By David Linn

This has been a busy year so far for Montavilla, and the parade, street fair and block party seasons are just around the corner. We hope you can join us for the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade April 28. We will be walking with the MNA banner and all neighbors are welcome to join us.

We’ve had several informative meetings with a wide variety of guest speakers. In December, our Multnomah County Commissioner, Jessica Vega Pederson, gave details about the County’s efforts to address homelessness through their Joint Office on Housing and Homelessness. She spoke about the dire state of funding for necessary shelters and mental health funding.

In February we heard about the efforts to slow driving speeds on SE Stark St. and had presentation from Boys & Girls Aid. Many concerned neighbors have joined together to push for the speeds on Stark to be reduced to 20 mph. Studies have shown a person hit by a car going 25 mph is twice as likely to suffer fatal injuries then if struck by a car going 20 mph.

In March had a very special guest from Japan, Professor Takatoshi Muneno., Ph. D. He has studied civic involvement in several countries and was very complimentary about the level of civic participation in Portland and Montavilla in particular.

While I was honored by his compliments, I think we have a long way to go to ensure efficient and meaningful participation in City decisions.

As the May Primary approaches, we want to bring the candidates to you. In April we hosted the candidates for Portland City Commissioner #2. Current Commissioner Nick Fish and challenger Julia DeGraw both gave impassioned answers to the problems facing our community. Homelessness, police reform and funding, livability and affordability, and the role of Portland’s neighborhood associations.

If you still want to see more candidates, we will be hosting several challengers for the chance to replace City Commissioner Saltzman at our May 14 meeting.