By Shireen Hasan

In an effort to strengthen more positive community relations, Portland Police are stepping up their game for the security of package shipments via online shopping venues. Officer Schmerber of the Portland Police Bureau reports that during the holiday season there are higher rates of thefts. Portland Police are working with the United States Postal Services and Amazon to help mitigate the “Porch Pirate” thefts that occur more often during the holiday season, but also during the rest of the year as well. Shopping Centers are no exception to the higher risks of theft, and Portland Police are working with stores on the prevention of thefts there, as well.

The Portland Police Bureau is also working on camp abatement while offering services and resources to the homeless communities.

Letter from the Editor

Welcome to a new decade!

Have you gotten your New Year’s resolutions set for 2020? Hopefully, the first year of the decade will be filled with interesting activities and events.

There are a lot of good ideas in this issue if you still haven’t honed in on your goals for this year. From getting healthy in a new exercise class, making new friends, and trying some new restaurants or taking a class, we have it all in the Eliot neighborhood.

Still lacking ideas? Stop by a neighborhood association meeting and listen to what we have in store this year. We are in the midst of goal planning for the year so if you have any events you’d like to suggest or want to volunteer for one of our committees or to help out with an event we’d love to talk to you.

Also we are always looking for additional reporters to write articles for our newspaper as well as businesses who want to advertise in a super local platform.

And if it’s history you’re looking for, in honor of Martin Luther King, Junior’s birthday we have a couple of article and a photo montage of then and now of our bustling street, MLK Jr. Boulevard.

So buckle up and get ready for an exciting year. I know, I am looking forward starting a new decade and all it will bring.

Letter from the Editor

Wow, there’s so much to report on for this issue we barely had room! I have to be brief, but a couple things of note. First, air quality in Eliot is a serious issue and a common theme in a lot of our articles. Check out the causes, the ways to help prevent pollution and how you can help.

Also, don’t forget our board elections are coming up this month, October 21, at our general assembly meeting . Our neighborhood grew by almost 400 addresses in the last year to a total of 3382 business and residences so welcome to Eliot and join us because we’d love to have some new faces, ideas, and people passionate to keep Eliot a great place to live.

Lastly, we spotlight some special people, businesses and events so be sure to read this fall issue cover to cover.