CANCELLED for 2020 but save the dates June 25-27, 2021: Good in the Hood Multicultural Music and Food Festival… Don’t miss it!

The Good in the Hood Music and Food festival is the largest multi-cultural festival in the Pacific NW.  This three-day music festival opens with a community parade that travels through Northeast Portland and ends at Lillis-Albina Park.

The Good in the Hood festival is a community event that is staffed by community volunteers and funded by local businesses and organization sponsorships.  

The Good in the Hood Multicultural Music & Food Festival has become a historical annual event spearheading neighborhoods throughout Portland to engage in the momentum of our city as a whole in its celebration and the defining of Neighborhood.  Held annually the last weekend in June, its birth revealed a recognition and celebration of wealth within the neighborhoods we reside.  Holy Redeemer Catholic School was the vision that ignited the now celebrated Good in the Hood Multicultural Music & Food Festival.  For most of the years celebrating this event, Lillis Albina Park has carried on this vision to capture audiences from the North/Northeast community as well as communities throughout Oregon and Washington.  Last year we reached out to over 30,000 residents living within our Northeast Coalitions designated neighborhoods which many enjoyed two days of fun, music, food and festivities.  

This year’s festival is scheduled for June 26-28. 2020 celebration is cancelled but save the dates June 25-27, 2021 for next year’s celebration. For more information, schedule and vendor or volunteer opportunities go to Goodnthehood.org.

Don’t Miss the Juneteenth Celebration (UPDATE: now virtual)

From Juneteenth website:

juneteenthor.com

Call: (503) 267-4686 
Email: info@juneteenthor.com

Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth “Independence Day” or “Freedom Day”, is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of African American slaves.

On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation effectively ending slavery on January 1, 1863, however, the Proclamation had little effect in the State of Texas until two and half years later. It was on June 19, 1865, that Union General Gordon Granger read General Orders No. 3 to the people of Galveston, Texas:

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaved are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”

Juneteenth in Oregon

In Oregon, Juneteenth Oregon Celebration was founded 45 years ago by the late and beloved community leader Clara Peoples. The celebration of Juneteenth Oregon dates back to 1945 when Peoples introduced the tradition from Muskogee, Oklahoma, to her co-workers at the Kaiser Shipyards in Portland. Upon moving to Portland in 1945, Clara Peoples was surprised to learn that the Juneteenth holiday was unknown in this part of the country. She introduced the holiday to her co-workers at the Kaiser Shipyards during their break being the first Juneteenth Celebration in Oregon.

Later Clara helped to initiate Portland’s annual citywide Juneteenth celebration in 1972. Juneteenth Oregon’s celebration starts with a parade, followed by the festivities which includes live music and entertainment, art, food, educational booths, cultural booths, community resources and a children’s play area.

Juneteenth OR has many opportunities to get involved. We’re looking for event sponsors, vendors, volunteers, and parade participants for our upcoming event. We count on supporters like you to help make our Juneteenth Oregon Celebration successful. Make a donation to show your support.

Juneteenth Celebration

June 20, 12-6 pm

Legacy Emanuel Field (modified to now a virtual event check out their Juneteenth Oregon Facebook page for details)

N Williams and N Russell St

Parade start: Safeway  on NE MLK and Ainsworth—9:30 am

Juneteenthor.com

info@junteenthor.com

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.

Don’t forget to be counted!

The 2020 Census is taking place right now. With all the disruption of the coronavirus it is easy to forget this important task. You should have gotten a document in the mail to fill out. Otherwise you can call 844-330-2020 or you go can go to the website to complete your participation in the census.  Either way don’t forget to be counted.  Your information has an impact that will be long lasting and important. https://2020census.gov/en.html

Eliot Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Agenda 5/18/2020 6:30pm

Chairs: Jimmy Wilson & Allan Rudwick

Monday, May 18th, 2020

6:30-8:00 pm

Zoom link


1 Welcome & Introductions (6:30pm)

2 Dawson Park – police update – reaching out now, tbd if they can make it.

3 COVID-19 – Updates on how everyone is doing / things we need right now. 

4 Old Business/Updates:  – The Freeway Fight 

The Loss of the Allen Flowers Houses: The Oldest Black-Built Known in Portland

The Allen Flowers Houses 1803, 1811 1815 NE 1st Avenue, circa 1885. Photo courtesy of Oregon Historical Society

