This weekend

Hayride in pumpkin patch

Haven’t gotten your fall fun fix yet but don’t want to fight the crowds on Sauvie Island? East Portland / East County has got you covered. Take a look at a few of the options below… fall attractions include corn mazes, hay rides, pumpkin patches, and even a pumpkin sling.

If you can guess what decade they’re websites were built in, you get a free mini pumpkin (just kidding).

Rossi Farms * Fazio Farms * The Growers Outlet * Liepold Farms Bushue Farming

The City hosts several Halloween-themed carnivals too. Here’s the link (might be good to double-check dates, a few of the dates are off).

Enjoy~

FRIDAY

Live music at The O’Neill Pub:

“The Smut City Jellyroll Society (video) is a wild and crazy bunch of fun loving musicians playing blues and early jazz from the 1920s and 1930s. With a unique sound somewhere between ragtime blues, early jazz and jugband music, the Jellyroll Society keeps it loose and lively with a driving syncopated swing that gets the dancers out on the floor”

 The O’Neill Public House, 6000 NE Glisan St * 9:30 pm – 1 am

***

All weekend, Academy Theater’s Halloween series continues with “The Evil Dead” (1981). For movie times, visit this link.

Academy Theater, 7818 SE Stark * adults $4, seniors and children $3

SATURDAY

Another refurbished park for East Portland:

Luuwit View Park, 129th and NE Fremont * 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

***

Sponsored by RACC, learn how to plan and host an artistic event with a workshop called “Produce It”:

“Take your next event from idea to execution. In this workshop we’ll dive into the planning cycle of hosting an artistic event and come away with tangible work plans to make it happen. Through flash work sessions, brainstorming, and small group coaching, we’ll quickly hone key components like your artistic concept, venue planning, budgeting, fundraising, audience development, marketing, production management, staffing and more.”
Register here.
Milepost 5, 850 NE 81st Ave * 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm * $30 
***
Public safety training: “The training is designed to provide information, resources and materials available to mitigate public safety and livability issues in neighborhoods. This is not a problem-solving meeting for specific locations.”
If you want to attend email Yolanda Sanchez, City of Portland Crime Prevention Coordinator @ yolanda.sanchez@portlandoregon.gov.
Portland Police Bureau East Precinct, Community Room, 735-737 SE 106th Ave * 10 am – noon
***
Bollywood Dreams Entertainment

A family-oriented dance party presented by Bollywood Dreams Entertainment:

“Make the world a better place, one move at a time. Come and have fun learning moves that will teleport you into a Bollywood world full of possibilities & big smiles, complete with the authentic Indian Head Shake. Everyone at every skill level is welcome!”

Midland Library, 122nd Ave * 2 pm – 3 pm * free

SUNDAY

Market music at the Lents International Market with Njuzu Mbira from 11 am – 2 pm. Sunday is the second to lasts market of the season… ’tis the season.

SE 92nd Ave & Reedway St, between Foster and Harold * 9 am – 2 pm 

***

 Bolt Upright blues jam @ Montavilla Station… always a good time, always a big crowd.
417 SE 80th Ave * 9 pm * free
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This weekend

FRIDAY

Beginning Friday, “The Omen” (1976) is showing at Academy Theater. It’s part of the theater’s Halloween series.

Academy Theater, 7818 SE Stark St * $4 for adults, $3 for youth & seniors 

***

To balance out the horror movie, live music at The O’Neill Public HouseBand of Comerados plays acoustic music that makes you feel good.”

6000 NE Glisan * 9:30 pm – 1 am * free

SATURDAY

Celebrate your new park! Free cake and activities at the playground and soccer field. The refurbished Lents Park was paid for by the park bond passed in November 2014. For more information on the park, go here.

Playground Schedule

  • 1:00pm:  Event Kick-off with Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz and the PP&R Rangers Pledge
  • 1:20pm:  Cupcakes, Bubble Fun, and Photo Booth
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm:  Magician Show

Soccer Field Schedule

  • 1:30pm – 2:00pm:  Carnival Style Games
  • 2:00pm – 3:00:  Pick Up Soccer and Drills

Lents Park, 4808 SE 92nd Ave * 1 pm – 3 pm * free 

***

Calaveritas de Azúcar / Decorate your own Sugar Skull for Day of the Dead at the Holgate Library:

“Participants will paint their own edible sugar skull and dedicate it to an ancestor or loved one. Why sugar? Throughout Mexico, Day of the Dead [Tuesday, October 31] is a celebration of joyful remembrance, and the sweetness of sugar reminds us of joy.” 

