2013 Spirit of Portland Awards: Nominations due September 20th

Nominations are now being accepted for the 29th 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 2013 awards.

The City Council presents Spirit of Portland Awards each year to individuals and groups who make a difference to the greater community. Please nominate an individual, business, organization, neighborhood or business association that has created a project, service or event that has helped Portland shine!

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 roughly 20 winners in various categories. There is no need to specify nomination categories.

Spirit of Portland awards ceremony date:
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
East Portland Community Center
740 SE 106th Ave.
Trimet: #15 and #20 busses

How do I nominate someone?

Step One: Complete the nomination form for the organization or individual you want to nominate. All forms are on the Spirit of Portland webpage, click here.

Step Two: Attach a separate sheet telling us how your nominee exemplifies each of the six criteria below. Either number and describe each criterion or tell us a story incorporating all six.

Step Three: Submit these two pages to the Office of Neighborhood Involvement by 4 PM, Friday, Sept. 20.

Award recipients will be chosen based on meeting all six of the following criteria:
Assisting in the implementation of outstanding projects
Enriching and revitalizing our community and neighborhoods
Providing the community with a special service
Demonstrating responsiveness, creativity and civic values
Raising cross-cultural awareness
Acting as good steward of the environment

Awards categories
You don’t need to specify the category. The selection committee will pick the category that best fits your nominee and their activities including:
· Neighborhood Association

· Business Association

· Emerging Community Leader

· Independent Spirit

· Community Stewardship

· Environmental Stewardship

· Community Harmony

· Outstanding Partnership

· Outstanding Organization (nonprofit and/or business)

· Attach a one-page written narrative along with the nomination form. The Selection Committee will not review additional pages.

· Please address all six criteria listed above in your written narrative.

· Use a 12-point font or greater.

· Award winners in the past are less likely to win, unless involved in a new project. Click here for a list of past winners.

Deadline for submitting nominations is 4 pm, Friday, September 20, 2013

Send completed nomination forms to
USPS: Office of Neighborhood Involvement
1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 110
Portland, Oregon 97204
Email: paul.leistner@portlandoregon.gov
Fax: 503-823-3050

NECN is Hiring! Three positions available.

The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods is pleased to announce we currently have three positions we are seeking applicants for:

  • Communications Manager- 20 hours/weekNECN_logo_color
  • Project Coordinator: Committees- 32 hours/week
  • Project Coordinator: Special Projects and Initiatives- 25 hours/week

Communications Manager  Further NECN’s mission through outreach and communications activities and materials. Implement strategic communications and events designed to increase NECN’s public visibility and the public’s understanding and support of NECN’s mission. Click here for complete job description.

Project Coordinator: Committees  Support our four community committees in their work bringing community members together to engage in research, education and advocacy and to address topics important to inner north and northeast community members. Click here for complete job description.

Project Coordinator: Special Projects and Initiatives  Work with a wide variety of individuals and diverse cultural groups, helping to create connections and foster community-building initiatives. Click here for complete job description.

Application instructions for each position are listed on the respective job description.

Looking to volunteer? We are also seeking volunteers interested in making inner N/NE Portland a better place to live.

Our volunteer positions include opportunities to help with simple day-to-day projects. Please contact info@necoalition.org for more information about volunteer opportunities.

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

The Albina Ministerial Alliance, along with community partners such as the Urban League of Portland, the NAACP of Portland, the ACLU of Portland, and others are planning a march and rally to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, to be held on Saturday, August 24th at South Waterfront Park.  Timed to coincide with the national event in Washington, DC, activists from around the Portland region will gather in solidarity and support of the ongoing civil rights movement.

While the anniversary is historic in itself, the rally will also focus on the recent setbacks in terms of civil rights, including the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, a cornerstone of modern civil rights law. Attorney General Eric Holder, speaking recently at the National Urban League Conference, found the ruling “disappointing and deeply flawed” but stressed that the decision is not a defeat, but “a historic opportunity” to strengthen civil rights law. Demonstrators will seize this opportunity to organize in support of stronger protections under the law.  Other events, including the recent verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, highlight a failure on the part of our legal system to address systematic injustices and unequal protections under the law.

In Portland, where unemployment for African Americans is often double the rate of the majority population, and where a 2012 federal inquiry found that Police Bureau engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive force, the issues that compelled the 1963 March of Washington for Jobs and Freedom, including lack economic opportunity and police brutality, are still the pressing issues of today.  The commemorative march will begin at 10am on August 24th, at Terry Schrunk Plaza and will march to South Waterfront Park, where the rally, speakers, and music will begin at 1pm. 

RSVP/share the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/557729150950973/

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


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


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.

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.