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; in 2018 on Feb. 1; and many dates since.

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

This is not the kind of RIP city we are

Welcome back, hope you all had a good summer, and now we're back to land use school as the city's Residential Infill Project (RIP) moves to the fore, promising further luxe plexing and more landfilling of old growth resources.

Portland can bloom while it booms: Let's keep the housing we 
have—much of it modestly sized, "green," affordable, 
and durable—then apply creativity to our copious 
vacant land within the urban growth boundary.

Julia Gisler of the Bureau of Planning offered only RIP hints at the September meeting of the Central Northeast Neighbors land use committee, only saying that the public's influence on the proposal would be limited (perhaps nil?), that Commissioner Fish's approved request for alternative mapping would be too much work, and that, to paraphrase, staffers were hell-bent on getting to the Planning Commission for the "green" light. Maybe they don't even want us to see the developer-guided directive at all, considering the teardown blitz it encourages.

With changes to the RIP mission made on the fly and outside of the public eye (Mayor Wheeler supposedly merely gave the nod), United Neighborhoods for Reform (UNR) believes the public should be included if it is to be so impacted. Also: Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants (Louis D. Brandeis).

The latest proposal—already heavily contested in its first forms—is slow to come, but UNR will track it as ever, and respond as necessary to defend our wide range of housing that can shelter many more generations—and certainly more cheaply than any new construction.