Woodlawn Neighborhood Association

Latest Neighborhood Meeting Agenda

First Wednesday of each month

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Classic Foods
817 NE Madrona St,
Portland, OR 97211

Recording of June 2021 General Meeting with Commissioner Hardesty and Lionel Irving

Woodlawn Neighborhood Association September 2021 Meeting Minutes

Woodlawn Neighborhood Association General Meeting – September meeting minutes (draft until approved at next meeting)
September 1, 2021, Online only at Zoom

This is your neighborhood. This is our neighborhood. Together, we have the power to make it a beautiful place to live for everyone.


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

  1. Please introduce yourself in chats: name, pronouns, favorite interest to share with neighbors

Board members present: Melody, Anjala, Beth, Dennis, Thelma, Nancy, Chida, Shirley; not present: Maija, Keith

Community: Erin, Krista, Rick, Liz, Barbara, Francisco, Chris, Aimee, Dan, Kiley, Gyorgyi, Kathy, John, Adam, Michael


  1. Approve July meeting notes; Approve September agenda – all in favor  

7:10 – 8:00 Guest Speakers

  1. 7:10 Kylie Yuthas, Transition Projects
    1. or email or newsletter: 
    2. What they do: Helping our neighbors go from houseless to housed
  • They run 8 shelters across Portland and also operate emergency shelters in winter/extreme weather
  • Have been in the community for 50 years, 350 staff help 10,000+ people annually. 
  • Outreach team: currently 10 people, out on the streets daily distributing resources and referrals. 
  • Resource center: day center and a referral center to other programs. Offer showers, laundry, phone charging and other services. 
  • Opened a co-housing project in Kenton recently, and run residences in N Portland
  • Also offer wellness access and Veterans Services
  • Retention team help support people as they transition into a household
  • Rent Well Program educates tenants about their rights & responsibilities
  1. How we can help people experiencing homelessness through Transition Projects:
    1. Volunteer in a wide range of roles
    2. Cook a meal in one of the shelters – they cook and serve 100,000 meals per year. A group can sign up to adopt a shelter for a night or on an ongoing basis, and purchase, prepare, and serve the dinner. 
    3. Join a potluck – combine with other persons/groups to produce a whole meal
    4. Attend events that support Transition Projects 
    5. Host an event to support Transition Projects
    6. Coordinate a donation drive 
    7. In general: show compassion 
  2. Questions: 
    1. What’s your main funding mechanism? Most of it is through the city of Portland’s joint office of homeless services 
  1. 7:25 Commissioner Mingus Mapps

Intro: He’s a newer member of Portland’s city council, with 8 months’ service so far; his bureaus are water, environmental services, emergency communications. 

Council has been focusing on several issues:

  • supporting local businesses and restarting the economy. 
  • public safety: renegotiating police union contract, working with federal bureau of justice to make sure our police are following best practices. He acknowledges that gun violence has exploded in Portland in the last few years. Some actions taken to address that: budget for more police officers, getting more desk-bound police out onto the streets, new police unit focusing on gun crimes, and investing in violence prevention programs. 
  • A third big focus is houselessness. The city is working on creating 6 new managed camps which will offer services. They also passed a new rule to make it easier for non-profits to set up shelters. They’re also changing where people can camp.
  • Finally, the environment is getting focus too, including a planned cleanup of the Willamette River

Questions/conversation with the community: 