7905 SE Holgate Blvd * 2 pm – 4 pm * free 

SUNDAY

Learn more about your Montavilla Farmers Market here, including the producers and details of this week’s kids cooking classes. Carving pumpkins are available at the market this week, and you can find carving stencils at the link. Tag your creation on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter @ #MFMVeggolantern.

7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm

***

Lents International Market, music at the market with Bob Masters and Ray Mann (11 am – 2 pm).

SE 92nd Ave & Reedway St, between Foster and Harold * 9 am – 2 pm 

***

East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District is hosting a class called “Attracting Pollinators to the Urban Garden”.

“Mostly familiar with European honey bees, few of us are aware of the many flies, beetles, moths and butterflies at our doorsteps that also provide critical pollination services. In this workshop you will learn about the different kinds of pollinators that might be living in your garden, discover a plant palette to help attract and support pollinators, and go beyond the bloom to consider ways to provide shelter, water, nesting, and overwintering sites.”

Register here.

Troutville Police Station, 234 SW Kendall Ct * 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

This weekend

If you didn’t hear, the Montavilla Neighborhood Association is having its board election this Monday. If you’re curious about their election and would like to see the new Village Portland website, click here.

To offer encouragement before the election, I thought I’d include here where I bragged about Lents’ big win for all East Portlanders, and Portlanders in general:

And, my fellow Montavillians, if you have any doubt what a united, organized neighborhood association can accomplish, check out this link. Dan Saltzman thanks the Lents Neighborhood Association (and specifically board member Jennifer Young) for showing him and the City Council the problems happening in their neighborhood. Even if you disagree with the policy outcome, the demonstration of how powerful NAs can be is undeniable.

FRIDAY

The Milepost 5 monthly artist opening is “Jeepers Creepers” by Kimberly Bookman (FB invitation). If you’re curious about what sort of shenanigans are happening in the artists residence and have been looking for a good reason to visit Milepost 5, this is an excellent opportunity to visit.

“Where did you get those eyes!? After 10 years and thousands of eyes it is finally time to say farwell to my last few hundred children. Come join me at Milepost 5 for our last show together, the way that they are meant to be seen, en masse! Here they are… every last one.”

There’ll be a photo booth, giveaways, and usually there’s drinks and snacks provided. Cash only for the eye art.

Milepost 5, 850 NE 81st Ave * 6 pm – 9 pm * free 

SATURDAY

“Join us for the Montavilla Food Co-op’s Annual Membership Meeting and Potluck … This event is free and open to member-owners and any other interested community members. Come learn more about what we’ve accomplished so far and what is on the horizon for 2017  – 2018.

MFC will provide some refreshments, and guests are encouraged to bring a dish to share for our potluck!”

The 2017 Annual Report to Member-Owners will also be available.

Wix Insurance, 8037 SE Stark St * 11:30 am – 2 pm 

***

 Portland Metro Arts presents “Rumplestiltskin”:

“Once Upon a Time Family Theatre is a magical mix of theatrical simplicity and grand storytelling for kids and their families. There’s always a slight twist to the traditional story that keeps these productions fresh. Though simply produced, these delightful and engaging productions will soon have everyone fully absorbed in the interaction of live theatre.”

Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark St * children $1; adults $2

***

It’s good to see the Russel Neighborhood Association stepping up to plan events!

Parkrose Community Church, 12505 NE Halsey St * 9 am until the containers fill * carload $10; pickup $20

SUNDAY

Groovin’ in the Garden! is an event for gardeners, seniors, caregivers, friends, and family… music, art & crafts, free plants, garden tours, snacks, hot cider, adaptive garden demonstration. Presented by the Portland Memory Garden.

