City Code should enable government to engage a wide and diverse range of organizations and to bring us all together. We believe a strong majority of Portlanders, including those who wrote the proposed Code Change that we oppose, agree with this broad principle. In that sense, we have few true adversaries in this process, only potential allies.
Those of us involved in Keep Portland Neighborly are optimistic. Everyone in this discussion wants to live in a community that values its residents, with particular emphasis on those who have been wrongly marginalized throughout history. We want more participation, more inclusion, and better equity in our neighborhood associations.
We believe City Code section 3.96 can be improved to better meet these goals; we simply feel that there is not yet an appropriate nor comprehensive enough proposal for City Council to consider or pass.
We have many supporters aligned with our core position:
Petition signatures (1,200 and counting)
More than 1,200 individuals have signed a petition urging City Council not to adopt the proposed Code Change. 498 of those signing left specific comments critical of the code change proposal and the process in which it has been conducted. Many comments provided alternatives and suggestions for improvement. This petition is strongly aligned with Keep Portland Neighborly’s initiative; it argues that “neighborhood associations can and should be valuable (even essential) partners in promoting greater equity and inclusiveness in our city.” It also seeks to “stop Portland City Council from changing Code 3.96.” We agree with this, insofar as it relates to the specific changes proposed by the Code Change Committee; however, we do not rule out the possibility that Section 3.96 may be in need of improvement, following a more effective public involvement process.
Thank you to neighbor Heather Grant for starting the petition! We encourage our readers to sign as well, and to leave comments.
- The League of Women Voters of Portland, July 16, 2019 (Recommended the Committee “take the time to arrange opportunities for the public to offer its feedback and suggestions for your consideration” in order to present “a more fully developed proposal to City Council.”)
- Oregonian editorial: “City should make room for new voices without muting neighborhoods,” August 4, 2019
- The Elisabeth Jones Art Center hosts the exhibition “Neighborhood Associations Rock!” at their Pearl District art gallery. A number of stories from the exhibition are reproduced with permission here on Keep Portland Neighborly.
Portland Neighborhood Coalitions and Neighborhood Associations
Portland has 95 neighborhood associations, supported by seven neighborhood coalitions. Many of these organizations are still deliberating whether to take a position. We are not aware of any Portland neighborhood coalitions or associations formally supporting Code Change 3.96. Cully Association of Neighbors may formally adopt a position in support, but hadn’t as of September 1; the Southeast Uplift coalition published a supportive statement in August, but has not reached a formal position.
Central Northeast Neighbors (CNN) (letter opposing code change)
- Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood Association
- Roseway Neighborhood Association
- Rose City Park Neighborhood Association
Neighbors West-Northwest (NWNW)
North Portland Neighborhood Services (NPNS)
Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN)
Southeast Uplift (SEUL)
- Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association (also later endorsed Rose City Park letter)
- Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association
- Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood District (HAND)
- Kerns Neighborhood Association (endorsed Rose City Park letter)
- Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association
- Mount Tabor Neighborhood Association
- North Tabor Neighborhood Association
- Richmond Neighborhood Association
- South Tabor Neighborhood Association
- Woodstock Neighborhood Association
(Many more to come, we’re still gathering links over here)…
Please contact us if you have an organization to add to this list. If possible, please be sure to include a link indicating that the organization has reached an official position.