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Summary Meeting Notes: April 15, 2013 Education and Youth Success PEG

Summary Meeting Notes

Education and Youth Success Policy Expert Group Meeting #10

Meeting Date: April 15, 2013
Time: 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Attendees: Paul Cathcart, Lois Cohen, Karen Fischer Gray, Will Fuller, Gabe Graff, Brett Horner (for Mary Richardson), Troy Tate, Stacey Triplett, Lilly Windle, Helen Ying 

Staff / Facilitator: Deborah Stein, Bob Glascock, Chris Scarzello, John Cole, Julia Gisler, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability; Clark Worth, Barney & Worth

Public / Guests:  None present

View the original agenda, including materials, for this meeting.

Welcome and Reflections from Last Meeting
Presenter: Clark Worth
Summary: Reflections on March 18 meeting highlights: none were offered.
Clark Worth pointed out that PEG member Lois Cohen’s work in schools was highlighted in the April 10 edition of the Daily Journal of Commerce.

Meeting Goal: Complete PEG discussion and feedback on Comprehensive Plan Working Draft (Part 1 – Goals and Policies).  Discuss upcoming stages of the Comprehensive Plan Update and decide how PEG members want to report on the groups conclusions. 

PEG Discussion: Comprehensive Plan Working Draft Review
Presenter: Deborah Stein, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Summary: Resume and conclude PEG discussion and feedback on Working Draft Part 1 - Review of specific goals and policies for effectiveness at addressing issues of interest to the Education and Youth Success PEG, explore potential outcomes, and consider how they achieve or hinder aspirations for a more equitable city.   

At the March meeting, PEG members emphasized the importance of the updated Comprehensive Plan speaking to youth issues beyond schools, and providing for a continuum from early childhood through higher education. Deborah Stein pointed to a number of chapters where youth needs are addressed.

Bob Glascock announced the .pdf version of the Goals and Policies working draft is searchable, and showed a copy of the Schools Policies in CPU Working Draft highlighting every use of “school” or “schools”.  PEG members can also search the document for “education”, “youth”, or other key words or phrases.

Karen Fischer Gray asked what the PEG has accomplished over the past year to influence and improve the Working Draft (Part 1).  How will the Comprehensive Plan change as a result?  Deborah Stein and Clark Worth listed some of the areas where PEG members have offered recommendations:

  • Safe routes to schools
  • Flexibility for schools in development standards and zoning
  • Streamlining development review for schools; controlling costs
  • Treating schools more like other important community facilities and institutions
  • Coordinating growth scenarios with school districts, and analyzing the effects on enrollment, capacity and school funding
  • Expanding community use of school facilities
  • Expanding schools’ use of parks
  • Achieving equity inPortland’s relationship with the various school districts and schools.

PEG members’ comments and questions:

  • How do we know what other PEGs are doing that is related to our work?
  • Helen Ying reported East Portland Action Plan education subcommittee supports priorities that include:
    • Filling in gaps in infrastructure: e.g., safe routes to schools
    • Coordinating development with school capacity / planning
    • Ensuring adequate funding for schools
    • Responding toPortland’s growing diversity
  • Our city should provide a learning context for all youth.  “Pattern areas” should include schools in every area of the city, as well as community centers, parks and other youth-oriented facilities.
  • Job opportunities for youth in every neighborhood are also important. 
  • Broadband and technology infrastructure is another priority for youth.  Is Portland behind the curve?
  • Follow-through, accountability and a plan for implementation (including a timeframe with incremental checkpoints) are needed.  Chapter 8 should be strengthened.  “If you measure it, it will happen.”
  • The plan should affirm schools as neighborhood anchors.  But how?  What strategies will assure that happens?
  • Can we prioritize policies?
  • City bureaus are already held accountable at budget time for meeting Portland Plan 5-year goals.
  • The Comprehensive Plan is an aspirational document, however, not intended to have measurable outcomes.
  • Some draft policies are weak.  Avoid use of the verb “encourage”; instead, say “Remove obstacles...”  The PEG can identify barriers and solutions.
  • The City and school districts can collaborate as two bureaucracies to leverage opportunities.  The Comprehensive Plan should be more directive about the power of these (and other) partnerships. 
  • School facilities will be changing more than they have in decades due to the passage of school bonds.
  • The school districts need greater flexibility.  The City should ask school districts what’s not working.
  • Chapter 8 should emphasize shared goals of public agencies.  Implement with intergovernmental agreements (IGAs).
  • Streamlining and flexibility are good.  But it’s also important to involve people who live near schools in land use decisions, zoning and infrastructure projects that affect them.
  • Can development agreements or similar mechanisms supersede zoning code requirements?

