Portland Mennonite Church Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Portland Mennonite Church at 35th and Main (1312 SE 35th Ave.) will hold a community Open House on Saturday, November 12, 2022 from 10:00am until noon as part of its 100th anniversary celebration. Mennonites are an historic Peace Church and PMC is committed to seeking the peace of the city.

More than two dozen quilts will be displayed that were handmade by volunteers from the congregation. Historical photographs from the early years—when the congregation was located on NW Savier Street in Northwest Portland—will also be on display. A centennial collage by local artist and church member Tim TK Klassen will also be displayed.

At 11 a.m. local stained glass artist David Schlicker will give a historical overview of the many stained-glass windows in the building, including some by the renowned Povey Brothers. The building was constructed in 1918 by the First Friends Church of Portland and includes one wing that was their original building that was moved directly across Main Street where it had previously been their main meeting house. In 1969, the building was sold to Portland Mennonite Church; First Friends built a new building near Reed College and became Reedwood Friends Church.

At 7 p.m. on the same evening there will be a centennial hymn sing featuring music from four different time periods. Please join us to learn more about the history of Sunnyside’s only Mennonite Church. For more info, go to www.portlandmennonite.org.

Critic’s Corner: Sunnyside Book Houses

A book house is like a tiny, free bookstore that you can take books from and give books to. You find book houses in front of some peoples’ houses. There are a lot of book houses in our neighborhood. We decided to make a map of all the book houses in Sunnyside by riding our bikes around. It was fun; we got to know our neighborhood better and found a lot of cool book houses. 

These were our favorites: 

• Best curation – 36th/Yamhill – A tall book house owned by a used-to- be-teacher

• Best decorated – A TIE between 32nd/ Main (collage and painted pictures on the outside and lots of picture books inside) and 44th/Main (landscape paintings on the sides + a rooster on top!)

• Personal favorite – 33rd/Washington– This is the book house on our street; it has lots of kids and picture books and is always full 

• Honorable mention – 34th/Salmon – This book house is planted in a pot! 

• Biggest – Main between 34th/35th – A huge book house with LOTS of books

 Two other great things we found:

• Wishing Tree (36th/Main)

• Street murals (42nd/Washington
and 33rd/Yamhill) 

Sunnyside students, please submit ideas or a review to [email protected]

Live near any of the blocks marked in black on the book house location map? We need your help! Contact [email protected] to volunteer for our delivery service.

Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Cares (SNACC) Committee Updates

You can support the Sunnyside Shower Project by donating your empty cans!

Since 2021, Sunnyside resident Molly Twohy has been collecting cans and donating the funds to various organizations. During the month of November, Molly is helping raise funds for the Sunnyside Shower Project by collecting cans on our behalf. The funds raised will greatly increase our ability to provide toiletry items, food, first aid supplies, clean clothing, laundry cards, tents, and tarps. It will also help us meet other needs of our neighbors living outside. If you’d like to contribute, please label your bags with “Sunnyside Shower Project” and drop them over Molly’s fence at 3333 SE Salmon St. (easily identified by the Rosie the Riveter flyer) any time this month. Don’t have enough cans to donate in November but still want to contribute to the Sunnyside Shower Project? You can always donate funds directly to the SNACC Committee to support the Shower Project on the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association’s website via PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle, or email [email protected] to arrange a cash or check donation. If you anticipate that you will have cans to contribute after November, stay tuned for future canning efforts organized by the SNACC Committee.

Questions to Ask/Answer About Emergency Preparedness

Is there a season for emergency preparedness?
The simple answer: nope. 

Is there a reason for emergency preparedness?
The simple answer: yes.

Because we live in a most beautiful part of the world, with mountains, active and inactive volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire, we balance the beauty and wonder of this place with the knowledge that we have to be prepared. Prepared, not scared. The more prepared we are as individuals, within our families, neighborhoods, and schools, the better off we are for daily life, and for whatever weather-related issue that comes our way. Doing nothing, with the hope that an earthquake can’t/won’t happen, is not a plan. 

