ONI Joint Message on Engaging Portlanders

Hello Neighbors,

The Office of Neighborhood Involvement, City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, ONI Director Suk Rhee, and leaders from ONI neighborhood and community partners are excited to invite all Portlanders to think about what we can accomplish together for our City and future generations.

This year has brought new energy and leadership to ONI at all levels. What has not changed is ONI’s mission: “Promoting a culture of civic engagement by connecting and supporting all Portlanders working together and with government to build inclusive, safe and livable neighborhoods and communities.”

As the City’s bureau serving as the first point of contact to help Portlanders connect with the work of the City, ONI has evolved to provide a wide range of engagement opportunities addressing many City functions since the 1970s when neighborhoods organized around community involvement and were invited to participate in local land use decisions.

Much has changed for Portland since: the people, economy, skyline, and more. We come from a broad variety of lived experiences; each of us may strongly identify with a neighborhood, racial or ethnic group, or experience such as “parent,” “renter” or “breast cancer survivor,” or all of these. Individuals and communities identify themselves in relation to, for example, geography, issues, cultures, sexual orientation, gender identity, and country of origin. We believe that there should be as many ways to engage in community as there are ways communities come together and organize.

Over four decades, ONI has expanded, adding new programs such as Disability Power PDX, Diversity and Civic Leadership, and New Portlanders for immigrant and refugee integration to meet communities’ ever-changing needs. ONI also houses the City/County Information and Referral hotline (503-823-4000), the City’s noise control, graffiti abatement, crime prevention, liquor licensing and cannabis programs.

ONI’s evolution reminds us that our actions today shape the gifts we offer to future generations. What do we want for all neighbors, communities and neighborhoods? What must we accomplish together as our city grows? How can different parts of local government work better together to support community aspirations?

ONI and all its partners are working to bring communities of identity together to build common ground toward shared goals. How we bring those differences to the table in respectful, constructive and celebratory ways is as critical to our mission as the work itself. In future messages we hope to explore some of the challenges and opportunities for the region that need solutions.

We invite you to join us in asking these questions together as Portlanders; whether you are an active neighborhood association volunteer, familiar with an ONI program, or learning about us for the first time, we need you to work with us; differing perspectives expand and enrich our impact.

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Chloe Eudaly, Commissioner, City of Portland
Suk Rhee, ONI, City of Portland
Sylvia Bogert, Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc.
Reuben Deumling, Co-Chair SE Uplift Neighborhood Coalition
Terry Dublinski-Milton, Co-Chair SE Uplift Neighborhood Coalition
Doug Fasching, President, Central Northeast Neighbors
Tom Griffin-Valade, North Portland Neighborhood Services
Kymberly Jeka, Vice Chair, Humboldt Neighborhood Association
Adam Lyons, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods
Molly Mayo, SE Uplift Neighborhood Coalition
Víctor Salinas, East Portland Neighborhood Office
Felicia Williams, President, Downtown Neighborhood Association
Helen Ying, Chair, Old Town Chinatown Neighborhood Association