Building Community Among All Black People From The North To The Numbers

Support Black community organizations to extend their programming into East Portland and have visible presence where Black people are moving across the region.

Continue dialogues and community building within the Black community: Intergenerationally, dialogues on QTPOC, dialogues between native and new Portlanders, African-identified and Black American communities, and across faith traditions.

Philanthropic funders should support the growing infrastructure of information networks for Black folks and folks of color seeking to connect across Portland. Websites and apps to connect to events, resources, organizations, such as BlackPDX,

Supporting Community Efforts To Preserve And Enhance The Historical And Cultural Contributions Of Black People

Support the preservation and development of Black cultural and heritage sites. 

Explore preserving Black-owned properties such as the Gordly House, for long-term community use. 

Bureau of Development Services must pursue historic preservation with a racial justice lens on the history of Portland. Preserve Golden West, sites of organizing and conflict, and other important Black historical figures for Portland locally. Mark them visible and with accurate and thorough information. 

Urban design, art, public spaces, and community events should honor history and culture in meaningful, not superficial or stereotypical, ways. 

Existing public art by and for the Black community must be preserved. 

Public art and design must represent Black Portland in its diversity in all the neighborhoods where Black people live. 

Public agencies incorporating art and design to represent cultural communities must actively reach out to and engage with artists and designers from the Black community to ensure their presence in these projects.

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Building And Supporting Black Organizing For Political Power

Black organizers funded and networked to build a grassroots to treetops force for change and develop leadership in the community.

Develop spaces for Black community members to build critical consciousness and learn movement building and policy advocacy strategies and skills.

Philanthropic funders must support organizing, advocacy, and movement building as critical components of democracy and necessary transformations of civic institutions.

Build an infrastructure that can both respond rapidly to crisis in the community and can network a larger movement in Portland, the region, Oregon, and beyond for real social change.

Building And Supporting A Pipeline Of Black Candidates For Elected Office

Support programs to identify and train promising leaders as candidates for office. 

Support the campaigns of Black candidates who have a platform of racial justice and transformative leadership to reform and build new institutions.

Revive Voter-Owned Elections In Portland To Provide Public Funding For Candidates Instead Of Relying On Wealthy Individuals And Interest Groups To Back Campaigns. 

Ensure equitable access to public funds for candidates of color. 

True Participatory Policy-Making At City And County And In School Districts.

Fund and support training and preparation of Black people/POC to serve on boards and commissions with real decision-making power. Fund programs that support members of these boards and commissions to develop a racial justice lens on policy work and appropriately train community members to engage in institutional change work in government.

Advisory bodies should represent fully Black community, including immigrant, QT, youth, elders, formerly incarcerated, many of all income levels, and all cultural identifications.

Hold accountable government bodies to their pledges of racial equity. Account publicly for racial equity in budgeting for every bureau/department and the public sector overall to ensure adequate investment into Black lives/ communities.



Continue to fully implement the Affordable Care Act to ensure that Black Oregonians have access to health insurance coverage (commercial as well as Medicaid and Medicare). 

Address gaps in eligibility and affordability in health care coverage.

Culturally specific mental health care Healing Centers.

Support centers like the Avel Gordly Center for Healing with significant funding, from public health agencies at the city and state level.

Neighborhood access to healthy food and safe recreation.

Establish funding to end food insecurity by supplementing SNAP and WIC.

Transportation plans and updates should take into account access to healthy and affordable food options, within Black neighborhoods and on frequented transit routes.

Portland Parks and Recreation should invest free parks programing in all neighborhoods, including those in East County, to provide options for free exercise and outdoor recreation.

Fund culturally appropriate maternal health programs.

The Oregon Health Authority must fund Black community health workers and doulas programs that are critical to Black wellness. These programs should include pregnancy health and prenatal care, birthing assistance, and family supports for new parents learning to care for infants.

Reduce disparities in access to Fertility treatment and prenatal care.

Increase public health resources towards reducing low birth weight and infant mortality for Black babies.


Intervention and treatment, not incarceration, for substance abuse and addiction. 

Oregon Health Authority, provide financial resources to support drug and alcohol and mental health diversion from the criminal justice system. Support participants to address treatment while remaining in the community. 

Hold public health departments accountable for racial equity in health impact assessments.

Public health agencies can pursue the community oversight board model to bring more transparency and accountability to their equity strategies and impact assessments.


Property Development Project: Healing Center

Create a Black space in which the next generation can heal from trauma.

Program: Healthy Lifestyle Programs

Creative programs and opportunities to provide and receive coaching and education from their peers about how to lead healthy lifestyles.

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End Displacement, Gentrification And Community Instability.

