Woodlawn Neighborhood Association General Meeting Minutes May 2022
(minutes are in draft until approved at the next meeting)
7:00 – 7:10 Welcome! Please share your name, pronouns, and something you are enjoying right now
Board members present: Melody Randolphy, Beth Heins, Shirley Minor, Dennis Kennedy, Anjala Ehelebe, Nancy Flynn, Keith Baich
Community members present: Rick & Krista, Erin, Chaco, Deanna, Abigail (presenting), Reuben, Josh, David, Francisco, more joined later
7:10 – 7:15 Approve April meeting notes – Anjala move, Dennis second; all in favor. Approve May agenda: Anjala moves, Dennis seconds, all in favor
7:15 – 7:25 Guest Speaker: Abigail Van Gelder, Portland State, STEM Achievers Summer Program, free 3 week camp for middle-schoolers – partnering with Verizon to offer this camp twice, once in July, once in August. It’s an immersive STEM camp for Portland middle schoolers – includes lunch and transportation. Topics include: design thinking, 3-D printing, augmented reality, and others. They’ll accept 75 students per session: July 11-29, and August 1-19. PSUCE@pdx.edu with questions or go online to: https://naccemeets.nacce.com/vil/home
7:25-8:00 Guest Speaker: Mayor Ted Wheeler; also brought Chief Lovell, Commander Tina Jones (North Precinct Commander), Lucas Hillier from (manages the Impact Reduction program); Sam Adams; Cody Bowman. Some comments from the mayor: Tomorrow he’ll be meeting to release the proposed spring budget; after that there will be several (seven?) opportunities for public comment before budget adoption. State of the City speech will be at the City Club on Friday at noon.
The Mayor’s view is that we need to support a spectrum of services, we need to provide more shelter space, expanding affordable housing and Safe Rest Villages. There are concerns about public health and safety. Still wants to hire 300 police officers over the next several years, including focusing on gun violence reduction, better staffing of 911 (for better response time) and 311 (non-emergency number). Portland Street Response program has just been expanded from a pilot to a citywide program, and will be funded more fully in the upcoming budget. There will be also more park rangers in the future, partly to serve as community ambassadors.
We also had a question about transportation and PBOT – the Dekum/Durham intersection was approved for updates years ago; has that been funded? No information but the Mayor’s office did let PBOT know Woodlawn is asking.
Comment: An article said that Portland Street Response isn’t allowed to answer calls inside a building, nor can they take calls relating to suicidal people – is that true, and what is the logic? Response from the Mayor: in the pilot program the Street Response wasn’t scoped to address suicidal callers, but there is no requirement in the future that a police officer handle those calls; he believes the Street Response is allowed to responde to suicide callers now. Issues related to calls inside buildings is under review.
Comment: we seem to have noticed a decline in drag racing on Lombard – thank you. Is there any discussion on traffic/red light enforcement cameras? Response from Chief Lovell: street racing and large gatherings have been reported regularly; they’ve used police bureau resources, Oregon State Police, and Multnomah County to address these. They’ve increased messaging to discourage the events, have seized cars from repeat offenders, and have advocated for legislation to address these as well. Commander Tina Jones (North Precinct Commander) comment: with the weather improving they’ve increased their missions to discourage street racing – the last couple of missions have resulted in citations, warnings, a couple of towed cars. Chief Lovell: as to traffic cameras, right now they have mobile photo radar vans that can issue citations, but have fewer fixed traffic cameras. They have heard a lot of feedback from the community about traffic concerns.
Comment: what is the latest policing stance on pulling over vehicles without license plates? During Covid it sounded like they weren’t being pulled over to reduce the risk of spreading Covid. It seems possible that cars without license plates could be stolen/being used to commit crime. Response from Chief Lovell: the Legislature has limited police ability to make stops for minor infractions … but missing license plates can be a slippery slope – want to be able to issue stops in those cases.
Comment: Glad to see some camps being cleared, but it’s probably hard/expensive to do that – and it seems like they come back quickly, this doesn’t seem sustainable. Comment from Mayor: if we’re just moving people around, it’s not cost effective. Camps that are public health or public safety hazards really need to be addressed differently – helping residents move off the streets and into shelters with heat/cooling/showers/facilities. His office will keep advocating for additional temporary shelters. Comment from Lucas Hillier: manages impact reduction program – their goal is to reduce the impact of unsanctioned camps. They try to coordinate with service organizations and set standards for camps that want to stay where they are. Comment from Sam Adams: There are 300+ unsanctioned camps across the city – it’s difficult to impossible to get basic services to each camp; if camps can be grouped it might be more possible to provide services to alleviate what can be terrible conditions.
Comment: A few years ago we learned that more than 70% of the police officers lived outside the city of Portland. At one time there was a residence requirement for police officers (including assistance with a down payment on a home); she feels we should consider that again. There are places around here with residence requirements. Response from Mayor: it would be his preference to have police officers live in the community they serve, but it’s subject to collective bargaining among other items. Comment from Chief Lovell: early-career police officers don’t make a lot of money and that results in them living further away.
