What UNR does, and why

Portland grassroots group United Neighborhoods for Reform seeks to stem the demolition of viable, affordable housing. Our demolition/development resolution, developed through significant neighbor outreach, gathered endorsements from 43 neighborhood associations citywide. We also regularly take our message to City Hall, starting in December 2014, continuing in 2015 on Feb. 12, June 3 (UNR presenters start at 51:20), Oct. 14 (UNR at 1:07:35), and Nov. 25 (UNR at 1:05); in 2016 on Feb. 17, Nov. 9 and 16, and Dec. 7; in 2017 on May 17; and in 2018 on Feb. 1.

"The time is always right to do what is right."
—Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Good growth or homogenous metropolis? Portlanders deserve a say

Neighborhood associations highlighted in green have endorsed the
demolition/development resolution (for the full list click at top right).
Grant Park and Centennial have joined the group of neighborhoods that support making neighbors' voice part of the discussion in planning Portland's future.

Meanwhile, stories chronicling development in Houston, Nashville, and San Francisco show what could happen here if business continues as usual.

Some quotes from the first article, by Anis Shivani:
"When existing vibrant neighborhoods are torn down and those being displaced are crucial members of the community, we’re not just talking about gentrification. We are witnessing a full-scale sellout to developers, who are working closely with municipal government for short-term speculative gain."
"This is how ruling oligarchies kill a city: one business, one person at a time, pretending that market forces are doing all the work, when in fact all sorts of incentives and disincentives are at play. ... [N]ot a day has gone by in recent years when [Houston real estate website] Swamplot hasn’t reported the closure of yet another historic restaurant or bar or antique shop. But after about five years of this, there’s nothing distinctive to shut down anymore." This will sound familiar and scarily prophetic to those involved in Portland's music scene.
"Incentives should be provided to increase livability and expand the range of options for every class of people. Instead, [some] neighborhoods remain static and ignored [East Portland comes to mind], while the mega-developers keep tearing down and rebuilding the stock of inner-city housing that is already solid. The logic of gentrification is to continuously package and commodify and leverage the same bit of land for speculative purposes. Save the neighborhoods that need to be saved and leave those that are doing great alone."

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