The MLK Dream Run Showcases Portland’s Soul District


For Registeration details, go to

The North/Northeast Business Association (NNEBA) will host the MLK Dream Run/Walk aimed at promoting economic development in the Soul District of North/Northeast Portland, Oregon on Sunday August 5, 2012.

In addition the MLK Dream Run will also help raise funds for NNEBA’s Youth Entrepreneurial/Career Leadership Project which partners young people 16-25 with internship and jobs skills training through local businesses.

The annual race will feature three events – a 5 kilometer walk and run, a 10K run and the  15k Geoff Hollister Tribute competitive race – along a USA Track & Field sanctioned & certified race course throughout the N/NE Portland neighborhoods of Humboldt, King, Piedmont, Woodlawn, Boise, Eliot, Vernon, Grant Park, Sabin, Woodlawn and Irvington.  The race course is supported by 11 neighborhood associations, the N/NE Coalition of Neighborhoods, members & volunteers of NNEBA and the offices of the Multnomah County Commissioner, Mayor and Governor, as it winds through N/NE PDX. The MLK Dream Run is expected to attract thousands of local amateur runners and dozens of international elite racers. The event begins at 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m. start gun, and post-race festivities begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 11:00 a.m.

The goal of the running event, which also features live music, health & fitness awareness, multicultural interaction and products from local businesses, is to reintroduce Portland residents and visitors to the revitalized N/NE community by bringing businesses and neighborhoods together providing economic stimulus to an area rich in multicultural history.

The MLK Dream Run is the culmination of a longtime dream to showcase the many positive changes and improvements in North and Northeast Portland and raise more public awareness for the user-friendly streets, healthy business environment and strong business relationships along and surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, named after the famous civil rights leader, bisects The Soul District of Portland and provides easy access to all of the area’s amenities including beautiful parks such as Peninsula and Irvington parks, and colorful commercial hubs like Alberta Street Arts District, Mississippi and Williams Avenue. New art galleries, music venues, specialty retail shops, cobbler communities, coffeehouses and eateries are now nestled comfortably between older established businesses and complement the churches, higher education institutes and community service organizations that have always been part of the area.

The MLK Dream Run also honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s vision for racial equality and job creation as famously outlined in his inspirational August, 1963 speech, ‘I Have a Dream.’

Once just a dream, the vision of civil rights, racial equality and economic opportunities for all is alive and well along Portland’s Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the MLK Dream Run will be a wonderful showcase for the community.

About This Event
5k fun run/walk; chip-timed 10k run and Geoff Hollister Memorial 15k run. The 10k & 15k runs are USATF Sanctioned and Certified but you do NOT have to be a USATF member to race. Field limited to 3000 participants combined all three events so don’t delay registering. The non-profit benefactor of the the run is NNEBA’s Youth Entrepreneurial Internship program: preparing students for employment and business leadership. Start gun 7:00 am

Course Conditions
The course is run on closed roads with the exception of a paved path through Irvington Park and the two legs, Rosa Park and MLK, which have 1/2 of the road “coned off” for traffic to remain flowing. 10k & 15K runners will be required to move to the sidewalks if your average pace falls below a 12 minute mile. 5k walkers will be required to move to the sidewalks if your average pace falls below a 19 minute mile.

PSU Traffic and Transportation Course sponsored by PBOT

A Portland State University course sponsored by the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation

Local traffic and transportation issues, transportation options, and how to get things done in your neighborhood are the focus of this well-respected, ten-week, university course. 

The scholarship application process is now OPEN.  

Over 1,000 Portland residents have taken this popular class and learned how to negotiate the maze of traffic and transportation agencies and issues.  Here’s your chance to hear about how you can make a difference even in these times of budget cuts and shrinking gas tax revenue.  Speakers include policy and decision makers, planners, and engineers from TriMet, Metro, and PBOT.  The class is facilitated by Rick Gustafson, transportation planning consultant and former Metro executive officer.

What:    A 10-week course sponsored by PBOT and PSU’s Urban Studies Program
When:   Fall Term 2012, (9/27/12 – 12/6/12).  Thursday evenings, 6:40 – 8:40 pm.
Where:  Portland State University Campus – Urban Center, Room DLC 204
Who:     Designed for the neighborhood activist, new or experienced, who wants to make a difference in traffic and transportation issues in Portland.
Application Due:  Before 9/1/12. The class fills quickly and is often full before the deadline.


  • Traffic Management Techniques: speed bumps, traffic circles and “traffic calming.”

  • Regional Transportation Planning: how do traffic decisions in other areas affect us?

  • Environment: the urban landscape, street design, air quality – what quality of life do we want?

  • Alternative Transportation Modes: pedestrians, bicyclists and transit – can we share the road?

  • Transportation Finance and Policy: How to get your issue on the policy makers’ agendas.

Registration Information

Limited space is available for the 10-week class during the fall term. Full scholarships are available to qualified City of Portland residents for the non-credit course. Deadline for scholarship application is 9/1/12, however the class fills quickly and you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

You may also take the course for one undergraduate or graduate credit at PSU. Contact the Urban Studies and Planning Department for more information.


