By Pete Forsyth

In South Tabor we had a great 2019, and we’re looking forward to an exciting 2020. Last year we hosted a Pancake Breakfast and our 10th annual Harvest Festival, which brought lots of people together and helped us firm up financials. As the neighborhood association’s recently-elected President, I’m honored to serve with a great mix of long-term and newly-engaged Board members and neighbors. It’s been a pleasure to work with this team as we work on expanding and improving our efforts to keep neighbors engaged and informed.

We hope you’ll join us for our second Pancake Breakfast next month. (See the February Examiner for the exact date, or check southtabor.org. If you’d like to help out, contact me at president@southtabor.org). Our May meeting will feature elections for all positions except President as well as changes to our bylaws. We will likely hold committee meetings on bylaws, communications, events, as well as our monthly Land Use Committee meetings. I hope to continue to bring interesting presenters to our meetings, so keep an eye out as we post agendas on our website and email list.

Board members and engaged neighbors have been moving several important initiatives forward and I expect much of it to pay off in the coming year. Vice President Ben Chatterton chairs our Bylaws Committee, which will propose changes shortly. We hope to hold fewer General Meetings, in favor of events that can be more fun and informative without getting non-board members bogged down in day-to-day business. Board Meetings remain open for those who do want to engage with business stuff. 

We created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. We have not yet appointed a chair or members, but we hope this committee will help us craft policy and take other steps to help us connect with a full range of neighbors. Southeast Uplift (SEUL) Representative Tina Kimmey, who headed up our blockbuster 10th annual Harvest Festival last September, is at it again; you’ll hear more from her about it in the spring and summer. She was also recently elected Chair of SEUL, which supports South Tabor in numerous ways. 

Land Use Chair John Carr and SEUL Land Use & Transportation Representative Nate Canfield delivered a steady diet of worthy topics for the Land Use Committee’s consideration, and will likely be shepherding an informed recommendation about a troublesome block of SE Woodward and monitoring plans for the “sixties” bicycle route in the coming year. 

Keep an eye on our website’s Land Use resources page too, which has been steadily improving. Treasurer Ute Munger has been guiding our finances through a fiscal year that promises to be our first “in the black” in some time, and is a reliable contributor to our various projects and events. Events Chair Wren Shiffler leads efforts to plan a wide range of events this coming year. 

Secretary Juan Cummings has been getting our formal documents in order. If you haven’t noticed, minutes are getting posted to our website more promptly. Stay on top of our activities even if you can’t make it to our meetings.

I’d like to thank neighbors George Kepnick, Janine Shockley, Duane Hanson, Steve Reinemer and many others for significant efforts in the past year, helping us breathe new life into our organization and neighborhood. Many local organizations sponsored, or otherwise supported, our 10th annual Harvest Festival, helping make it a great success. Trinity Fellowship Church has been a great partner for us over the years and recently St. Marks has also stepped forward to host several meetings.

Many of you have been following efforts to change the City Code that defines the City of Portland’s relationships with neighborhood associations. South Tabor was among many neighborhood associations to formally oppose the change recommended in 2019. The change has not been adopted, but next steps remain a bit hazy. In 2020, we hope to continue keeping our neighbors informed and engaged on this issue.

We are looking to fill Communications and Diversity committee vacancies. All are welcome to our General Meetings (7 pm, third Thursday of every month except December; next meeting January 16), Land Use Meetings (7 pm Tuesday preceding General Meetings; next meeting January 14). These meetings are at Trinity Fellowship Church, 2700 SE 67th Ave. Reach out by email at info@southtabor.org or me directly at president@southtabor.org. Watch our website for updates, or join our (newly-relocated) email list at southtabor.groups.io.