Hungry for Lunch Or Need Meals Delivered?

Meals on Wheels logo

By Dee Craig-Arnold

If you’re age 60 or older and looking for a great place for lunch with a fun group of people, plus interesting activities, why not stop by the Meals on Wheels People/Loaves and Fishes Center at 5325 Northeast MLK Blvd?  We serve delicious, nutritious lunches with a choice of entrée every weekday from noon until 1:00pm.  Meals are provided on a donation basis (suggested donation $3), are available to any senior 60 or over, regardless of income, and no one is ever turned away.

Food 2015 volunteer breakfast-2For 45 years this center has served more than 67,000 older adults in North and Northeast Portland annually.  It’s a friendly, convenient place to meet new people, see old friends, or just get out of the house and relax while eating an attractive, well-prepared lunch.  We treat every diner like a restaurant guest.  Our servers bring your meal and beverage directly to the table.  Also, daily activities are provided by the Urban League of Portland for many different interests.

MLK Center Manager David Lomax says, “Many are widowed or live alone, so coming to the Center gives them a chance to talk with others. Our Center takes the place of the front porch in the old days.”
exchange students volunteer MLK Center 2
We always need more volunteers to help serve meals at the Center and we especially volunteers to help deliver meals.

David welcomes your interest and questions.  If you want to volunteer, stop by today, call 503/953-8207 or visit us at

Or, if you’re homebound and unable to cook for yourself, we will bring you fresh, hot, nutritious lunches Monday through Friday.  All it takes is a phone call 503/736-6325 or visit us at to register.

We look forward to seeing your smiling face at our center or receiving your phone call soon.
If you’re not sure where the center is, it’s in the familiar Walnut Park Building (#5325) on the corner of Killingsworth and MLK Blvd. Parking is in the back and the entrance is right there in the center of the building.

Northeast Portland Backpack Lunch Program Fundraiser

2015_06 Backpack Lunch logoThe Portland Backpack Program, parent program of NECN fiscally sponsored King School Backpack Lunch Program, has been chosen as a donation recipient at the non-profit Dekum Street philanthro-pub, the Oregon Public House, for six months! What this means: Anyone who eats or drinks there at any time between July 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015, can designate a portion of their bill to go to the Backpack program.

More information about the Backpack Program:

Every week during the school year, the Backpack Lunch Program puts a weekend lunch sack in the backpacks of schoolchildren who need food on Saturday and Sunday when school lunches aren’t available. Each weekend sack contains food items for two lunches. During the 2014-2015 school year, the program served about 225 children, with about 2/3rd of those served located in King or Woodlawn.

To follow the program, learn more, donate, or volunteer, head to their Facebook page.

For information, hours, and location of the Oregon Public house, click here.

Safety and Livability Team Emergency Preparedness Workshop – June 20th


Image source

Be honest – how prepared are you for a major event like an earthquake? Come to a workshop sponsored by the NECN’s Safety & Livability Team (SALT) this Saturday, June 20th from 10am-11am at the Woodlawn Neighborhood Farmer’s Market (Woodlawn School, 7200 NE 11th Ave). Join SALT for a community conversation about being prepared. All are welcome!

There will be free snacks (sourced from market vendors), so come sample yummy things while you chat with your neighbors about what we need to do as a community to be prepared. There will also be giveaways to start your emergency kit!

* Introductions – how prepared are you & your household?

* What do we know? Sharing of resources & handouts from City emergency management office, others can share ideas & knowledge.

* What don’t we know? Do we need trainings, speakers, activities (“live off your emergency kit for 48 hours” block party)? What resources do we need?

* Next Steps: Brainstorm: What next?

For more info, visit: www.facebook/woodlawnpdx or email

Depaving at Muslim Community Center

MCCP-BeforePlease join NECN’s community partner, DePave, in the crew’s first depave of 2015! To sign up click here
DePave will be working with the Muslim Community Center of Portland to break ground at their new location in North Portland in a week, making way for the building and surrounding stormwater plaza using a cool new permeable paving solution. Depave will provide all the necessary tools, safety gear, snacks and lunch. For more details click here.
  • When: Saturday, June 13th from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm
  • Where: The Muslim Community Center of Portland — 5327 N Vancouver Ave (just south of Killingsworth on Vancouver Avenue)
  • Who: YOU and your hard-working, pavement-busting pals!

