Sellwood Moreland Improvement League

JUNE 2024 SMILE Newsletter

First on the April SMILE General Meeting agenda was Mr. King Tran, who is Portland’s “Safe Blocks Program Coordinator”. He explained that the purpose of the program is to ensure that all city residents feel “safe and connected”.  Part of the program includes workshops on elements of these goals, which does include self-defense workshops for women and youth.  Mr. Tran said he is currently working to revive the “Neighborhood Watch” program, elements of which he discussed.  He is also a helpful resource for those wanting to have neighborhood “block parties” in Portland neighborhoods this summer.  He concluded his presentation by answering questions from those present.

 

 

Crime Prevention & Transportation Committees reactivated

 

New SMILE Board Member Grant Huling volunteered to be the Chair of the SMILE Crime Prevention Committee (informally called the “Community Safety” committee, pending any change in the ByLaws terminology for this standing committee).  President Dugan then appointed him Chair of that committee. Huling rather heroically also volunteered to Chair the SMILE Transportation Committee, which has recently not had a leader.

 

 

City decrees less resident input on construction

 

David Schoellhamer, Chair of the SMILE Land Use Committee, reports that an issue on which SMILE has been submitting testimony recently has now been settled by vote of the Portland City Council.

He reports that the city has ended the requirements for neighborhood meetings with developers. As part of the announced desire to reduce regulations to spur housing production, the Portland City Council permanently eliminated neighborhood meeting requirements for developments of from 10,000 to 25,000 square feet, and suspended all such meetings [for larger properties] for five years. 

 

Neighborhood contact meetings ranked only 16th of 25 regulations the City asked developers about eliminating, and the City did not provide any estimates of whatever savings could be gained from eliminating one meeting. SMILE has hosted an average of four meetings a year. This permanently eliminates about half of the SMILE neighborhood contact meetings, and suspends the rest. SMILE testimony opposed these changes. Livability benefits, such as improved setbacks and landscaping, creating better and safer traffic flows, and modifying construction materials and design to better complement our neighborhood’s historical architectural quality, have resulted from these meetings – a benefit now potentially lost.  “Developers are, however, still required to post a sign,” he says.

For more information on the SMILE Land Use Committee and to participate, visit – http://www.sellwood.org/land-use; or email, addressed to – land-use-chair@sellwood.org

SMILE -- "The Neighbor"

 

May SMILE annual election results!

The SMILE General Meeting for May took place on Wednesday, May 1st, 7:30-9 p.m., at SMILE Station, at S.E. 13th and Tenino (one block south of Tacoma Street), in Sellwood. SMILE Station's January ice-storm repairs are completed, and meetings are again being held there.

 

The May General Meeting mainly focused on the annual SMILE Board election. At least four two-year at-large Board seats were up for election or re-election, and four one-year Officer seats as well. The election was again overseen by the Southeast Neighborhood Coalition, Southeast Uplift.

 

At the conclusion of the SMILE Board Election process that it supervised and counted the vote for, Southeast Uplift announced that all four SMILE officer positions were won again by those seeking re-election.

 

In the at-large Board Member election, all four incumbents were re-elected for a two-year term. In the competition for the remaining partial Board seat term -- to complete the second half of a two-year term of a Board Member who resigned in the middle of the term -- the fifth-highest vote-getter in the election among those competing to join the SMILE Board turned out to be Jason Sturgill, so he was elected to the Board for one year until the May election in 2025, at which time he will have the same opportunity as any Board Member to run for re-election to a full two-year term.

 

SMILE President David Dugan personally contacted the several other candidates for these positions, thanked them for their candidacy, and urged them to get involved in SMILE -- perhaps by joining one or more committees; certainly by attending SMILE meetings, and assisting in SMILE events and projects. All are encouraged to consider running again for a Board seat next May, when there will be at least four at-large Board positions open, and all four officer positions as well.

