Woodlawn Neighborhood Association March 2021 meeting minutes March 4, 2021

Woodlawn Neighborhood Association General Meeting minutes (Draft until approved) for March 3, 2021


7:00 – 7:10 Welcome and Introductions-Meeting is recorded

Please introduce yourself in chats: Name, pronouns, 

Board members: Melody, Beth, Nancy, Dennis, Thelma, Anjala, Shirley, Keith, Maija

Community: Christefano, Amy, Geoff, Keith, Nichole, Erin C, Erin E, Shonette, Maura, Jessica, Francisco, Chris; others joined later

Presenters: Jennifer, Katy, Meghan


7:10 – 7:15 Approve February meeting notes and March agenda 

Approve February meeting notes: Beth move, Dennis second – all in favor

Approve March Agenda: Keith moves, Thelma seconds, all in favor 


7:15 – 8:00 General Business

  1. Guest Speakers
    1. 7:15 Jennifer Lutmann from Interstate Bridge Replacement Program
      1. Regarding replacement of Interstate Bridge across the Columbia between Oregon & Washington, more at 

Jennifer and Katy – community engagement lead presenting: the Interstate Bridge (I-5) needs to be replaced. 

  • Both Washington and Oregon have placed funding for this project, and a bi-state legislative committee has been formed. 
  • Greg Johnson has been hired as a program administrator of the Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) Program
  • Why does the bridge need to be replaced? 
    • Connection between Oregon and Washington
    • Part of a trade route
    • One span is 100+ years old 
    • Not earthquake durable
  • Currently in planning, Purpose and Need statement will be finalized in May 2021; 2025 estimated start of construction 
  • Steering and Advisory group meetings are monthly and open to the public. Schedule can be found on 
  • Executive steering group
  • Community advisory group
  • Equity advisory group


There will be ongoing outreach and engagement with the community through much of 2021

Questions from the community: 

  • Anjala: followed the efforts for the first Interstate Bridge project; it seemed like a lot of good ideas didn’t make it into the last project, such as: why not build several bridges for different purposes? Will things be different this time? Or is the project starting out with preconceived notions? Was anything learned from the last project or is this one doomed to failure? 

Response: assessing what has changed regionally since the last effort, how may that impact the planning? 


  • Nancy: The pandemic has changed how many people work – is that a permanent change? Will that be factored into the plans? Transportation and where we live and work seem to be changing a lot. 

Response: Freight is still an issue; we’re planning for the next 75-100 years; making best efforts to project trends into the future. 


  • Erin: the current structure isn’t earthquake ready; what is the plan and goal for the new one? Will they plan for it to be a) safe to be on during a quake? Or b) still usable after a quake? Those are two different build standards. 

Response: current standards are that people can be on the bridge during a quake


More info on 



7:25 Keith Johns, new owner of Koken Market, soon to be Black Rose Market

    • Offerings at the market and community engagement

He and his wife purchased the Koken Market at MLK & Dekum. They have a vision of being a neighborhood store and being involved in the community. They are getting to know community members and local business owners. 

Some of their efforts include having local products (candles, soaps, scrubs, masks) and having a shelf dedicated to Black brewers (including one from Oregon, one from Washington, one from California) are open to suggestions. On MLK Day they donated 10% of their profits to Taking Ownership PDX: If kids bring in their report cards in they’ll get a gift for good grades. They’re applying to get a liquor store license from OLCC but it’s very competitive. 

Koken is a mountain from Eritrea, where the former owner is from; he still owns the Koken Cafe, the coffee shop. They’re rebranding as Black Rose Market. They’re going to paint over the current mural with a new one by several local artists. 



7:35 Dontae Riley of STARS Mentoring

Dontae is the founder and president of STARS mentoring, serving at-risk students from ages 12-24 who are in non-traditional settings. They provide outings and recreation to pull students in to get mentoring. He and his wife have been doing this since 2014; they don’t get funding and everything is free to the kids. They serve 150 students annually in programs like gardening, music, women’s volleyball, dance and cheer, men’s basketball, other leadership groups. They’re focused on helping students who aren’t getting help. Donate to the program at this link:  

Are there other things the community can do to help their programs? They always need event space, places to meet students, places to do activities. Ideas: Classic foods, village ballroom, Albina Head Start (owner of the NE 15th & Dekum former-church), Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (post-Covid). Maija may contact on behalf of Portland Parks & Rec. 




