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Reaffirm that the Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Coalition serves all residents

This petition had 108 supporters


As Portlanders who care about Southeast Uplift and the role of neighborhood associations in building a fair and prosperous city, we are deeply disturbed by the attitude displayed at a meeting involving SEUL's board chair and other leaders.

Here is a summary of the discussion in question at the Jan. 22 meeting, which focused on a Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association meeting to discuss people living outside.

The summary was prepared by SEUL staff and forwarded by the SEUL chair to a wider audience on Jan. 26:

"SE Uplift board members emphasize that houseless individuals and homeless advocacy organizations should not be explicitly invited to the BDNA meeting. The sentiment is that the SE Uplift constituency is middle class people and that this meeting is meant to serve that constituency. Also, inviting houseless/homeless people might take attention to their needs rather than the neighborhood association."

Whatever exact language took place at this meeting, the underlying attitude that informed it is clear and sadly familiar: First, that people living outside are not legitimate residents of inner Southeast Portland; and more broadly, that the proper role of Southeast Uplift is to protect the interests of the comfortable.

This is a dangerous distortion of the Portland neighborhood system's founding mission to create and support positive change.

Here is a relevant passage from the city documents that govern neighborhood coalitions:

Inclusion and Participation In the interest of addressing the need for participation and inclusiveness in Neighborhood Associations and increasing diversity in public involvement the District Coalitions support the participation of Portland’s diverse communities in the Neighborhood Association network including communities of people of color, renters and low-income individuals, working families with children, immigrants and refugees, seniors, students, young adults, people with disabilities, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-gendered people.

When Southeast Uplift's leaders forget these defining values, they do not speak for us and they do not deserve our support.

Sincerely,


Note: Signatures are individual endorsements.  Signatories who hold neighborhood or other leadership positions are expressing a personal opinion which does not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations.

Tony Jordan
President - Sunnyside Neighborhood Association

Reuben Deumling
Board Member - Sunnyside Neighborhood Association

Lee Greer
Board Member - Sunnyside Neighborhood Association
Neighborhood Emergency Team Member

Lorraine Henriques
Board Member - Sunnyside Neighborhood Association

Dan Rutzick
Board Member - Sunnyside Neighborhood Association

Alan Kessler
Board Member - Richmond Neighborhood Association

Rebecca McClain
Sunnyside Resident

Sean Green
President - Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association

Keith Mosman
Chair - North Tabor Neighborhood Association

Terry Dublinski-Milton
Transportation and Land Use Chair - North Tabor Neighborhood Association

Michael Andersen
Board Member - North Tabor Neighborhood Association

Margot Black - Portland Tenants United

Beth Sanders
Board Member - North Tabor Neighborhood Association

Joel Meulemans
Board Member - North Tabor Neighborhood Association

Pat Schwiebert
Sunnyside Houseless Issues Workgroup

The board of the North Tabor Neighborhood Association



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