What excites you about living in Foster-Powell? That was the question we all had to ask each other at this week’s FOPONA meeting on Monday, along with another important question: what do you hope to get out of the neigborhood meetings? Far from the typical, “state your name and whether you’re a resident or business owner” introductions, this was a little more thought provoking, and resulted in a variety of responses. Most people expressed excitement over a growing sense of community, while some talked about the potential of the neighborhood (businesses opening along Foster, community gardens, etc). Diversity was also discussed, especially as a point of pride, as well as a source of identity which helps us stand out from many other Portland neighborhoods. This point was driven home when the director of Holgate library spoke about the increased circulation of Vietnamese, Russian, and Chinese books and media, while the Spanish circulation remained high, as well. In fact, of the four aforementioned languages, only two library branches within Multnomah County reached their target circulation for each language: Holgate and Midland. This speaks to the growing Russian and Eastern European population, as well as the formidable Hispanic community and increasing number of Chinese and Southeast Asian immigrants. Yes, Foster-Powell, we have what many other neighborhoods in Portland have lost or are losing…diversity. Let’s embrace and promote, everyone.
As for the varying reasons people show up to the meetings, the common theme was concern about land use and development, crime (updates from a PPD representative), and to meet and network with other FOPO residents. A lot of people also expressed a desire to better organize as a group in order to bring about positive change to the neighborhood (getting city and urban renewal funds diverted to FOPO, neighborhood cleanup, and fundraisers).
Perhaps these are issues that are important to you reading at home. If they are, or you have some of your own, and don’t come to the meetings, please know that all are welcome and encouraged to attend. Mark your calanders for the second Monday of every month. We meet at Sweetness Bakery (SE 52nd Ave between Powell and Lafayette), from 6:30-8.
In the meantime, think about what excites you about living in Foster-Powell, and how you can use the neigbhborhood association to better the area we make home.