By Peter Forrest

Richmond Neighborhood Association (richmondpdx.org) held its monthly meeting September 9, at Waverly Heights Church, 33rd/Woodward St. Meetings are held in the basement; enter from the east-side door. All are welcome.

The meeting included an Ice Cream Social with Salt & Straw and was well attended. Store manager Megan served Mushroom Ice Cream, which was delicious (tastes like Butter Pecan – really).People expressed appreciation for their ongoing efforts picking up litter and addressing issues that come with being so popular. The RNA is currently working with them and the new building owners to update a 2015 Good Neighbor Agreement.

Rob Nosse, Oregon House Representative District 42, gave an overview of the past legislative session and answered questions. They passed sweeping reforms in Education Funding, Health Care, Housing & Paid Family Leave.

Accomplishments included statewide rent ceiling, additional funding for the Oregon Health Plan, referral to voters of a tobacco tax, drivers’ cards for undocumented people, and paid family leave which starts in 2030. There were “Ups & Downs along the way.”

The Climate bill was killed after Republican lawmakers fled the state to avoid a vote. A bill to limit a women’s choice and another to require sanctuary cities to assist ICE as well as others were defeated.  People voiced their appreciation of Rob’s time with us and representing our district.

Teri Poppin, Civic Life, talked about the “Crime Prevention” program being rebranded as “Community Safety.” The brochure she handed out describes “a model that embraces an inclusive and collaborative vision of safety where neighbors work with each other and City staff to better address a range of public safety issues.”

She explained that the Neighborhood Watch was eliminated and replaced with “Neighbors Together” which will help “Activate Neighbors Together,”  but Civic Life wanted to take out the word “neighborhood.”

Unfortunately, Community Safety has lost a lot of staff, and with the program changes not fully developed, she had difficulty explaining how these rebranded programs will operate and what specifically they will do. Teri will be retiring this November and Sarah Berkemeier (sarah.berkemeier@portlandoregon.gov) will take over for her. We wish Teri well and thank her for work with the neighborhood.

The Board and people in attendance discussed ways to increase outreach and participation. Ideas included: create an Outreach Committee, RNA meeting information in stores, a street kiosk, and A-frame sign outside Waverly Church, a one-page flyer at businesses, a Greeter to welcome people, sending agendas to apartment building managers, an RNA Welcome signage at Division S-curve at 42nd or 43rd, offer childcare, and partner with an outer-east neighborhood association.

Come to our next meeting October 14 and offer your ideas and any community projects you want to organize.