May 29, 2008
Racial Shift in a Progressive City Spurs Talks
By WILLIAM YARDLEY
PORTLAND, Ore. - Not every neighborhood in this city is one of those Northwest destinations where passion for espresso, the environment and plenty of exercise define the cultural common ground. A few places are still described as frontiers, where pioneers move because prices are relatively reasonable, the location is convenient and, they say, they "want the diversity."
Yet one person's frontier, it turns out, is often another's front porch. It has been true across the country: gentrification, which increases housing prices and tension, sometimes has racial overtones and can seem like a dirty word. Now Portland is encouraging black and white residents to talk about it, but even here in Sincere City, the conversation has been difficult.
"I've been really upset by what I perceive to be Portland's blind spot in its progressivism," said Khaela Maricich, a local artist and musician. "They think they live in the best city in the country, but it's all about saving the environment and things like that. It's not really about social issues. It's upper-middle-class progressivism, really."
Ms. Maricich, 33, who is white, spoke after attending this month's meeting of Portland's Restorative Listening Project.
The goal of the project, which is sponsored by the city's Office of Neighborhood Involvement, is to have white people better understand the effect gentrification can have on the city's longtime black and other-minority neighborhoods by having minority residents tell what it is like to be on the receiving end.
Portland's support of cycling pays off
View from Jonathan Maus' bike in Portland traffic
According to Bicycling Magazine, Portland, Ore., has the highest number of bike commuters in the country. Ethan Lindsey reports on the industry that's grown up around all those riders.
Call#: Van Pelt Library GE155.O7 R63 2004
Call#: Van Pelt Library GE155.O7 R63 1997
Money - Grant-givers say people-hauling efficiency is their primary goal, not urban revitalization
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
In the Bush White House, the political appointees who set the nation's mass transit policies view Portland's streetcar system as an extravagance: A sweet way for a relatively few privileged urbanites to move about a city that prides itself on dense downtown development. Rapid bus lines, in the administration's view, would move more people from place to place at less expense.
That thinking could cost Portland, which is hoping to expand its streetcar line and become the first in the nation to be built with substantial federal money. The city has spent years building political and neighborhood consensus about the new route, which would cross the Broadway Bridge and go south to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, nearly completing a streetcar loop of the city's core.
But the project now navigates a political battlefield. Think tanks, Democrats in Congress and the White House are fighting over whether the federal government should help cities use streetcars to promote urban revitalization, or simply fund buses that move the most people over the greatest distances for the least amount of upfront money.
- Under Multnomah County proposal, Dorothy English could divide 22-acre parcel into 8 lots
By Todd Murphy
The Portland Tribune Jan 30, 2007 (2 Reader comments)
Multnomah County Chairman Ted Wheeler on Tuesday proposed that the county approve an expedited process that would allow 94-year-old Dorothy English to divide her 22 acres of property in the northwest corner of the county into eight buildable lots.
Wheeler's proposal - which will go before the county Board of Commissioners for approval at its Feb. 15 meeting - is the next and possibly final chapter to one of the more famous land-use disputes in the state during the last few years.
If approved and agreed to by English's lawyers, the proposal would save the county $1.15 million in compensation that it otherwise would need to pay English. English won the right to that compensation late last year after she filed suit in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Because of her difficulty in dividing her Multnomah County land into smaller parcels, English became the chief petitioner of Measure 37, a property rights measure that voters approved in 2004.