Portland Memory Garden, SE 104th & SE Bush St * 1 pm – 3 pm * free

***

“Bring your bike and your friends for a tour of Portland’s levee system! The Multnomah County Drainage Districts and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council will lead this 15-mile trip on easy terrain. (Register here)

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about Levee Ready Columbia, a collaboration of government, business, and neighborhood organizations working together to evaluate the condition of our local levee network and to ensure valuable regional resources are protected in the future.”

Blue Lake Park, 20500 NE Marine Dr, Fairview, OR * 10 am – 1 pm 

***

Chihuahua Desert (country) is playing at the Lents Market from 11 am – 2 pm.

Both the Montavilla Farmers Market and Lents International Farmers Market are open on Sunday! Learn about this week’s wonderful fall bounty, music and classes at the Montavilla market here.

Lents Farmers Market, SE 92nd Ave & Reedway St, between Foster and Harold * 9 am – 2 pm 

Montavilla Farmers Market, 7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm 

This weekend

The Lents Neighborhood Association had a smooth and successful election this week (our story). Along with the results, former LNA Chair Nick Christensen wrote an essay on what he would like to see from the NA and neighborhood. It’s inspiring to anyone who cares about East Portland.

The Montavilla Neighborhood Association is having its elections October 9th. There was some questions about eligibility, but there will be a general meeting before the election. So anyone who attends that meeting— or has attended an MNA meeting in the past three years— is eligible to vote.

More details on the election are in this story, and here’s the official MNA announcement (though the date is wrong). I’ll be putting together an election guide, like I did for the LNA election.

FRIDAY

Live music at O’Neill Pubic House:

“The Smut City Jellyroll Society is a wild and crazy bunch of fun loving musicians playing blues and early jazz from the 1920s and 1930s. With a unique sound somewhere between ragtime blues, early jazz and jugband music, the Jellyroll Society keeps it loose and lively with a driving syncopated swing that gets the dancers out on the floor.”

O’Neill Public House, 6000 NE Glisan St * 9:30 pm – 1 am * free

SATURDAY

Portland’s Native community celebrates the life of one of their most celebrated musician at the 5th annual Jim PepperFest. This is one of those times where words fail me and I’m thankful to be able to point to the source… just watch the video and spend some time on the website. The love is undeniable.

Parkrose High School, 12003 NE Shaver St * 11 am – 7 pm * free 

***

Screenshot 2017-09-28 at 9.04.40 PM

This looks awesome… Oktoberfest in East Portland! A traditional buffet is included in the admission price, and there’ll be live entertainment, traditional dance, a sing-along, and wine and beer available for purchase (website).

Parkrose Community United Church of Christ, 12505 NE Halsey St * $15 for adults, $20 for families, $10 for seniors & children * 4 pm – 7 pm 

***

A fundraiser to build wells in Africa, at Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (website):

“Bring hope & health to a forgotten community! Help us finish our ten well project in the town of Dungu, DR Congo! The town is being deluged with refugees from South Sudan, after suffering itself at the hands of the LRA from 2008 – 2012. 

Our wells cost only $5,000 -$6,000 when other international charities budget $10,000 per well! These wells are bringing hope to the people of Dungu as well as restoring community health. We only have three more wells to go!”

Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization Africa House, 10301 NE Glisan St *  6 pm – 9 pm 

***

Screenshot 2017-09-28 at 8.57.23 PM

Charged with a mission of helping people care for the land and water, the East Multnomah Soil & Water District (website) has several workshops every week (events page), and their website has lots of information on conserving water and planting native plants.

On Saturday, they’re hosting a class called Naturscaping Basics. Registration is required (only 8 of 45 remain), and you can register here. Details on the class from the invitation:

“Naturescaping is the practice of designing (or redesigning) your landscape so that it reduces water use and decreases stormwater runoff while saving you time, money and energy. This introductory workshop introduces the core concepts of naturescaping, and also explores:

  • pollution prevention through the reduction/elimination of chemical use
  • how native plants naturally resist pests & tolerate drought conditions while attracting native birds, butterflies and other beneficial pollinators to your garden
  • basic site planning principals, and many other great natural gardening & design tips”

Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 4244 SE 91st Ave * 9 am – 1 pm

***

Vietnamese Mid Autumn Festival is also Saturday.

