Committee to set priorities for outer East Portland improvement

If you believe outer East Portland issues are getting lost in City and County bureaucracy, learn about this opportunity to meet directly with Mayor Tom Potter and Chair Ted Potter to hatch strategies to improve livability east of 82nd Avenue of Roses …

City of Portland Planning Bureau’s Barry Manning, the East Portland Liaison, says the “Action Plan” is an effort improve livability – both long and short term.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
When it was announced that the City of Portland and Multnomah County were putting together an “East Portland Action Plan and Committee”, we called the coordinator, City of Portland Planning Bureau’s Barry Manning, the East Portland Liaison, to ask about it.

Specifically, we asked Manning, in light of “visionPDX”, and the planning of town halls for transportation and other topics, why we need yet another committee…?

“Here is the chance for members of the outer East Portland community to work with elected officials, and agency staff, on actions that can help shape the future and livability of outer East Portland,” Manning told us.

The committee, Manning went on, will look at both long- and short-term actions, programs, and improvements. “The city of Portland has a small budget allocation to address some short-term actions this year. The community will identify the ones that are most pressing. In the long term, it is an opportunity for the community to air concerns and set priorities.”

Because this committee meets with both City of Portland and Multnomah County officials, Manning added, “This is an opportunity to coordinate programs from various agencies to work together, to benefit neighbors in outer East Portland.”

Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler and Portland Mayor Tom Potter say the new process will help improve the livability of outer East Portland by coordinating agency efforts.

Topics open for discussion include:

  • Business Enhancement: Identify strategies for improving the business climate in East Portland, focusing on specific strategies for different areas.
  • Schools, Families, Housing:  Develop a partnership and specific strategies with school districts serving East Portland to address school facilities’ overcrowding.
  • Community Safety: Develop partnerships to intensify the city’s public safety and social services responses.
  • Community Organizing: Develop and fund methods to improve public participation, and to broaden the base of community involvement in East Portland.
  • Transportation Needs: Refine transportation priorities for East Portland, and explore budget proposals necessary to fund them.
  • Land Use Planning: Explore and implement land use code changes to address infill development issues, and lay the groundwork for longer range planning.

While the committee meeting schedule is still being formulated, Manning said it is expected to meet monthly from October 2007 to about May 2008, with subcommittees that may meet more frequently.

Don’t complain! Get involved!
Apply now; they’re looking to hear from potential participants by October 12.

For an application, CLICK HERE. Then, click on the “East Portland Action Plan” link.

“Call me at (503) 823-7965 if you have questions about this effort or the committee or process,” said Manning. “We’re putting together a group that includes State Representative Jeff Merkley. We envision the committee as a mix of community members, elected officials, and agency representatives working together on problem-solving and improvement strategies for East Portland.”

Or, come to the Midland Business Association meeting on October 9 and talk with Barry Manning in person. They meet at 11:45 at PIZZA BARON on SE 122nd Avenue, just south of SE Division Street.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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