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Portland Plan Fairs unveil draft strategies for Portland’s future

BPS E-News Issue 11

The month of March ushered in several Portland Plan Fairs around the city, family-friendly events where Portlanders learned about draft strategies for Portland’s future. Participants were invited to comment on strategies for education, economic prosperity and affordability, and healthy connected neighborhoods, as well as an equity initiative.  

In addition, local food, music and dance made each of the four Portland Plan Fairs unique. An armadillo and yo-yo champion were the stars at the Oregon Zoo fair. Samosas and an all-girl indie folk band were featured in East Portland. And bilingual staff and interpreters were on hand in North Portland for a Latino-focused event, complete with an El Rey (KYRP-FM) station appearance.

The fairs drew hundreds of people, who provided essential feedback on the draft strategies while enjoying food, entertainment provided by Colored Pencils Art & Culture [http://www.coloredpencilsart.com/], and the company of their friends and neighbors.  

What's next in the Portland Plan process? The City will take the feedback gathered from the surveys, fairs and other community meetings and write a draft Plan by early summer. The draft Plan will then be open for comment. The draft Plan will head to the Planning and Sustainability Commission in the fall, and be presented to the Portland City Council by the end of the calendar year.

The Portland Plan will drive public decisions and investments as the city grows and changes over the next 25 years. With its partner agencies, the City will use the Portland Plan as a strategic plan to ensure that Portland is a prosperous and healthy city, with opportunity for all. Addressing jobs, education, health, housing, transportation and equity and more, the Portland Plan will affect something important to everyone in the community.

Add your thoughts by May 1st

Don’t miss one of the last opportunities to share your perspective on the ambitious strategies for Portland’s future, before the draft plan is published this summer. Make sure your voice is part of the plan by filling out our survey before May 1 at www.pdxplan.com.

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Youth initiate action for a better Portland!

BPS E-News Issue 11

Portland’s youth are making it happen for themselves through an $8,000 grant from the BPS Youth Action Grants Program. On March 18, 2011, eleven projects for youth 21 and under were awarded funding for proposals that encourage girls to study math and science, hold a bi-lingual reading competition and address issues of institutionalized racism, among others.

Supported by the BPS Youth Planning Program, PCC Students4Giving, the Multnomah Youth Commission, the Office of Mayor Sam Adams and Mercy Corps Global Citizen Corps, the Youth Action Grants encourage new and creative youth-designed and youth-led projects, particularly those which engage large numbers of youth, broaden youth skills, and involve new youth leadership.  The 11 projects awarded prioritize any one of six articles in Our Bill of Rights: Children + Youth in order to help make it a reality for the youth of Portland.  

In the 2011 grant cycle, Miranda Zook, 17, of East Portland, was awarded $1,000 to accomplish her action proposal. With the help of local non-profit Free Arts NW, she will work with the Youth On A Mission Thrift Store to create a mural to attract attention and support to the local business. The Youth On A Mission Thrift Store, located at 11923 N.E. Halsey St. sells second-hand goods to fund programs that teach life skills and provide services to youth who have been through the juvenile justice system in Multnomah County. The store also employs youth who have experienced the justice system, giving them the opportunity to learn business and sales operations, while providing a space for them to express themselves. The mural project draws on art therapy as a tool towards building skills for success in youth who are often forgotten.

"I've been doing bad things all my life. And I wanted to flip that around and do some positive things for the community,” shared a youth who works at the thrift store. The hope is that the store front mural will not only beautify the East Portland community they live in, it will also increase profits which allows the store to employ and serve more youth who struggle through the justice system.  

This spring, Miranda’s project brings together community groups like the East Portland Action Plan, Free Arts NW, the Multnomah County Department of Juvenile Justice, and local business in an innovative way that empowers youth to participate and be positive in their communities.  

Sampling of Projects to be awarded in the 2011 grant cycle:
•    A math tutoring program to motivate and inspire young girls towards math and science success;
•    An education series for youth workers and youth about the importance of Queer and Transgender inclusiveness;
•    An education and celebration event to promote awareness of the experiences of undocumented youth in Portland;
•    An art and creative expression forum about the value and experiences of youth in alternative school programs citywide;
•    A bilingual reading competition at James John Elementary School, where children learn literacy along with their Spanish-speaking parents, while stepping as leaders in their school; and  
•    A workshop series designed by youth to educate and speak honestly about dismantling institutionalized racism in Portland.

For more information about this and the 10 other awarded projects, e-mail Pam Phan, Youth Program Coordinator at pam.phan@portlandoregon.gov.  

 

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Cully Main Street and Local Street Plans Project

BPS E-News Issue 11

Community members in Northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood will soon collaborate on a plan to enhance their neighborhood business district. Beginning this month, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), in cooperation with the Bureau of Transportation, will engage with Cully folks to plan for the future of Cully Boulevard Main Street. Development of a local street plan for the neighborhood is also a key component of the project.

This one-year project will help create more neighborhood-serving commercial development, such as shops, restaurants and other amenities and services. The project will conclude with a report with zoning recommendations for the Cully Boulevard Main Street area and a local street plan. The street plan will identify opportunities for future street connections, ideas for new local street designs, and the community’s prioritization of local street improvements with ideas for funding. The report with recommendations will be presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission and then to the City Council at public hearings in Spring 2012 for final action.

