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.

Friday, April 22, 2016

"Superman's not coming"

Erin Brockovich delivers hard news with a heart at the April 2 Air Forum.
So said activist Erin Brockovich at the Air Forum earlier this month, as she issued a "what are you waiting for" challenge and exhortation to local activists to do what must be done to stop hazardous emissions where we live and breathe. United Neighborhoods for Reform has long publicized the lack of control, oversight, and responsibility in this impact of demolition; mechanical demolition spreads hazmat up to 400 feet from a demo site, dusting everything and everyone in its wake. Recent "hot spots" of toxic emissions in Portland have brought the issue of air quality to the forefront, and hundreds more responsive Portlanders to the cause of clean air.

The good news, according to Brockovich, is that we are equal to the task of stopping polluters among us. "Tag—you're it," she said, adding that "ensuring a safe future is their [our leaders' and environmental agencies'] job. And you are going to make them do their job." Actually it was more like "make. them. do. their. job." You get the feeling Brockovich is good at speaking up for herself and others.

She used that same emphasis in scripting a critical path by saying that "agencies need to hear from you and Don't. Back. Off."

"We've all been lulled into a false sense of security," she said. "We're beginning to change."

Her kid and grandson live here so hopefully she keeps tabs on our progress to safeguard public health and safety, and to effectively help our leaders and city staff do their job.

More art from the Air Forum, courtesy of Eastside Portland Air Coalition:

Seth Woolley of Portland Clean Air tells the tragicomic story
of digging for the truth on toxic emissions at the local level.

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