Hi Sunnyside! The big news of the month concerns ongoing efforts to make SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. safer for all users through the neighborhood. Following the tragic death of Belmont librarian Jeannie Chavez by a drunk, reckless driver, PBOT investigators reviewed the area around SE Taylor where Diaz was killed. While they will not take any direct action at this time to address the underlying road and sidewalk design that contributed to this incident, they did determine that a step can be taken to reduce traffic-related accidents at that intersection. A PBOT engineer discovered that while only 1.7% of the vehicles entering this intersection were turning left, 25% of the accidents involved left-hand turns. To reduce this number, PBOT decided to install traffic diverters at the intersection that will prevent left-hand turns to/from Chavez at Taylor. PBOT believes that this action could have a significant effect on car crashes at this intersection. We at the SNA are not resting on this issue, nor are we satisfied with this as the sole response from PBOT. We continue to work with the city to re-envision Chavez as a street that could be safe and productive for everyone.
Our next General Meeting will be another busy one! On the agenda we will have an update from Central Precinct officers on public safety, a briefing from the Belmont Library team about the coming renovations and a presentation from Cascadia Action, who is asking the SNA to endorse other neighborhood efforts to negotiate with polluting industries, primarily in North and Northeast Portland. Hope to see you on November 9th!
The SNACC (Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Care) Committee had a productive meeting on October 5th. We discussed the need for different types of volunteer activities at the Shower Project, including organizing supplies and taking inventory. We also talked about how volunteers need to be more mindful of how our conversations impact our guests – putting them front-and-center rather than focusing on ourselves or our (comparatively privileged) lives. We also discussed the need for further trainings around Trauma Informed Care (TIC), CPR and first aid training, and a Narcan training.
We will be holding a Narcan training for all Shower Project volunteers and guests on November 12th with a harm reduction coordinator from Instituto Latino Recovery Center and our very own Josette Hodge. We also discussed the Clothing Drive and brainstormed partner agencies we could invite to be there. (See below for more info on the winter clothing drive.) The next SNACC meeting will be on December 7th at 6:30 p.m.
For the 4th year in a row, the SNACC committee is organizing a Winter Clothing Drive for our houseless neighbors. The drive will be on Saturday, December 9th in the basement of the Sunnyside Methodist Church/The Groves on 35th and Yamhill. A crew of volunteers will be on hand to collect donations of winter clothing and gear from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. The main event will be held from 2 – 6 p.m. that same day.
Here are some of the things we especially need (for all genders):
• Pants, jeans, and sweatpants
• Sweaters and sweatshirts
• T-shirts – short and long-sleeved
• Long underwear
• New underwear (men’s and women’s)
• New or lightly worn socks (wool preferred)
• Raincoats/winter coats
• Boots, tennis shoes, hiking shoes
• Tarps, tents, sleeping bags
• Warm hats, gloves, scarves, and belts
Please do not donate children’s clothing or dressy/formal clothing.
We will be promoting the event to our shower guests, partner agencies, and local businesses (and on our Instagram at @sunnysideshowerproject). If you would like to help publicize the event or if your workplace wants to donate gear, clothing, or gift cards, please reach out to Diana Deumling at [email protected].
Cascadia Action, a Portland-based nonprofit that advocates for clean air, reached out to the SNA to ask us to join their efforts to fight industrial pollution in Portland. They, along with a large group of neighborhood associations and other stakeholders, are fighting companies in North and Northeast Portland to install new pollution-control devices and stop new developments. Cascadia Action has asked the SNA to endorse 12 letters written by the neighborhoods most affected by the most dangerous industrial polluters in the city. Members of Cascadia Action will be giving a presentation at our November meeting and will ask the membership for an endorsement. You can read the letters at tinyurl.com/45a29dnj. For more information visit: portlandcleanair.org
The Belmont Library is one of the busiest in the country and after an upcoming renovation it will be bigger, too. Plans are underway to renovate the existing building and add an addition for a total of 15,000 square feet, more than doubling the available square footage. After the design phase, construction is expected to begin late next year with a ribbon-cutting in late 2025. But first, we need to hear from you. Library director Vailey Oehlke and the project architect Jeanie Lai will be at our General Meeting Thursday, November 9th to provide an update and hear your thoughts on the most important features for the renovated building. We hope to see you there.