By Patricia Sanders

This fall has been a very exciting and busy time for the Montavilla Neighborhood Association – new board, new mural, new history project and two successful fundraisers.

MNA members gathered October 8 to elect Brad Donohue, Dylan Peerenboom, John Rotter and Patricia Sanders as the new MNA Board of Directors. Thanks to our members for participating and to our Election Committee for organizing this important event.

Here’s the latest art news: there’s a new mural at 7714 SE Stark St. on the west wall of the Montavilla Animal Clinic building next to the Farmers’ Market. Sponsored by the MNA and the Portland Street Art Alliance, “Sow Radical Seeds” sends a hopeful message of beneficial change.

It was painted over three days by an all-female team consisting of N. O. Bonzo (Portland) as well as Oakland muralists Sara Corrigan Gibbs and Girl Mobb. Property owner the Susan J. Witt Trust contributed funds to purchase materials for the project and the MNA Land-Use and Transportation Committee has been raising funds to pay the artists. To donate go to gofundme.com/sow-radical-seeds-mural.

The Committee plans to facilitate more murals and possibly intersection paintings in the future. If you want to be part of this initiative or stay up-to-date about various neighborhood plans, attend the LUTC Committee meetings usually held on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Portland Metro Arts,9003 SE Stark St.

There’s big news about Montavilla history. Based on our past support for historic resource programs, we’ve been chosen by Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability for a pilot historical resources inventory. Brandon Spencer-Hartle, Historic Resources Program Manager at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, introduced the project at the MNA Land-Use meeting on October 24.

The goal is to create an inventory of historically significant buildings within a section of the neighborhood, tentatively the Stark-Washington corridor between SE 75th and SE 85th Streets. Neighborhood volunteers and graduate students from the University of Oregon will assist City staff and a professional consultant in researching properties for potential architectural, historical and cultural importance.

The final report will be presented to the Historic Landmarks Commission and the City Council in fall 2019, and serve as a launching pad for a larger effort across the city to revamp the Historic Resources Inventory. If you’d like to volunteer to help with researching and photographing properties or collecting oral histories, contact MNA board member Patricia Sanders at patricia@montavillapdx.org.

The MNA has also held two successful fundraising events. With the help of a dozen volunteers, we grossed just over $2,000 in our neighborhood cleanup September 29. The Montavilla Baptist Church generously allowed us to use their parking lot for trash drop-off.

Another successful fundraiser took place October 6 at East Glisan Pizza Lounge, which donated 20% of food sales (around $1,000!) to the MNA. Thanks to Montavilla Baptist Church and East Glisan Pizza Lounge

At our September general meeting, Diane Linn, Executive Director of Proud Ground, described how this organization helps working families become homeowners.

Proud Ground focuses on families in the 60-80% median income bracket. They find federal, state and local funds to make up for the gap between wages and housing prices. On resale, owners receive what is left on principle and 25% of the increased value.

Our next general meeting is on November 12, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm followed by the board meeting, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Both are open to the public. The meetings are held at the Montavilla United Methodist Church, 232 SE 80th Ave., second floor.