As a city, we are committed to moving forward with a new way of doing business in the community. One of the main differences between this plan and the way we have developed and implemented plans in the past is the process.
1. Community Forums: We didn’t go into the community with a plan, we went with questions. Throughout the fall of 2014, we hosted community forums throughout North and Northeast Portland (as well as in Gresham, where many displaced Portlanders have gone). We wrote down everything we heard and compiled it into a report.
2. Outside Recommendations: After we had had a chance to hear from the community, we began to work on a plan. In addition to coming up with our own ideas, we asked all of our community partners to submit their recommendations – but first we asked them to read the report, so that their recommendations would be based on the real needs that people expressed.
3. New Community Partnerships: We have continued to work with the community as we have worked to shape our plan. We met with more than 20 faith leaders serving North and Northeast Portland about how we can work with them to better serve the community. We know that not everyone could or would want to attend a forum. Faith leaders were able to share stories from their congregations. Five of these faith leaders have agreed to remain involved in this work as we move forward. They are:
• Bishop Steven Holt of the International Fellowship Family
• Dr. Mark Strong of Life Change
• Paula Dennis and Janice Norris of Blessed Temple Community Church
• Reverend Lynne Smouse Lopez of Ainsworth United Church of Christ
We also consulted leaders and professionals working in equity or community development, and with ties to the North and Northeast Portland, to review and discuss potential ideas, and how important an ongoing relationship in the community will be. They included:
• Lolenzo Poe, Portland Public Schools
• Katrina Holland, NAACP
• Midge Purcell, Urban League
• Dr. Lisa Bates, Portland State University
• Tony Defalco, Living Cully
• Elisa Harrigan, Meyer Memorial Trust
• Stephen Green, Albina Community Bank
• Bishop Steven Holt, The International Fellowship Family
• Bill Hart, Carleton Hart Architecture
4. Ongoing Community Oversight: An Oversight Committee of community members will monitor the implementation of the plan over the next five years.