Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods Welcomes New Executive Director

The Board of the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods is pleased to announce that it has hired Shoshana Cohen to serve as the organization’s next Executive Director. Shoshana brings a wealth of experience in both non-profit management and community development, as well as extensive community relationships and knowledge of inner North and Northeast Portland.

Shoshana holds a Masters Degree in Urban Planning and Policy with concentrations in community and economic development. While receiving her degree, she worked at the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago assisting with research, fundraising, communications and conferences on urban policy. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Early in Shoshana’s career, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a rural Senegalese village. This experience provided her with a foundation for grassroots and cross-cultural community organizing work. Her work in Senegal included leading participatory community planning efforts, facilitating the creation of a community library and teaching sustainable agriculture techniques. After finishing her two years of Peace Corps service, Shoshana gained extensive volunteer management and additional community partnership building skills while working as a Project Coordinator for Chicago Cares. Later, as the Associate Director for a neighborhood-based Chamber of Commerce in Chicago, she gained non-profit management and community and economic development experience as she worked with small business owners and community members in the Andersonville neighborhood to foster a thriving, unique, small business district. Familiar with organizational development and fundraising, Shoshana’s background also includes time serving on boards and helping to establish and grow new non-profits. Immediately prior to her work with NECN, Shoshana spent a number of years working independently on a variety of projects in public engagement, urban policy research and non-profit administration.

Shoshana first started with NECN in 2009 when she developed and managed several large community feedback forums. NECN subsequently hired her to serve as the Neighborhoods Program Manager (a position she held until April 2012), during which time she gained a keen understanding of Portland’s unique neighborhood system and developed relationships with our community and partner organizations. Since stepping into the Interim Executive Director role in September 2012, Shoshana has skillfully guided the organization through a period of transition. Even after conducting a thorough Executive Director search, the Board enthusiastically voted to bring Shoshana on as the permanent Executive Director.

Shoshana brings a passion for civic engagement and a belief in the Coalition’s mission of assisting and empowering inner North/Northeast community members to create the communities in which they want to live. She believes in the power of citizens to create change through advocacy and grassroots projects and she is thrilled to be taking on the Executive Director role. Many of you may already know and enjoy working with her, but we hope you will join us in welcoming her to her new and expanded role.

MLK Dream Run 2013

 RUNNING FOR THE DREAM: SUNDAY AUGUST 4, 2013

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the “I Have A Dream” speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in August of 1963

THE MLK DREAM RUN SHOWCASES PORTLAND’S VIBRANT SOUL DISTRICT

The North/Northeast Business Association (NNEBA), Flossin Media and Friends will host the 2nd Annual MLK Dream Run/Walk aimed at promoting economic development in the Soul District of North/Northeast Portland, Oregon on Sunday August 4, 2013.

In addition the MLK Dream Run will also help raise funds for several community organizations including; The NNEBA Fellows Program- a Youth Entrepreneurial/Career Leadership Project which partners young people 16-25 with internship and jobs skills training throughout the business community. The NE Community Health Clinic – provides free and low-cost health care to needy families.

Last year’s race (2012), produced nearly 600 diverse participants from 17 Oregon cities and five states made up of runners, volunteers and spectators, came together in the name of health, wealth and the honoring of Dr. King’s Legacy.

The annual race features 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 a.m. and post-race festivities begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude by 11am.

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.’   August, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of this momentous discourse.

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 is a wonderful showcase for the community.

I-84 Repaving Project to Bring Weekend Closures

First weekend closure of I-84 starts Friday, July 12th

Banfield will close for paving on three weekends this summer in one direction or another

The first of three weekend closures of Interstate 84 will begin at 10 p.m. Friday July 12 as the Banfield Freeway paving project moves into high gear.

This summer, ODOT will re-pave I-84 between Interstate 5 and Interstate 205, a distance of 5.5 miles. The pavement has become rutted and worn since it was last paved in 2002.

All work is weather dependent and may be rescheduled if there’s rain.

Here is the closure schedule:

  • 10 p.m. Friday July 12 to 5 a.m. Monday July 15 all eastbound lanes will be closed for grinding and paving.
  • 10 p.m. Friday July 19 to 5 a.m. Monday July 22 all westbound lanes will be closed for grinding and paving.
  • 11 p.m. Saturday Aug. 3 to 5 a.m. Monday Aug. 5 all westbound lanes will be closed for sign installation and restriping.

 In addition to the weekend closures, the contractor is allowed to use, if needed, up to four full weeknight closures of I84- two in each direction, one direction at a time- and nighttime single lane closures to complete the work.

The Northeast Halsey Street overpass at 82nd Avenue also will be closed for two to three nights in July for paving and other repairs.

A variety of east-west alternate routes are available during the closures, including Lombard Street, Columbia Boulevard, Sandy Boulevard, Burnside Street and Powell Boulevard. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and map out an alternate route in advance, expect heavier traffic than usual on the alternate routes and take public transit when possible.

Travelers can get the latest information about changes to the schedule on the Web at www.i84paving.org or www.tripcheck.com; on the project hotline, in English and Spanish, 5037314663; by subscribing to the project email list at www.i84paving.org; by following ODOT and Facebook or Twitter and by monitoring local television, radio and print news.

The project will completely remove and replace the old pavement to improve safety and provide a smoother and quieter ride. The project will also pave I-84 ramps, install new signs, restripe the westbound merge with northbound I-5 to improve safety and traffic flow and repave the Northeast Halsey Street overpass at 82nd Avenue.

In 2011, I-84 carried an average of 171,700 vehicles a day at Northeast 33rd Avenue, making it the busiest stretch of road in Oregon.

Full, weekend closures in one direction allow ODOT to complete the project more quickly, more safely and at a lower cost. Working at night without the full closures would mean lane closures and greater disruptions for motorists over an extended period of time, would require about 32 nights of dry weather and would add at least $1 million to the project cost. Using full weekend closures is also safer for construction crews and the motoring public.

The project will be completed by the fall of 2013.

For more information, visit the project web site at www.i84paving.org.