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Minutes from November 2021 meeting 2021-11-05

Minutes for Woodlawn Neighborhood Association meeting, Nov 2 2021
(draft until approved at next meeting) 

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

  1. Chat intros: name, pronouns, topics/speakers you would like at future meetings

Attendees: Board: Melody Randolph, Beth Heins, Shirley Minor, Keith Baich, Anjala Ehelebe, Nancy Flynn, Dennis Kennedy, Barbara Abram; not present: Chida, Nancy

Community member: Rick & Krista, Chase Lansdale (speaking tonight), Lowell, Maria, Liz, John, Lowell, Brockett 

Suggestions for future topics: fundraising; more city commissioners; revisit the idea of having a Woodlawn Plan like the association did in the ‘90s to make a list of actions and plans to accomplish each year to benefit the neighborhood; speaker related to Diversity Equity Inclusion and Accessibility related to organizations 

  1. Approve October meeting notes and November agenda – Dennis moves/Beth seconds – all in favor; 

7:10 – 8:00 Guest Speaker, Community Business

  1. Chase Lansdale from the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services will speak for 10 minutes about the natural restoration work being led by the Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Parks at Woodlawn City Park. He will be talking about the project’s goals and offering an opportunity for people to volunteer for the project.

Chase works for the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, they’re teaming up with Portland Parks to do nature restoration work. Their current project is pulling ivy and they will plant native plants in the spring. There will be an ivy-pulling event  on Tuesday November 23rd from 9am to 12pm. Sign-up form: https://forms.gle/cp7HYbpYFeCx6qJA7 

They also provide funds for people to use to plant native plants in their yards – $100 for individuals, $500 for larger group efforts. 

Rick: have they ever donated to a school? A: He believes it’s possible. John: Comcast helped fund a patch of ground near the school, it’s been neglected for a while. The principal would like to revive the project as well. 

  1. Fundraising ideas, other topics?

Beth: could Dennis let us know what we’ve been giving away on an annual basis? 

Dennis will get us that information by the next meeting. He’ll also include what we spent on other events that we used to do on a regular basis. He observes our former model of asking businesses for money may not work so well at this time.

Anjala: historically the NA raised $2,000-10,000/year in grants. We should remember to think big, and perhaps we have someone in our neighborhood or network who knows about grantwriting. 

Beth: it might help if we have a neighborhood plan/goal for grant funds

Rick: knows someone who wants to be a grantwriter, might be able to assist if we have grants in mind. He always enjoyed our neighborhood cleanup and would be interested in continuing that. 

Keith: perhaps having the cleanup might be of interest to grant-issuing organizations. The farmer’s market had some success with a GoFundMe or similar request for donations. 

Beth: cleanup was under the auspices of the city; I don’t know if we HAVE to have them do that or not. 

Dennis: thinks the city funded the trash hauling which would almost certainly have cost whatever was brought in. 

Dennis: something else to consider: put a donation widget or something on our website and facebook. Every little bit might help. Let’s talk about getting a Venmo and PayPal connection to our WNA bank account. 

Liz: we could also ask neighbors to donate if we had some kind of plan to ask people to fund. She also saw donation options in PayPal for the Woodlwan Farmer’s Market – could we get set up with that? Or how about through Amazon Smile? 

Dennis: there’s also some way to get donations from Fred Meyer transactions

John: they use venmo and paypal at the community garden and it works really well. 

Brockett: what is the membership requirement for the Neighborhood Association? A: there are no fees, it’s for anyone who lives, works, plays, or worships in Woodlawn. 

Anjala will see if she can find what the neighborhood association was hoping to do with a 200k grant in the 90s to improve neighborhood health. 

Barbara: in terms of bringing the community together, business are struggling, one thing we can do is support our local businesses. 

Liz: Arbor Lodge bought gift certificates from local restaurants and then sold raffle tickets. 

Keith will find out how the farmer’s market did with their raffle. Made $310 on their raffle; the items weer donated. Might be tricky to make it pay off on a bigger/more complicated/costing money scale. 

Melody: perhaps host donation-based classes getting neighbors with skills to share together with neighbors who want to learn those skills. Would need a place for those sessions to occur. 

Melody: how about recording and sharing youtube neighbor spotlights, just to increase social media engagement and get some of our history recorded. 

Anjala belongs to another org that tries to benefit from the Fred Meyer donation connection and they have perhaps 300 people enrolled, and it works out to about $20/quarter. Just FYI. 

Rick is pro-raffle by asking around for donations, but the idea was more to spend money to support businesses rather than asking for donations. He advocates that it’s a win-win, businesses could donate smaller items, it might be worth asking at least. 

Maria suggests: in her old neighborhood they coordinated tree plantings with Friends of Trees and it sounds like they have changed their format of street tree plantings. She was thinking a project involving getting trees/doing a neighborhood tree planting. 