There were three small old houses inside our wonderful Eliot neighborhood that were demolished quickly last fall in a peculiar quiet fashion and not to the notice of most of our residents.  Well, this rapid and hasty act appears to be deliberate and turns out to be a tragedy for our neighborhood and diverse cultural history.  At this time, the author is not clear on the details of what happened on the west side of the block of NE 1st Avenue between Broadway and Hancock Streets on that late fall day back in 2019.  What happened may not be the total blame to the developer and much of it rests on the City of Portland and their policies that severely lack an incentive for historic preservation.  What is a bigger travesty is that these houses may only be replaced by a parking lot to serve the Toyota dealership on this block. 

As of until recently, these 3 houses were owned by Pauline Bradford, a long-time resident of the Eliot neighborhood since 1945 who was very active for many years in the Eliot Neighborhood Association.  She was a critical force in trying to make our neighborhood a better place for residents and made an impact on thwarting much adverse development.  She was also one of the longest living African-American residents of our neighborhood and worked hard to help improve the living standards and rights of black residents.  She also was a strong force in helping put together an inventory of buildings significant in African-American history back in the 1990s that was backed by the Bosco-Milligan Foundation (now Architectural Heritage Center).  Known by the author for many years, she mentioned the many times that there were strong efforts by the property owners of the dealership (formerly Coliseum Ford) to pressure her and her husband in selling as far back as the 1970s.  Sadly, since the 1970s, adjacent houses all around them were gobbled up as the building and parking lots were expanded.  Now the entire block that goes west to N Victoria and north to Hancock may be completely in their ownership.  It is not known if Mrs. Bradford recently passed away or relocated for health or other reasons.  The last time the author made personal contact with her was in late 2017.  The destruction was swift, and apparently, no parts of the houses were even salvaged or recycled.  It is possible the owner(s) knew of the great historic significance of two of these houses as being associated with Allen Flowers, one of the first African-Americans who came to Portland and stayed.  It is also tragic that the small houses could have been relocated in the general proximity at not too high of a cost due to their smaller size.  Recent tax-break economic incentives by the Federal government to encourage rehabilitation of historic buildings would have made it sustainable and economically practical.  There are many young ambitious homeowners to-be in the community and investors that would have been interested to save these houses and taken it on in short order.  It could be that the new ownership acted on panic.

Now backing things up to the 1800s, Allen Flowers came to Portland in 1865 by jumping ship from a steamship where he was employed when it docked here.  He managed to get by with many service-oriented jobs including the Lincoln Hotel in lower NW Portland for a number of years.  Later, he became an operator for ships that delivered goods up and down the Columbia River and managed to secure a homestead in the Mount Scott vicinity.  In 1884 and 85, he had a wife Louisa M. and purchased 2 lots in Elizabeth Irving’s First Addition of East Portland, now the block with the dealership on it.  Interestingly at this early date, people of color were not excluded from purchasing at this location.  He commenced construction of 3 houses, for his own new family and other relatives. Flowers chose this location due to his new occupation as a porter-in-charge for the Northern Pacific Railroad between Portland and Seattle.  He remained in one of these houses for the remainder of his long life until 1934.  He had 4 sons who also lived in these 3 houses with their families.  One of his sons, Ervin M. Flowers remained and became the president of the NAACP during the 1920s.  The entire family was very instrumental in improving the lives of black residents of Portland and their success in business and careers was also a motivating factor for encouragement to others. 

