WNA Achievements 2022-2023


WNA Achievements 2022-2023

Woodlawn Neighborhood Association Achievements 

November 2022 to October 2023

This was a year of tremendous change for WNA, with both the changes in leadership and renewing community connections post-COVID!  Without the help of many longtime residents, current board members. and past event coordinators, as well as many generous volunteers, we would not have been able to do much of what was accomplished this year.  We are  so grateful for all the help we received and continue to rely on.

We were able to meet in person (post-COVID restrictions) near the end of 2022.  We were allowed to use the Village Ballroom for November, and by December we had moved back to our usual meeting place, Classic Foods.  A major thanks to VBR for temporary meeting space and to Classic Foods for ongoing meeting space, along with a storage area for our supplies.  We are continuing to make meetings available via Zoom, thanks to Anjala and Melody, and the purchase of a web camera so the Zoom users are able to see activity in the live meeting.

We did not meet in January, and in February our Chair and Co-Chair. Melody Randoph and her partner, Rob, stepped down for personal reasons.  Barbara England agreed to take over as acting Chair in the interim. In March, we were given notice that Krista and Rick Reynolds, serving as our secretary/social media team, were moving out of the neighborhood and would no longer be able to serve those positions. Linde Parcels offered to take this position at the May meeting. Aimee Pedretti has also helped with the social media postings. At the June meeting, the organization voted to have the banking signers changed, voting to have Barbara officially assume the Chair position and Linde as Secretary.

We were able to send two delegates (Barbara and Aimee) to the Neighborhood Association Summit, which was attended by delegates from 64 of Portland’s neighborhood Associations. Most interestingly, the major concerns of many of those present are much the same as ours:

  • Improving Neighborhood Association and City government relations
  • Livability of neighborhoods
  • Healthy neighborhoods

At our monthly meetings we have had guest speakers from area businesses, including Jessica from Dekum Street Theatre, Tarl from P’s and Q’s, and Miles from the Firehouse. In addition, there was a discussion about recent gun violence and safety issues, representatives from Portland Street Response, and guest speaker Commissioner Mingus Mapps.  Anjala, our Land Use and Transportation chair held a well attended meeting with city officials to discuss implementation of  speed cushions on Ainsworth, and other neighborhood transportation concerns..

On Saturday, April 8th, WNA put on a highly successful Easter Egg Hunt coordinated by  Nicole Swanberg with help from Liz Kennedy and other volunteers.  It was a beautiful day, and the park was filled with thrilled children with their smiling parents.

This year WNA participated in the City’s dumpster day on June 17th, which provided the opportunity for neighbors to clean up accumulated bulky trash items.

We were also able to sponsor a Neighborhood Night Out (NNO) event (now a part of Party on Portland), on August 2.  Liz Kennedy coordinated this event, and thanks to many volunteers, an experienced grillmaster, and a new, but knowledgeable food service coordinator, the event was enjoyed by all.  We had planned on food to serve 250-300 neighbors, and ran out by 7:00 pm, so it is recommended that we provide more food next year.  Area businesses generously provided us with gift cards and merchandise for multiple door prizes awarded throughout the event.  Tamale Boy was present with a food cart, Sweet Curmudgeon with their ice cream trike and Bounce & Play PDX with popcorn and sno-cones.  The community garden tours led by Nancy Flynn and John Laurence were very popular and children’s activities and music added fun to the event. Jerome Smith was helpful in arranging music and Nikki the Clown. Thanks to the donation of time and printing costs by Melissa Jura at For Good and Co and by Liz Kennedy, plus excellent social media coverage by Linde and Aimee, the event was well attended, and became a neighborhood highlight.

In order to provide these community opportunities, we created a donor drive campaign, spearheaded by Barbara.  Many board members and volunteers helped to make personal contact with area businesses.  We raised $1,400.00 to support our activities.  In addition, the voluntary donations for National Night out provided an additional $390.00.

We continue to be the fiscal sponsor for the Woodlawn Farmers Market, which is a neighborhood highlight from June through October.  WNA newsletters include information about the market for neighbors. Also be sure to sign up for the Market’s weekly newsletter.  The market  provides SNAP matches for food purchases, making fresh produce available to more neighbors.  Obtaining a grant to help pay for live music each Saturday enabled the market to include more musicians.  As always, WNA is grateful to the farmers market for their neighborhood contribution as well as their help with our events, by providing tables, chairs, and canopies in addition to enthusiastic support and volunteer time.

This year WNA applied for two grants from the city for a series of  summer music events (submitted by Liz Kennedy) and for repainting our street mural (submitted by Barbara England).  Unfortunately, neither of these grants were awarded, but we now have much of the groundwork for future grant proposals.

This year is also one of great change for the City of Portland, with planning for the creation of four city council  districts for commissioners and reorganization of the city government overall.  Along with the four neighborhood coalitions, and many other neighborhood associations WNA submitted a formal request for further consideration of the new organizational plan, as the proposed plan does not clearly prioritize support for and communication with neighborhood associations.  This campaign resulted in a newspaper article and an extension of the comment deadline until October 5th, along with adding a one-hour listening session for Neighborhood Association and coalition representatives.

For our annual meeting in October, we met a half hour early and enjoyed  pizza and salad from Good Neighbor Pizzeria, along with cookies donated by Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry. The focus was communication and social engagement with round table planning for WNA in the coming year.  Elections were also held for officers and board members (see below).

Our checking account was at $6,923.55 at the beginning of the year, and thanks to the many generous donations of time, money, and services we were able to sponsor these events and activities  and still end the year with just over $6,000.00 in our checking account.

Our Board for the upcoming year is:

Barbara England, Chair

Melody Randolph, Vice Chair

Dennis Kennedy, Treasurer

Nancy Flynn, Secretary

Keith Baich, Member-at-Large, Farmers Market Representative

Thelma Diggs, Member-at-Large

Julian Drury, Member-at-Large

Anjala Ehelebe, Member-at-Large, NECN, Land Use & Transportation Representative

Melissa Jura, Member-at-Large

Shirley Minor, Member-at-Large, NECN Member-at-Large

Linde Parcels, Member-at-Large, Community  Outreach

Shelby Phelan, Member-at-Large