Look at all those sponsors on the flyer, another great East Portland community effort.

SUNDAY

Screenshot 2017-09-28 at 11.25.01 PM

At the Lents International Farmers Market, there’s live music with Bullets & Belles. Here’s a list of vendors and amenities of the market.

SE 92nd and Reedway between Foster and Harold * 9 am – 2 pm, music from 11 am – 2 pm 

***

Learn about some of its vendors here, or attend Montavilla Farmers Market food demonstrations:

“Buying chicken whole is an economical way to buy meat at the farmers market. This Sunday, October 1st, 2017, two of our vendors are taking the stage to share their products and cooking expertise in this area. Red Bird Acres and Felton & Mary’s Artisan Foods hope to show you some new ways to cook chicken and to demystify how to deal with a whole bird once you get it home.”

Montavilla Farmers Market, 7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm, demos begin @ 10:30 am * free 

This weekend

The Lents Neighborhood Association had a smooth and successful election this week (our story). Along with the results, former LNA Chair Nick Christensen wrote an essay on what he would like to see from the NA and neighborhood. It’s inspiring to anyone who cares about East Portland.

The Montavilla Neighborhood Association is having its elections October 9th. There was some questions about eligibility, but there will be a general meeting before the election. So anyone who attends that meeting— or has attended an MNA meeting in the past three years— is eligible to vote.

More details on the election are in this story, and here’s the official MNA announcement (though the date is wrong). I’ll be putting together an election guide, like I did for the LNA election.

FRIDAY

Live music at O’Neill Pubic House:

“The Smut City Jellyroll Society is a wild and crazy bunch of fun loving musicians playing blues and early jazz from the 1920s and 1930s. With a unique sound somewhere between ragtime blues, early jazz and jugband music, the Jellyroll Society keeps it loose and lively with a driving syncopated swing that gets the dancers out on the floor.”

O’Neill Public House, 6000 NE Glisan St * 9:30 pm – 1 am * free

SATURDAY

Portland’s Native community celebrates the life of one of their most celebrated musician at the 5th annual Jim PepperFest. This is one of those times where words fail me and I’m thankful to be able to point to the source… just watch the video and spend some time on the website. The love is undeniable.

Parkrose High School, 12003 NE Shaver St * 11 am – 7 pm * free 

***

Screenshot 2017-09-28 at 9.04.40 PM

This looks awesome… Oktoberfest in East Portland! A traditional buffet is included in the admission price, and there’ll be live entertainment, traditional dance, a sing-along, and wine and beer available for purchase (website).

Parkrose Community United Church of Christ, 12505 NE Halsey St * $15 for adults, $20 for families, $10 for seniors & children * 4 pm – 7 pm 

***

A fundraiser to build wells in Africa, at Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (website):

“Bring hope & health to a forgotten community! Help us finish our ten well project in the town of Dungu, DR Congo! The town is being deluged with refugees from South Sudan, after suffering itself at the hands of the LRA from 2008 – 2012. 

Our wells cost only $5,000 -$6,000 when other international charities budget $10,000 per well! These wells are bringing hope to the people of Dungu as well as restoring community health. We only have three more wells to go!”

Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization Africa House, 10301 NE Glisan St *  6 pm – 9 pm 

***

Screenshot 2017-09-28 at 8.57.23 PM

Charged with a mission of helping people care for the land and water, the East Multnomah Soil & Water District (website) has several workshops every week (events page), and their website has lots of information on conserving water and planting native plants.

On Saturday, they’re hosting a class called Naturscaping Basics. Registration is required (only 8 of 45 remain), and you can register here. Details on the class from the invitation:

“Naturescaping is the practice of designing (or redesigning) your landscape so that it reduces water use and decreases stormwater runoff while saving you time, money and energy. This introductory workshop introduces the core concepts of naturescaping, and also explores:

  • pollution prevention through the reduction/elimination of chemical use
  • how native plants naturally resist pests & tolerate drought conditions while attracting native birds, butterflies and other beneficial pollinators to your garden
  • basic site planning principals, and many other great natural gardening & design tips”

Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 4244 SE 91st Ave * 9 am – 1 pm

***

Vietnamese Mid Autumn Festival is also Saturday.