 

Those who live in, work in, or own property in, either Sellwood or Westmoreland are automatically considered “members of SMILE" (unless they specifically don't want to be, for some reason; there is no card to carry or dues to pay). However, only SMILE members can vote on motions in General Meetings, and only SMILE members can run for seats on the SMILE Board each May.


Can SMILE still be represented by Southeast Uplift?

President Dugan at this meeting reported that SMILE had been participating in talks with the three other Inner Southeast neighborhoods which the city placed in the new City Council District 4 – which otherwise consists only of every neighborhood west of the Willamette River – about the desirability of remaining under the representational umbrella of the Southeast Uplift District Coalition, if it can be arranged.  The other three neighborhoods in District 4 are Eastmoreland, Reed, and the City of Portland’s section of Milwaukie’s Ardenwald-Johnson Creek neighborhood.

 

And indeed, the city does have a procedure for such a choice – which requires the neighborhoods involved be contiguous, and requires a “super-majority” vote of the membership in each of the neighborhoods to do so (67% majority).  For this reason, on May’s Board Election ballot there was an advisory question to be determined by the SMILE voters – whether they prefer SMILE to continue to be represented by Southeast Uplift, or to be shifted to a District Coalition on the west side of the Willamette.  The other three involved neighborhoods had such a question on their own Board Election ballots in May as well.  If the vote in all four neighborhoods is to stay with Southeast Uplift, the effort to do so can proceed.

 

Dugan cautioned that this effort will have no effect on SMILE currently being assigned to the District 4 City Council voting district west of the Willamette River (that can potentially only change if the next Census finds more population in District 4 than it found in the last Census); this will only affect which District Coalition represents SMILE and the other three neighborhoods. There are some good citywide reasons for these four neighborhoods to continue Southeast Uplift membership -- it would better balance the number of neighborhoods assigned to each of the four consolidaated District Coalitions – each of which are to receive the exact same (and somewhat reduced) budget from the city to serve its member neighborhoods.

 

As concerns that advisory question on the May Board Election ballot, the approval by the SMILE voters of staying represented by Southeast Uplift was 98.8%, thus assisting the quest by SMILE, ENA, the Reed neighborhood, and the Portland section of the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek neighborhood to remain represented by the Southeast Uplift District Coalition, as each of these neighborhoods always has been.

 

“Milk Carton Boat Races" return June 23rd

Royal Rosarian Connie Shipley for the second year will be the Rose Festival's organizer of the final official event of the year's Portland Rose Festival -- the Milk Carton Boat Races at Westmoreland Park's historic Casting Pond.   The date this year will be Sunday, June 23 -- and the features of the event this year include newly-imposed age categories for the competition intended to enhance the fun for the kids and teens participating (these age categories were enumerated on a flyer she distributed, which is also available for reference on the Rose Festival website).

There will be a limitation on the number of boats that can be accommodated in these races, so she advised that those seeking to race sign up early.  Empty milk cartons for boat construction will be available at the main sponsor's location, Alpenrose Dairy at 16940 S.E. 130th Avenue in Clackamas -- and also at the secondary sponsors' locations -- selected Les Schwab Tire Stores, at 2500 S.E. Tacoma in Sellwood, 16650 S.E. Division Street, and 2140 N.E. Columbia Boulevard. In each of these four locations they will be available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., from now until June 15.

For the large crowd of Milk Carton Boat Race spectators (last year, there were over a thousand), there will be activities -- as well as the fun and spectacle of the races themselves.  Boat inspection starts at 10 a.m., and the races start at noon. It will all be over by midafternoon.

 

Highlights of the April SMILE General Meeting

 

First on the April SMILE General Meeting agenda was Mr. King Tran, who is Portland’s “Safe Blocks Program Coordinator”. He explained that the purpose of the program is to ensure that all city residents feel “safe and connected”.  Part of the program includes workshops on elements of these goals, which does include self-defense workshops for women and youth.  Mr. Tran said he is currently working to revive the “Neighborhood Watch” program, elements of which he discussed.  He is also a helpful resource for those wanting to have neighborhood “block parties” in Portland neighborhoods this summer.  He concluded his presentation by answering questions from those present.