At the present time, it is apparent that the two Flowers Houses that stood here were the oldest known in all of Portland that were black-built.  In the historic photo taken just before 1900, all three are clear and very similar.  Two of these remained until recently. It is a possibility that there could be a few other survivors of near the 1885 vintage in the general close-in North Portland proximity that are still unknown that could have been moved to other locations during the course of the 20th Century.  So far, research has not produced anything known.  It was discovered by the author back in the 1990s that the decorative Queen-Anne style cottage that stood at 1745 NE 1st Avenue was built in 1888 by James Curran in McMillens Addition to East Portland and moved to this spot in 1910 due to construction of an apartment building.  McMillens Addition also allowed people of color and Chinese to purchase and build. That replacement building was torn down in 1960 along with many adjacent structures, for construction of Memorial Coliseum. Pauline Bradford lived in this house since 1979 and the interior was adorned with gorgeous woodwork and very tall ceilings and was in excellent condition.  This was such a waste that we residents hope to never see happen again in our diverse neighborhood and a loss of a cultural resource that cannot be replaced. A tidbit from the book “The History of Albina”, available at Powell’s Books downtown and Broadway Books at NE 17th.

Joseph M. Manning Cottage: Historic Home on the Move… Hopefully

Another historic home may be on the move in Eliot soon.  The property at 2316 N Vancouver has been sold and the Joseph M. Manning Cottage is slated for demolition unless it can be moved soon. The developer is open to the idea of moving the house and a few people who have an interest in the house’s future are working to make that happen.  More in our summer issue on this, but for now, a little history about the home, built in 1892, from The History of Albina by Roy Roos.

Joseph M Manning cottage which is slated for demolition or relocation prior to development of a five story multi-family residential building. Photo credit Sue Stringer

“This Queen Anne cottage was moved to this location in 1949 and was previously located at 2307 N Flint, where now Harriet Tubman Middle School and Albina-Lillis Park is. Joseph M. Manning, the original owner and builder, was a street grading contractor. By 1898, he formed a partnership with William Lind as general contractors that lasted until about 1904. Manning independently returned to street grading which he continued until retirement. After this house was moved it was owned and occupied by Perry and Della Coleman. Mr. Coleman was employed by Union Pacific and African- American. After his death, Della remarried to Reverand Otha W. Warren, pastor of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church in 1962.”

T.U.R.N – Together Uniting Reaching Neighborhoods

By Jimmy Wilson, Co-Chair of Eliot Neighborhood Association

Having lived in this community all my life, which is 60 plus years, serving as co-chair of the Eliot Neighborhood Association, and being one of only three members of color in the association, it has become increasingly clear that my voice and presence is critically necessary as we seek to preserve our sense of community in an environment of gentrification and social change. 

Jimmy Wilson, Co-Chair of the Eliot Neighborhood Association and longtime Northeast Portland resident

From my early years, as a kid living and walking the streets of my neighborhood, I have fond memories of the streets, parks, schools, churches, community centers, the families, the neighbors, the local grocery stores, the black-owned gas stations and auto repair shops that represented my community.  At that time, over 250 black-owned businesses occupied North Portland from Mississippi, Vancouver, and Williams to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.  Looking back, I see how we took for granted the sense of a village and community we enjoyed. 

Gentrification has brought about enormous changes some good and some not so good.  Recognizing that change is inevitable in a community, the question becomes how is the change managed in such a way as to provide a balance between those who are new to the community and those who have been longtime members?  Extremes in either direction are harmful to a healthy, harmonious community.

For many of us who have been longtime members, we fail to see the value in high-rise structures, traffic congestion, garbage on the streets, and an increased homeless population that we must address because it is a safety and health issue.  We ask ourselves, what happened to the 250 black-owned businesses? What happened to the institutions, the cultural centers, the local hangouts, and other places where the community would meet?  They are all gone! All except Dawson Park. What’s more, it is the failure to recognize the harmful effects of the forced displacement when gentrification occurs.  For example:

· 10,000 black residents of the inner N/NE core have been removed over the last 15 years

· In 1970, 50-84% of N/NE neighborhoods were African American

· In 2010, only 18-30% of N/NE neighborhoods were African American

· In 1960, 4 out of 5 African Americans lived in the Albina area, and since 2000, less than 1 out of 3 African Americans live in the Albina area.

· The vast majority of our residents were uprooted by no choice of their own; but were systemically, forcibly displaced via an intentional, multi public sector plan to divest in the inner core while simultaneously making plans to reinvest and turn our neighborhoods into bastions of greater wealth for White Americans. 

With this in mind, as Co-Chair of the Eliot Neighborhood Association, I have identified three primary goals as my priority in the association. 