Hold the City, County, and Metro accountable for equitably investing in neighborhoods; and coupling that investment with anti-displacement strategies.

Right to Return to Northeast Portland to address historical injustices created by policies. The Portland Housing Bureau’s Preference Policy must be fully implemented and applied to housing available through urban renewal and new housing bond resources. The City must evaluate and report on implementation to ensure that the policy addresses Black families displaced by recent urban renewal-driven gentrification.

New housing resources must address racial justice. Prioritize resources for Black families in East Portland who have been serially displaced with a “right to stay in place” that prioritizes those households who were affected by policy and gentrification in NEP so they are not displaced again.

Fair Housing.

Hold the City, County, and Metro accountable for the HUD mandate to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing by ending racial segregation from opportunity, providing community development and investment without displacement (State of Black Oregon 2015, 155.)

End discrimination and fair housing violations through robust testing and enforcement by Oregon BOLI.

Ban the box for housing applications including drug distribution records (state legislature.)

Prioritize Ending Black Homelessness.

Focus on anti-displacement and anti-discrimination measures that are causing increasing Black homelessness. The City, County, and service agencies must assess and address the particular causes of the dramatic increase in Black homelessness over the past decade.

New City/County partnership on homelessness must hold nonprofit agency partners accountable for racial equity outcomes in services to Black people experiencing homelessness. Withhold funding from organizations without credible plans and measurable outcomes for reaching and serving African- Americans, the fastest growing group among houseless people in Portland.


Support Black Home-Buying And Intergenerational Wealth Building.

The City and philanthropic partners must fund financial capacity building and homebuying education that is intentionally specific to Black community history and culture. Fund and implement education and pro bono legal assistance for intergenerational transfer of properties.

Hold the City’s nonprofit agency contractors accountable for reaching Black families with publicly funded programs for access to homebuying assistance, down-payment grants, home repair and refinance programs.

The City must fund capital to make home buying affordable to Black families. We should advocate for state constitutional changes in the use of General Obligation bonds to support non-governmental owned properties, including cooperatively through land trusts.


Stabilize And Protect Black Renters.

Enact state and local policy changes to protect renters. Enable rent control/ regulation policies, just-cause evictions standards, and anti-landlord harassment laws to make renting a safe, affordable, and stable option for Black people. 


Build Black Cooperative Ownership.

Fund and create a community-owned and cooperatively controlled land bank and housing land trust to fulfill community development needs (State of Black Oregon 2015.)

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Economic Development: Reconstruct And Revitalize Black Communities

Support Black entrepreneurship small business ownership.

Provide greater information and coordination of existing small business development and minority business development programs at PDC and state of Oregon. Ensure that communications pathways include networks of Black entrepreneurs.

Target access to capital programs to Black business owners for scaling up small businesses, a stage where Black business owners face significant barriers.

Provide support to programs that provide training, B2B services, consultation, and networking for Black business owners.

Improve financial capabilities among Black Portlanders.

State of Oregon institute Individual and Children’s Savings Accounts (IDAs and CSAs) that provide the ability to generate savings and wealth. Children’s Savings Accounts automatically open an account for every child at a predetermined benchmark, like birth or kindergarten enrollment, seeded with a minimal state contribution.

Support family, adult, and peer network programs that reinforce paths to self-determination and financial success. The State of Oregon should partner with organizations such as the African American Chamber of Commerce to expand and enhance peer networking programs.

Institutions of higher education, including Portland State University and Portland Community Colleges should offer culturally specific financial coaching and mentorship matching services designed for Portland’s Black community.

Prepare a skilled Black workforce. 

State of Oregon Employment Department must commit to better preparing Black youth and adults for the workforce by developing culturally responsive apprenticeship and paid internship programs for Black youth and adults. Increase the public and private sector pipelines for internships into careers in high wage and high demand areas of economic growth, especially in green jobs and green industries.

Community Colleges in Oregon can contribute by expanding funding for the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), which certifies workers as having key work-ready skills, and by recruiting Black youth into the program.

Establish funds for Black workers to access workforce readiness and job training programs, including paying for transportation, child care, equipment, books, and other expenses during training and apprenticeship periods.


End economic development investments that gentrify neighborhoods by ensuring equitable access to public sector contracts and economic development investments. 

Community organizing to negotiate legally binding Community Benefits Agreements with private entities will occur without interference from the City or PDC. 

Public Benefits programs on all publicly funded investment in infrastructure and economic development must include targeted workforce goals with accountability and consequences for failing to meet equitable standards for workers of color. 

Publicly funded or subsidized projects should include First Source hiring, and jobs on publicly funded projects must meet “high road” standards and provide a living wage. 

