Neighborhood Notes November 2021

Buckman Community Association

By Susan Lindsay

The Buckman Community Association will deviate ever so slightly in November and meet Thursday, November 18, 7 pm. This is due to the national holiday on what would normally be our meeting day, the second Thursday of every month. 

Multnomah County will present changes to the preferred alternative for the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge. This project was forced to reconfigure existing plans to cope with reduced funds and downtown building standards which mandate the west side of the new bridge to be free of above-the-bridge supports.

State Representative Rob Nosse will attend to address statements made by Portland Police regarding their “hands being tied” by the legislature to explain why they stood by passively while vandals caused $1.5 million in damage to downtown in October. 

Additionally, Commissioner Sharon Meiren has been invited to attend to address the county current and planned actions with the street level mental health crisis many neighbors and business partners report. 

Portland Charter is up for review, with the notion that perhaps our system of government might finally go the way of the Dodo Bird. Debbie Kitchin and Candyce Avalos, current members of the City Council-appointed body to review the City Charter, will be invited to attend. 

For December, we are working to get City Commissioner Dan Ryan to the meeting which will be held Thursday, December 9. We are working to kickstart our campaign for Historic Buckman street sign caps, as you may have seen in other parts of the city. We believe these identifiers will enhance neighborhood cohesiveness and pride, but they are mandated to be installed by the PBOT and must be made durable to specs and are therefore, not cheap. If you are skilled in design, we’ll need one for our cap, or in crowdsourcing funds to get this project going. We welcome your involvement. 

For anything BCA related, email buckmanboard@googlegroups.com or visit buckmanpdx.org.

HAND

By Jill Riebesehl

The Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood board had planned to spend 20 minutes at our October meeting getting acquainted with SE Uplift’s (SEUL) new director, longtime Portlander Nanci Champlin, and taking care of a couple of concerns. Instead, conversations with her lasted 90 minutes, much of which included the relationship between the city, SEUL, Portland neighborhoods and their neighborhood associations. We at Hosford-Abernethy were concerned about a proposed by-law change regarding SEUL board membership, which for one thing would have received a short, two-week public notice.   

On the day before our meeting, an unusually large gathering of several groups and agencies met to discuss the future of the small piece of land on SE 19th Ave., off Division St. At present, people who are houseless have set up on the site, adjacent to New Day School, and other properties. Attendees included New Day School, HAND, Reach Community Development, Portland Parks & Recreation, Community & Civic Life, transportation bureaus, City Repair and Friends of Portland Community Gardens. The goal is to work out a solution for the right use of the property. Conversations are ongoing.  

Official actions taken at our October meeting included directing our representative on the SEUL Board to vote against the by-law change; endorsing the Oregon Railroad Heritage Foundation’s effort to raise money from Connect Oregon for installation work on the locomotive turntable at the Rail Heritage Center that includes encouraging the state’s Department of Transportation and Transportation Commission to support the project; and supporting our Land Use Historic Resources Subcommittee’s communications with the city regarding the ongoing Historic Resources Code Project Revisions process.

The next HAND Board meeting is Tuesday, November 16, time TBA. One item on the agenda will include an architectural presentation of plans for an apartment building at 2624-2636 SE. Division St. It would be five stories and have 52 units, of which two to four would be affordable. Everyone who lives, works or owns property within HAND’s boundaries is welcome at our Zoom meetings.  

Montavilla Neighborhood Association

By Jacob Loeb

Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) conducted Board member elections October 11. A representative from SE Uplift created the online ballot and conducted the election, presenting results that evening. Three new candidates and two returning Board members secured their positions by receiving at least 51 percent of the votes. 

After Leah M. Fisher, Interim Executive Director of SE Uplift, presented the election results, new and outgoing Board members met to assign positions on the Board. First-time candidate, Scott Simpson, is the new Land Use & Transportation Chair. He replaces Adam Wilson, who did not run for reelection, but intends to continue work on the Land Use Committee. New Board members Ben Weakley and Holly Wilkes are taking Member at Large positions.

The acting Treasurer, Sarah Hartzel, will continue in that role for the next two years. Matt Moore will start his second, two-year term as Outreach & Communications Chair. 

New MNA Chair, Jacob Loeb, thanked the outgoing Board members for their years of service to the neighborhood. Louise Hoff (Chair 2019-2021), Alice King (Vice-Chair 2019-2021), Lindsey Johnson (SEUL Liaison 2019-2021), Adam Wilson (Land Use & Transportation Chair 2019-2021) and Ron Thrasher (Fundraiser Chair 2017-2021) all received framed certificates of appreciation. In October of 2019, almost all board members left simultaneously. The new Board jumped into their positions with very little guidance or institutional knowledge. The pandemic’s disruptive force further challenged the group’s efforts. However, each person on the Board served the neighborhood with determination and expertise.