1) Create an environment of mutual respect and inclusiveness.  This association must resist tribalism and understand that it represents the broad constituents in our community. 

2)  Be a proponent of equity.  Our association must seek fairness, evenhandedness, impartiality, and justice. 3) Diversity.  Our association board must vigilantly pursue the cultural variety and mixture of our community if we are to have legitimacy.

Building Skills for Resiliency during Times of Crisis

By Mira Mohisni

Now more than ever we need to find ways to be resilient. All of us are experiencing tremendous levels of stress and anxiety as we navigate this public health crisis. 


We know that during an infectious disease outbreak, stress levels are heightened from fear and anxiety about the disease, as well as from the uncertainty an outbreak creates in terms of job security, health care, child care, etc. Stress-related effects include: 


• Worsening of chronic health problems
• Worsening of mental health conditions
• Decreased ability to concentrate/focus


We can feel these effects immediately in our bodies and, for some, they can be debilitating. However, there are resources available that can help mitigate the effects of stress, overwhelm, and trauma. A local nonprofit that I work with, Living Yoga, provides one such resource that can help build skills for resiliency. 


Living Yoga has been providing mind-body classes and training for populations in locked facilities, reentry programs, and in recovery for over 20 years in the Portland-metro area. Clinical research has shown that practices associated with down-regulating the nervous system, such as yoga and meditation, can reduce levels of stress and anxiety. Before our in-person classes were suspended due to COVID-19, Living Yoga’s 200+ volunteers were bringing trauma-informed yoga and mind-body practices to 600 individuals per month. And the impact was profound. An independent study of our classes conducted by researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University and the National University of Natural Medicine found that students reported broad positive changes in physical and emotional well-being after participating in trauma-informed yoga.


Living Yoga is now committed to making our training and tools for building resiliency accessible to a broader audience. We are looking to partner with organizations in Portland and beyond to provide our online Body-Based Resiliency training to support staff working remotely from home or on the front lines as essential workers. 


The 90-minute online training is part “lecture,” where we discuss the impact of stress and trauma on the body, and part “practice” where our experienced trainers lead folks through simple and accessible exercises that help build resiliency skills to mitigate stress on the body. These are skills that can be practiced anywhere; no props are required and no prior experience with yoga or mind-body techniques is needed.
We are also offering this training to individuals who feel they might benefit from learning skills for resiliency. We are facilitating two online Body-Based Resiliency sessions in May 2020, and anyone can register. There is a suggested donation, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Open session dates are:

Thursday, May 14th, 5:00pm-6:30pm (PST)
Saturday, May 30th, 10:00am-11:30am (PST)

Please complete the registration form so that we can send you all the information you need to join via Zoom.

During these difficult times, our community of supporters plays an invaluable role in ensuring that Living Yoga can continue its important mission of fostering healing and resilience through trauma-informed classes. I look forward to continuing to do this work in-person in the not too distant future.

Mira Mohisni, Ph.D. is the Training and Equity Facilitator for Living Yoga.

Open Signal Fellow: Jessica Mehta and “emBODY Poetry”

By Thursday Bram

Jessica Mehta, one of this year’s Open Signal fellows, is currently showing her work “emBODY poetry” at Open Signal. The show, which opened March 10, combines Mehta’s poetry with performance to examine body image and eating disorders.

Jessica Mehta reading some of her poetry for her emBODY exhibition

Since Open Signal is currently closed due to coronavirus, check out this virtual tour of Jessica Mehta’s current exhibition.

The first iteration of the show opened in Washington D.C. last spring. In it, Mehta led attendees in painting words on the body of a nude model. Mehta chose a human body as a canvass as a conscious break from stereotypical sexualization in poetry.

For Mehta, “emBODY poetry” is just one work out of many that give audiences more ways to experience poetry. Her work, “Red/Act” uses virtual reality to create an immersive encounter with indigenous poetry. Mehta is the author of more than a dozen books. More information about her writing and art is available at jessicamehta.com.

Her fellowship with Open Signal isn’t the first time Mehta’s worked in Eliot. Her first job was with the African-American Health Coalition then located in the neighborhood. “The majority of my hours were spent in Eliot at one point.” Mehta, who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and was born in southern Oregon, draws deeply on her own experiences in her work. She says, “Space and place play a huge role in my work.”