Look at all those sponsors on the flyer, another great East Portland community effort.

SUNDAY

Screenshot 2017-09-28 at 11.25.01 PM

At the Lents International Farmers Market, there’s live music with Bullets & Belles. Here’s a list of vendors and amenities of the market.

SE 92nd and Reedway between Foster and Harold * 9 am – 2 pm, music from 11 am – 2 pm 

***

Learn about some of its vendors here, or attend Montavilla Farmers Market food demonstrations:

“Buying chicken whole is an economical way to buy meat at the farmers market. This Sunday, October 1st, 2017, two of our vendors are taking the stage to share their products and cooking expertise in this area. Red Bird Acres and Felton & Mary’s Artisan Foods hope to show you some new ways to cook chicken and to demystify how to deal with a whole bird once you get it home.”

Montavilla Farmers Market, 7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm, demos begin @ 10:30 am * free 

Results of the 2017 Lents Neighborhood Association Election

IMG_6275

There was an excellent turnout for the 2017 Lents Neighborhood Association board election Tuesday night, September 26th.

All of the elected candidates were featured in the LNA election guide I published yesterday, if you’d like to learn more about them.

Stick around until the end of the piece for some thoughts from former LNA chair Nick Christensen on what he’d like to see in the neighborhood and the neighborhood association.

The winners:

Sabina Urdes was elected as the LNA Chair, winning with 69% of the vote (129 votes).

Christo Brehm was elected as the LNA Transportation Chair, winning with 71% of the vote (127 votes).

Cora Potter was elected as the LNA Land Use Chair, winning with 71% of the vote (130 votes).

Jason Umtuch and Barbara Bader were elected as LNA At Large Chairs (both to a full two-year term). Umtuch won 34% of the vote (115 votes) and Bader won with 30% of the vote (102 votes).

Amina Wilson was elected as a LNA At Large Chair (a one-year half term), winning with 92% of the vote (144 votes).

IMG_6277

From the City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement, Paul Leistner oversaw the election. He said that not everyone who received a ballot voted for every position.

189 Lents residents voted this year, compared to 155 in 2016.

The 2016 election was the first with more than one candidate for each position. All the seats in this year’s election were contested but one, the one-year At Large Chair position.

According to the LNA website, the next board meeting is October 12th, from 6:30 pm – 8 pm at KingPins Family Entertainment Center, 3550 SE 92nd Ave.
The meetings are open to the public.
                                ***
I reached out to Nick when I was putting together the election guide. He served the LNA as vice chair from 2009 to April 2010 and as chair from April 2010 to September 2013. Everyone I’ve talked with had nothing but great things to say about his leadership, and his comments I’ve seen on social media are always positive and helpful.
I asked if he was endorsing anyone or if he had suggestions for a smoother process. I expected a line or two, but was delighted to receive the following thoughts:

“My hope, after Tuesday’s elections, is that the LNA is able to feel more like a cohesive, neighborhood organization again. That people will start assuming good intent in their neighbors, even when they disagree on issues of substance. That people will learn to ignore the agitators who thrive on attention.

I hope the LNA goes back to having everyone sit in a circle at general meetings, side by side with neighbors and board members, and not the electorate facing the elected. The LNA isn’t a city council. It’s a community discussion.

I hope agendas are published in a timely manner. I hope people follow the bylaws and don’t interpret them creatively.

I hope people can remember that the LNA is run by volunteers, and they are not only fallible humans but also, in many cases, fallible humans with jobs and lives and families and hobbies.

I hope that people can understand that change is inevitable, and the best thing you can do to deal with that is try to shape it. Things will either get better or worse. They will seldom stay “just as good.” This is both my experience, and suggested through research.

A friend of mine, before Tuesday’s meeting, said he was surprised at something I said on Facebook. And I responded that I’ve always felt it’s easier to meet people where they’re at and bring them along with you than to stand 10 feet in front of them and insist that they catch up. I think that’s an approach that people need to take to heart. Listen to your neighbors’ concerns. Speak to them in a language they can understand. Hope that you can turn them 1 degree at a time. Too fast, and people get whiplash.

