What is NECN?

Through NECN, neighbors shape the future of inner North and Northeast Portland – by taking on projects, taking up issues, and taking action together. The Coalition provides support and resources for 12 neighborhood associations, other community groups and residents. NECN encourages participation, leadership and collaboration across lines of race, culture and economic status.


Founded in 1975, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization comprised of 12 neighborhoods in inner North and Northeast Portland, Oregon:

  • Alameda
  • Boise
  • Concordia
  • Eliot
  • Grant Park
  • Humbolt
  • Irvington
  • King
  • Sabin
  • Sullivan’s Gulch
  • Vernon
  • Woodlawn

The Coalition is governed by a Board of Directors with up to 29 members, representing our 12 member neighborhood associations and our broader community. Our five-person staff provides resources and services to our members, and runs a variety programs that support neighbors’ collaborative efforts to shape the future of our neighborhoods.

NECN has contributed to the development of many well-known programs and organizations, including:

  • NE Workforce Center
  • Rider Advocates
  • Youth Gangs Program
  • Community Cross-Cultural Outreach Program
  • Operation Outreach

Values and Goals

Our goal at NECN is to provide an open atmosphere, open-door policy where citizens can directly voice community concerns and needs and to support new initiatives that create community driven solutions. We provide outreach services, information referral and exchange, and community education.

Our committees and programs address public safety efforts, sustainability issues, and economic and community development. NECN realizes that vibrant communities are ones shaped by citizens who are able to utilize available resources and apply their talents to advance neighborhood livability.

NECN History

Edna Robertson and Sharon McCormack founded NE Coalition of Neighborhoods in 1974. Originally established as part of the Model Cities Initiative, NE Coalition was designed to be a strong component of the vibrant Portland Neighborhood System to address community issues and create effective solutions on a grassroots level.

Since our beginning we have served as an idea and project incubator, helping community innovators and volunteer leaders bring to life programs and projects such as: North Portland Tool Library, NE Workforce Center, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Kukatonan Dance Troupe, Good in the Neighborhood Fair, and Youth Creators. We work in conjunction with the Office of Neighborhood InvolvementOffice of Youth Violence Prevention, and many other partner organizations and Multnomah County agencies.

Over the years, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods’ programming has been a foundation of the community:

  • Workforce Training Center
  • Youth Gangs Program
  • Rider Advocates Program
  • Center for Intercultural Organizing

The Neighborhood System

NE Coalition of Neighborhoods is one of seven independently contracted neighborhood coalitions in Portland.

Through Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI), the 7 District Coalitions, 95 Neighborhood Associations, and 40 Business Associations interact and collaborate with numerous community groups and residents to focus on various livability issues: land use and transportation issues, crime prevention, and technical support to organize neighborhood clean-ups and community gatherings.