Minutes from December 2022 WNA General Meeting 2023-01-03

Woodlawn Neighborhood Association General Meeting Notes

December 6th, 2022

Streamed on Zoom
In Person at Classic Foods 817 NE Madrona

Find the recording of the meeting here.

Notes are in draft form until approved at the next meeting.

7:00 – 7:10 Welcome and Land Acknowledgement:

Woodlawn Neighborhood Association would like to acknowledge that the land we live and meet on is unceded territory, originally home to indigenous peoples such as the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla; Cowltiz and Clackamas, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and Confederated Tribes of Siletz*. Further, we recognize that over the last 200 years, Woodlawn has been home to Black and immigrant communities (including Scandinavian, Greek, Japanese, Romany, and Tonga Islanders), as well as LGBTQIA and disabled individuals, many of whom have been disproportionately affected and displaced by systemically racist policies and gentrification. While we cannot undo the past, we are here to actively work towards a community that is kind, equitable, and inclusive; where the things that make us different and unique are celebrated; where cultures and ideas are exchanged; and we feel a sense of belonging with our neighbors. We may not always agree, but these are our guiding principles because our diverse community is strongest when we work together.


  • Please share name, pronouns, & what you are looking forward to for the holidays
    • Board members present: Melody Randolph, Rob Randolph, Anjala Ehelebe, Barbara English, Nancy Flynn, Krista Reynolds, Rick Reynolds, Keith Baich, Dennis Kennedy, Aimee Pedretti
    • Neighbors and guests present: John Laurence, Stephanie Fitzpatrick, Deanna, Lisa Bates, Jane Kurtz, Joy Keen, Sylvan Thompson, Doreen, Robert, Jake Greenberg (our host and the owner of Classic Foods), Dan S., Brian, Liz Kennedy, Carter and Irina, Dan Pedretti, and Bethany Wofford
  • Conversation/breakout room with neighbor(s) new to you

7:10 – 7:15 Approve November meeting notes and December agenda

  • The meeting notes and agenda were approved.
  • Monthly reminder of meeting/voting rules 😉
    • Anyone can vote on items that are not financial. If it’s a financial matter, only board members may vote.

7:15 – 7:45 Discussion of recent gun violence

  • Brief history of neighborhood
    • Gangs moved into the neighborhood in the 1970s from LA. Police would regularly attend WNA meetings in 1980s and 1990s to work with neighbors on criminal activity. Neighbors were invited to report crime to the WNA. Leaders of gangs were imprisoned in 1990s and 2000s. Gentrification began after that; there is still ongoing drug and gang activity. Due to the pandemic, there has been a resurgence of people involved in gangs. The police department and the District Attorney’s office have been terribly understaffed, compounding the problem.
  • What had been tried before
    • Gang Violence Task Force – the group failed to achieve their mission and ended up targeting people of color.
  • Template for Neighbors helping Neighbors
  • Interest in motion detector lights
    • Some of the most effective deterrents to shootings and other crime are well-lit areas. Anjala would like input about where it would be best to install lights. We could make requests to the city.
  • Guest speaker Portland Police Bureau
    • Melody did invite an officer to our meeting a couple days ago, but did not hear a response in time for the meeting. We will try to give them more notice next time.
  • The WNA seeks feedback on other gun violence prevention ideas. Submit suggestions to Melody at Or, submit suggestions on the WNA Facebook
    • Melody offered to teach people CPR and emergency gunshot wound care.
    • Melody suggested board members could be present at Classic Foods periodically so neighbors can share feedback in person.
    • Representative Suzanne Bonamici is working on a bill to address the public defender
  • Lisa shared her concerns about police patrolling at night. This does not bring a feeling of safety for her. She has observed police disobeying speed and traffic laws. Gang violence is due to a lot of complex social factors that can’t be solved by police.
  • Bethany shared about Mom’s Demand Action ( a group working on gun violence. She has a lot of hope due to community action. The local group is partnering with the Office of Violence Prevention on a coat drive.
  • Melody shared about Love is Stronger Inc. (Lionel Irving) and STARS Mentoring These are groups working against gun violence and/or gang activity.
  • If neighbors want to draft a proposal, the WNA board can share it with the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN).
  • Liz shared about a program Legacy Emanuel Hospital has where if a person is injured by gang violence and treated at the hospital, they pair that person with a gang veteran.
  • Joy shared that getting to know neighbors helps her and Sylvan feel safer and builds community. They have a block party every year, neighbors talk regularly, and they have a phone tree.
  • NECN monthly meetings are open meetings if anyone wants to share their concerns. You can call ahead and get on the agenda.
    • Meetings are the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm in person or online.
  • There were problems around Mt. Scott that were addressed by changing traffic patterns. Joanne Hardesty worked on this issue.
  • There was a suggestion to invite Portland Street Response to the WNA’s January meeting.

