By Jill Riebesehl
Although our neighborhood, like most in our town these days, has been going through a sea of changes with a Black Lives Matter family-focused demonstration on SE Division, helicopters overhead, throngs of rally folks on Powell cutting through our streets, fewer vehicles and more pedestrians dodging one another on daily walks, the HAND board stuck to business in June.
A sizable group of property owners, architects, planners and more paid a visit to our Zoom meeting with a plan for replacing the burned out Burger King at SE Clay between Grand and MLK with a CVS Pharmacy/market. The group described the proposal, answered our questions and solicited our suggestions.
We also heard about another proposal, this one to get the South Park Blocks downtown on the National Register of Historic Places; a goal laid out in Portland’s 2035 Central City plan. Several volunteers have taken it upon themselves to research the linear park, set aside in 1878, and draft a request that would secure its place in our nation’s history. They were seeking HAND’s support, along with that of other nearby groups and institutions connected with park physically or historically. The board voted unanimously in favor.
Finally, an important person in our neighborhood has been Portland Officer Leo Yee, who has watched over us for many years in his job on the night shift. He will be retiring in August. We all agree if that’s how community policing works, we’re all for it.
Montavilla Neighborhood Association
By Louise Hoff
Montavilla Neighborhood Association Board met last month on Zoom and we plan to do so again this month, but this time invite the neighborhood to a General Meeting on Monday, July 13, 6:30 pm using the SEUL Zoom account. We hope to have a local speaker Rachel Phariss tell us more about bees and their importance in our gardens.
Land Use and Transportation Chair Adam Wilson is in the process of expanding the search committee for the ceramic tile mural on NE 82nd and Glisan to two organizations that evaluate such projects as part of their work before requesting designs from local artists.
Buy local, shop local and wear a mask is the best way to support neighbors in these times and keep our community healthy. Our Sunday Montavilla Farmer’s Market has expanded and is up and running with bountiful berries, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, special treats and even a knife sharpener. Our neighborhood is such a great example of wearing masks and social distancing in public. Many of our small businesses, coffeehouses and restaurants are open, juggling their hours and offerings with increasing public demand. Our beautiful Montavilla Portland Community College has a full catalogue of online classes and a number of our local yoga, dance and music teachers as well. So many of our small businesses are gracious about curbside pickup.
Montavilla United Methodist Church, where we have always held our public meetings, is deciding about a careful reopening. Our board has decided to take the traditional August break and see where we are in September.
Richmond Neighborhood Association
By Clarie Cofsky and Allen Field
The RNA is holding all meetings via Zoom until further notice. Meetings are the second Monday of the month, 6:30-8:30 pm. Everyone is welcome. Agendas are posted the week before on richmondpdx.org and sent to the RNA Announce listserv. Zoom preregistration is required for all meetings and will included in the agenda and posted to the website. To be added to the RNA’s listserv, email email@example.com.
Annual Board Election: At the June 8 monthly meeting, the Board voted to hold the annual Board Election on Tuesday, July 14, 6:30-8:30 pm, so it does not conflict with the July 13 monthly Zoom meeting. At the June 13 meeting, candidates will give short statements and details of the July 14 election will be covered. Candidate statements will also be posted to the RNA website and sent out on the listserv after June 23, when the optional statements are due.
Candidates who announced their candidacy by the June 8 deadline for the eight open seats are: Albert Kaufman, Allen Field, Denise Hare, Heather Flint Chatto, Leslie Poston, and Simon Kipersztok.
Voting will occur as in years past, in the parking lot of Waverly United Church of Christ at SE 33rd Ave. and Woodward. Any person 18 or older who is a Richmond resident, or business or property owner can vote. People can either fill out ballots received on-site or use print-at-home PDF ballots from the website or listserv. Under the City’s rules, voting by mail and proxy voting are not allowed, so people can only drop off their own ballot. After a hijack attempt of the RNA’s May Zoom meeting, a hack into the Chair’s Gmail account, and past election problems, SE Uplift recommended the RNA avoid online voting. We will take physical-distancing safety precautions and ask people to wear face masks.
Amanda Westervelt, the Richmond Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) representative, gave an update. The RNA and Richmond NET will coordinate more in the future. Richmond NET meets 7 pm the second Monday of the month. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to join Richmond NET.
Jessica Vega Pederson, Multnomah County District 3 Representative, described Multnomah County’s early response to COVID-19 and coordination with other regions and agencies. She addressed how the county has advanced hiring and equity policies to combat systemic racism issues. She is committed to early education access for Pre-K students and public funding for such programs.
The RNA voted to send to Council a Statement of Solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests, which is on the website, richmondpdx.org.