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.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Seven more hours to make your voice heard

With today's 5 p.m. deadline for comment on the Residential Infill Project, or RIP (send to residential.infill@portlandoregon.gov!), we're running this guest post and graphics (left) by activist N.E. Lettanay, which nicely summarize the situation—and hopefully inspire more comment to planners (again: send to residential.infill@portlandoregon.gov):

QUESTION: What do you get when the Home Builders Association, real estate investors, and developers like Vic Remmers hijack a project originally intended to mitigate displacement, create smaller, more affordable housing options, and reign in an unprecedented demolition epidemic? 
ANSWER: A Trojan Horse, a lie cloaked in the words we want to hear, an opportunistic land grab that will put the current evisceration of our city to shame if passed. 
We live in a city that allows unrestricted demolition of sound, habitable structures. Without the ability to restrict demolitions and shape the kind of development that builds the equitable communities we want and need, the Residential Infill Project zoning changes will exacerbate and perpetuate our current housing state of emergency. RIP is being brought to this city by the very same industry that cultivated the affordable housing crisis to begin with. Sign and share the petition, make noise, RESIST RIP. 

AND REMEMBER: There is no "housing crisis," there is only an *affordable* housing crisis.

RIP process flawed from the start

[looking at the graphic (below) of people involved in the drafting of RIP]

Courtesy Jesse Simpson

Those marked in blue are the members of the RIP committee (aka RIPSAC) who drafted the "majority" report recommendation—to upzone the entire city without requiring affordability or restricting demolitions. Notice a common thread? (Some, like Living Cully, had good intentions and do great work in the community, but were IMHO misled by developers' talking points.) 

Those marked in orange as the RIPSAC 7 are unsung heroes who have been sounding the alarm since it became apparent that this initiative was being driven by the profiteers in quest for greater wealth extraction.

Svengali's got to gloat

Lest we forget just what kinds of tactics the Home Builders Association is willing to employ in order to manipulate, lie, and polish up that Trojan Horse of theirs... let's revisit their brag piece about how they defeated the demolition tax by employing a new controversial tactic of "seizing the progressive agenda," "attacking from the left" and "engineering testimony."


Lettanay also offers a highlighted academic study by a Lewis & Clark Environmental Studies major on the entire RIP process, noting that "his astute observations and conclusions should be a wake-up call for everyone. This is what rollout Neoliberalism looks like"—see https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2BymwFHHWtTc011ZEdDamRwVVU/view.

Want more? Watch the video version of her testimony here. Also, we volunteer activists don't have money for massive billboards, offices downtown, or paid lobbyists like Portland for Everyone and other pro-developer assistants, but if we did we'd love to see this truth given the play it deserves:

Courtesy N.E. Lettanay

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