In 2017, after horrific crimes of hatred in Portland, SWHRL adopted the following inclusion statement:
The SWHRL community welcomes all. All races, religions, nationalities, sexual and gender orientations, and immigrant status. Our neighborhood is for everyone! We are enriched by our diversity here in SW Portland. We stand with you. We want you to feel welcome and safe.
If you know of an individual or group who might be feeling excluded from the neighborhood association process, please let us know. Our meetings are open and public, we welcome all.
One way SWHRL advocates for equity in our community is to relentlessly lobby the city for safer streets, better pedestrian facilities and improved transit service. Our elderly and youth who don't drive cars are dependent on public transportation.
The chair of our Committee on Equity and Inclusion presented two equity maps at our October 16, 2019 land use appeal before the Portland City Council. One is the map used by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and it is based on the race and income values from census tracts. As he pointed out, one problem with using census tracts is that they cover large numbers of people, and pockets of high equity scores are vulnerable to being averaged away.
The joke about Bill Gates exemplifies this. When Bill Gates walks into your party, everyone becomes a billionaire, on average. That happens with census tracts too.
Therefore the draft Southwest in Motion plan uses a different method of calculating equity score, one which includes disability and renters, and it shows a more nuanced picture of Southwest Portland. As you can see, SWHRL has pockets of the highest equity scores in SW Portland.