Local Issues

06

Sep

Letter from our ECNA chair

City Code chapter 3.96 has to do with neighborhood associations and gives us standing within city government.  It is this portion of City Code that is being rewritten and has caused a city-wide stir.  To be sure, emotions are running strong around the city as the proposed code change moves forward.  Of course, there are some supporters, but the most vocal voices are opposing it as currently written.  I believe we will end up with revised language but in my opinion the process is seriously flawed and got off to a very bad start.

This portion of City Code impacts neighborhoods and other groups that exist to foster civic involvement. I encourage anyone with an interest in this topic to do some research and then call or write the office of each City Commissioner and the Mayor to voice an opinion.  I’m told that phone calls are being tabulated XX in favor, and YY as opposed.  You will probably get the staff person that answers the phone, so don’t be afraid to voice your opinion even if you have not researched the issues extensively.  A good place to start is by reading the following:

• City Auditor's report 2016 https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditservices/article/597834

• Community Connect - https://www.portlandoregon.gov/civic/article/182408

• Planetizen article - https://www.planetizen.com/features/105399-et-tu-portland

• League of Women Voters letter - https://lwvpdx.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/LWV-Code-3.96-committee-7-19.pdf

More information can be found on the City’s Civic Life web site.  I encourage you get the latest code wording there, then call and voice your opinion.

31

Aug

Did you go?

Thank you for joining us! 
 

Thank you so much for joining Levee Ready Columbia & the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on Wednesday evening! We really appreciate your interest in the Portland metro area levee system and the important region it protects. We look forward to future discussions of USACE's Tentatively Selected Plan this fall and our local efforts to maintain accreditation of the levee system through FEMA, to modernize the way the system is managed, and to make the most of opportunities to improve the environmental and recreational value of the managed floodplain. 

The presentation from Wednesday evening is available on our website or by clicking on the blue button below. We're always thrilled to share information about the levees system, the history of the region, and the opportunities ahead. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you'd like to set up a presentation and discussion for your neighbors, community group, friends, or colleagues!
download the presentation
29

Aug

Please speak up

The current animosity against neighborhood associations in some corners of City Hall is based on the premise that neighborhood associations (NAs) serve the affluent much better than they serve the marginalized portion of our community. The 3.96 Code Change Project is meant to correct this imbalance. The critique is valid, and the goal is necessary, even if the process has been deeply flawed. (Google “Portland 3.96” for a broad range of information on the topic).

The East Columbia Neighborhood Association, like just about every NA in the city, objects to the direction that the Office of Community and Civic Life has taken with the code rewrite process, and intends to see it handled differently. However, we take to heart the criticism that we have not been inclusive enough, and if we want to remain relevant, change is necessary to open up opportunities to our neighbors who haven’t felt included. 

Those changes need to include:

  • Active diversity outreach
    • Color, ethnicity, gender
    • Renters
  • Cross-over projects with other civic groups
  • Language translation for non-English speaking residents

My vision for the East Columbia NA is as a service organization that works to improve the quality of life for all of our residents, and that requires open communication with all members of our community. 

I have some requests: 

  • If you have issues that the East Columbia NA can help you with, please speak up. These issues might include:
    • Conflict resolution with other neighbors
    • Help navigating city bureaucracy
    • Help finding support programs for personal crises such as drug intervention, financial assistance, or elder care. 
    • Projects to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood
  • If you have civic expertise and would like to partner with the East Columbia NA in creating a network of community support, please speak up. We need to develop a comprehensive and vibrant list of all of the assets in our community, so we can help each other. These assets might be: 
    • Non-Governmental Organizations with links to our neighborhood.
    • Social Workers or City employees with programs or expertise that can help our neighbors.
    • Historians or other experts in local issues.
  • If you want to help the East Columbia NA make a difference and stay relevant to the needs of the community, please speak up. We need your participation to make changes to ourselves and to the world around us. The more tightly interwoven we are as a community, the stronger we are, whether in an emergency, or in our day-by-day lives.

All of our meetings are open to the public, and you can speak to us in person, or you can write me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact me on Next Door Neighbor.

29 August 2019

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