 

Action items: 

Dennis & Melody will work on getting Venmo/PayPal set up

Melody will investigate Amazon Smile and will connect with Friends of Trees to see if there’s any opportunity there.

Barbara: will check into Fred Meyer for how to get on their donation recipient list. Will also look for ideas for reconnecting communities post-Covid to see if there are topics and ideas for grants and activities. 

 

 

Woodlawn plan: what would people like to see? 

Dennis can look through our pre-Covid records to see what activities we funded year over year and how much we spent. 

Brockett: another neighborhood he lived in had a music night and an Easter Egg hunt. Music night had a couple local musicians come in and food trucks participated. 

Other events: Easter egg hunt, National Night Out, a music night

Anjala found a historical document: Here is the Woodlawn Plan of Old.  Look at the very end to see what we wanted then and compare to where we are now – https://www.portland.gov/sites/default/files/2020-01/woodlawn-neighborhood-plan-acp-1993.pdf

 

Melody: Propose that we set up some kind of online discussion forum to share these ideas to allow for ongoing conversations. Several people are in favor of trying it. Melody will try setting something up so we can give it a try.

 

Thinking of spreading the word: How did others find us? 

One person knew to google for one, saw signs in the neighborhood.
Another person is a NET member and was looking into Woodlawn NET team and heard about WNA there. Another person found the website and signed up for the Mailchimp newsletter. 

Keith: the market uses Instagram to post pictures/links – yet another bit of social media, but it seems to get some people. 

Rick adds: he’d be happy to retrieve the Woodlawn signs from Classic Foods. Would need a flyer and info on the meetings. 

Another topic: Could we consider going back to hybrid meetings? The issue is meeting space. Melody has checked but Classic Foods isn’t ready for the public yet, since they’re a food preparation facility. She’s also checking with Oregon Public House/Village Ballroom to see if there is any room there; Rick suggests the former Methodist Church at 15th & Dekum as well. Anjala said for the church and for the Village Ballroom there can be accessibility issues. Would Henry V be an option?  No one knows for sure. Dennis has talked to Woodlawn Coffee & Pastry but they don’t have a ton of room – at most, 30 – but that’s usually not a problem unless we had a very hot topic or speaker. Can we meet at the school? No one knows for sure. Rick can ask if we don’t have other options. Anjala says we used to meet at the school in the past but had to pay for extra janitorial services. Plus with Covid that can’t happen right now. 

 

 8:00 – 8:20 Board Business

  1. Treasurer’s Report-Dennis Kennedy – had account access issues today so can’t report, but to his knowledge no real changes or expenses – haven’t yet issued the donation to the farmer’s market. 
  2. Land Use and Transportation-Anjala Ehelebe
    1. No notices of actions of land use request for decisions; no new liquor licenses or marijuana shops; we’re usually informed and can express our opinion to the city. 
    2. Thought exercise for the evening: We’re part of the NE Coalition of Neighborhoods – at a recent joint Land Use meeting someone said that the city is looking at equipment yards they own to see if they would suit for affordable housing. But many of those locations are in industrial areas with bad air. Is it the right decision to build affordable housing even if the air is bad? 
    3. People are generally welcome to attend the Land Use meetings – contact aehelebe@gmail.com for info, meetings are scheduled as needed. How does she put the word out about meetings? She has a list of contacts that she alerts
  3. Farmer’s Market-Keith Baich – $12,560.30 in the account; $2500 checks outstanding that will be deducted; projected to be about $10,000 at end of season. They raised a little over $9000 at the beginning of the year with their fundraiser, and sold the trailer for $2500, so they ran a little less than even over the course of the year. They contributed a lot of matches to the SNAP program and didn’t raise vendor fees there. They are hoping/planning to have a vendor market this holiday season and hope to make a little money. It seems like they do a little better financially year over year. It’s amazing that it kept going through the pandemic. 
  4. NECN-Dennis Kennedy – NE Coalition of Neighborhoods still looking for an Executive Director, he believes interviews will start soon. 
  5. NET – no report

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

Reminder: Anjala will be hosting another (x-rated!) Woodlawn History tour on Saturday November 13th, meet at Firehous corner of Dekum & Durham, rain or shine! Please wear masks. 

Black Rose Market will hold a one-year anniversary party on Saturday Nov. 13th at Tough Luck from 8 pm-1 am, with raffle prizes and drink tickets courtesy of Big Nose Kate Whiskey

Guignol fest/homemade horror movies will be rerun at the Good Foot on Sunday November 11th 6-10p for $5

Adopt One Block: resource to help people commit to tending a block in their local area. They’ll send volunteers cleaning supplies to use to clean up their space. Up to 5,000 blocks have been adopted in Portland! 

8:30 Meeting adjourns