To register for free, no credit class:

On-line: Submit registration & scholarship form.
By mail: Print registration & scholarship form from the left sidebar on this webpage and mail to:

Scott Cohen
Transportation System Management
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 800
Portland, OR 97204

Questions? Contact Scott Cohen by email

Please see for more information including online registration details

Spirit of Portland 2012 Nominations Now Open

Please see this announcement from Commissioner Fritz’s office: City Opens 2012 Spirit of Portland Award nominations

PORTLAND  Nominations are now being accepted for the 27th annual Spirit of Portland awards. If you know of an individual or group who has helped make Portland a better place to live, work, study, pray or play, please nominate
them for one of the 2012 awards. 

Celebrated since 1985, the Spirit of Portland award ceremony is an important way for the city to
recognize and celebrate those who make a positive difference in our community. Each year, there
are 20 to 30 winners in various categories. The event will be held on a late October evening at a
venue in the community. Specific time, date, and location are to be determined.

Nominations are due in the Office of Neighborhood Involvement by 4 p.m. Wednesday, September
5, 2012. Nomination forms are available at the Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI), 1221 SW
Fourth Ave, Room 110, Portland OR 97204, or at the seven neighborhood district offices. They can
also be downloaded from Commissioner Amanda Fritzs front page,

Unlike previous years, there is no need to specify a nomination category. Categories will be assigned
by the selection committee once all nominations are received.  Categories include Neighborhood
Association, Business District, Small and Large Business, and Individual Awards.  Award recipients are
chosen by a selection committee.

Nominees will be evaluated in each of the following areas:
” Participation in outstanding projects
” Enrichment of our community and neighborhoods
” Providing a special service to the community
” Demonstration of responsiveness, creativity and civic values
” Raising cross-cultural awareness

More information about criteria and eligibility for each award can be found on the nomination
forms. Please submit your nominations soon.

Download the nomination form by clicking here.

NECN and Partners File Legal Challenge to Columbia River Crossing Mega-Project


July 2nd, 2012
Portland, OR- Today, three groups - Coalition for a Livable Future, Northeast Coalition of
Neighborhoods, and Northwest Environmental Defense Center - filed litigation challenging
the Columbia River Crossing Mega-Project.

The organizations are joining together to sue the federal agencies responsible for the CRC megaproject because they have not followed the environmental laws designed to ensure that development is safe for people and the environment.  Their legal claims are based on concerns that the most expensive public works project in the region’s history has failed to consider even a
basic analysis of key environmental issues. 

“This project would harm our neighborhoods.  It would significantly increase air pollution,
funnel traffic into North and Northeast Portland, and lead to poorly planned sprawl.  Our
community needs smart transportation options so we don’t have to drive so much and travel
so far.”   – Steve Cole, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods

The claims are under the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires the government to
study the health and environmental impacts of major projects, and the Endangered Species Act,
which requires the government to ensure that massive projects in the river don’t destroy
endangered salmon.  The groups are represented by the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center
at Lewis and Clark Law School.  The defendants are the Federal Highway Administration and
Federal Transit Administration.

“This litigation is fundamentally about protecting our environment and our region.  The CRC
project is hugely expensive and deeply ill-considered.  They have already spent $140 million
in taxpayer dollars, and still haven’t created a sustainable, affordable project.  We deserve better leadership that will go back and do it right,”  said Tom Buchele, Managing Attorney for the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center at Lewis and Clark Law School. 

Issues in the case include the CRC’s failure to include a reasonable range of alternatives, instead 
creating a false choice between two extremes.  The litigation also discusses the highway
department’s failure to properly analyze air pollution, disclose the health impacts, and disclose
the impact of additional traffic lanes on air and water resources, ecosystems and greenhouse gas
emissions.  They also repeatedly designed a public process that failed to include real public

“We want to see a less costly and more well-crafted solution to improve traffic reliability,
create jobs, and protect community health.” said Mara Gross, Policy Director for Coalition
for a Livable Future.

The Columbia River has historically had the largest salmon run in the continental United States. 
The Endangered Species Act claims result from CRC’s failure to adequately protect endangered
salmon and other species in the river.  The project ignores less damaging alternatives and fails to
assess how the allowable salmon kill will impact total salmon in the river. 

“The Columbia River is one of the most important rivers in the world, and supports one of the
greatest salmon runs on Earth.  The primary goals of this project can be achieved in a way that
protects this important resource rather than jeopardizing it,” said Mark Riskedahl, Executive
Director of the Northwest Environmental Defense Center.


The Coalition for a Livable Future unites over 100 diverse organizations and hundreds of individuals to promote
healthy and sustainable communities in the Portland-Vancouver region. By connecting issues, people and
organizations, CLF empowers communities to take action together to shape the big decisions affecting the region’s

The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods is an independent 501c3 community nonprofit working to strengthen
diverse voices by supporting neighbors and businesses, addressing neighborhood concerns and creating
opportunities.  We actualize community- initiated ideas and projects and can help get your voice heard.   

The Northwest Environmental Defense Center is an independent, non-profit organization working to protect the
environment and natural resources of the Pacific Northwest. We provide legal support to individuals and grassroots
organizations with environmental concerns, and engage in litigation independently or in conjunction with other
environmental groups. NEDC also provides valuable hands-on experience for students seeking to enhance their
education in environmental law.  

Since 1996, the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center has represented citizen-activists and nonprofit
organizations in virtually the entire spectrum of environmental and natural resources law, from protecting
endangered species and ecosystems to preventing and reducing air and water pollution. Based at Lewis & Clark
Law School, PEAC simultaneously trains students through direct involvement in complex litigation, negotiation and
practical advocacy. 

Click HERE for the complete press release.
Click HERE for the legal complaint.