2015 NECN Community Grant Recipients

Six community-based projects received $2,000 for 2015 through NECN’s Community Grants program, as approved on March 17 by NECN’s Board of Directors. The purpose of the grants program is to provide neighborhood and community organizations with the opportunity to improve the quality of life for residents of inner North/Northeast Portland.

Small Grants Awards Night 2015_ 011

NECN’s 2015 Community Grant recipients with Fran Ayaribil, NECN Special Projects Coordinator and Damon Isiah Turner, NECN Executive Director

NECN’s 2015 grantees represent a diverse groups of participants, with projects that will create new partnerships and advance the leadership of historically underrepresented groups.  The awards will go to:

  • Know Your Rights Clinic: A Program that will facilitate the creation of a “Know Your Rights” clinic for the families of students in inner North/Northeast Portland.
  • Woodlawn Farmer’s Market: A partnership between Woodlawn Neighborhood Assoc., Woodlawn School and Self-Enhancement Inc., to establish a Farmer’s Market in the parking lot of Woodlawn School.
  • Helping 500 Boys/Girls at Eight Schools Develop Skills to Improve Behavior and Academic Performance through Learning Chess: A “Chess for Success” program designed to support on-going relationships with 8 schools which are part of the SUN Service System.
  • MLK Dream Run: A vision and project of the North/Northeast Business Association, involving the sponsorship of a 5, 10 & 15K USATF sanctioned, running event through the streets of inner North/Northeast Portland.
  • Inside/Outside My Head: Hair and Community in Black Portland:  A project that proposes to create a cross-disciplinary line of programming by and for members of the African American community in Portland to use Hair Workshops in community building and visioning.
  • Vernon Gardens: A collaboration between the Vernon School PTA and various community partners to design and build tables and benches for an outdoor classroom.

The Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) provides funding for the grants program to the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, along with Portland’s six other Neighborhood Coalitions.

Welcome Damon Isiah Turner as the NECN Executive Director

The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN) is pleased to welcome Damon Isiah Turner as the organization’s new Executive Director.  Damon Isiah took the leadership role on March 1, 2015 after a three-month search process.  Damon Isiah possesses a strong understanding of the neighborhood system, the neighborhoods served by NECN, and has served as a NECN at-large board member for the last four years.

Before joining NECN, Damon Isiah Turner has been a Managing Director at Know Agenda Consulting, a public service oriented entity focused on organizational strategy, project management, grant writing and campaigns. He also managed the Men’s Health Project, a health advocacy non-profit, and the Know Agenda Foundation, a public service non-profit. Prior to working as a consultant, Damon worked in marketing and acquisitions for a media company.

Damon Isiah serves on the City of Portland Human Rights Commission (HRC), as well as its Community and Police Relations Committee (CPRC), the Board of the United Nations Association Portland Chapter, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Training Advisory Council, and other civic committees. His professional interests include equitable development, smart growth policies, criminal justice policy, social determinants of health policy, civic engagement, and overall quality of life issues. Damon Isiah holds a Masters degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a Bachelors degree from Clark Atlanta University, and graduated high school at Jefferson High School in the Humboldt neighborhood of Northeast Portland.

Among his first priorities, Damon is looking forward to connecting with each Neighborhood Association in the Coalition and building a team to to support the livability and vitality of our community.

NECN Announces a One Year Revitalization Plan

As we have shared previously, the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN) has been undergoing significant challenges and changes that included the departure of several key staff members. While NECN has continued to operate and advocate for stronger neighborhoods, the board has also used this time as an opportunity to conduct an in-depth organizational assessment. The assessment consisted of interviews, review of historical documents, and several facilitated conversations with board members and key community stakeholders. The process identified the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, and out of the assessment, the board has developed and adopted a one-year revitalization plan (click here) to help strengthen the core operations of NECN.