7:40 Woodlawn History Night recap (links below for those who missed it)


Gun Violence update and commentary

Guests: team at 50Trees – Geoff, Bill, Jessie – Geoff: since the murder outside their store last summer they’ve seen increased violence in the neighborhood. They met with folks from Civic Life today and will be on the mayor’s peace collaborative call later this week. Is there anything the Neighborhood Association has been involved in they could connect to, or anything we have in mind? 

Some neighbors have been talking about forming a committee; they created a slack channel that might be helpful

Anjala: the shooting of the Uber driver spurred conversation, including that some streets and parts of the park may not have adequate street lighting. She’ll get in touch with the team at 50Trees before the next Land Use and Transportation Committee. Another thought – vacant house(s?) at NE 10th that was going to be a storage facility, but has been left abandoned/taken over by people who may have been involved in that shooting. The city responded to an initial letter from Anjala but she hasn’t heard anything in-depth from them yet. 

Bill: May connect to the Community Peace Collaborative and then work with local business owners to see how they can help address the problems. 

Community members can talk to Shonette at the store or Geoff at

Nichole: will we have a representative at the meeting with Commissioner Hardesty? Is there a position we want to take/express? Several board members are going to attend and members of the community are encouraged to as well. Registration closes noon March 5; the event is Tuesday March 9, 6pm – 7:30pm: 

Commissioner Hardesty will join our June meeting, as well. 


Upcoming Events 

    1. COVID-19 Vaccines, check eligibility and sign up here:
    2. Tues, 3/9 Commissioner Hardesty Virtual Neighborhood Association Open House
    3. Easter in time of COVID-Sunday, April 4th
      • Last year neighbors decorated windows for walking visual egg hunt
      • Ideas for this year? – nothing immediately comes up
      • Perhaps hanging eggs in our street tree branches for people to seek/see?
    4. April 24th-Meals on Wheels Stride for Seniors
      Thelma Diggs shares the plan for this year: She needs a team leader for Woodlawn; Nancy is willing to do it. The event is Saturday April 24th, Maija is willing to help as well. In the past Woodlawn Neighborhood Association has contributed a donation as well, we’ll probably talk about it next month. Meals on Wheels is delivering staples now, and only doing that once a week. They deliver 3,000 meals/week.


8:00 – 8:20 Board Business

  1. Treasurer’s Report-Dennis Kennedy – no change since last month – $7600 and change, no expenses. One minor expense coming up to file one of our tax reports to maintain our non-profit status.
  2. Land Use and Transportation-Anjala Ehelebe
    1. Sent a letter to the city about the storage unit/abandoned property down on NE 10th where the Uber driver was shot. They have acknowledged receipt but not really replied yet. 
    2. Looking at lighting in the park
    3. Land use notice – neighbor wants to change the siding on their house, their house is in the historic conservation zone so they have to go through an extra step to get approved. Anjala hasn’t run it past the committee but doesn’t think they will take a stance on the garage siding.
  3. Farmer’s Market-Keith Baich-Fundraiser update, mailers: They’re doing a winter fundraising drive: Have raised $3900-something from almost 50 donors, about a third of the way to their goal of $10,000 – money is for the Farmer’s Market and to replace some of the items that were stolen last summer (tables, chairs, sound system). Still looking into improved storage options. Also trying to figure out how to spread the word about the farmer’s market – perhaps use a flyer and hand-deliver, or mail them? Want to see if Woodlawn Neighborhood Association might want to have a blurb on the flyer as well. May hold off on that until closer to the market season will be every Saturday June through October. They gave out almost $8,000 in SNAP matches last year. 
  4. NECN-Dennis Kennedy – no news
  5. NET-Erin Cooper – NETs are about more than just earthquakes! Volunteers have helped with downed power lines and warming centers this winter, and helped at cooling centers in the summer. Sabin NET has been developing a mutual aid program; our NET (Woodlawn/King/Concordia) may do that as well – will need volunteers to take charge of a specific area (a block or two) – know your neighbors, talk about preparedness.



8:20 – 8:30 Final thoughts, announcements, other upcoming events


8:30 Meeting adjourns

Thank you for coming! Hope to see you Wed, April 7th at 7pm for our next Meeting!