Urban renewal districts must include: business retention and development that recognizes racial disparities in access to opportunities for capital financing; and workforce goals on funded projects that target specifically the historical disadvantages faced by Black workers. 

Disparities in public agency contracting and purchasing, including for professional services, must be eliminated. MBE utilization must go beyond “good faith efforts” and achieve targets for workforce utilization as well as business ownership. Fully implement Community Benefits Agreement policies on public projects, and ensure that those agreements that are developed in transparent and participatory forums with accountability measures in place.



Create an online platform for information about opportunities and programs, mentorships and professional coaching opportunities within the Black community.


Create community-led Business Development Assistance Programs.


Cultivate community sourced capital, lending circles, co-signing community programs, and develop a fund for black business use.


Create a black owned business incubator.


Create community-led career mobility programs.

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Safe, efficient transportation options must be available in all Black neighborhoods, connecting people to jobs and education via transit, walking, biking, and rolling.

Metro, TriMet, and Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) should assemble a transit justice task force made up of Black Portland residents, and members of other vulnerable groups, that is responsible for analyzing current data on transit access and developing solutions to enhance equitable access. 

PBOT must prioritize improvements to make it safer to walk, bike, and ride transit in East Portland and provide increased transportation options to transit poor areas. Commit to Complete Streets in East Portland neighborhoods where Black people have been displaced.

Ensure that Vision Zero goals are met with racial equity at the forefront. Begin the redesign of streets in the lowest income neighborhoods where communities of color disproportionately face dangerous conditions. Ensure that policing strategies to reduce crash fatalities do not disproportionately impact Black and brown drivers, walkers, and cyclists through inequitable increased traffic enforcement.

The City, County, Metro, and TriMet must include anti-displacement plans, projects, and resources to ensure that new transportation investments do not create housing displacement for low-income folks and renters. These entities must coordinate plans and budgets to prioritize affordable housing preservation and new construction as part of transit oriented development in neighborhoods.

City, County, Trimet and School districts must continue to fund, and seek additional resources for, youth transit passes to support Black young people in their education, employment, and personal development goals that require mobility. Expand YouthPass from PPS High School students to all youth in the TriMet service area.

Ensure land uses and the physical appearance of neighborhoods support the wellbeing of our community with minimal impact on the earth. Plan for equitable urban development where ‘sustainability’ features support and enhance Black lives.

Access to nature and recreation is important for all Black neighborhoods. Portland Parks and Recreation must focus on serving not only the inner east neighborhoods that have experienced gentrification, but also those neighborhoods to where our community has been displaced to in East Portland. Parks programming and infrastructure investments should be made equitably across the city.

Portland’s Department of Urban forestry should focus tree planting in under-served neighborhoods such as East Portland to meet the needs of African-Americans that has experienced displacement.

Access to healthy food options, community gardens, and urban farming initiatives within the Black community is vital. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability should incorporate racial justice as a guiding principal in the Urban Food Zoning Code update.

Bicycle infrastructure must meet the needs of Black riders who use bicycles as a low-cost form of transportation, Black youth and families, Black recreational riding. Partner with community-based organizations that work for racial equity in cycling, such as Community Cycling Center and the Rosewood Initiative.


Environmental justice enforcement

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality must work to reduce exposure to airborne pollutants from industrial activity, transportation, and energy production within the Black community by establishing and working according to racial equity goals. Oregon DEQ should also focus time and resources in understanding and remediating brownfields within the Black community.

The current 750 million dollar EPA cleanup plan does not do enough to address the needs and concerns of marginalized and impacted communities. The EPA must include the voices of our community in their remediation plan. Work with community organizations such as the Portland Harbor Community Coalition to make sure that affected communities are heard and to bring new green jobs into communities of color.


Equitable access to green programming

Programming, education, and initiatives must be provided in ways that include outreach into the Black community, Black-community specific information and communication, and capacity building for participation in climate change preparation and GHG reduction efforts. As the City of Portland/Multnomah County Climate Action Plan is implemented, continue to include racial equity metrics and accountability to the Black community. 

Energy efficiency, weatherization, seismic. 

Ensure sufficient funding for weatherization programs targeting and maintaining affordable housing. 

Support resources for households to access financing for weatherization, retrofit, and seismic upgrades with grants and loans to lower-income homeowners and those who cannot increase their debt load. 

Emergency preparedness plans in the Black community

Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and the Multnomah County Office of Emergency Management should conduct planning in the Black community that recognizes not only the need for targeted outreach, education and assistance in developing individual disaster readiness plans, but provides resources for those whose financial means limit their ability to prepare. PBEM should commit both time and resources to assisting our community in creating community emergency plans for under-served neighborhoods and for nonprofit organizations that serve Black people and families. 