The vision for the plan is that, by the end of 2015. NECN as a board and organization will be better equipped to meet the unique needs of the 12 neighborhood associations that are part of the coalition.  With a stronger organizational capacity in place, NECN will then develop a longer range strategic plan focused on quality services to the neighborhoods, program growth to expand out community impact, and stronger partnerships that will enable us to create a stronger and more livable community.

As NECN embarks on this new phase of its organizational growth, we invite you to join us by volunteering in your own neighborhood association and consider joining the NECN board or any of its subcommittees.  Contact us to discuss how you can get involved!

Give a gift to your neighborhood!

grinch blogThis holiday season, join NECN in supporting grassroots projects in our neighborhoods. Donations to NECN’s 2015 Community Grants program will allow us fund more of our neighbors’ inspiring, collaborative projects. Last year our grants…

  • Helped the Juneteenth festival celebrate Oregon’s African-American history
  • Supported the De-gentrifying Portland summer youth program
  • Allowed Meals-on-Wheels to offer children’s activities at its Summer in September fundraiser
  • Funded cooking classes for high school students through the Dekum Youth Empowerment Initiative

Together, what exciting projects can we support in 2015? Make your donation TODAY!

Applications for the 2015 Community Grants will be available on January 5 at

NECN joins call for State to divest from fossil fuel

The NECN Board of Directors voted on November 18 to endorse the Oregon Climate Declaration, a citizen-initiated statement calling for the State of Oregon to divest from fossil fuel companies and instead invest state-managed funds in renewable energy companies. In an open letter from Board President Alan Silver, NECN encouraged all Portlanders to sign the Declaration.

The Climate Declaration calls for governments, universities and other institutions to divest from the top-200 fossil fuel companies within five years. When an institution divests, it withdraws its funds from stocks, bonds and other investments that it deems to be unethical.

Judy Perry, a resident of the Sullivan’s Gulch neighborhood, brought the Climate Declaration to the attention of NECN’s Safety and Livability Team (SALT) after hearing about NECN’s public call for a statewide moratorium on oil train transport in June.

Perry, who worked as an environmental scientist and teacher in Massachusetts before moving to Portland in 2011, says she agrees with the scientific consensus regarding the link between the burning of fossil fuels and climate change.

“I love the outdoors in New England and Oregon,” Perry said. “The beauty of our trees and birds, the wildlife near rivers – I hate to think that all of this is at risk from the droughts and extreme rainfall we can expect because we have not curbed our greenhouse gas emissions.”

Perry is concerned that elected officials are not tuned-in to a growing public consciousness about the need for climate action. This concern drew her to 350PDX, the local group working to collect 100,000 signatures for the Climate Declaration by early 2015. Perry emphasizes that the Declaration presents “a simple way to add your voice, so that together, our voice will be loud enough to cause politicians to pay attention.”

In recent years, NECN has voiced its concerns about a variety of environmental justice issues affecting N/NE Portland, including oil trains and climate change. All residents are invited to join the discussion by attending an upcoming SALT committee meeting. The next meeting is Monday, January 26, 2015, 6:30pm at NECN (4815 NE 7th Ave.).

Safety concerns fuel NECN advocacy on oil trains

After calling for a statewide moratorium on oil train transport in June, NECN expanded its advocacy on the issue over the summer, even as the state approved plans for more oil trains to pass through Portland.

An oil train derailed in Lynchburg, VA, on April 30, 2014. Three cars leaked crude oil into the James River. (Steve Helber/AP)

An oil train derailed in Lynchburg, VA, in April 2014. Three cars leaked crude oil into the James River. (Steve Helber/AP)

In late August, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality approved a permit for a terminal on the Columbia River near Clatskanie, where oil shipped from North Dakota will be loaded onto barges bound for Washington and California refineries. The 1.8 million gallons of oil moved through this terminal each year means up to 50 trains per month could pass through Portland and small towns along the Columbia, including Scappoose, Rainier and St. Helens.

