Welcome to Village Portland, neighborhood news & actions in East Portland.
We’re here to bridge the gap between news & civic participation… and to encourage folks get involved with their community and support their neighbors. There are a million voices fighting for your attention, but we want to help you connect with your village, your neighborhood… where your power to connect and make change is the strongest.
Read more about how to get involved and promote your business or organization below, or you’re an organizer or writer interested in bringing a Village Portland to your neighborhood, contact Andrew Wilkins, Publisher & Editor:
It’s been a rough year so far for a lot of folks— so how about we chill out a bit with some amazing animation from our talented Village Portland contributors?
Let’s start with some rainy-day musings from Michael B (@UrbanHumanBeing on Instagram):
More talk of rain, this time as a metaphor from your cartoon friends at Village Portland exclusive Life in the Village by Anne Cascadian (she’s just about ready to step into social media).
Jen Taft (jen3taft on Twitter) is another talented local creator who has stepped up to work with Village Portland.
Pandemic Duck has a lot to say about just about everything happening these days, so follow her to keep up.
All these creators are further proof that making art can help keep you from quacking up during hard times. ✌️ & ❤️
From September 10th through 30th, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time Based Art festival is happening in person and online:
Online & various locations * Sept. 10th – 30th
“In this year— our 25th— we need to talk, share, experience, process, and open our eyes to new possibilities— to the newly possible.”
A historical look back:
“The show consists of images of people, places and things no longer in our city. They’ve assembled 30+ new prints, including a large scale, wallpaper sized, 1956 service station tourist map of the city of Portland as it was then, and images ranging ‘from the magnificent to the mundane.'”
Wildfires are burning throughout Oregon, destroying property, placing about half a million residents under an evacuation warning (not evacuated as we and many outlets first reported), and inflicting heavy smoke upon us all.
Around 40,000 Oregonians have had to evacuate, Gov. Kate Brown clarified after the Oregonianquestioned that claim.
As of 1 p.m. Friday, Multnomah and Clackamas County officials say there’s no threat of evacuation to Multnomah County residents— but many in Clackamas County have evacuated, and the entire county is under a warning.
Volunteer with OVOAD here. I signed up so we’ll see what they say…
They’re also recommending a Facebook group that is offering direct support (“clothes, shelter for animals, a place to camp”), but it doesn’t seem to be administered— so be aware of that.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13TH
Unfortunately, due to the wildfires both the Lents International Market and Montavilla Farmers Market are closed today. They both made the announcement Friday.
Last week, we had beautiful weather at the Lents market for our video visit we’re calling “Lents International Market: Growing Community and Entrepreneurship”. It’s hosted by Michael B— a rad new contributor who’s talents include graphic design, radio, improv.
You can’t eat or drink it, but you can hopefully feel the community and entrepreneurial spirit we felt so strongly there. It will be up on our YouTube page tonight! Like, comment, share… and join us by hitting that subscribe button.
We hope our good time and all the wonderful entrepreneurial enterprises spotlighted brings you a bit of comfort in these rough times.
Hello folks! I’m Cory Elia the managing editor of Village Portland. Some of you may know me mainly from my reportings on this app called Twitter.
Prior to covering the protests in downtown Portland, I was reporting on different situations around the city of Portland. I love this city because it’s where I was born and raised. But there is this thing called journalistic fatigue. I’ve been feeling it for a while now.
Some people like to write when they are frustrated to relieve the stress, I’m the complete opposite. However, I figured I should take some time to explain this letter which was found after the Saturday, August 22nd rallies in downtown Portland and given to me.
When it was discovered, it was written on a piece of paper in crayon and contained a significant amount of both spelling and grammatical errors.
The letter appears to be a complaint from an Officer Richard Cranium— and even contained a Twitter handle. It was difficult to read but we at Village Portland painstakingly deciphered the letter and recreated it for you as follows…
A Complaint Letter by Officer Richard Cranium
As a local law enforcement officer, I have to speak up about the current situation pertaining to the nightly riots in Portland, Oregon.
For too long we officers have remained silent. Especially while beating rioters. All this violent graffiti and violent damaging of property needs to stop. Property is valuable and needs to be protected above all else.
All these people complaining about a racist police system need to understand that is why I became an officer to begin with. This system was built to protect the rich, white, and males of the country and I find that noble. It was the prospect of violating citizens’ rights and being racist towards minorities without any consequences that attracts many of us to this field of work. We enjoy it. You can see this by officers gathering around after teargassing and brutalizing protesters, press, legal observers, and then cracking jokes about it. There’s footage! It’s our version of the old water cooler.