The Cully Main Street and Local Street Plans project implements high priority actions desired by the community that relate to economic development and improvements to local street infrastructure. An outgrowth of the Cully-Concordia Community Assessment Report and the Cully-Concordia Community Action Plan, this project addresses some of the key issues and opportunities to improve livability for residents, especially families with children. The bureau’s northeast district liaison worked closely with diverse community and agency stakeholders in the Cully (and Concordia) area for the past few years to develop the assessment report and action plan, and in 2008, City Council approved both.

The Cully Main Street and Local Street Plans project is funded in part by a grant from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development’s Transportation and Growth Management Program.

For more information contact Debbie Bischoff, Senior Planner, at 503.823.6946 or debbie.bischoff@portlandoregon.gov.

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Airport Futures takes off

BPS E-News Issue 11

On April 13, 2011, at 2 p.m., the Portland City Council will vote to adopt the Airport Futures Plan. Airport Futures was a collaborative effort between the City and Port of Portland, and the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan community to create an integrated, long-range development plan for the airport and the surrounding area.

The Airport Futures plan Council will take a new approach to protecting and enhancing natural resources in and around the airport. Instead of traditional regulation, the plan calls for the Port to mitigate for impacts to wildlife habitat by improving 300 acres of grassland on Government Island in advance of development. The Port also made a strong commitment to the overall enhancement of the Columbia Slough by pledging $1.8 million in tree planting and slough enhancement projects over the next 25 years.

Airport Futures received the unanimous endorsement of the 30-member planning advisory group and the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission. A joint hearing on the plan was held before both the Portland City Council and Port of Portland Commission on March 16. After testimony by 15 advisory group members and several community members, Port Executive Director Bill Wyatt, Mayor Sam Adams, City Council and the Port Commission praised the open and transparent planning process and expressed appreciation for the incredible work of the advisory group members, staff and project consultants.

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Susan Anderson and Port Aviation Director Steve Schreiber emphasized that, “… this is not an end, but a beginning …” for the implementation of the Airport Futures commitments as well as the creation of an ongoing PDX Community Advisory Committee this fall.  

The three-year planning process was guided by a 30-member planning advisory group with input from airport stakeholders. The process included 87 planning advisory group and subcommittee meetings and over 131 stakeholder meetings. The ongoing committee is being sponsored by the Cities of Portland and Vancouver and the Port of Portland.

 

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Clean Energy Works Portland Pilot announces success, launches expansion

BPS E-News Issue 11

The City of Portland and newly formed nonprofit Clean Energy Works Oregon recently announced the successful completion of the Clean Energy Works Portland home energy efficiency retrofit pilot and the expansion of the program statewide. As of March 2011, the pilot, led by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, accomplished its goals and more:

  • Five hundred homes were enrolled in the program and received an energy assessment, low-interest loan for energy upgrades, a personal Energy Advisor and connection to qualified construction professionals.
  • The program created 29 entry-level jobs in the hard-hit construction industry.
  • 381 workers received paychecks who otherwise may not have had work.
  • Participating homes experienced on average a 20 percent or greater reduction in energy consumption after their project was complete.


“Today, the City of Portland celebrates the early success of the Clean Energy Works Portland pilot and welcomes the new Clean Energy Works Oregon,” said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. “While our Bureau of Planning and Sustainability led the way, we are grateful for the innovative collaboration from our many community partners, including Energy Trust of Oregon, Enterprise Cascadia, NW Natural, Pacific Power, PGE, Worksystems, Green for All and our host of stakeholders, including contractors, unions and community groups.”

View a video of the recent CEWO launch event here: http://vimeo.com/21452335

Clean Energy Works Oregon expands services across Oregon in 2011

Due to the success of the pilot, in June of 2010 the U.S. Department of Energy invested an additional $20 million dollars from its BetterBuildings program to fund the expansion of the program across Oregon. The statewide program, which simplifies the process of transforming older houses into energy-efficient comfortable homes, will be administered by Clean Energy Works Oregon.

“Clean Energy Works Oregon makes home energy efficiency affordable and easy,” said Derek Smith, CEO of Clean Energy Works Oregon. “As communities look to economic development through climate action, Clean Energy Works offers a proven, turnkey service that produces jobs, energy savings, carbon reductions and housing affordability.”

The expansion is expected to bring $100 million in private capital to communities throughout the state. The three-year goals of the expansion are to complete 6,000 residential projects, create 1,300 family-supporting jobs and generate significant energy savings.

The expanded program launched on March 15 to homeowners in the Metro area, including Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties and the cities of Portland, Lake Oswego and Gresham.  They are planning a phased rollout to the Rogue Valley, Eugene/Lane County, Hood River, Astoria, Klamath Falls, Coos County, Pendleton, Bend/Deschutes County, Corvallis and Salem throughout 2011.

To apply for Clean Energy Works Oregon, visit www.cewo.org.

Specials Savings for Homes in Lents and Interstate

Homeowners in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties can benefit from initial special rebate offerings totaling up to $3,700. For a limited time, homeowners living in the Lents or Interstate Urban Renewal Areas can save an additional $1,000 off their project cost. For more information visit: www.cleanenergyworksoregon.org/neighborhood

 

 

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