Alarmed by proposals that could increase the transshipment of oil through Portland, including the Clatskanie terminal, NECN’s Safety and Livability Team (SALT) began working on a response last spring. In June, the committee drafted a letter calling for a moratorium, which was adopted by the NECN board and sent to local and state officials. The letter expressed concerns about the environmental implications of potential oil spills on the Columbia, and, even more urgently, the volatility of crude oil and the risk of explosive accidents.

To join NECN’s advocacy efforts, contact Claire:, 503.388.9030

Woodlawn neighbor and SALT member Byron Tennant, who has spearheaded NECN’s advocacy against increased oil train traffic, is particularly concerned by the alarming track record of this particular transport method. Among other recent incidents, the July 2013 derailment of an oil train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, caused an explosion that claimed the lives of 42 residents.

Over the summer, Tennant represented NECN in testimony at Columbia River Gorge Commission and Oregon Transportation Commission hearings. “One of the things that makes Portland great is that it sits on the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers,” Tennant says. “Our traditional model has been to put industry on these rivers, with little attention to impacts on quality of life for humans and all life forms.”

A policy aide for Senator Jeff Merkley thanked NECN for its advocacy, stating that the Senator is working “diligently to make oil train companies disclose when oil trains move through the state…and with ODOT to upgrade train safety regulations.”

Along with Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Merkley is leading a congressional effort to mandate that railroad companies provide first responders with more information about crude-by-rail and flammable liquid shipments.

In a separate response to NECN’s letter, Mayor Charlie Hales’ office shared a resolution that the Mayor introduced at a June meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, urging government officials and private industry – including railroads and energy producers – to adopt a “comprehensive approach to keeping communities safe through taking steps that prevent rail accidents from occurring, mitigate the risks of wide-spread damage and better prepare communities for responding to incidents.”

Activists around the region are urgently demanding a response from railroad companies and industry regulators as oil trains continue to move along Northwest railways. In recent weeks, demonstrators blocked the tracks near rail terminals in Everett, Washington, and Port Westward, Oregon.

NECN will continue to monitor this issue in conjunction with Columbia Riverkeeper, the environmental organization that helped the SALT committee draft its June letter calling for a moratorium. For Tennant, a Woodlawn neighborhood resident, the issue hits extremely close to home. He’s concerned that oil trains might use the tracks along NE Lombard St., less than two blocks from Woodlawn School. “There are environmental justice issues at stake here,” he says. “And at the same time, there is a real opportunity for railroad companies to demonstrate their investment in the communities in which they’ve laid their tracks.”

Tompkins now Crime Prevention Coordinator for all NECN neighborhoods

The Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s Crime Prevention Program announced recently that it will be reassigning its staff and program areas, starting on October 13th.

Mary TompkinsFor NECN, this means that Mary Tompkins will be the designated Crime Prevention Coordinator for all 12 of the Coalition’s neighborhoods. In her eight years working as an ONI Crime Prevention Coordinator, Mary has partnered with neighbors to improve safety and livability in Northeast neighborhoods including Grant Park and Sullivan’s Gulch. “I enjoy working with communities and utilizing my conflict resolution skills of facilitation, mediation, forgiveness, and reconciliation,” Tompkins says.

Tompkins will serve as the main contact for all NECN neighbors concerned with problem locations or crime trends. She can be reached directly at or 503-823-4764. She’ll also be a regular participant in NECN’s Safety and Livability Team (SALT) meetings, held on the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

Here’s who to contact about other safety and livability issues:

  • Starting or revitalizing a Neighborhood Watch or a Community Foot Patrol:
    Brad Taylor,, 503-823-2781.
  • Newsletters, communications or in-person trainings on crime prevention topics:
    Stefanie Adams,, 503-823-3131.
  • Enhanced Safety Properties, a program designed to encourage and support landlords and property managers to take measures to keep their properties safe and livable:
    Mike Boyer,, 503-823-4763

What the Comprehensive Plan holds for N/NE Portland

By Claire Adamsick, NECN
Adapted from an article by Bob Kellett, SE Uplift

The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability recently released a proposed draft of the Comprehensive Plan, which sets the framework for Portland’s growth and development over the next 20 years. If the plan’s goals are achieved, what can we expect inner North and Northeast Portland to look like in 2035?