These restraining orders that have been put in place while supposedly being a deterrent from us assaulting press and legal observers just makes it more fun because now we have to try and do so without anyone seeing. However, this means we officers can’t fully do as we please which is frustrating. I AM THE LAW!
When our Supreme Leader Donald Trump stated we can beat up on protesters and then called the media the enemy many of us started taking extra steroids to prepare for the fun we would be allowed to have. PPA President Daryl Turner has done his best to ensure we can do as we please to the best of his ability and I commend him for that. He truly understands the thrills we get from this job. He is a true hero! At least we got to hide our names.
But being muzzled isn’t something we enjoy and with more lawsuits being formed it’s becoming less acceptable to performing the essential duties of tear gassing, bull rushing, and beating people senselessly.
So… here I must plea to all the City officials and judges looking at this situation… can’t we beat up protesters, press, and legal observers just a little bit without being punished? We kind of need the release. Just ask our wives.
Sincerely, Officer Richard Cranium
If any more letter like this are found please feel free to reach out to me at @therealcoryelia or @villageportland on Twitter.
It’s a key role with Village Portland, and we’re putting out the call to you, our readers, as well as the broader community.
Neighbors and supporters have been willing to step up and donate when we ask, but how do we establish a more stable revenue base? How do we let our local businesses and organizations support our work and help us grow.
Responses due Wednesday, September 16, Oregon Department of Transportation is asking for neighbors’ input on tolling for I-205 between Stafford Road and OR 213. Take the survey, and read more about the issue at the Southeast Examiner‘s website here.
The reason given by ODOT is to raise revenue and improve travel reliability.
Much of Parklane Park in East Portland‘s Centennial neighborhood— 20 of its 25 acre size— has never been developed. But earlier this month, the City’s plan for its new features was revealed.
It’s that time of year when all the wonderful things you’ve planted are starting to really bear fruit(s and vegetables). We’re feeling the same way over here— with a lot of exciting new contributors and content all centered around Village Portland‘s guiding principles of community building and community support.
As rent and mortgage suspensions begin to end locally (Sept. 30, just month and a half away) and nationally, many fear a wave of evictions and an increase in homelessness.
Portland certainly has its problems, but we’ve also managed to establish multiple peer-run transitional housing villages here.
With 20 years of service, Dignity Village was the first— and it didn’t happen without a fight.
We’re taking a closer look at Dignity Village in a film with interviews by Cory Elia, and amazing archival footage from its founding.
We’ve hit our fundraising goal (thanks to everyone that contributed!), and hope to announce a big step forward in its progress very soon. Until then watch (and share!) the trailer for “Voices of the Villages” below if you haven’t yet.
In this week’s “Life in the Village”, Paula and Reggie discuss their summers:
Next weekend is the annual Johnson Creek Watershed clean-up! Pre-registration is required to keep groups small for social distancing.
Register here. Volunteers get a free t-shirt from a local artist.
Johnson Creek (various locations) * August 22 @ 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 15TH
New Hawaiian food cart:
Leidback is a new Hawaiian food cart in Eastport Plaza. This family-friendly event will have live music from Kanohana.
Eastport Food Center, 3905 SE 82nd Ave * noon – 6 p.m.
New biz incubator:
Pies, beers, tacos, African food… and soon sushi are available at the newly-opened Rocket Machine Empire building in Montavilla.
Learn more about the project, and its anti-gentrification initiatives here.
6935 NE Glisan St
SUNDAY, AUGUST 16TH
The Montavilla Farmers Market is every Sunday during its season; learn more about their vendors here.
7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm
Lents International Farmers Market is on Sunday too.
SE 92nd & Reedway, between Foster Rd & Harold St * 9 am – 2 pm
Ballots for the Portland City Council run-off election between Dan Ryan and Loretta Smith are due August 11th. Both were hosted on Oregon Public Broadcasting‘s Talk Out Loud earlier this week. Read about them and listen to the program here.
At July’s Lents Neighborhood Livability Association, Tremaine Clayton of Portland Fire & Rescue gave an update on Portland Street Response, a program to respond to non-emergency calls with trauma-informed care, freeing up police for other duties.
He said due to the pandemic, the program has been delayed. In a SE Examiner story, Clayton said he’s responding to calls with a social worker 40 hours a week now. But when PSR fully comes on-line, the program has been expanded to include 18 vans. It’s likely to begin in early 2021, he said.
Beginning next week, Portland Metro Arts presents “Brush Up Your Shakespeare Workshop”. This workshop helps teach students develop the skills of acting, improvisation, and stage presence (Ages 12 – 18).
The Montavilla Farmers Market is every Sunday during its season; learn more about their vendors here. They only have the vendor’s from last week on their site, but we’re in the full bloom of summer so expect berries, stone fruit, and plenty of vegis.
