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, June 10, 2015

Salem answers the SOS

Yesterday Senate Bill 705 passed the House, after collecting a yes from the Oregon Senate earlier this year. When implemented, it will require an accredited inspector to perform an asbestos survey before demolition. State leaders, in particular Sen. Michael Dembrow, heard out concerned neighbors at a constituent coffee here in Portland and went to work to help protect people from some of the hazardous materials that billow uncontrolled from demolition sites.

He's not done yet, saying lead is next.

With these protections, public health and safety will be better assured. According to federal studies, dust from demolitions travels up to 400 feet, and and until now city leaders were simply powerless to control it, or care. Luckily, we have state leaders looking out for us.

Sold for $815,000 and set for demolition: This Northeast
Portland home stands in the way of big profits.
If demolitions are curbed altogether, the hazardous materials problem eliminates itself. Imagine the lead dust that will emanate from the site of this slated demolition. This showcase house, built in 1928 on Northeast Alameda, probably has been painted numerous times inside and out over the past 87 years, many of those years before 1978 when each can of paint contained 15 pounds of lead. Pulverized during demolition, lead and other hazardous materials are free to waft into yards, lungs, and bodies. Children in particular are susceptible to irreversible damage from lead, with the Centers for Disease Control decreeing that no amount of lead is considered safe in kids.

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