  • What about drug abuse? That’s a major impact on the community, not limited to the houseless folks. Commissioner Mapps agrees, we need to provide more addiction services; one problem is that we divide responsibilities across several organizations and bureaus. Human services and addiction services are county-provided; the city tries to coordinate with the county through the Joint Office of Homeless Services. Bigger-picture, the state of Oregon does not offer a robust mental health support system, and that leaves a lot of work and improvement to be done. 
  • What is his take on the police bureau on the hands-off approach taken in the latest behavior by the Proud Boys out around NE 122nd where they met and marched a few weekends ago?   He can’t say that the city did a good job – residents should expect to be kept safe. Neighbors weren’t communicated with, no evidence of police at the time. We only have about 800 police officers where a city our size might more typically have 1100 police, so the staffing levels may have impacted that decision as well. We need to grow our police department and also determine what work they should be doing, or who else should be handling reported issues. 911 gets about 1 million calls per year, a vast number of them around houseless people in crisis. One potential answer to that is the Portland Street Response, with a pilot project running in Lents right now. Under that pilot, specific 911 calls can be responded to by trained social workers offering support and services. 
  • It sounds like there has been resistance on the council to expanding the Portland Street Response – what is his take on that? Answer: council unanimously supports the pilot project but is letting the pilot run, will analyze, then decide if/how/when to roll it out. There are other things to consider such as: Who is it meant to serve? What hours should it run? Overall he’s confident it will eventually be city-wide, but scaling up needs to be done thoughtfully and well. The work is underway. 
  • Are the 911 teams staffed fully? No, they’d like to have more/be able to answer calls more quickly. It takes 18 months to fully train respondents, a new class is getting started now. In addition the city is rolling out a new program for non-emergency call responses to help guide people to resources. The city is also working on offering “311” service lines to get access to city resources without calling in to the emergency lines. Calls are up 40% over last year and that was not expected/staffed for. Will our calls and various crises drop after Covid fades? Unsure/increasingly seems like it’s not likely. 
  • Are the police threatened by the Street Response team? Are they obstructing that team? They may have concerns that the right calls get routed to the right teams, but a lot of this is just about policy changes and change management. 
  • What’s a likely timeline for Street Response expansion? He would expect to see some expansion as soon as this fall – the budget cycles are this fall, then spring, so there’s likely to be a response due to the fall budget. Some options are: expand types of calls they respond to, hours they cover, neighborhoods they serve. All to be discussed/determined over the next 60 days. 
  • With his background and public policy expertise, what would it take for him to vote yes to expand this service? He’s committed to expanding Portland Street Response as fast as can be done responsibly & successfully. 


  1. Upcoming Events  
    1. October Elections
      1. Board Member roles/responsibilities, procedure
      2. Review of roles and duties: 
  • Melody reviews chair/vice-chair; perhaps 2 hours/week
  • Beth reviews secretary and submits a plea for someone to volunteer to handle our social media; 
  • Anjala talks about Land Use & Transportation Committee Chair work; about 4 hours/month 
  • Dennis speaks to Treasurer role – writes checks, collects income, biggest responsibility is submitting 3 reports annually to government agencies, which let us retain our non-profit status. Perhaps 1 ½ hours/month
  • Thelma speaks to what at-large members do: attend, vote, volunteer. She’s had other roles in the past on the board.  Shirley also shares – she tries to get out in the neighborhood to hear how things are going, talk to people. 
  • Erin chimes in to share about the Farmer’s Market – they are also looking for board members; they meet monthly and can also use volunteers to help set up/staff the info booth/break down the market. 
  1. If you are interested in being on the board, please speak with a member 
  1.  8:00 – 8:20 Board Business
  1. Treasurer’s Report-Dennis Kennedy – nothing new – $7294 in the bank
  2. Land Use and Transportation-Anjala Ehelebe
    1. City denied permit to have Zenith tank farms take in oil trains
    2. Emanuel displaced persons situation is still in limbo – pending federal reimbursement
    3. Humboldt has a proposed development building market-rate ecologically-sensitive housing on a vacant lot/current community garden that is vigorously opposed by residents of Falcon Arts building and other neighbors.. 
    4. Portland harbor superfund cleanup sponsored by NECN and looking for a paid coordinator to help with activities; also looking for participants
    5. City is offering a training for transportation advocates 
  3. Farmer’s Market update: Erin – they’ve got the permanent loan of a vehicle to help them manage their gear storage and transportation. They’re looking for grant money to extend the employment of the market manager into the off season to help achieve some goals and projects. 
    1. Comment: the WNA board would love to get some specific requests from the market for ways we could help raise funds or contribute energy. 
  4. NECN-Dennis Kennedy – Jessica Rojas has resigned and is moving to work for Metro; NECN is hiring a new director
  5. NET-Erin Cooper – NET = Neighborhood Emergency Team; is now pausing the in-person portion of training new volunteers, but the online training is available.  

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

SOLVE is doing their annual beach & riverside cleanup on Sept 25 and need volunteers.


8:30 Meeting adjourns

Thank you for coming! Hope to see you Wed, October 6th at 7pm for our next Meeting AND ELECTIONS!



Shelly Caldwell

Dennis Kennedy
dennis [at]

Luke Groser

Assistant Treasurer / Woodlawn Neighborhood Farmer’s Market
Martin Vandepas

Secretary / Communications
Beth Heins

Land Use Chair
Anjala Ehelebe

Woodlawn Tree Team
Mendy Miller

Maija Spencer, maijaspencer[at]
Andrée Culpepper, aculpepper11[at]
Shirley Minor, shirleygminor[at]
Jon Umbdenstock, jon.umbdenstock [at]
Jerome Smith, jeromesmith627 [at]

Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods delegates:

Land Use and Transportation
Anjala Ehelebe

NECN Representatives
Dennis Kennedy, Shirley Minor

Public Safety
Jerome Smith