7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm
Lents International Farmers Market is also on Sunday.
Learn more about the market here, including how to “double up” your SNAP benefits.
SE 92nd & Reedway, between Foster Rd & Harold St * 9 am – 2 pm
Editor’s note: We added feedback from one of the local journalists about sourcing video from Rosie. His feedback is italicized in the story. We moved the journalist’s comments lower in the story, and also changed the headline to reflect that calling the inquiries a scam was the writer’s perspective.
These are just some of the major news outlets that reached out to me a few weeks ago when footage I took of Multnomah County Sheriff Officers t-boning a motorist with their squad car after a protest against police brutality caught their attention.
This footage was viewed over two hundred thousand times, showing police stopping a vehicle attempting to obey their dispersal orders, breaking the Portlander’s window, and then t-boning their vehicle with a MCSO vehicle when they tried to escape a terrifying situation.
Throughout the two months of protests that have been happening in Portland, Oregon, major news outlets have been reaching out to many freelance journalists here.
All too often our local journalists— who are putting their life and well being on the line every night in attempts to show the world what is happening here— are not offered compensation of any kind.
For me personally, these attempts to license my footage were particularly insulting.
Last night, at the protests for better policing and Black Lives Matter downtown, it seemed like there was a big win for Portlanders.
Folks got to gather and protest without being assaulted with gas and munitions. Police thanked folks for helping to stop mis-behavior— a task that protesters showed can be done without a militarized response.
Last night was the first night of protests since the recent handover from federal officials to Oregon State Police. Hopefully, this peaceful evening marks a shift in tactics to a more peaceful and proportional reaction from law enforcement officers at these protests.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 1ST
According to East PDX News, volunteers with “Parkrose Stepping Up” is hosting a pop up pantry. It’s an opportunity for neighbors who need it to get food, pet food, and basic supplies for free.
There’s be live music at 1 p.m.
Contact Terry Murphy for more information, or to volunteer or donate goods: email@example.com.
Village Portland was started to focus on neighborhoods— to help report on the issues that don’t always rise to the attention of citywide media, and the hard-working advocates that make this city great.
In this coverage, I realized that there are often natural reporters in these communities, and storytellers from all sorts of backgrounds who want help sharing what they see.
It’s awesome that the Internet has broadened opportunities for this kind of storytelling, but some folks still want a little help— help with editing and story telling, as well as help sharing these stories with their community.
Over the past few years, we’ve told some awesome stories, worked with some great storytellers, and done our best to serve our communities and Portland in general.
And then the protests for better policing / Black Lives Matter started.
In Portland, we’ve seen many indie journalists make a name for themselves by recording the clashes between police and protesters. As an advocate for indie journalism, it’s been fascinating to watch these folks use new media like Twitter and livestreaming to tell their stories, mixing in their opinions, values, and humor… as they work in a dangerous environment which more resembles war than the safe spaces where most reporting happens.
It’s also been awesome to see the world rise up to support this important coverage.
Both Cory Elia and Lesley McLam have worked with Village Portland, and we’ve enjoyed making connections with other indies. We’ve also publishing two really cool stories by Rosie Riddle that really get to the heart of the amazing community support / mutal aid happening on our streets. We also did a long interview with Dr. Juniper Simonis, who is an advocate that uses research and videography to in their efforts to push back on police brutality and over-reach. Much of this coverage moves lightning-quick, so follow us on Twitter @villageportland for the latest.
Two things: thank you for your brave coverage, you wonderful indie journalists; and I want you to know we’re here if you need help. I know there are a lot of stories out there being missed— on the streets and in Portland— and we’re to help you tell them.
Our rates aren’t amazing, but they’re in line with what freelancers make in this town. We also provide editing and mentoring on a level that other media orgs simply don’t have time for— as well as a level of respect that most outlets don’t offer.
Along with that, we also have a paid project for someone in Portland’s indie journalist community. We need help with archiving, editing, and assisting during the protest coverage.
You’d be working directly with Cory, who has been doing this kind of coverage for years and has gained national and international coverage of his work.
Cory’s coverage at the protests has been his own independent work, but we support him as much as possible and wanted to include this project with our renewed call to Portland’s indie freelance journalists and storytellers.
Contact me, Andrew Wilkins at firstname.lastname@example.org / Twitter: @tweetatwilkins; or Cory on Twitter: @therealcoryelia if you’d like to know more.
Again, indie journaists: thanks for your work in the streets and renewing folks trust and support for media.
It’s essential to this movement and essential to a free society— especially as we face increased repression and brutality from both local and federal government.