The draft plan states that improvements to inner neighborhoods like ours should “try to minimize residential and commercial displacement and provide additional affordable housing options.” With Portland expected to add 122,000 new households by 2035, close-in neighborhoods can expect increased density. New development, according to the plan, must coincide with preserved and enhanced historic and cultural resources, as well as active traffic and parking management.

Residential Neighborhoods Remain Residential
According to the draft, the overwhelming majority of the properties that are currently zoned for single-family and lower-density housing will remain that way. Most residential properties in our coalition area that are not located on main streets or in commercial centers will maintain their current zoning.

Built in 1880, the John Antonio House is the second-oldest house in Eliot Neighborhood

One exception is the Eliot neighborhood, which is proposed to be “downzoned” from its R2 Multi-dwelling designation to the R2.5 Attached Residential designation. This means that the residential area would be designated for Single-dwelling rather than Multi-dwelling residential at a slightly lower density of one unit per 2,500 square-feet of site area, with up to two units per lot (the current R2 designation allows one unit per 2,000 square-feet of site area, and allows multiple units on one lot). The Eliot Neighborhood Association advocated for this change in an attempt to have zoning more closely reflect the current character of Eliot’s residential area.

Moving forward, there will continue to be infill, changes to the housing stock, lot splitting, and some increases in density in single-family residential neighborhoods. Yet the bulk of new housing for Portland’s expected population growth is focused around corridors and centers.

Corridors and Main Streets Grow Up
Interestingly, city planners predict that more than half of Portland’s residents in 2035 will live alone. This has big implications for the types of housing that will be needed. Think smaller housing units in multi-unit complexes. The planners estimate that by 2035, 80 percent of new construction in Portland will be multifamily housing. Most of the new apartments and condos will be located on corridors and main streets like Williams, MLK and Broadway. The development we are seeing today on North Williams will likely play out elsewhere, with multi-story, mixed-use projects that include housing, retail, and offices replacing lower density structures. As part of the Comprehensive Plan, there is a Mixed Use Zones Project underway that will ultimately replace the current “commercial” zones with “mixed use” zones.

Institutional Employment Centers
Over the past decade, some of the fastest job growth in the city has occurred in the health care and education fields. Institutions like Emanuel Hospital, Concordia University, and Portland Community College are adding jobs. These institutions’ campuses are mostly surrounded by residential neighborhoods and are, themselves, zoned residential. This has made it a challenge for them to expand their facilities without further encroaching into the neighborhoods and without lengthy conditional use processes. The proposed draft plan acknowledges that job growth will continue to occur in these fields and implements zoning that allows the institutions to build higher and denser in the center of their campuses rather than spread out into the neighborhoods. The Institutional Zoning Project is currently underway, and will result in new processes and zoning standards.

Increased Street Capacity without Increased Street Size
With 122,000 new households in our city by 2035, how will people get around? The transportation element of the Comprehensive Plan focuses on increasing facilities for people to get around on bike, on foot, and by using public transit on existing roads. Streetcar service is proposed for extension from the Lloyd District to Hollywood (via Broadway/Weidler or Sandy), as well as along MLK to Killingsworth. Meanwhile, streets like Killingsworth, Lombard and Columbia Boulevard will see improved intersections and crossings for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Give Feedback, Ask Questions
You can submit questions or comments on the Comprehensive Plan draft to the city between now and March 13, 2015. The city has set up a phone hotline, (503) 823-0195, to answer questions about the Comprehensive Plan or a specific property.

Nan Stark, our District Liaison from BPS, is hosting a number of drop-in office hours and workshops in September. There are also multiple ways you can provide formal testimony, including adding your comments to the Map App.

If you have other questions, please contact Claire Adamsick, NECN Committees Coordinator, at or 503.388.9030.