The next five years are crucial for Lents.

– With the opening of the apartments in the Lents Town Center, how do we, as neighbors, support the businesses and ensure the apartment owners remain involved and committed to a healthy neighborhood?
– How do continue the momentum to ensure the city honors its commitment of 150+ new market-rate apartments to match the 150+ affordable apartments now under construction? We were promised a 50-50 split. We should get that.
– How do we find a way to not only eliminate the rising, obscene flood insurance premiums for areas in the Johnson Creek corridor – Lents residents spend more than $1 million a year on flood insurance premiums, a number that could double by 2022 – but also actually eliminate the threat of flooding? How can that effort increase recreation, public safety and access to jobs?
– How do members of Lents’ Asian, Somali and Latino communities in particular gain access to decision-making about our community’s future?
– As the police bureau reforms, how do we ensure Lents has improved public safety and the reforms meet our community’s needs?
– What happens to Marshall High School after Grant moves out at the end of the 2018-19 school year?
– How do we do our fair share – and not everyone else’s fair-share too – to support our city’s efforts to address homelessness?
– If ODOT adds a lane on I-205 from Foster to Powell, how does the LNA get them to commit to environmental and noise mitigation to ensure a decrease in impact on the community?
– How do we ensure the parks bureau continues to invest in fulfilling the Lents Park Master Plan and also makes appropriate improvements to Bloomington, Glenwood, Playhaven and Benedict parks?

These are big issues. These are too much for one person to take on. The only way Lents avoids getting steamrolled by city hall – and well-connected and powerful people in inner-Portland – on these topics is to work together. That means some folks are going to need to put on their grown-up pants and get over petty disagreements. They’re going to need to meet people where they are at, not where they want them to be. For the sake of our community, I hope everyone constructively agrees to work on these issues, and if they disagree with the direction that the LNA has chosen to take, they find a way to get involved in the process themselves (or decide to get out of the way) rather than just constantly trying to take down the LNA because they disagree with it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Lents Neighborhood Association election guide

Let’s begin with the basics:

The Lents Neighborhood Association (website) is electing five new members on Tuesday, September 26th. The election’s being held at Lents Activity Center (8815 SE Woodstock). Doors open at 6:30 pm, and the meeting begins at 7 pm.

You have to live within Lents (map with official boundaries) or represent a business or non-profit within the neighborhood.

Screenshot 2017-09-25 at 6.22.42 AM

A piece of identification will be required (photo IDs, drivers licenses, a utility bill with a Lents address) or you can sign a statement of affirmation that you reside in the neighborhood. If you are representing a business or non-profit organization, bring a copy of the letter from that business / non-profit designating you as their official representative.

There’s a pre-election meetup at The Eagle Eye Tavern (5836 SE 92nd Ave) from 5 pm – 6:45 pm. The bar’s owners graciously offered 50-cent discount on drinks for the event. I must credit the Facebook invitation for the excellent Game of Thrones meme.

Nominations for the board can be made from the floor at the beginning of the meeting, and after that each candidate will have two minutes to introduce themselves.

Listed in the order received by LNA nominations committee chair Jo Lynne Cooper-Nearing, the candidates are as follows:

Chair:
David Potts
Sabina Urdes
Transportation Chair:
Christo Brehm
Judy Low
Land Use Chair:
Char Pennie
Cora Potter
At-Large Chair (two members, each for a two-year term)
Barbara Bader
Erik Benson
Robert Schultz
Jason Umtuch
At-Large Chair (one member, for a one-year term that’s replacing a resigned member)
Amina Wilson
 
I reached out to all the candidates, and found or received information on all but one of the them. They were asked these questions:
What made you decide to run? What is your relevant experience? What are your priorities and what would you do differently?
Candidates for Chair:
I reached David Potts by email this weekend. He wrote that it was a contentious election and he didn’t want to be the only one providing information. When I told him I had reached most of the candidates, he wrote that he’d rather provide that information on the night of the election.
Potts is one of three candidates not happy with the current board. He tried to have most of the LNA board removed at the August LNA meeting (@ 34:00) based on a long list of concerns that I couldn’t find or verify / disprove. There is a set process to remove board members that wasn’t followed, according to board chair Michael Collins. I asked him if he’d filed a complaint with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, the City department that oversees neighborhood associations, but didn’t hear back from him.