SATURDAY, JULY 25TH
Park restoration (event):
“Saturday July 25th join us at our first in person event for the summer! First opportunity to join for returning volunteers and Creek Crew Leaders.”
“Drop by for a self-guided tour starting at the gate on the southeast side of Parklane Park (by Parklane Elementary). We will open up the fenced area, and provide a one-way walking route, with a few stops highlighting the location of future park amenities.”
Parklane Elementary School, 15811 SE Main St * 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
I’ve been hearing the words, “community support” and “mutual aid” being tossed around a lot lately, generally being offered as an alternative to relying on often under-funded or inefficient government services.
But what does mutual aid look like? How does a community offer support? Well, a good example is Riot Ribs.
Riot Ribs is a small group of volunteers who have organized on the corner of SW 3rd Avenue & SW Salmon Street, right across the street from the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland.
They’re just a handful of folks with grills offering free food to anyone who wants it, living and operating out of Chapman Square.
The side of the blue tent where Riot Ribs operates. Signs hanging on it say “Free BBQ” and “Riot Ribs, Food is Free, Donations Appreciated”. Photo by Rosie Riddle
They started when one man showed up to the nightly protests in Chapman Square with his grill, some ribs, and a desire to see folks get fed. Soon after a group formed and took over when he left.
They’ve since been operating 24 hours a day, for 8 days straight, stopping only long enough to sleep for a couple hours, before getting back to grilling. They’re offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner to all comers, and asking for donations in order to keep running.
That’s the community support part.
They’re entirely community run, being all volunteers working for free, grilling up food entirely donated by the community, or purchased with money similarly donated.
Most of their volunteers are houseless folks who understand what it’s like to not have their needs met; folks who want to make sure that the folks in the area have what they need.
A sign outside the tent where Riot Ribs is cooking that reads, “By Community, For Community”. Photo by Rosie Riddle
I had the opportunity to speak with Isaiah, one of the folks grilling for Riot Ribs. He told me that part of their mission is to “empower folks to stay out there 24/7 and to support their community”.
Isaiah also told me that they have no intention of stopping any time soon. He said, “as long as there is a line for food we’re going to keep cooking”. In fact, they recently spent about 53 hours straight cooking, because the line simply never let up.
When asked if they had any long term goals for Riot Ribs, Isaiah said that they would like to start a restaurant here in Portland, and eventually expand to have food trucks in Seattle and down in San Fransisco as well. But they said that’s a long ways off and for now their only goal is to keep making sure that when people are hungry, they are fed.
At the prompting of, and with the help of, one of their volunteers (who asked to be referred to only as Beans) they’ve started a social media account on Twitter (@RiotRibs). Through this account, they are able to update the community on the things they need, and also post occasional status updates when necessary.
An info-graphic for Riot Ribs showing their Twitter handle, explaining what they do, and showing a list of items for donation that they are accepting.
Isaiah and another of the volunteers there, called Lil Dill, both have prior experience with food service, and work hard to make sure that the grill is constantly filled with everything from ribs and burgers, to vegan patties, and occasionally hot dogs.
They also often are able to offer sides to go with their barbecue whenever donations allow it.
I had a chance to try some lamb ribs straight off of the grill at one point and their skill in the kitchen is plainly apparent.
A picture of some ribs on the grill, with fire leaping up above them. Photo by Rosie Riddle
As for mutual aid, while I was talking with the kind folks of Riot Ribs, I witnessed them asking to borrow a wheeled cart from a nearby group, The Witches, and in exchange they sent over a plate of their grilled goodies.
Later on in the night, Riot Kitchen, who had been doing something very similar to Riot Ribs but up in Seattle at the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, dropped by to donate all the food they had left, after police shut them down.
One of the folks who helped to run Riot Kitchen, called Mayhem, told me they had so much food left over and didn’t want to see it go bad, so they decided to come on down to Portland and see about setting up shop feeding folks down here, only to be surprised that Riot Ribs was already taking care of them.
I was absolutely blown away by everything I saw while I was talking with the folks of Riot Ribs, from their absolute dedication to supporting their community, to the lines forming outside the tent, forty-people long, for hours on end, to their commitment to upholding food and safety guidelines even given the fact they were operating out of a tent.
These people are, in my opinion, what community support is all about and I think that the hundreds of people they feed each day would agree with me.
A picture of Riot Ribs, the grill in the foreground, the tent in the background. Pictured are Isaiah and Lil Dill who are “just vibing”, their faces blacked out for their privacy. Photo by Beans, @ComradeBeana on Twitter
Rosie is a houseless trans activist and writer with a focus on tech and queer advocacy. Originally from California, it’s been a Portland resident for over a decade.