Learn More: opensignalpdx.org/embodypoetry 

Got Trash? Community Collection Events Near to You (UPDATED- CANCELLED EVENTS)

UNFORTUNATELY ALL COMMUNITY COLLECTION EVENTS LISTED BELOW HAVE BEEN CANCELLED THIS YEAR. SORRY FOR ANY CONFUSION OR INCONVENIENCE.

Metro Central Station is still open if you have items to deposit in the landfill or to recycle. The address is 6161 NW 61st Ave and hours of operation are 8am-5pm daily. See link for more details: Metro Garbage and Recycling and Hazardous Waste

Community Collection Events

The Eliot Neighborhood Association is not holding a Community Collection Event/Spring Clean Up this year. Below are listed three events where you can still take your unwanted items that would normally go to the Metro Central Station or to be reused/recycled. See each neighborhood association’s websites or NECN for collection guidelines and also any changes to planned events because of the coronavirus.

Humboldt & King Neighborhoods
5/9/2020  9AM-1PM
Emmanuel Temple, 1033 N Sumner 

Sabin/ Sullivan’s Gulch / Betty Walker Neighborhood Cleanup
5/16/2020 10AM-2PM
Maranatha Church, 4222 NE 12th

Vernlawndia (Vernon Woodlawn Concordia Neighborhoods) 
5/30/2020 8AM- 2PM 
PCC Workforce Training Center 5600 NE 42nd Ave 

The I-5 Thorn in the Rose Quarter

By Ruth Eddy

On a rainy Saturday in October 1966, Governor Mark Hatfield presided over a ceremony celebrating the completion of Interstate-5 through the state of Oregon. Construction of the Marquam Bridge had just finished, the final piece of a 308 mile stretch of a highway that cost $300 million and would prove its role as the economic artery of the state.

Fifty years later, the burden of I-5 has only grown in importance. In 2010, government officials began planning for a project to address safety issues on the freeway, especially around the intersections of I-5, I-405, and I-84. The confluence of these freeways had become a predictable bottleneck for an expanding population. Tasked with finding a solution, the Oregon Department of Transportation proposed a project to add auxiliary lanes to ramps exiting and entering the highway, reducing collisions for cars trying to make quick lane changes. In 2017, the Oregon legislature budgeted another $300 million to complete the updates.

Since then, the estimated cost of the “Rose Quarter Improvement Project” has ballooned to nearly $800 million, and public opposition has grown apace.

Aaron Brown, founder of No More Freeways, along with a coalition of neighborhood and city organizers, is pushing for the Oregon Transportation Commission to instruct ODOT to perform an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project. Since the project got funding three years ago, Brown has been working against it as a labor of love. “This is how I’m choosing to spend my time when we have ten years to solve the climate apocalypse, right? Stopping a massive fossil fuel infrastructure in the backyard of Harriet Tubman middle school. It’s exhausting and pretty demoralizing at times and it’s pretty frustrating to see the ways which this project continues to churn forward.”

ODOT performed an Environmental Assessment (EA) in May 2019, which is required of any project that uses federal funds. “We certainly answered an awful lot of questions that you can see in there”, said Don Hamilton, spokesman for ODOT.  “A lot of the cultural issues, air quality, noise issues, a lot of things are in there.” However, Brown and his cohort are asking for even more to be done. 

An EIS is a more rigorous evaluation than an EA, and notably requires ODOT to look at a variety of alternatives to the stated plan. 

“There are different options that are formally posed, usually five, but not always and one of those options is always the do nothing option,” said Hamilton. The ‘Do Nothing’ option is what opponents of the project are most interested in, but with so many government contracts on the line, it is unlikely.


Still, No More Freeways and other community organizations have made enough noise for government officials to take notice. Governor Kate Brown slowed the process last December when she asked the Oregon Transportation Commission to “table the decision on the environmental review path for a few months.”

An important cohort of voices has been the youth movement against the project from the environmental justice club at Harriet Tubman Middle School to the direct action of Sunrise PDX, the local chapter of a national youth organization focusing on stopping the climate crisis.

