News from the President

Hi Sunnyside neighbors! Welcome to February, where hopefully the worst of winter is nearing an end and the sun is starting to shine a little brighter in our neighborhood.

January was a busy month at our general meeting. Despite some technical difficulties, we had an excellent turnout. I love seeing new faces and hearing new voices at these meetings. Thanks to the great attendance, we were able to officially endorse the mission of Quiet Clean PDX. As noted in the January edition of the newsletter, Quiet Clean PDX is working to eliminate the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in Portland and the entirety of Oregon. I am very proud that the SNA has joined their list of endorsing groups. To learn more about Quiet Clean PDX’s mission and see how you can help, please visit

We also heard from a Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) representative about a proposal to expand the greenway system through the Sunnyside neighborhood. PBOT is developing a plan to turn 34th Avenue alongside Sunnyside Environmental School into a bicycle-priority greenway from at least Belmont through Division. As part of this plan, they are examining the possibility of making car entry onto 34th from Hawthorne available only to cars turning right. However, much study needs to be done and the Hawthorne Business Association expressed concerns over the turn limitation onto 34th. This project is not currently funded, but if you care about our bicycle network, be sure to keep your ears open for more news and make your voice heard with the Bicycle Advisory Committee (

Lastly, we had a frank and open discussion with members about the need for the SNA to ensure we are viewing everything we do, everyday, through an equity lens. Our current presiding officer, Emily, is working with the entire board to develop policies and procedures to make sure that we see past any latent biases, approach all with respect, and work for the best interests of all of our neighbors.

Our monthly board meeting will be held on February 9th at 7 p.m. We will be back with our next general meeting in March. See you around Sunnyside! 

Preparing for “The Big One”

Through my eprep lens, I know about many of the people in my neighborhood and where they are on the preparedness continuum—and some of them are quite impressive. Here, I profile Bill and Amy in

the hopes that their dogged planning can help inspire you to prepare your family for an earthquake or other emergency. 

Bill and Amy are a married couple with a dog. They moved here about 15 years ago from Colorado—a wildfire-prone area. They experienced a few close calls, but never had to evacuate. Having a “go bag” was just a part of life.

Nonetheless, moving to Portland presented a few new challenges, including needing to prepare for an earthquake. Additional eprep included enough water and food for humans and pets for two weeks and the mundane: pee/poo buckets and first aid supplies. Also, Bill is an amateur radio operator, and recertifies each year as a Wilderness First Aid responder, and, coincidentally, is an active Sunnyside Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) member.

That’s a great neighbor to have! 

Their preparations also include the expectation that they may have to live without power/heat/electricity, perhaps outside, for at least two or three weeks. That might mean sheltering in place, depending upon the condition of their home after an earthquake.

It took them about six months to get prepared for “The Big One.” Then, they reached out to like-minded neighbors to assess their interest in getting prepared together, with the hope of helping one another. For them, community is important and a plan was developed and implemented for four households with diverse emergency prep needs. Pre-pandemic, this group of four neighbors met quarterly. They hope to meet up again soon. 

Bill and Amy acknowledge that eprep plans evolve as they age and adjustments have to be made. Simple, but not easy.

If you have done significant emergency preparedness and want to share what you’ve done for a future issue of the newsletter, contact Jan at [email protected].

Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Cares (SNACC) Committee Updates

The Sunnyside Shower Project (SSP) is branching out and forming partnerships to bring additional services to our neighbors living outside. Cricket Wireless representatives will be on-site registering shower guests for low-to-no-cost phone plans. OHP enrollment specialists will be helping ensure guests can get the insurance they need to access medical care. We hope to soon staff the showers with medical students who can offer on-site wound care services. Although we are excited to report that SSP recently received a Community Small Grant from SEUL for the second year running, we are still in need of funds to pay our houseless volunteers and to provide essential supplies and services to our guests. If you are interested in supporting the Sunnyside Shower Project, either financially or by joining our growing volunteer pool, please email [email protected] to learn more.

Sunnyside Neighborhood: Getting to Know Your Neighbors

Q&A with Mike Schwartz and Casey Jones of Black Rose Coffee

If you’ve ever taken a midmorning stroll down SE 34th Avenue south of Stark Street, you might have noticed a distinctive aroma permeating the air—something between popcorn, malt, and not-quite-burnt toast. It’s the smell of roasting coffee rising over the fence line of a homegrown Sunnyside small business. Mike Schwartz is an award-winning coffee roaster who roasts small batches of coffee for neighbors far and wide. He is proud to specialize in decaf and half-caff blends; he will walk roasted beans to your door (delivery is free) the same day it is roasted. His wife, Casey, handles marketing and design for Black Rose Coffee, and runs her own business advising students on college and graduate school decision-making. 

How long have you lived in Sunnyside? 

We bought our house on 34th in December 2011 and it immediately felt like home. When we moved to Portland, it was basically love at first sight. We both grew up in places [Southern California and New Jersey] that never felt like home.

Continue reading our Q&A with Mike Schwartz and Casey Jones of Black Rose Coffee