Via the Sentinel:
Mistrust, doubt unleashed by N/NE urban renewal
Submitted by Sentinel News Service on Wed, 09/02/2009 – 3:45pm.
“I’m not sure the PDC has the guts to change what’s going on,” said James Poise, owner of the E-Mat Cafe on Northeast MLK Jr. Boulevard. Posey, one of Northeast Portland’s longtime African American residents, stands before a packed room at the Elks Lodge on North Tillamook Street. It’s a sweltering night in August, and over 50 residents have turned out to give the Portland Development Commission a piece of their minds.
“We got nice bike paths, but right down the street we have people living on the streets,” Posey continues. “The priorities are all screwed up.”
One after the other, residents tell the same story: Decades before, urban renewal bulldozed the heart out of this once predominantly African American neighborhood and left only vacant lots and abandoned buildings in its wake. Recently, investment has come, but many longtime black residents don’t see their lot in life improving.
“I’m wondering what PDC is really doing for the neighborhood,” Adron Hampton wondered. “I don’t see a thing done in this community.”
Since last December, the PDC has been considering consolidating or modifying the two vast urban renewal districts that cover North and inner Northeast Portland. Together, the Interstate Corridor and Oregon Convention Center Urban Renewal Areas (ICURA and OCCURA) comprise some 3,769 acres. This year those zones will set aside approximately $47 million in neighborhood tax dollars for regional and local improvement projects.
On Aug. 19, the first of 11 citizen advisory meetings convened to discuss just how to divide, expand or extend the city’s urban renewal areas in this huge swath of territory.
Read the full story at:http://www.portlandsentinel.com/?q=node/5095