Downtown club holds ‘Candidate Mixer’ in outer East Portland

Take a look, and see why the downtown-based City Club of Portland held their monthly “Civic Drinks” event in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood …

Members and guests of the City Club of Portland mix and mingle during their “Civic Drinks” event – held this month at Pizza Baron, in outer East Portland.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For longer than 100 years, Portland “movers, shakers, and leaders” have been members of the storied City Club of Portland.

Well known for their Friday Forum luncheons, held at the Sentinel Hotel (formerly the Governor Hotel) downtown, the City Club of Portland also has numerous meetings for members and their guests – also primarily at downtown locations.

Oregon Representative Jeff Reardon, Democrat – District 48 – pitches his reelection campaign platform.

But, on October 7, that all changed. Their monthly “Civic Drinks” evening mixer event, entitled “Election Drinks” for that evening, was held in the Midway Business District, at Bill Dayton’s Pizza Baron Restaurant. Organizers invited all politicians and supporters of ballot measures to come present themselves and their positions.

A half hour before the meting was scheduled to begin, members began to arrive. Many City Club members commented they expected to see a couple dozen people – and the organization had estimated 50 attendees. However, about 130 eventually made their way out to the SE 122nd Avenue location.

Hazelwood Neighborhood Association President Arlene Kimura and Lents resident Nick Christensen chat at the City Club mixer.

“It’s important to have an event like this in outer East Portland, because most people do not understand the vastness of our area,” commented guest Arlene Kimura, President and Land Use Committee Chair of the Hazelwood Neighborhood Association.

“This gives our neighborhoods significant exposure by bringing people in from all over the city,” Kimura told East Portland News.

Sunshine Dixon of UA talks with City Club of Portland Board of Governors member Anita Yap.

Board of Governors of City Club of Portland member Anita Yap of A. Yap & Associates, and also a member of the Jade District Steering Committee Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative, spoke for the event.

“I’ve been involved with the City Club of Portland for about six years,” Yap said. “And, I believe this is our first meeting like this in outer East Portland – and I’m pretty excited about it!”

Many people of influence forget that most of the city is geographically located east of the Willamette River, Yap observed. “East Portland is also Portland – and extends all the way out to the Gresham city line. This area has been neglected for a long time.”

Sara Fisher from Human Solutions and Judith Huck of Classique Floors are guests at the mixer.

Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz isn’t shy when it comes to pitching the Parks Replacement Bond, Measure 26-159.

One of the reasons that recognition for East Portland is important to her, Yap said, is that she grew up, works, and resides in the area.

And, she wasn’t surprised at the turnout, Yap said. “As we know, there is a lot of action going on in outer East Portland, and there has been, for long time. We have a lot of activists.

US Senatorial candidate Dr. Monica C. Wehby MD talks with City Club of Portland Executive Director Sam Adams.

“The leadership of the City Club board, and our Executive Director Sam Adams, has been focusing on issues of equity for the whole year,” Yap added. “This has really energized not only the East Portland community folks, but all of our members’ equity and diversity issues, citywide.”

While it was once considered a club for the downtown élite, Yap recommended everyone consider joining the organization. “There’s a lot of sharing of ideas. It’s a good way to get the attention of folks. In the last year, I’ve seen a huge shift in focus toward diversity and equity. For example, the idea is becoming clear that East Portland is, indeed Portland.”

Find out more about the City Club of Portland by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

-8 They’re packed, shoulder-to-shoulder as this City Club of Portland event is in full swing.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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