Potts is a moderator of the Lents Neighborhood Livability Association.

***
Sabina Urdes was one of just a few candidates who attended the forum Sept. 12th. I missed her introduction at the meeting, but she was gracious enough to talk with me after the election. She also posted an introduction on I Love Lents this weekend.
A Lents resident and homeowner for about two and a half years, her background is journalism and communications. After eight years in the newsroom, she wrote that for the last four years she has been “developing and implementing digital communication activities designed to maximize awareness, drive website traffic and increase stakeholder engagement” for a non-profit corporation.
When we talked, she said she is new to working with the LNA but aware of its frequent conflicts and confident she can deal with them. In her biography she emphasized her desire to facilitate communication between the board and neighborhood.
Candidates for Transportation Chair:

I didn’t hear back from him, but Christo Brehm introduced himself in a post on the I Love Lents Facebook page. He told organizers that he was unable to make the candidate meet and greet on September 12th because he was out of town.

Brehm wrote that he earned an undergraduate and graduate degrees in Planning, Public Policy and Management and Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon. He wrote that he started working in the transportation world in 2006, with advocacy role with Safe Routes to School and Complete Streets.

Brehm has also worked in non-profits, and city and state government and currently works for a local consulting firm “focused on making our communities safe and enjoyable for all modes of transportation”.

***

I didn’t hear back from Judy Low.

She is currently on the board, and served as the chair until she was recently stripped of her duties by a board vote, according to LNA board member Jennifer Young. The concerns, Young wrote, included: not maintaining order and safety or following the agenda at meetings; not communicating for months with the board; and not following LNA rules for social media or posting meeting agendas.

Candidates for Land Use Chair:

Unfortunately, I didn’t hear back from Char Pennie, and was unable to learn anything about her online.
***
From Cora Potter:
“I have been working on community development in Lents for over ten years now. I actually didn’t get involved with the Lents Neighborhood Association board until 2013 though. My introduction, and education about community led wants and needs for the area through my service on the Urban Renewal Advisory Committee for Lents. In addition, I’ve served on advisory committees for Metro, Oregon Department of Transportation, and the city of Portland for a broad range on transportation, land use, economic development, disability rights, aging/senior plans and parks development plans. I’ve also been part of a team that developed a $31 million mixed use development from start to finish. In my work life, I also collaborate and coordinate with over 80 community based organizations throughout the region.
I have a detailed understanding of the history of our neighborhood, and all the future projects coming our way. I also know how larger plans and development patterns are effecting our neighborhood now, and in the future.
Our neighborhood is going to change, and because we are part of a larger city—community, there isn’t anything we can do to stop our neighborhood from changing. What we can do is help shape the way our neighborhood changes. I see my role as Land Use Chair as one of leveraging the relationships I’ve developed over the years to get the best outcomes for everyone in the neighborhood.
In addition, I think it’s really important to continue to advocate for the implementation of the rest of the elements of the Lents Park Master Plan, and to move forward to make changes to our meeting format and other outreach efforts with Equity and Inclusion (for people of color, immigrants, elders and youth) in the center of our efforts.
As far as what I would do differently— I’m actually asking that the direction come from the marginalized folks in our community: people of color, immigrants, youth, elders and people with disabilities. That’s why I think it’s crucial to continue our Equity and Inclusion committee work.”
Candidates for At-Large Chair: (two seats, each for a two year term)
Barbara Bader‘s response:
“I’m passionate about improving Portland’s poor air quality. I decided to run for an At-Large LNA board position in order boost our awareness, focus, and to take action to rid ourselves of the dangerous chemicals we breathe 24/7. I look forward to continue my current work on the LNA’s Livability Committee, and to support fellow board members as a member of the team.
I’ve developed some connections with— and learned a lot from— activists in other neighborhoods’ environmental groups, as well as organizations such as Neighbors for Clean Air and Green Lents. Last year, I invited several members from two SE neighborhood air-quality groups to present a roundup at an LNA general meeting about how they organized, conducted research, and were taking action to improve air quality regulations for industrial polluters. I believe Lents must develop its own strong cadre of air quality activists.
I first got involved in Lents’ livability issues during the 2008 brouhaha about the pros & cons of bringing AAA baseball to Lents Park. Since then, I’ve contributed on & off in a number of Lents activities & committees. Several examples include working (via Friends of Lents Park) on the Lents Park Master Plan, especially outreach and gathering input from our diverse community; coordinating orders & maintaining a relationship over a number of years with a vendor for Lents Grocery, and this year as member of the LNA’s Livability Committee (which organized & produced the successful Lents Town Hall) and the Nominations Committee. I regularly attend both general membership meetings and board meetings.
During my years working in the publishing world, in roles ranging from reporter/editor to editor-in-chief, I learned to value support and teamwork. As a filmmaker, that teamwork was especially essential. All LNA Board members must also work as a real team in order to move forward together with other LNA members to keep on making Lents a better and better neighborhood for us all.”
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I reached Erik Benson and submitted him the questions but he didn’t respond.
He is another candidate not happy with the current board. At the candidate’s forum, he talked about what he saw as a lack of confidence in the board at the August LNA board meeting (@ 31:50). At that meeting, he also wanted how the board would bring the community together.
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Robert Schultz is also not happy with the current board. He wrote that he was concerned about the board’s transparency when it came to spending, noting that the concerns were more “moral than illegal”. He was also concerned that there weren’t contracts for LNA projects, but Potter said contracts weren’t required.
He also wants to build inclusion, including a more open process when it comes to the LNA-controlled social media sites.
“I am running as none on the board have taken a position I can reasonably endorse.
I have been on the board before and very active in the community as a volunteer and coordinator for the street fair which attracted 2500 people to Lents and had inclusion with some notable entertainers like The Slants. A feat not seen before at the local fair (that of inclusion through booking of diverse entertainers).
My first priority is to see the community engaged, to have a board that listens to the frustrations of the community and advocates that position for the community to the city without self promotion for self gain but rather for the gain of the community, a board that hears people and attempts to solve issues in a civil manner is what I would like to be a part of.
Referring to the August LNA board meeting (linked in Potts’ description above), he said rather than shut Potts down, he would have given him time to talk.
Schultz continued:
“The LNA has a distinct failing to actively engage the community on a ground level and I am happy to walk through the neighborhood advocating for people to get involved. I have not seen a receptive community as they often have had negative dealings with current board members or find the system archaic. I would like to be part of redrafting the organization to better serve the community.
We have some 20,000 people in Lents and some 100 to 200 that even bother with the LNA thats a shame. I would like to see more activities sponsored by the LNA and be a part of planning and implementing them.”
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I reached Jason Umtuch, and we discussed his interest in serving on the LNA board:
Jason wrote that he has been living in Lents for six months at the Native American Youth and Family Center’s new Generations community center. Umtuch said that in his past, he has served time in prison and lived on the streets. He’ll bring that experience insight to help build community and reach out to those in need:
“I am of indigenous decent, I have great experience in organizing and creating space for healing and comfort for the people. Sometimes the people feel awkward and unsure when things are hard.
“I am involved in the recovery community as well, one of Lents problems is the crazy people walking and biking around high off drugs.”
When I asked him what he wants to have happen, he said he just wants to work within the current leadership’s vision, but said, “I also stand by the good in people. Regardless of where their people come from. I am willing, to give my insight on the things that come up.”
Anything else, I asked. He responded:
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Candidates for At-Large Chair: (one seat, for a one-year term)
Amina Wilson‘s response:
What made me decide to run is that I have an interests in making Lents better. I think that there is a misconception about how much influence the LNA has on the city, county, and state. I think that there needs to be a focus on what we can do within our power to improve the day to day lives of the residents of Lents. I think that the board needs a voice that is not from the entrenched existing members and not from the fringe vocal minority, but one that wants to represent the people who voices are not represented presently.
My experience is that I have worked in non-profit shelters for the last 15 years and I have a unique perspective that is one that is supportive of people whether they are renters, owners, or houseless. I have worked with a diverse group of other non-profits in the Portland area, along with working with the county and city.
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