Is there ‘one way’ to be prepared?
The simple answer: no, it depends.

So, review your family circumstances and get everyone involved with being prepared. Reach out to neighbors; maybe work on your eprep together. It’s great to know what plans your neighbors have in the event of a major climate disaster. Share and connect. Then, repeat as often as needed.

I attended a Zoom meeting recently where the presenter issued “Calls to Action.” Among these were:

• Map Community Assets
• Make Contact
• Share Your Expertise

Her parting words were: Earthquake preparedness is a community action.

These community actions are not just for those in the eprep community. So, start where you are and reach out via email ([email protected]) if you want support or have questions.

News from the President

Hi neighbors! Before we get to the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association (SNA) news, I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself as SNA’s new president. My name is Chris Waldmann (he/him). I have lived in Sunnyside and Portland for the last 5 years after moving here from Washington D.C. This is my second year serving on the SNA Board. My wife Erika and I chose Sunnyside as our new home because we immediately fell in love with the neighborhood – its walkability, amenities, trees and friendly folk. We live on 31st Avenue right near the former International Hostel, soon to be home to lots of new neighbors in the 62 unit building that is under construction. You’ll often see me out walking our cream and tan, cow-marked lab-mix Mojie. Stop us and say hi!

On to the news…

On September 8th, we came together in-person and online for our first general meeting since June. This was the first time we had met at SE Uplift since the beginning of the pandemic and our first attempt to manage a hybrid meeting without the technical wizards at Sunnyside UMC. Despite some scheduling snafus and technical limitations, we were able to have a broad discussion about the charter reform proposal that will be on this year’s November ballot. Past issues of the SNA newsletter have information on the proposal. More details are also available at www.portland.gov/omf/charter-review-commission. At the meeting we had two former charter commission members present to us, representing both Yes and No votes. 

From the Yes side, Melanie Billings-Yun took us through the proposal and argued that passing the package will:

• Steamline city governance by hiring a professional to be the overall manager of the city bureaus and focusing elected council members’ attention on setting policy and responding to constituent needs. 

• Make the City Council more responsive by dividing the city into four districts in order to ensure councilors’ familiarity with neighborhood issues and increasing accountability.

• Improve representation on the council by having each district elect three
council members through a system of proportional ranked-choice-voting.
This could enable communities of common interest to come together
and make their voice heard more effectively as a bloc.

From the No side, Vadim Mozyrsky, while supporting the changes to take the City Council out of bureau management, argued that the other proposals would:

• Decrease voters’ opportunities to hold council members accountable because proportional ranked-choice-voting would mean that it could take as little as 25% of the vote for a candidate to ensure their election.

• Not do enough to improve local representation because only four
districts, in a city as large as Portland, would not ensure enough
neighborhood-focused knowledge and responsiveness.

• Confuse voters and present unforeseen consequences with a combination
of multi-member districts and ranked- choice-voting that has never been tried in the U.S.

It was a lively debate and attendees asked many good questions. In the end, the members in attendance decided that the SNA would not take an official position on the ballot measure, since no consensus could be found.

From the Board…

As Hannah mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the Board has decided to make some changes this year in how Board duties are split up and the schedule for our general meetings. General meetings will now occur every other month, with the next general meeting in November. We hope that this will ensure we always have packed, interesting agendas where the entire community can participate and learn something interesting. The Board will continue to have monthly meetings and everyone is always welcome to join! Seeking to deepen the knowledge and experience of all members of the Board, we are going to have a rotating slate of presiding officers over the course of the next year. While, in order to satisfy the legal niceties I am technically the president for the entire year, every three months we will give a new Board member the opportunity to run meetings, set agendas and be the leading face of the SNA. Our newest member, Cole White, will take over in December, followed by Emily McCadden and Hannah Wallace.

We will have more on what’s coming up for the November general meeting in next month’s newsletter. Until then, thanks for coming out and engaging to improve Sunnyside and Portland!