 

Crime Prevention & Transportation Committees reactivated

New SMILE Board Member Grant Huling volunteered to be the Chair of the SMILE Crime Prevention Committee (informally called the “Community Safety” committee, pending any change in the ByLaws terminology for this standing committee).  President Dugan then appointed him Chair of that committee. Huling rather heroically also volunteered to Chair the SMILE Transportation Committee, which has recently not had a leader.

 

City decrees less resident input on construction

 David Schoellhamer, Chair of the SMILE Land Use Committee, reports that an issue on which SMILE has been submitting testimony recently has now been settled by vote of the Portland City Council.

He reports that the city has ended the requirements for neighborhood meetings with developers. As part of the announced desire to reduce regulations to spur housing production, the Portland City Council permanently eliminated neighborhood meeting requirements for developments of from 10,000 to 25,000 square feet, and suspended all such meetings [for larger properties] for five years. 

Neighborhood contact meetings ranked only 16th of 25 regulations the City asked developers about eliminating, and the City did not provide any estimates of whatever savings could be gained from eliminating one meeting. SMILE has hosted an average of four meetings a year. This permanently eliminates about half of the SMILE neighborhood contact meetings, and suspends the rest. SMILE testimony opposed these changes. Livability benefits, such as improved setbacks and landscaping, creating better and safer traffic flows, and modifying construction materials and design to better complement our neighborhood’s historical architectural quality, have resulted from these meetings – a benefit now potentially lost.  “Developers are, however, still required to post a sign,” he says.

For more information on the SMILE Land Use Committee and to participate, visit – http://www.sellwood.org/land-use; or email, addressed to – land-use-chair@sellwood.org

 

SMILE strives to serve everyone in the neighborhood

A message from the President of SMILE: Over the last several months, the SMILE Board had been meeting to create a set of beliefs and values for the organization that will guide all our efforts to engage with, support, and represent, our growing and ever-diverse Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood. We are grateful for the guidance and support we received from the Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Coalition in this process. We are proud to share an abridged version of our Beliefs and Values here, and we encourage you to visit us online -- http://www.sellwoodmoreland.org -- to read more.


Inclusion and Representation: At SMILE, we believe a strong and healthy community requires a diversity of voices, particularly in leadership roles, and we believe in representing all voices in our community.

Accountability: At SMILE, we believe that our policies, practices, and procedures should be consistent, transparent, and align with our values. We commit to being flexible and adaptable to community needs.

Equity: At SMILE, we believe in and are committed to being anti-racist. We recognize that our practices may have resulted in excluding some members of our community, and we pledge to learn from and correct our mistakes with humility and honesty.

Connections: We believe SMILE is only as strong as the community we represent, and the partnerships we nurture. We believe in prioritizing accessibility and fostering relationships among all residents to create a cohesive community. At SMILE we provide opportunities for our community to hear from one another and from a variety of perspectives. We commit to facilitating a safe space for respectful dialogue

Empowerment: We believe SMILE's role is to actively serve and inform the neighborhood.

Joy: At SMILE we use talents and resources, and collaborate with our community partners, to create opportunities for joy and celebration.

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We hope our Sellwood and Westmoreland neighbors will join with us in these efforts.

Elaine O'Keefe, SMILE Past President

Simon Fulford, SMILE Past President

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!

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THE 2024-25 SMILE BOARD OFFICERS (1-year terms)


President -- David Dugan

Vice President -- Elizabeth Milner

Treasurer -- Pat Hainley

Secretary -- Eric Norberg

 

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


TERM EXPIRES 2025

Bob Burkholder

Tracy Fisher

Jason Sturgill  (elected in 2024 to complete the term of a member who resigned)

Elaine O'Keefe


TERM EXPIRES 2026

Zack Duffly

Jim Friscia

Grant Huling

Suzanne Kruse

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