KNOCK, KNOCK! It’s Your Neighbor.

Civic engagement doesn’t have to be boring. It can be sexy. SE Uplift Neighborhood Coalition is attempting to really get people, ahem, excited about the opportunities for involvement that are unique to Portland.

Verbal storytelling is an incredible medium, but it seems like it’s been forgotten in the sea of new and old media. We lost the art of the soliloquy to the silver and touch screens. We feel that it is time we spice up civic engagement by going back to the roots – charismatic storytellers getting on a stage and delivering a compelling story to a crowd. Storytelling allows us to make everyday connections to the people around us. With your story-savvy expertise, SE Uplift will host an inspirational night at the Bagdad Theater, where ‘so-and-so’ (we mean you!) tells humorous and bizarre stories of neighborly interaction. The audience shows up ready to be entertained, they laugh, they cry, maybe they start thinking about their own communities. By the time they walk out of the theater it hits them; “Hmmm, maybe I should get to know my neighbors?” You can help us by telling YOUR story! Do you have stories of bizarre and humorous neighborly interaction? Have your neighbors ever saved you from a desperate situation? Did you ever have an encounter with your neighbor that left you dreading ever having to face them again? What’s the most epic battle you’ve ever fought against/alongside your neighbors?Read more about the project at Itsyourneighbor.org or submit your story here.

Not for you? Not a problem. Can you identify that person in your circle? Pass this post along or share on Facebook.

Approximately 10 lucky storytellers will share their stories live at the Bagdad Theater on September 17th.

Oregon DEQ Hearing on Coyote Island Terminal LLC Coal Export Project

This Oregon Department of Environmental Quality event is for public hearing testimony in regards to the Coyote Island Terminal LLC permits.

The public hearings will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, 2013.

There are two locations:

Oregon Convention Center
Rooms C120 and C125
777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Portland, Oregon

Blue Mountain Community College, Room 134
975 SE Columbia Drive
Hermiston, Oregon

People will have a maximum of two minutes to speak on the permits and sign up will be on a first-come first-served basis. The hearings will be divided into six two-hour sessions. Each session will accommodate 30 registered speakers.

If time permits, people who did not sign up online will be allowed to comment at the hearings on a first-come first-served basis.

To sign up to testify online, go to: ORDEQpublichearing.eventbrite.com

In August 2012, NECN held a special meeting of our LUTC and SALT committees to consider coal exports from the Pacific Northwest. Click here to read the minutes from the meeting.

Apply for a Community Livability Grant

Portland Development Corporation’s Community Livability Grant applications open in July, and PDC will offer a total of $975,000 in Community Livability Grant funding in fiscal year 13/14. Up to $300,000 will be available in the Interstate Corridor URA.

With a Community Livability Grant, organizations use PDC funds to address real property improvements at new or existing community facilities, in open spaces, or to preserve historic or cultural community assets, allowing recipients in turn to stretch their own dollars toward programming and mission-based services.

The grants have funded a unique array of projects that embrace a wide range of community benefits: historic preservation, community space, open space/community gardens, music/arts/cultural centers, childcare, social services/health care, schools, jobs training, and support for local businesses. The work isn’t always visible or obvious – but the combination of PDC and community investment has a powerful, and personal, impact.

Grant applicants must attend an information workshop to be eligible for a project grant, and must strive to contract at least 20% of the grant project work to certified MWDESB (minority, women, disadvantaged, or emerging small businesses) firms. Applications will be due in early September 2013. Full application materials will be posted to PDC’s website prior to the workshops. Individual meetings with PDC staff may be substituted for the workshop, if arranged in advance.

You can find a complete list of past fund recipients at www.pdc.us/clg. Contact Carol Herzberg at herzbergc@pdc.us; 503-823-3276 for additional program questions.

PDC staff and Evaluation Committee members will be available at the following workshops:

  • Tuesday June 18, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
    Mt. Scott Learning Center, 6148 SE Holgate Blvd, Portland 97206
  • Thursday June 20, 2013: 6:00 pm-7:30 pm
    Friends of the Children, 44 NE Morris Street, Portland 97212

Click here for free workshop registration.