7:45 – 8:00 Meeting Time/Place Update

  • Survey Results
    • Regular board meetings will continue to be held on the first Tuesday of the month.
  • Thank you to Jake and Classic Foods for providing meeting space!

8:00-8:20 Board Business

  • Treasurer’s Report and NECN (Dennis Kennedy)
    • We have about $6,700 in the account.
    • Dennis doesn’t anticipate any big expenses until April.
  • NECN
    • Nancy missed the last meeting but will attend in Dec.
    • Anjala reported that the landscaping to the south of King School was looking a bit unkempt. This is because the area has been replanted with native species that do not require pruning or other intensive management.
    • NECN is inviting indigenous folks involved with the planting to present at their January meeting to talk about their vision for the space.
  • Land Use and Transportation (Anjala Ehelebe)
    • The committee has not been notified about plans to build anything new. They only meet if there are issues to be addressed.
    • They get to weigh in on liquor licenses and marijuana dispensaries.
    • They try to preserve historic features of the neighborhood, as well.
    • The city has a training program on how to read zoning codes.
    • This is the only committee on WNA that can make decisions independently of the board.
    • One of the last issues they weighed in on was whether a homeowner could expand their driveway to accommodate Airbnb guests.
    • Anjala gave an update on the property across from Breakside Brewery. The property appears to have been sold over the summer. The site is zoned for a mixed-use building (for example, an apartment building with businesses on the first floor). She has not seen any plans for that site yet.
    • Trimet is proposing changes to the #17 bus line. Anjala will investigate.
  • Woodlawn Farmer’s Market Update (Keith Baich)
    • Keith reported on the budget. The market received an Oregon Farmers Market Association grant to help pay staff. Part of the award was receiving 13 hours of time from a consultant. That person will be assigned soon. The Woodlawn Farmers Market board wants help with finances and board maintenance and growth.
    • There is not a holiday market this year.
    • To get involved with the farmers market, please send your contact info to
  • Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) (Anjala)
    • These teams are organized and supported by the city’s Bureau of Emergency Management.
    • NET Amateur Radio Operators is a subgroup of NET
      • Call for volunteers! Learn how to use an emergency radio to use in case of an earthquake and help neighbors access emergency supplies.
    • Joining NET is a great way to help your neighbors.

8:20 – 8:30 Final thoughts, announcements, upcoming events, and tell us what you would like to see!

  • Oregon Public House – the ballroom is still holding events. Remodeling is happening on the ground level. It will probably reopen in the spring.
  • There is a holiday bazaar at Faubion School, Concordia neighborhood, Dec 10th 9am- 4pm.
  • The High Water Mark is holding a holiday market on Sunday the 11th from 2 – 7 pm.
  • For the January meeting: A neighbor requested to hear an update on what various groups are doing specifically in Woodlawn to address the gun violence.  Can someone from Office of Violence Prevention attend?

8:25 Meeting adjourned

Thank you for coming! Hope to see you at our next meeting on Tuesday, January 3rd.  

We will be both Online and In Person: Classic Foods 817 NE Madrona St, Portland, OR 97211