Street clean-up hosted by Division Midway Alliance

Discover why Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson led the effort for this successful business district clean-up held in outer East Portland …

Picking up litter on both sides of SE Division Street, volunteers cleaned up areas of both the Mill Park and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

One of those “street clean-ups” – in which volunteers pick up trash, debris, and litter from neighborhood streets – took place Wednesday morning, July 21. This time volunteers were cleaning up near the intersection of SE Division Street and 122nd Avenue.

The cleanup, a program of the Division Midway Alliance (DMA) Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative district, was led by Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, District 3, and her staff.

Welcoming volunteers is Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, District 3.

“I’m here this morning because this is the neighborhood where I live, and it’s part of my district,” explained Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson as volunteers were gathering at the DMA office.

“And, outer East Portland is a part of the city that doesn’t always get the attention that it deserves,” Vega Pederson told East Portland News. “There are a lot of really great people who live and work here, and who care about this area where we all live.”

Providing the “Don’t Pick Up” orientation for a group of volunteers is Commissioner Vega Pederson’s Constituent Relations and Policy Liaison staffer, Olivia Cleaveland.

DMA volunteers both, Mill Park Neighborhood Association Chair Trevor Hopper is out to pick up trash with Surya Joshi, a 2017 Spirit of Portland Award winner and Program Coordinator at IRCO.

“After 18 months of COVID-19, we haven’t been able to come together much, as community, and have opportunities for connection; so this seemed like the perfect way to bring people together and to do something positive for the place where we live, by cleaning up the neighborhood,” Vega Pederson observed.

So, working with the DMA, and utilizing the resources of SOLVE Oregon, they began the clean-up. “We set a maximum of 25 people for this – and we maxed out at 25 participants.  It’s really good to see people interested in and excited about coming out cleaning up outer East Portland,” she said.

Heading west along SE Division Street, volunteers Mary Troutt and Denise Dorgan-Miller say they’re finding lots of trash to pick up.

“In this community-building effort, cleaning up our neighborhood helps to instill a greater sense of pride in the place we live,” Vega Pederson affirmed. “And, our work here today benefits all who also work and drive through this neighborhood.”

By accumulating volunteers in small groups, outdoors, a total of 35 people eventually participated in this cleanup. Altogether, they finished with 40 bags of trash – weighing about 450 pounds.

Well done, volunteers!

>> On our Front Page: Picking up litter is volunteer Kathryn Gerhards, who says she’s been doing regular street cleanups in Montavilla, near her home, for two years.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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