By Amanda Rhoads

Montavilla Neighborhood Association had an incredible election on October 9, with 22 candidates running for 11 board seats, and over 200 neighbors casting ballots. Since then, the elected board members have hit the ground running, developing a new website, forming or re-forming committees, publishing a newsletter, and working to get the Neighborhood Association’s processes and records current and accessible.

We have had great support for our committees, including the following: Public Safety; Land Use and Transportation; Housing and Homelessness, Outreach and Communications; Parks; and Accessibility.

Speaking of accessibility, an MNA board member sought and secured funding so all of the upcoming monthly meetings through the end of the fiscal year in June will have live captioning. This will make our meetings more welcoming and available not only to those who are hard of hearing, but for everyone who benefit from visual learning and are trying to follow fast-paced meetings.

Recent MNA meetings have had guest speakers to address projects relevant to the community, such as a TriMet employee updating the community on the Division Transit Project. Our County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson stopped by in December to talk to us about the issues she has been working on this year. We look forward to continuing to make our meetings a great place to learn about what is going on in our neighborhood and how folks can get involved.

We are looking forward to a productive 2018, with more work to get the MNA on a stronger organizational footing and more opportunities for neighbors to come together to grapple with big issues which we don’t all see the same way. We will be reviving the effort to host community forums on topics such as homelessness and hope these efforts will help us all learn more about the citywide and national issues affecting our community and how we can work together to improve them locally.