Most of the Montavilla Neighborhood Association meeting on Monday, September 11 revolved around preparations for the election of new members on October 9th, including who would be eligible.
Based on a suggestion from the elections board, the MNA board decided to have a general meeting before the election so neighbors who wanted to vote could be eligible.
There was also a signup sheet sent around to organize a homeless sweeps forum. MNA vice chair Michael Sonnleitner, who said he won’t be running for another term, said that the homeless sweeps resolution stands, but could be amended.
Board members and City of Portland officials both agreed that that the MNA anti-sweeps resolution are only a policy suggestion. Mayor Ted Wheeler said homeless camps are addressed based on citizen complaints.
There will be an entirely new board in October, and they’re hoping to have eleven members total. Five board members will be elected for a two-year term, and six for one-year term, so there won’t be an entirely new board every year. The two year positions will be filled first.
5:00 – One neighbor was concerned about being filmed at the meeting, but the neighbor filming said neighborhood association meetings are subject to state open meetings laws permitting video and audio recordings.
The MNA has money, Sonnleitner said with a chuckle: $2,705.20 in its checking account; and $6,603.56 in the savings account.
The MNA will need to submit receipts to Southeast Uplift by September 30th to be reimbursed for expenses. $500 was authorized for MNA promotion materials like t-shirts and buttons three or four months ago, but no action was taken. The board added another $500 for both election outreach and promotional materials, to be spent before the SEUL deadline.
1:04:35 – A pair of Portland Police Bureau officer attended the meeting. The first question from the crowd was about homeless sweeps, and they said they didn’t know much about them.
The officers said in the past few months they’ve “taken strides” to deal with RVs that are health hazards and / or selling drugs. Across Portland, they said car thefts and car prowls are still a significant problem. The Oregon State Legislature decriminalized possession of most drugs, “so a lot is out of our hands” one of the officers said.
1:16:00 – A neighbor complained about hate speech at the rally at Montavilla Park this spring, and said they were harassed by police. The neighbor, Briar Rose, a transgendered woman, made a social media post saying they were harassed. They said there’s a trend of harassment towards transgendered neighbors.
1:27:15 – One neighbor said that even though it pissed a lot of people off, the MNA homeless resolution got people involved. She said that at this point, neighbors need to calm down and work together.
One neighbor offered to include JOIN, a day shelter at 1435 NE 81st Ave in Montavilla.
Anther neighbor said that since Portland has such high employment rates, it’s harder for homeless folk to get traditional jobs. A solution could be community-based employment job opportunities, a program that could be developed in the neighborhood.
1:48:10 – Based on uncertainty around eligibility, one neighbors read the rules on who can be a MNA member. A discussion followed.
Son said that in order to be a MNA member you must attend a meeting and sign in personally. He said he was told online registration isn’t allowed, though Angela Todd with Montavilla Initiative said an Office of Neighborhood Involvement representative said she could. The MI has started an initiative to register neighbors for the election online.
I’ll reach out to ONI and inquire about the conflicting reports about registering neighbors to vote. The board also said ONI will also be submitting information on how to register neighbors who don’t have a permanent address.