Tuesday, October 23, 2001

SUMMARY NOTES: Guidelines Review, Empowerment & Assessment Team, GREAT

City of Portland, Office of Neighborhood Involvement

Members Present:
Patricia Gardner, Pearl District N. A., Co-chair
Mosite Lenske, SE Uplift, Co-Chair
Ruth Spetter, City Attorney's Office
Mark Sieber, Neighbors West/NW
Nancy Chapin, Alliance Portland Neighborhood Business Assoc.
William Warren, Central NE Neighbors
Leonard Gard, SW Neighborhoods, Inc.
Joleen Jensen-Classen, ONI
Raymond Hite, Lents Neighborhood Association
Stan Lewis, Downtown Community Association
Jerry Powell, At Large/Goose Hollow Foothills League
Cathy Crawford, University Park Neighborhood Association
Michael O'Malley, Irvington Neighborhood Association
David Lane, ONI
Brian Hoop, ONI

Absent:
Bud Breithaupt Hollywood Neighborhood Association

Decisions by this group are subject to change at future meetings.
Opportunities for public input at the end of meeting and future workshops.


I. Motion to Accept definition of Business District Association

"Business District Association: An autonomous organization formed by business people within a defined geographic boundary for the purpose of promoting the general well being of their business community."

Seconded and passed by majority vote.

II. District Coalition Board
Code 3.96 currently says: The geographically defined neighborhood-based contracting agent with the City which serves as an information resource for citizens and a provider of citizen participation and crime prevention services. It is primarily composed of persons selected by member neighborhood associations and such other persons as are provided for in the board's bylaws.

ONI guidelines currently says: A "District Coalition" is an independent non-profit corporation which contracts with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement to facilitate citizen participation services and related neighborhood crime prevention activities for neighborhood associations and citizens within a geographically defined area. The board of a district coalition (DCB) is primarily comprised of representatives from its member neighborhood associations.

Mark suggests we create a laundry list of what we want in a coalition.
Joleen describes what a coalition is: Board is contracting body the City contracts with. District coalition is neighborhood associations within a geographic area.
Jerry: Coalitions are an association of neighborhoods. Associations are the legal entity. Board of directors runs corporation. Corporation is the legal entity. Need to have clarification that both are a little different.
Mark: Member associations are core members of the organization. Neighbors West/NW goes back to associations for discussions and decisions. Corporation board is the legal entity. From neighborhood's perspective coalition is like a congress.
Leonard: ONI is contracting with corporation, not with board of directors.

Patricia: Asks whether on not crime prevention should be a part of definition of coalition?
Mark: Coalition boards represent neighborhood associations. However, the organization also does work for all individuals within that geographic area.
Discussion regarding do we have to have contractual obligation in definition. Joleen says contractual relationship between city and ONI is unique in country. Other cities do not have such a relationship between a City government and non-profit neighborhood organizations.
Jerry: Suggests we should have two definitions. One for coalitions and one for coalition board of directors.
Michael: Disagrees. They need to be one and the same.

Discussion about whether coalitions are autonomous non-profit corporations with a life of their own or beholden to member organizations and the City. Perhaps they are membership organizations.
Each coalition has its own bylaws, can have multiple memberships/constituencies but is primarily for member neighborhood organizations.
Mark: We need to show distinct difference between responsibilities as membership corporation vs. contractual obligations with the City.
Leonard: Asks where do communities beyond boundaries fit in to coalition structure? What are policy issues?
Jerry: Suggests language such as: "an independent non-profit corporation which contracts with ONI." Or "a voluntary association of cooperating neighborhoods that serve as a contracting agent with the city."

Cathy: Would prefer definition to reflect this structure:
First sentence to describe relationship with the city.
Second sentence of what are services.
Third sentence describes geographic area, membership and board structure.
Leonard: Suggests dropping geographically based. Does not like it.
David: Currently we have three models:
4 coalitions that are independent.
2 alternative service groups that are run by the City.
NECN is a blend of both, non-profit board with City staff.
Asks if there are other ideas and models.
David: Under current guidelines any group could apply to be a coalition. For example: Latino Network, SE Asian groups, homeless groups, etc. as long as they had the support of the neighborhood associations.
Discussion: What about combining district coalition and alternate service delivery structure definitions. Would North and East neighborhoods mind being called coalitions.

Concerns that combining them all together will possibly destroy the system. We are opening system up to too many models and blurring the boundaries.
Mark: Losing "non-profit" focus would allow for-profits to move in.
David: Clarifies we give money for/to neighborhood associations and associations have chose to have the existing district coalitions contract with the city to represent them. They could always change their mind.
Leonard: Does not want separate definitions. Coalitions need to be primary focus of ONI and favored in City's neighborhood system.
Moshe says system is vulnerable if city will fill in to create new offices if coalition board collapses.

MOTION: Keep definitions separate as District Coalition and Alternative Service Delivery Structure.
No discussion. Passes by majority vote.

Mark: A district coalition is a voluntary association of cooperating adjacent neighborhood associations that serves as a contracting agent with the city. It is a non-profit membership corporation administered by a board composed primarily of representatives from its member associations. It facilitates citizen involvement within the geographic units of its member associations and is funded for doing so through the contract with the city.

Ruth: Definition needs to clarify City money is for work of neighborhood associations. Coalitions are a conduit for neighborhood association funds.
Michael: Problems with 3rd sentence.
Cathy: Neighborhood associations might want to work with Alternative Delivery Structure instead of coalitions because of concern about all the administrative work. Let City provide temporary status.
Jerry: Suggests definition to include: "voluntary association of cooperating neighborhoods that serves as a contracting agent with the city."

Discussion: To create a more focused and understandable system suggestion is made to create separate documents for neighborhoods, business associations and communities beyond neighborhood boundaries. There is interest in this committee to only deal with neighborhood associations. Have other committees and documents for Business associations, alternative delivery structures, communities beyond boundaries, etc. Statement below suggests concept:

ONI

  1. Neighborhood Assoc. governed by ONI guidelines with contracts through coalitions.
  2. Create new documents for Business Associations and Communities Beyond Neighborhood Boundaries

Cathy: Concern that volunteer citizens are confused by many government services and different funding mechanisms.
Nancy: Asks where would contracting with other bureaus fit in?
Ray: Most of the contract money goes to staffing resources. It is the intent of the City that the coalition contracts are the primary source of funding for staff.
William: Suggests MHRC could be the organization that serves interests of communities beyond neighborhood boundaries. Neighborhood associations need to be primary focus of this committee.
General acknowledgement that Communities Beyond Neighborhood Boundaries is very controversial.


The information contained in this document is preliminary and informal in nature and does not necessarily reflect the views or adopted policies of the City of Portland or the final outcomes of this project; the reader should exercise caution in its interpretation.