The upcoming General Meeting and Board Meeting is Monday, November 8, 6:30 pm. Details are available at montavillapdx.org/mna-calendar.

Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association

By Brian Mitchell

MTNA hosted an October community meeting on Zoom. We extensively discussed Commissioner Mingus Mapps’ September 19 op-ed in The Oregonian. The MTNA voted to support the framework of his public safety proposal which includes universal body cameras for accountability; an expansion of non-police social responders through the Portland Street Response program; and a recognition of Portland’s dangerous gun violence with a request for the Police Bureau to be funded enough to respond to this issue.  

MTNA hosts its next community meeting via Zoom Wednesday, November 17, 7-8:30 pm. Find links for this and all of our meetings, under the “Meetings and Events” tab at, mttaborpdx.org. MTNA creates a monthly newsletter about important civic issues, which you can find on our website next to each month’s meeting minutes. 

North Tabor Neighborhood Association

By Kim Kasch

The North Tabor Neighborhood Association (NTNA) met Tuesday, October 19, 6:30 pm to perform Board Member elections for the NTNA. At next month’s meeting officers will be selected.

Elected to the Board were: Robert Jordan, Patty Lackaff, Sarah Mongue, Jules Unger, Greg Scott, CJ Alicandro, Kimbra Kasch, Lars Kasch, Ross Hiner, Suzanne Gardner, Stephanie Kaza, and Lisa Maddocks.

Come to our neighborhood association meeting to have your voice heard and let us know if you are interested in applying for the IT opening (details below).

Nanci Champlin, the new SE Uplift Executive Director and Leah Fisher were present. Leah was a guest speaker who discussed SE UpLift’s New Grant webinars Thursday, October 28, 6-8 pm and Tuesday, November 2, 11 am-1 pm.

Unfortunately, NTNA is losing our current Informational Technology (IT) Board Member, Keith Dechant, and we are looking for a new volunteer to fill his role. The duties of this IT role include:

1. Posting content to the website (meeting announcements, minutes, other miscellaneous information)

2. Posting meeting announcements to Facebook and NextDoor

3. Hosting the Zoom meetings (including recording)

4. Uploading the meeting video to YouTube for neighbors in our NTNA to view

5. Managing the MailChimp mailing list

North Tabor Neighborhood Association meetings are held every third Tuesday via Zoom, 6:30 pm. Find the link at northtabor.org.

Richmond Neighborhood Association

By Allen Field

The Richmond Neighborhood Association held its monthly meeting October 11. Meetings are held via Zoom the second Monday of the month, 6:30-8:30 pm. The link to preregister is on the Agenda, which is posted to the RNA’s website, richmondpdx.org, and sent out to the RNA Announce listserv. To be added to the listserv, email richmondnasecretary@gmail.com.

Jonny Lewis, Program Director of the city’s Homelessness and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program, described the program, the One Point of Contact system for reporting problems with homeless camps, how complaints are processed and camps evaluated under an assessment matrix, what happens when a camp is posted for removal, how people’s possessions are handled and the impact of COVID-19 on the program.

Two ways to report to the One Point of Contact system are PDXreporter.org and calling 311. The city then does an assessment, outreach to connect people with services and maps out next steps. If complaints and problems reach the threshold to remove, notice of removal is posted. Lewis encourages people to report problem sites once a week, but it’s not necessary for many people to report on the same camp, unless it’s a problem they have personally experienced.

Pre-COVID-19, the city removed 40-60 sites per week with 24-48 hours response time. With COVID-19, the CDC recommended not removing camps. Since July 2020, camp removals resumed, with three to 10 removals per week and one to 14 days response time. His program is seeking more funds from the city and working on new data dashboard.

Lewis spoke about the growing homeless camp next to Sewallcrest Park, saying that the city has visited it many times to offer outreach and services. It was posted for removal for exceeding the city’s threshold matrix.  

The discussion included resources available for homeless individuals: shower and hygiene services (Harbor of Hope and Hygiene4All), housing assistance (Home For Everyone), meals (Beacon Village PDX), the Homelessness Toolkit on his program’s website, SE Uplift’s Houselessness Resource Guide and its monthly Houselessness Action Committee (contact matchu@seuplift.org).

If you see a homeless person having a mental health crisis, contact the Multnomah County Call Center 503.988.4888. Mobile mental health crisis response teams are part of Project Respond Crisis Intervention, a program of Cascadia Behavioral Health Center. If it’s not an immediate emergency, contact the police non-emergency line 503.823.3333 to request a Welfare Check on the person.

The Board voted to donate to NARA (Native American Rehabilitation Association) $467 of its net proceeds from small claims judgment it obtained when it counterclaimed against a frivolous lawsuit.  

The next meeting is Monday, November 8. Please attend if you want to be more involved in and informed about your community.

Neighborhood Notes November 2021

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