The students have stood on the bridge near their school in opposition, stood outside of ODOT offices in the rain, and have spoken many times before a variety of state and local governing bodies to add their opinions to the public record. 

Students at Harriet Tubman are already affected by the current amount of traffic that passes dozens of feet from their classroom. The school has a multi-million dollar air filtration system that is tasked with cleaning the fine particulate matter exhausted by thousands of diesel trucks every day. Expanding the capacity of the interstate for even more trucks would spell greater health risks to their students and staff. 

Opponents of the project have varying reasons for their objections, with overlapping interests.

For Aaron Brown, ODOT’s safety argument is misguided. He got his start as a transportation advocate as the Board President for Oregon Walks, a pedestrian advocacy organization. “Spent too much time speaking at traffic vigils after traffic fatalities and seeing all these vulnerable people died, because we couldn’t get money for an ODOT crosswalk,” said Brown. Meanwhile, Brown says the section of I-5 in question hasn’t seen a traffic fatality in over a decade. 


A large amount of the finances for the project would be used to build caps over the freeway to reconnect parts of the community that were bisected by the original I-5 construction, which is a critical component of the design for the Albina Vision Trust, a community partner in the project. Don Hamilton admits this project will not repair the scars from the devastation in the last half-century but said the caps, “will help improve connections and rebuild and reconnect the two sides of I-5…” Hamilton paused, “…to a certain extent. We can’t fix the damage that was done in the past but we can help improve conditions and circumstances.” ODOT also plans to address this impact by contracting with minority-owned businesses.

However, the current plans for the highway caps would be unable to support the affordable housing and other large structures included in Albina Vision’s idea for the future of our neighborhood. Rukaiyah Adams, chair of Albina Vision, wrote to Governor Kate Brown, “The ground is special. It is a place where the racial inequity of urban renewal came, then came again, and again. Promises were made and broken. Black people and immigrants were displaced. Wealth was taken. The construction of I-5 was central to this unjust history and any future investment in the area should strive to repair the damage done.”

The criticisms of the project point in different directions, but all seem to overlap.  Harriet Tubman students are not only concerned about air quality, but as a school where 60% of the students are non-white, the effect on their lungs is also a racial justice issue. One concern rolls into the other and together the project has little support in the neighborhood. Still, it continues on.     

The ‘Rose Quarter Improvement Project’ is based in our backyard, but businesses from around the state have connections to the economic artery of our state and the west coast. They stand to benefit from their products moving via freight through our neighborhood efficiently. These large economic interests have made themselves clear to state legislators that approved funding for this project in 2017. 

The future is unknown. With elections approaching for Mayor, City Council and Metro positions, the partnership ODOT needs from other government agencies could potentially look very different this time next year. The only thing that seems certain is it is a long road ahead.

After the Gold Rush

By Mike Warwick

Susan and I were thrilled when our friends and neighbors opened the Gold Rush coffee shop as it was on our regular morning dog-walking route. Sadly, it has closed. But we found a new walking route and replacement café; Caffe Destino, located on the corner of NE Fremont and 14th. For dog owners, it is a short walk from the playground at Irvington School and a shorter walk from Irving Park. Whole Foods is on the adjacent block if you need some groceries as is the Irvington Library if you need to select or return library items (or drop off ballots).

Caffe Destino is family owned and operated. Holly Higdon became the owner recently after working the counter for over six years. You will find her at the counter most days.  Her partner, Elias Herrera, works in the back making wonderful homemade pastries daily as well as hot and cold breakfast items and sandwiches, soups, and pies giving the place the family-friendly feel of a neighborhood cafe. Everything is made fresh daily. The biscuits and breakfast cookies are my favorite treats on our walks.

Caffe Destino is open at 5:30 am on weekdays and at 7 am on weekends. Hot food is available after 7, maybe earlier if it isn’t too busy. And, there is pie! They take phone orders at (503) 284-9455 and have a Facebook page and free wifi, which seem popular among some of the morning crowd. They have a loyalty program for regular coffee drinkers. They close at 4:00 pm. 

Caffe Destino
1339 NE Fremont St
503-284-9455

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.