Introduction to Part 2 – Maps and Systems
Presenter: Deborah Stein, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Summary: Preview of Part 2
Deborah Stein explained the next steps of the Comprehensive Plan update, which will translate the schematic Urban Design Framework into Comprehensive Plan land use maps.  The stages include:

 

   

Part 1

Goals and Policies: to be completed in May

Part 2

Urban Design Framework: underway

 

Comprehensive Plan Map

 

Citywide Systems Plan (infrastructure)

 

Transportation Systems Plan (a legal requirement)

 

Scenario Performance Analysis: gentrification, job creation, greenhouse gas, etc.

There will be some changes proposed to Portland’s land use (zoning) maps, but these are not anticipated to be widespread. The PEG’s May meeting will offer an interactive exercise to explore the interplay between policies and mapping issues related to schools and youth.

Questions and comments by PEG members:

  • Please bring concrete ideas to stimulate PEG members’ thinking at the May meeting.
  • Is the Portland“budget map” (showing allocation to projects in different parts of the city) being discontinued?
  • Won’t the zoning map change in response to growth scenarios: to accommodate institutional campus growth, enrollment growth and crowding?
  • How will Metro be involved? What’s their land use and transportation role? Will they still be involved in Gateway Regional Center? 
  • There’s an opportunity to reaffirm the community’s vision for Gateway.
  • Zoning should also have a “Plan B” when visions like Gateway don’t happen.
  • The Coalition for a Livable Future is updating its mapping tool, Equity Atlas, into. If this update (Version 2.0) is available, this would be a great tool to inform our mapping exercise.
  • The maps need to be informed by where the population is/will be, and where the services are (or, where there are current service gaps).

Process Outcomes

Facilitator: Clark Worth

The question was raised about what type of a report the PEG wanted to develop to summarize its recommendations. There is no requirement, but some PEGs plan to present final reports.  Karen Fischer Gray emphasized the need for some type of document to capture the PEG’s key findings and recommendations.

Additional comments by PEG members:

  • There should be something in writing to assure accountability.
  • The starting point can be a list of ideas from past discussions.
  • The document—not a report—should include an overall statement plus specific recommendations: conclusion / recommendation; conclusion / recommendation; etc.
  • The PEG should articulate obstacles they want removed, and solutions.
  • The PEG needs to be specific about desired outcomes.
  • The document can also identify opportunities for cooperation between the City of Portland and school districts.
  • The recent passage of school construction bonds presents a unique opportunity.
  • The PEG summary should leave room for individual comments.
  • A preface is needed to provide context for the PEG’s work—“It’s not just schools”.
  • A connection is needed with the work of other PEGs.  How can this be achieved?  Can we highlight issues where other PEGs might be consulted?
  • The final document should leave PEG members and other readers with a “positive feeling”.

Consensus of the group was that there should be a summary of the PEG’s work.  The facilitator will circulate a draft prior to the May 20 meeting, and this will be added to the agenda as a discussion topic.

Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

Next Steps

The next PEG meeting is set for Monday, May 20, 4:00-6:00 p.m.  This meeting will include a mapping workshop and discussion of the PEG summary and recommendations.

Some PEGs will continue to meet after May, and updates will be posted on the website.  Bob Glascock invited any interested PEG members to attend a meeting on the Citywide Systems Plan on May 1, 10:00 a.m.  A multi-PEG forum may also be scheduled.

Meeting handouts and presentations from April 15:

 

For more information, please contact either Deborah Stein, Bureau of Planning & Sustainability at 503-823-6991 or deborah.stein@portlandoregon.gov, or Clark Worth, Facilitator at 503-222-0146 or clark@barneyandworth.com.

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