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August 21, 2013 Meeting Summary

Equity Workgroup Members Present: Vivian Satterfield, Les Shannon, Amanda Kelley-Lopez, Claudia Arana-Colen, Rachael Hoy, Tram Hwong, Demetria Espinoza, Duncan Hwang, Kristey Nguyen

Project Staff Present: Shoshannah Oppenheim, Arianne Sperry, Lauren Norris, Tim Lynch, Kaitlin Lovell, Michele Crim, Anne Nelson, Megan Shuler, Bill Beamer, Taren Evans, Kari Lyons-Eubanks

Welcome and Introductions
Tim Lynch welcomed everyone to the meeting and workgroup members, staff and guests introduced themselves.

Process Update 

  • Staff appreciate the feedback on what was and wasn’t working with the meeting format and facilitation. As a result, staff are trying a new approach – most notably to start with high level / big idea discussions during the in-person meeting, then getting into the details on the subsequent conference calls.
  • Committee members are encouraged to interrupt, ask questions, and keep the conversation out of the weeds. The purpose of the meeting is to really hear from the community, so going forward this will be the focus.
  • Tim and Desiree are going to try to play more of a stronger facilitation role, and are also looking to the group to help with facilitation.
  • The worksheet is being streamlined – fewer columns and more of a focus on big ideas.
  • The group is asked to review the CAP Equity Scan from Greg Schrock – committee members are encouraged to provide feedback on the document (where did it hit the mark, where is it off target). The Equity Scan might also be helpful in generating ideas for filling out the worksheets.

Consumption and Solid Waste

  • Lauren Norris gave a brief overview about the topic areas of consumption and solid waste topic area of the CAP – recapping some of the issues covered in the conference call last week. While composting and recycling are important, the focus on consumption practices is also important.
  • Within the CAP, the goals are focused on reducing waste generation, increasing waste recovery (recycling, composting), improving the efficiency (reduce emissions from) of the waste collection system, etc.
  • The larger committee broke into smaller groups to discuss how the CAP issue areas of consumption and solid waste relate to community priorities and opportunities.
  • Highlights from the small group discussions:      
    • In the Cully neighborhood and East Portland, “community pride” really resonates. When talking about waste, they want to restore their community and have it be clean and welcoming. There is a perception that the every-other week collection is a reduction in service to that community (e.g. the City doesn’t care about that community – isn’t picking up garbage because they don’t care).
    • Many community members aren’t that knowledgeable about dealing with waste in a productive manner – particularly seniors and African American seniors. Generally they don’t know about the benefits.
    • A point of tension when talking about buying used / reused – that can be a point of stigmatization for low-income communities (e.g. kids starting school with used clothes/shoes instead of new). While used is often considered trendy for people with means who choose to buy re-used. We need to be mindful of this point of tension.
    • Some lower income families are already really resourceful – so they may not be the target audience for the messages on consumption. Reusing and recycling is often already a part of their everyday lives. Often these communities are consuming much less because they have to.
    • For many immigrant families – getting “the new and shiny” is often an important goal. The messages about consumption used in the Be Resourceful campaign likely won’t resonate with low-income and immigrant communities. As it is, it will resonate with middle-class white communities.
    • For the Native American community – reuse and recycle fits in with going back to traditional ways. Traditionally – families came with their own utensils (rather than using disposable). They have done some work to teach classes to help people make their own things. The community also has a big tradition of bartering and trading.
    • Communications to date don’t reflect the multiculturalism of the community. Focus groups might be able to help identify opportunities to line up messaging with cultural values.
    • Youth are the catalyst for many of these actions – environmental clubs, maybe in Vietnamese churches – would be a good way to engage and educate. Working with communities to come up with ideas for sharing economy opportunities (e.g. tool library) – what they need/want rather than deciding those things apart from the community.
    • Is there a way to subsidize larger garbage cans for communities that can’t afford those services?
    • “Buying smart” and “Buying durable” can be very challenging for low-income communities. Sometimes, the disposable options are more affordable.

Climate Change Preparation

  • Kari Lyons-Eubanks gave an overview of the work to date that the City and County have been doing to create a climate change preparation strategy.
  • The focus has been on identifying the risks from hotter, drier summers with more heat waves, and warmer, wetter winters. The City and County have been focused on human health, natural resources and infrastructure/built environment.
  • Kari reviewed the Health Department’s assessment report (handout). Michele handed out a few maps that overlaid some climate risks (flooding, stormwater drainage issues, landslides) with vulnerable populations. Future work will look at mold, mental health, etc. Emergency preparedness, including kits, are also an important perspective to help improve resilience.
  • The larger committee broke into smaller groups to discuss how the CAP issue areas of climate change preparation relate to community priorities and opportunities.
  • Highlights from the small group discussions:
    • Having culturally specific/appropriate community centers that people feel comfortable going to (e.g. cooling centers), and could also serve as a point of communication.
    • Older adults can be reached by existing leaders within those communities…those leaders that are sources of information and are likely more inclined to check-in on people.
    • Transit dependent people can be very vulnerable during heat waves – especially along infrequent bus lines and/or where long distances on foot need to be traveled to transfer.
    • Temperatures go up and MAX lines stop running – this can impact people that are transit dependent.
    • Alternative arrangements for cooling centers – for example, using businesses (e.g. grocery stores); kiddie pools in a park = “pop up cooling center.”
    • Are there potential impacts on communities that rely on natural resources for food (e.g. fishing)?
    • Is there any sort of targeted response to address the vulnerability of the homeless population?
    • How do we get services to the people that are most vulnerable during heat – (e.g. grocery delivery service – pre-register for delivery during a heat wave).

Big Ideas Parking Lot

  • The CAP might be well served to address the topic of climate refugees. This is particularly key for Pacific Islanders – there could be a big boom in immigration from this community.
  • Discussion of future climate refugees – Pacific Islanders at risk due to climate change.

Grantee Check-In

  • Is this format better?
    • Yes – many members like the new format. Having staff available to help guide/focus the discussion on where they are really looking for input – however staff should focus on asking broad questions and listening, rather than asking detailed action step/implementation questions.
    • However, would love to get clarity on if what is being provided on the worksheets is hitting the mark? Tim responded that the work of the equity workgroup was for the most part hitting the mark, and that the change in process would help keep the work on track moving forward.
    • Are equity workgroup expected to rework the language of the draft actions to incorporate the in person discussions and worksheet feedback? No, the expectation is that staff will update the CAP language to reflect feedback from the Equity Workgroup. Staff will incorporate the Equity Workgroup’s feedback into the 50% draft that the Workgroup will review in October. The 50% will allow Workgroup members to verify how the feedback has been taken into consideration.
    • We need to figure out how this work is going to continue on through implementation, because that is where a lot of the critical equity work will actually happen – and how will this group, or another group, be involved with that? Staff are discussing what ongoing CAP implementation will look like, including how community input will guide implementation. Staff will allocate time at a future Equity Workgroup meeting to discuss this.