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Quarterly General Membership Meeting Coming Up

Wednesday, October 21, 7:00-8:30 PM--via Zoom

Register NOW by emailing contact@swhrl.org to attend our quarterly members' meeting and get the latest on what's happening in the SWHRL neighborhood, from planned walkways, bike lanes, and property development to the broader issues facing our schools, public safety, and SWNI. In addition:

  • Commissioner Amanda Fritz will discuss upcoming ballot measures on the Water Bureau, Parks & Recreation, and policing. 
  • Greg Bourget, lead researcher for Cascadia Action, will discuss addressing industrial air pollution issues in Portland.

Come to listen, learn, question, and let us know what's on your mind. The agenda is below.

Note: Due to time constraints, if you have specific questions about the future of Stroheckers, Tangent Village, or the high-rise development on SW Park and 10th Ave, please email them in advance of the meeting to landuse-commitee@swni.org

Hope to see you there!

SWHRL Board Supports Measure 26-213: Portland Parks Levy

We must step up to preserve our renowned park system. Even before the pandemic, Portland Parks & Recreation programs and staff faced severe cuts to address a $6.3 million budget gap. An additional $16 million in lost revenue is projected from this year's shutdowns.

Measure 26-213 would raise approximately $48 million per year for the next five years via a property tax of $0.80 per $1,000 assessed value. If passed, the measure would:

  • Protect and maintain our parks and natural areas;
  • Expand programs for people of color and children experiencing poverty;
  • Fund recreation programs, pools, and community centers

For more information on this measure, see https://portlandersforparks.org/about-the-levy/


Now Available to View On Video

"Portland, the Black Experience: Neighborhood Reflections"

On September 16, SWHRL sponsored a panel discussion on “Portland: The Black Experience.” Three African-American neighbors—Mingus Mapps, Martha Jembere, and Kevin Rhea—spoke frankly and movingly about their experiences with racism, what it is like to be Black in a predominantly white city, and the actions they would like to see to make ours a more inclusive home for all. The widely praised panel was attended by over 70 residents and was featured in a powerful piece in Southwest Connection https://pamplinmedia.com/scc/103-news/482651-388693-whats-it-like-to-be-black-in-portland

If you missed the live event, want to share it with your friends, or just watch it again, a video is now available at https://youtu.be/_klHQi8cWws. With deepest thanks to our generous speakers.

Ending Racial Injustice is Our Collective Responsibility

Like many across our nation, we have watched in horror as so many black lives have been brutally taken. The tragic killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor in recent weeks has shaken us all.  Unquestionably, white privilege and systemic racism permeate our country.  Our community is not immune to these failings, as you can hear in the trenchant words of Kevin "KRhea" Rhea, an African-American member of the SWHRL neighborhood:

 On my way out for a workout in the "whitest major city in America". A city very well known for it's racist past and it's current "climate." All I have on me is a $30 running watch, pair of running shorts, tee shirt, low socks and shoes. I CANNOT be carrying a weapon because I have no place to hide it. I'm NOT a threat to anyone and most importantly, I'm NOT RUNNING FROM anything. I'm just trying to get some exercise. Yes, I will run past "your" house, past your driveway and through your neighborhood but it's not really "your" neighborhood, it's OUR neighborhood because I too live here. I'm not a threat to your wife or daughter. I'm not the black boogeyman. If you could step outside your fear and simply say "good morning" in return as I pass, you might find a way to conquer your fear. I don't do drugs, I don't rob people, I don't rape, I don't destroy property and neither does my owning a home here bring down the value of yours.

If you feel the need to cross the street as you so often do as I approach that's on you, not me. If you choose to ignore my, "good morning" or my "hello" that's on you not me. Just know this, I started running in 1976, I started cycling in 1972 and I've had EVERY experience a black man in US can have as he runs or rides wherever the eff he feels like running or riding because these streets, roads and wilderness areas aren't YOURS . . . they're OURS and yes, that means "even" mine, a black man. The only experience I haven't had is being shot! Guns pulled but never shot. Ahmaud Arbey wasn't so lucky.

Running/cycling/walking/driving/living/being while black is not a crime . . . no matter where we choose to do it. Peace to Ahmaud Arbey. Blessings to his family. PS Do you have to worry or even think about the risk you take WEARING a mask these days? I do and it has nothing to do with the virus. Feel me.

We must support change now! More than ever, these times demand that we come together to openly confront racist oppression and discrimination in all its forms, including demanding reforms in the way we are policed.  We envision our police working collaboratively with all the communities they serve, with increased transparency, accountability, fairness, as well as public safety. SWHRL stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.  


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