Urban farming and gardening training. 


Programs and curriculum on consumption choices to support a sustainable Black economy. 


Programs and curriculum on promoting recycling and reuse. 


Emergency preparedness planning in Black communities. 

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Support child development so all Black children come to school ready to learn.

Invest in strategies to ensure that Black children have equitable access to early childhood interventions such as Head Start, Early Head Start, and Oregon pre-K and to develop effective, culturally relevant programming for pre-K. 

Provide appropriate professional development to early childhood education professionals and caregivers to support their practices to prepare Black children for school.

Adequately fund Charter Schools through SB 819.

Charter schools have all the same rules and regulations as district-run schools, we are expected to produce the same student outcomes, and yet have only 60% of the public funding. This inequity needs to be addressed at the state and local levels.

Partner with community-based organizations and culturally specific providers to: 

Leverage the recent successful SEI Model used at Jefferson High School in additional schools populated by African-American students.

Implement Black studies curriculum that is thorough and accurate at all levels.

Integrate Black studies across subjects in K-12 education, with specialized and advanced study available at the high school level. Ensure that teachers are trained and new hires are well versed in Black history, culture, literature, etc in order to contribute to accurate representation of Black studies.

Success tracking for PPS culturally relevant curriculum Monitor Accountability of new PPS directive for culturally relevant curriculum.

Recruit and support Black public school teachers and insist on cultural competency of non-Black teachers. 

Develop a pipeline between the Portland Teachers Program and public school systems that will increase the number of qualified black teachers and administrators. Launch a public campaign to encourage more Black teachers and establish goals that support Black teachers once they are employed with public schools systems in Portland.

Expand the the Oregon Educator Equity Act (Formally known as the Minority Teacher Act and Senate Bill 755) 

The State of Oregon can make a solid investment in expanding the OEEA and adding additional funding to ensure that more teachers of color are present in our classrooms. 

Hold school administrators accountable to standards for culturally competent education and outcomes for diverse youth. Ensure that all teachers are culturally competent and trained to avoid implicit bias in discipline. Provide professional development to ensure that teachers are prepared to incorporate Black studies, Latina studies, and Native studies into curriculum. 

Student debt assistance programs

Black students are a rising collegiate population despite the fact that there is less intergenerational wealth among our families. The State of Oregon should invest in student debt assistance programs for Black youth that have the determination and skills for college but little personal assets.

End Discipline disparities and school pushout. There must be real accountability to end the racial disparities in educational attainment. 

Ban expulsive discipline, especially for subjective behavior such as “disrespect” or “defiance.” Provide leadership and professional development to administrators to end zero tolerance discipline policies.

Train all teachers on implicit bias with programming that addresses race and gender to end discipline disparities for black boys and girls.

Track teachers and schools for discipline disparities and address those contributing to racial and gender bias in school pushout.

Restorative Justice

Restorative justice can be empowering for youth who learn to address conflicts and maintain their ties to community. 

Use restorative justice models in schools to address conflict, bullying, and to ensure that young students remain integrated within their peer community. Institute training in mediation and restorative justice for students, parents, teachers, and community members to avoid the school to prison pipeline and the escalation of misdemeanor charges for youth. 

End measure 11 and keep all juveniles out of the adult court system. 

Measure 11 has been enacted with racially disparate impacts and places youth of color in an inappropriate adult court system. No young person should have an adult conviction record creating a barrier to their future development. 

End prosecutorial discretion in charging and sentencing juveniles to long minimum sentences in the adult system. Ensure that all youth are adjudicated in the appropriate court system where the needs of the young person, community, and victim are considered and weighed when determining appropriate outcomes. 

Job preparedness for our youth.

Our schools, from K-12 to college, must dedicate resources to train and develop Black leaders, mentors, and teachers and implement Black leadership and mentorship programs to prepare our youth for more prosperous careers and futures.

Our youth deserve culturally-responsive job readiness training, productive mentorships, and internship opportunities.

Youth leadership development programs, including organizing and activism training.

Fund Black youth leadership development that is centered in racial justice, LGBTQ justice, and gender justice. Ensure that Black young people are funded and supported to participate.

Develop youth-led work to raise Black young people’s voices in community and civic affairs, and embed youth voice into policy process and community organizations.

Black education center.

Develop a Black history education center as a part of the Portland State University Library system to house both local and regional archival materials in the context of African-American and African diaspora historical narratives. 



Establish a Black led homeschool network.


Initiate a mentorship program for Black professionals and Black youth.


Create a careers technical center for youth mentorships and leadership development.

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