1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204
Portland is in the midst of an affordable housing and displacement crisis that has most affected communities of color and low income families. The stories are sadly all too familiar and data are clear: the impact of the increase in demand for housing is driving up the cost of housing, and people of color and low income people cannot afford to live in most of Portland’s beloved neighborhoods. Without united and concerted action, this situation will only get worse as housing costs continue to climb.
The Anti-Displacement PDX Coalition’s advocacy efforts have successfully brought issues of gentrification and displacement front and center to the public discourse and decision making process. The group’s efforts resulted in the Planning and Sustainability Commission including over two dozen measures in the draft Comprehensive Plan that address these citywide issues.
In recognition of its effective organizing and advocacy I nominated the Anti-Displacement PDX Coalition for a Spirit of Portland award. Last night the Coalition did not accept the award, taking the position that until the recommendations are incorporated by the final comprehensive plan, such an award is premature. The bold action of the coalition to challenge City Council to remain committed to addressing this crisis is just one example of why I continue to stand by my nomination of the Coalition. The Anti-Displacement Coalition embodies the spirit of Portland by their courage and determination to end displacement now.
I believe in direct action and in community organizing, and I agree with the Coalition that there is still much work to be done. The Planning and Sustainability Commission and the City Council have important roles – but are not the only players. Housing affordability and displacement should be at the top of the conversation for our community. To continue this conversation, community members need to continue to advocate. I support the work of the Anti-Displacement PDX coalition and look forward to their advocacy during the upcoming Comprehensive Plan hearings, the first of which is tomorrow, Thursday the 19th in City Hall Council Chambers, located at 1221 SW 4th Ave, second floor. The next two hearings are scheduled for December 3rd and December 10th.
The schedule for tomorrow’s hearing includes testimony about the Economic Opportunities Analysis, Growth Scenarios Report and other supporting documents from 2 to 3pm. Then from 3 – 6 p.m. testimony heard on the Recommended Draft Comprehensive Plan Goals, Policies and Land Use Map. For more information on the procedures around testifying, see here.