Sellwood Moreland Improvement League

January 2022 SMILE Newsletter

SMILE -- "The Neighbor"


Central Precinct “NRT” Police Officer appears at December meeting

 The December 1st SMILE General Meeting featured an opportunity to meet, to hear, and to ask questions of our NRT Officer (“Neighborhood Response Team” Officer) from Central Precinct. He is Officer William Green, and he introduced himself as a Southeast Portland native and a Franklin High graduate. He went on to get degrees in college, and has been an officer in the Portland Police Bureau since 2011. He participated in our ZOOM meeting from home, since he is currently recovering from a cut hand in an incident the previous weekend. He detailed the livability issues that NRT Officers concentrate on. In recent events, he said a suspect with a felony robbery warrant, Freddie Vasquez, had been menacing kids at St. Agatha in the previous week but now is in custody. He himself has been working nuisance complaints at Oaks Bottom and in Sellwood and Westmoreland Parks.  He helped mitigate problems at a “squatter house” with a water leak off Martins Street in Eastmoreland. Officer Green explained that NRT officers respond based on contact with community members and their own investigations; they are not “dispatched”, as are other officers, to incidents. NRT officers can “abate” homeless camps, but usually only in response to specific crimes, under current city rules; overdoses, property crimes, and stolen cars are the top issues he hears from the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood.


Everyone welcome at SMILE meetings

The next monthly online SMILE General Meeting, in January, will be at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening, January 5.. The monthly SMILE Board Meeting for January will be on Wednesday evening, January 19, at 7:30 p.m.  Each meeting will last approximately one and a half hours.

Simon Fulford, SMILE President, leads the Sellwood-Westmoreland community virtual “online” meetings via “ZOOM”, within the rules governing the operations of 501c3 nonprofit organizations. SMILE online meetings take place at the same time, and on the same date, as did the pre-COVID in-person meetings – and they are always open to all SMILE members – that is, everyone who lives in Sellwood or Westmoreland, or works there, or owns property there. And guests are always welcome, too. To attend, e-mail your request to Simon Fulford at – He will reply with a link for you to click to enter the ZOOM meeting at the listed time, on the scheduled date, using a computer. Everyone is welcome.

When these coronavirus-related restrictions are relaxed, a time still in question because of the rise of the COVID-19 Delta Variant, SMILE will resume in-person meetings at SMILE Station, S.E. 13th at Tenino in Sellwood – but with the hope of finding a practical way of still making them available online for those unable to go to SMILE Station.

Stay in touch with SMILE at its general website during this time – – and also at its “procedural and resources” website, where agendas and meeting minutes may be found –


A web-savvy volunteer sought

 SMILE Board Member Elaine O’Keefe reported that the Chair of SMILE’s ad-hoc Communications Committee, Neal Spinler, has bought a house in the Portsmouth neighborhood and has moved there, and so he has resigned his Board seat at SMILE.  Consequently, SMILE again needs a new Webmaster, and a new Communications Committee Chair. Both are volunteer positions, and neither requires Board membership.  She is filling in on those roles temporarily.\


SMILE takes supportive vote in support of coalition

 At the November SMILE Board Meeting, President Simon Fulford Fulford asked the Board to consider a supportive vote in favor of a proposed bylaws revision at our own nonprofit Neighborhood Coalition, Southeast Uplift. Our consent is not needed; it would merely be a vote of support. He explained the change contemplated would give Uplift more control of their Board membership: Southeast Uplift would be able to have its Board (which is composed of representatives from each of the neighborhoods it supports) consider a motion to expel a Board member, if that member’s disruptive conduct impairs the functioning of the Southeast Uplift Board. (But the neighborhood representative thus ejected could be replaced by another one chosen by the neighborhood affected.) Two members of the SMILE Board with experience as Uplift Board Members on behalf of SMILE affirmed that this change was badly needed to keep Uplift functional, and SMILE Secretary Eric Norberg pointed out that there is a similar provision in SMILE’s own bylaws, although it has never been necessary to invoke it.  Simon Fulford moved that SMILE endorse the bylaws change at Southeast Uplift; Jim Friscia and others seconded simultaneously; and the motion carried unanimously.


New developments planned in Sellwood, Westmoreland

Its Chair, David Schoellhamer, reported at the November SMILE General Meeting on behalf of the SMILE Land Use Committee. He observed that issues for the committee have been increasing lately. He thanked those who had advocated some time ago for the “Main Street” design guidelines to the Portland City Council.  Commissioner Mapps supported some of the ideas submitted by SMILE in the final version of the new city design guidelines, he said.

David went on to tell of some upcoming meetings for his committee:  On December 1, the committee was to hear from those behind a planned major new development on both sides of the bridgehead at the Sellwood Bridge, which would include 104 residential units and 10,000 square feet of commercial space; then, on December 8, the committee was scheduled to host the neighborhood contact meeting for the builders planning a new development on the northwest corner of S.E. 13th and Tenino, diagonally across the street from SMILE Station. They are proposing two separate buildings of 19 residential units apiece on the lot, which may be split. (He explained that state law requires including “affordable housing” when 20 or more residential units are in a building, so there are a lot of apartment buildings being built now with 19 units).  Each building will also have some ground level commercial space.  SMILE can make suggestions for both these developments, but as long as they meet city code for the site, we have no power to require anything, or to object to the plans.