Comment from Anjala around Land Use : at one time the city was looking at under-used city properties for affordable housing – is there any update on that? Response from Mayor: he and Sam Adams are going to fund that study in the budget being released tomorrow – evaluate assets for housing use, both in the near-term and longer-term.
Comment: in Baton Rouge they asked people to hold off running errands until after the 7-9am commuting window? She heard that it helped with traffic in that area.
8:00-8:20 Follow ups and updates:
- June 4th-5th Woodlawn Clean-Up and Recycling Event-Rick Reynolds Sat, June 4th: Pick-Up Woodlawn with SOLVE tinyurl.com/2p8snvpe
- Sun, June 5th: Neighborhood Clean-Up and Recycling Celebration at Woodlawn Woodlawn Elementary
- Donation based, all proceeds split between Woodlawn PTA and WNA to fund neighborhood events (tentatively National Night Out on Aug. 2nd)
- Offering paper shredding and recycling/safe disposal of plastic, styrofoam, metal, electronics (no batteries), mattresses, furniture, tires, sharps/needles; PLUS kids activities and community
- No hazardous waste like batteries, paint, needles, asbestos, etc. Metro has free disposal at 6161 NW 61st Ave. tinyurl.com/bzhtdhbe
- There will also be a re-use area – a place to put usable items for people to drop off/choose from.
- Volunteer sign up: tinyurl.com/3uch4kh2
- Free Geek will be there ; Shredding will be conducted by a local business that’s been doing it since the 80s; Ridwell will be helping with recycling of #1 plastic and plastic film; City of Roses will help with recycling as well; Able Arm will do metal recycling; Agil-X will get the styrofoam.
- Postcards will be mailed out soon to help publicize the event.
- We need volunteers! Ideally 20 people per volunteer slot.
- Donation link https://bit.ly/WNAclean
- Open Secretary role June-October, responsibilities include:
- Posting agenda to gowoodlawn.com
- Sending mailchimp email with the agenda
- Adding subscribers to the mailchimp list as requested
- Taking and posting minutes to gowoodlawn.com
- Treasurer’s Report and NECN-Dennis Kennedy
- No news from NECN
- Treasurer: 6408.95 balance; we spent 336 as an investment in the cleanup project – anticipate being reimbursed as soon as the grant check comes in (it should be in the mail). Had to pay ahead for the school custodian to be available.
- Comment from Shirley: she heard the Farmer’s Market is getting a grant
- Land Use and Transportation-Anjala Ehelebe
- City wanted to start demolishing the houses at 10th & Stafford – mostly complete
- The “Dekum project” that the Mayor mentioned was a city-sponsored study conducted years ago to improve Dekum between 6th & 11th/Dean street. We were told there was funding but it was put to a stop years ago. At minimum we’d like to see the Dekum/Oneonta/Durham area get some curb extensions to make it a little easier to understand and navigate.
- NE Coalition meetings – great presentation by a group trying to create small Dignity Village-like pod villages as opposed to city-proposed larger camps.
- Food for thought: Think Out Loud did an exploration of the options and the unhoused people they spoke with preferred pod villages instead of larger installations.
- Farmer’s Market Update-Keith Baich
- Erin: The market got a $2000 grant from NECN; they will use that to translate the vendor guide into Spanish and Russian. Will present more fully on the grant and their plans for this market season on the next meeting.
- First market is Saturday June 4 – same day as the SOLVE cleanup
- Dallas, the market manager, is leaving; Avery Lewis will step off the board and manage the market for this season.
- There are openings on the Farmer’s Market Board
- Will also want volunteers, starting the 2nd Saturday in June!
- Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) open upcoming virtual trainings
- NET website is being revamped – probably later this month – to make it easier to sign up to be an emergency response volunteer.
- We need more BEECN volunteers to help manage a communication site.
- Wed 5/04 6pm Zoom Training Setting up a Medical Treatment Area, with Kathy https://is.gd/Ycf75M
- 5/18 5:30pm Virtual Skywarn Weather Spotter Training https://www.weather.gov/pqr/SpotterTraining
8:20 – 8:30 Final thoughts, announcements, other upcoming events
- Melody had a recent neighborhood interaction – one yard was overgrown, and approaching with an offer to assist with it was welcomed. The people who need help aren’t necessarily on facebook/nextdoor/etc and could perhaps fill out a form to ask for a hand; also fill out the form to offer some help! Neighbor Assist! https://forms.gle/nuYTkCygoH4CXQEL7
- Question: has anyone heard who might want to move into the former 503 Trees space? No one has heard anything.
- Deadline May 6th for Vibrant Spaces Community Events Activation Fund! $2,500 – $10,000 to selected applicants. For more information, email VibrantSpaces@portlandoregon.gov.
8:30 Meeting adjourns
Thank you for coming! Hope to see you Tuesday, June 7th at 7pm for our next Meeting! IN PERSON AT Oregon Public House!!!!