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.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Our little Flint: Demolitions spread the lead out

According to a federal study, dust from a demolition travels up to 400 feet, about
eight Portland yards in an R5 zone. A Feb. 29 event at the Hollywood looks
at the effects of ingestion and ways to minimize exposure.

With deconstruction set to occur for homes built in 1916 or earlier, thanks to City Council's vote last week, now United Neighborhoods for Reform moves to tackle the uncontrolled release of hazardous materials from the other 67 percent of the homes that will go down this year—about 200 if the trend holds steady.

Never mind that these hundreds of homes will end up in our landfill—even while so many Portlanders carefully tuck their every can and bottle into the right container for recycling—the dust the homes will exude through mechanical demolition probably contains lead (the walls of every pre-1978 home were sure to be coated with it) and asbestos, a popular building-material ingredient for decades.

Fallout from demolitions, along with the effects of lead poisoning, and information on how we can protect ourselves, are the focus of Let's Take the Lead on Lead, a free event that runs 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29, at the Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd. Come one, come all.

The event includes a screening of Portlander Tamara Rubin's movie MisLead: America's Secret Epidemic (watch the trailer here), followed by Demolishing Portland: A Gallery of Lost History, the UNR movie that's even more compelling on the big screen.

Filmmaker Rubin and John Sandie, who leads the hazmat-control effort for United Neighborhoods for Reform, will lead a Q&A afterward.

Sign up to learn about upcoming demos in your neighborhood, and help inform people about how to minimize their exposure to hazardous materials released during demolition.

This event is funded by Central Northeast Neighbors and presented by Beaumont-Wilshire NA, Lead Safe America Foundation, and United Neighborhoods for Reform

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