David went on to say that a third meeting is planned, on a date not yet determined, for a proposed zoning change on the west side of Milwaukie Avenue at S.E. Harold Street, on the edge of the Oaks Bottom bluff – so in this case SMILE actually can have a role. The zoning change would permit the construction of a tall building on several parcels at that location.  The requested zoning would permit a building not to exceed ten stories – although typically such buildings tend to run four to seven stories in height, he said. Some Q-and-A discussion of land use matters concluded his report.


SMILE creates new committee to address homeless issues

President Fulford reported at the November General Meeting on behalf of SMILE’s new “Homeless/Houseless” committee, the name for which has not yet been finalized.  He said the committee plans to meet twice a month for the time being, and is looking for more community members.  It will confront such questions as how we can best engage with our homeless/houseless neighbors, how we should deal with related community issues, “how and what should we ‘laiase’ with existing city strategies”, and how do we live and work with our homeless/houseless community?


SMILE Board members this year

 Every year in May, at the “first Wednesday evening” General Meeting, there takes place an election for the 12-member volunteer Board of the Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhood association, SMILE. Four positions are the officers of the nonprofit organization – President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary, and those seats are for one year terms. The other eight positions are for at-large Board seats, and they have two year terms – staggered, so that four seats are up for election each year, to assure Board continuity.

This year there were five Board seats in the election, since one Board Member elected last year took a job elsewhere, resigned, and left the neighborhood mid-term. So, that seat was up for election to complete the term, which will expire next May– but, like all Board seats, its holder can seek re-election at the end of the term (only the President is limited to two consecutive terms).

Following the Board Meeting, held on ZOOM, in which close to a dozen candidates introduced themselves and told why they hoped to join the SMILE Board, the election began online, administered and overseen by the Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Coalition. The voting continued until 7 p.m. the following evening; and for those unable to unwilling to vote online, in-person voting with paper ballots was offered the following afternoon – first at SMILE Station, and later at Sellwood Community House’s “Thursday Market”.

Early the following week, the elected candidates were announced by Southeast Uplift:

PRESIDENT – Simon Fulford
VICE PRESIDENT – Ayomide Nikzi
TREASURER – Pat Hainley
SECRETARY – Eric Norberg

ELECTED AT-LARGE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD – Bob Burkholder, Emily Pitts, Sarah Bunger, Neal Spinler (who has since resigned. and left the neighborhood), and Zack Duffly. Duffly will complete his partial term until this May; a one-year replacement for Spinler will be elected in May, and the other three seats open in May will receive a full two-year term. The several unsuccessful Board candidates have been encouraged to get involved with SMILE activities or committees, and consider running again for a Board seat next May. The remaining Board Members whose terms will expire next May are Jim Friscia, Elizabeth Milner, and Elaine O’Keefe. They are eligible to seek re-election to another two-year term.


SMILE offers volunteer opportunities on committees

 SMILE has a number of committees in service to a number of needs in the neighborhood, and all are open to any resident or SMILE member in Sellwood and Westmoreland. They are listed on the main SMILE website – – and anyone is welcome to attend (currently, virtually, in ZOOM meetings) and to participate on any and all committees they are interested in.


Websites for Sellwood-Westmoreland

 SMILE offers two complementary websites as a resource for the neighborhood. One is the neighborhood’s blog – – posting neighborhood news, and regularly updated. A second website contains SMILE’s agendas, minutes, announcements, documents, resources, and much ongoing and regularly-updated neighborhood reference information at – In addition, SMILE maintains an informational website for the Oaks Pioneer Church on Spokane Street at the east end of the Sellwood Bridge, for which it is the renting agent – For information on the Sellwood Community House on the corner of S.E. 15th and Spokane Street in Sellwood, now operated as its own separate community nonprofit, “Friends of Sellwood Community House”, go online to:


Who SMILE members are

 SMILE members are EVERYONE living in, working in, or owning property in, Sellwood and/or Westmoreland – unless they specifically exempt themselves. All SMILE members are welcome to volunteer for any of the SMILE committees of particular interest to them.


SMILE is a 501c3 nonprofit

 Of the 95 recognized neighborhood associations in Portland, SMILE is one of the few to be authorized by the IRS as a nonprofit “501c3” organization. This means that donations made to SMILE are tax-deductible – and are very welcome!



THE 2021-22 SMILE BOARD OFFICERS (1-year terms)

President -- Simon Fulford

Vice President -- Ayomide Nikzi

Treasurer -- Pat Hainley

Secretary -- Eric Norberg


AT-LARGE BOARD SEATS (2-year terms):


Elaine O'Keefe

Elizabeth Milner

Jim Friscia

Zach Duffly      [elected in 2021 for unexpired term of Alison Daniel]



Emily Pitts

Bob Burkholder

Sarah Bunger

Neal Spinler   [moved from the neighborhood and resigned his seat in late 2021]    


Portland, Oregon 97202

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