The minutes from the small group discussions held at the last Abernethy PTA/HAND neighborhood meeting, focused on the Portland Plan, are below.

There is an online survey available to those who would like to provide input to the Plan. The deadline March 31. Find it at

Abernethy PTA/HAND Portland Plan meeting
Summary of small group discussions

January 21, 2010
Group 1: Prosperity, Business Success and Equity; Education and Skill Development; and
Arts, Culture and Innovation
 Strengthen investment in firms. A drastic change in the tax base is necessary (recognized as a State of Oregon issue).
 Create access to capital because small businesses can’t get credit and Portland lacks venture capital.
 Invest in ourselves through education and business investments; when we’re attracting employers, we need to attract those which provide living wage jobs and invest in the community.
 Current efforts to attract technology jobs conflict with our educational infrastructure since Portland is not geared around that sector. Oregon needs a university which specializes in research/technology. Partner with universities
and eliminate the barriers between education and industry.
 Schools can become a resource for the community i.e. gyms are closed on the weekends due to operating expenses. Utilize our existing resources to the full extent.
 Rethink our current systems – schools are here to educate but they are also a community resource. Examine how government agencies can share costs to provide more vital resources.
 Invest in prevention i.e. school lunches and physical education teachers versus having to pay reactionary costs in health care services and the tolls of obesity and poor health.
 School facilities in Portland are crumbling which can cause the system to fail. The City should be more vocal about the underfunding of schools and advocate for schools on the state level.
 We are irresponsibly underfunding technology.

Group 2: Sustainability and the Natural Environment; Human Health, Food and Public
Safety; Quality of Life and Civic Engagement
 Reduce carbon emissions. Shut down the PGE Boardman Coal-Fired Power Plant.
Examine how Portland can make up the difference once the plant is closed and
how PGE can close the plant in 10 years.
 Solarize Portland’s efforts in Southeast Portland is a great example of innovative
energy efficiency programs.
 The Bradford Landing LPG site would have too many negative environmental
 Why is our energy (hydropower) leaving Oregon?
 Business success and strong labor unions need to be jointly discussed. New
Seasons is an example of a business with good labor practices.
 Portland should be proud of successes with farmers markets and biking.
 Children should be sent to neighborhood schools.
 Neighborhoods in Seattle are considered to have so much strength that they can
derail projects. Metro is seen as a good neutralizer for conflicts.
 Education curriculums should focus on the science of watersheds and 4-H type
issues so that kids can educate the public about watersheds.
 Kids should be encouraged to work in community gardens.
 Integrate schools, students and senior citizens to examine generational
differences and to reflect the entire community.
 Abernethy is a small school which is expanding to the point that the auditorium
may have to be converted to classroom space.
 Hosford-Abernethy needs a library and the Abernethy Library could serve this
 A community garden at Abernethy Elementary could become a community asset.
Group 3: Design, Planning and Public Spaces; Neighborhoods and Housing;
Transportation, Technology and Access
 Noise and late night hours associated with some commercial businesses conflict
with livability in nearby residential areas.
 Buffering could help alleviate conflicts between abutting residential and
commercial areas.
 Densification needs to be sensitive to areas which are already developed.
 Improved sound-proofing requirements could help buffer residential areas from
commercial areas.
 Promote meaningful civic involvement of residents in Portland.
 Preserve school owned properties to maintain green space, perhaps by rezoning
school properties to open space.
 Plan for public spaces. The more intensely developed an area can become, the
greater the need for public space.
 Zoning should consider impacts associated with certain types of businesses i.e.
late night or loud businesses should be zoned so that they may not locate next to
residential areas.
 Recognize that neighborhood input can help inform and improve the
construction of new buildings. Require more up-front contact of neighbors by
 Encourage independent businesses in commercial areas.
 Encourage the construction of single-family housing which isn’t focused on the
 Encourage commercial and residential development which facilitates walking
and biking.
 Create area-specific design standards which are context sensitive and where
style and massing match surrounding development.
 Energy-efficiency should be a consideration when single-dwelling residences are
reviewed and constructed.
 Promote a mix of incomes in neighborhoods.
 Encourage transit oriented development which is affordable for families.
 Evaluate what can be done with unimproved streets. Why construct new
transportation facilities when some streets have yet to be improved?
 Examine creative uses for unimproved rights-of-way.
 Sidewalk construction or improvements are necessary in some parts of the city
especially on busier streets.
 The program which provides free bus passes for high school students is a great.
Examine expanding it to 8th grade students.
Also, one point of clarification about the carbon emissions slide shown in the
PowerPoint presentation: The slide illustrated the City and the County’s goal that by the
year 2050, total carbon emissions in Portland and Multnomah County will be 20% of the
1990 emissions levels.
Group 4: School children participated in an activity where they responded to survey
questions. The questions and responses are listed below:
 If you could only choose one way to get around town, what would you choose?
Why? Includes drawings of a bike, a person and a vehicle.
o The preferred modes of transportation included biking, the bus, walking
and skateboards.
 Name 3 things you like about your neighborhood.
o I like my school
o I like to bike
o I like my house
o There are a lot of kids
o My Grandma lives on the
o It is not busy
o Close to school x 2
o Not so many cars
o Close to donut store
o Friends nearby x 2
o Businesses
o I can ride my bike around
the neighborhood
o School nearby
o It’s beautiful
o I don’t mind the weather
 Name 1 thing you would change in your neighborhood, if you could
o Nothing x 3
o Want a skateboard park
o Skateboard park in my
o Fountain park in the
o No pollution
o No trash at all
o More kids