By Jill Riebesehl

Portland neighborhoods are on the brink of losing their formal recognition with the city government. With a minimum of outreach and notification, the newly established Office of Civic and Community Life (which replaced the Office of Neighborhood Involvement) has written us out of the city code.
We have not been able to decipher what would replace this decades-old conduit between residents and their city government. The new bureau will bring proposed code changes to the City Council for a vote on Sept. 3. We feel it is our responsibility, in lieu of minimal outreach by the city, to let our neighbors know about this major change. This has been HAND’s top priority this month.
We had a wonderful time participating with the throngs of folks enjoying the Division-Clinton Business Association’s parade and fair July 27. We are getting ready to dish up ice cream cones to all comers on August 6 at our one and only little Piccolo Park in celebration of national night out.
In closing, our forty-five-year-old non-political, volunteer-run system is nationally recognized and seen as one of the grassroots principles that make Portland special. The strength of this arrangement has been its grounding on the simple fact of geography. We have been able to avert crises and alert City Hall to issues that affect us and other neighborhoods and we are keenly aware of the changes facing us all.