Wednesday, May 6, 2015 is election day for Woodstock Neighborhood Association
You won’t be getting a pamphlet or a ballot in your mailbox. Since snail-mailed communications are beyond our budget, a blog post, WNA email, and social media messaging will suffice as notice, and any eligible member who shows up at our meeting that night gets to vote. (That is, anyone who lives, works or owns property in Woodstock, and who cares to participate.)
Given the low-key nature of our annual board election, you might ask, is it important? You bet it is! It’s important because it represents another year’s commitment of the volunteers that drive our organization and make it work on behalf of the neighborhood.
“Many hands make light work!” is a reminder we often see on the flyer advertising the annual Woodstock Boulevard Clean-up (this year on May 23rd). And it really is true. It’s true for that event, it’s true for the Woodstock Plant Sale (a benefit for our community center, this year on Saturday, May 9th), and it’s true for every year’s worth of work and fun that gets done, by volunteer effort, under the umbrella of the WNA.
What We Do
Skimming WNA meeting agendas from May 2014 through April 2015, I am truly amazed by all that has transpired in a year. All these things are accomplished by the joint efforts of our elected board members, plus all the other committee members and dedicated volunteers who show up to help out.
WNA spearheads several special events annually, most of them free, thanks to business sponsors. These events include our family-friendly Halloween party, the summertime Movie in Woodstock Park, and Arbor Month activities planned by our Tree Team. In addition, we boast one of the very best plant sales every May, the day before Mother’s Day, a benefit for the Woodstock Community Center.
WNA participates as a cosponsor and collaborator on many additional events in a year’s time. In 2014 these included the Woodstock Blvd. Cleanup, SE Neighborhood Kickball Tournament (initiative of Mt. Scott-Arleta), Farmers Market, Feast for Southeast, Friends of Trees’s December tree planting, and Woodstock’s Winter Wonderland holiday tree-lighting event. Also, members of the Woodstock Neighborhood Emergency Team were instrumental in organizing a successful series of “Get Ready for Anything” emergency preparedness events in Southeast Portland.
WNA’s monthly meetings, held every First Wednesday evening at the Woodstock Community Center, provide a regular time and place for neighbors to connect with each other, discuss crime and safety concerns, hear from representatives of other nonprofits as well as local government, and bring their own issues to the table.
In addition to our official monthly meeting, WNA now hosts an informal gathering every Last Friday of the month at Papaccino’s. Organized as a kind of “welcome wagon” for new neighbors, long-time residents are just as welcome. Another place we connect with residents is at the Woodstock Farmers Market, where WNA tables and sells t-shirts once a month during market season (June through October).
Our powerhouse Land Use Committee worked hard this past year organizing the Woodstock Charrette that brought hundreds of Woodstock residents and business owners out for a community visioning process that sought to shape the future of commercial development in Woodstock and helped to inform WNA’s input to the city’s comprehensive plan. This alone signified a year’s worth of work, but at the same time the LUC, under the expert (though sometimes admittedly weary) guidance of Terry Griffiths, kept up on local development cases that required our input, including one case for which members testified at two hearings, the second one an appeal in front of City Council that was decided in our favor.
WNA’s other standing committee, the Friends of the Woodstock Neighborhood Center, upholds our partnership agreement with Portland Parks and Recreation to ensure our community center stays open and is well maintained. We invite all in our community to show their support and gratitude to the Friends by turning out for the Woodstock Plant Sale on May 9th.
Next time you visit the Woodstock Community Center, whether for the Plant Sale, for one of our monthly meetings, or for one of Parks and Rec’s classes, take note of the beautiful “Woodstock Community Information Kiosk,” a special posting board erected in front of the center thanks to a Neighborhood Small Grant from Southeast Uplift and the City of Portland, and thanks to—you guessed it—the hard work and generosity of a dedicated team of volunteers.
We are grateful to all who participate. You are one of the reasons Woodstock is such a great place to live.
The WNA board includes the elected positions listed below along with the people currently up for election. All terms are for one year. Additional nominations may still be submitted (with permission of nominee) for any of these, up until the moment of voting. Please note we have two slots open for Area Representative. See the map graphic for an idea of the location of these “areas.” According to our Bylaws, the Area Representative helps represent their part of the neighborhood when weighing in on issues that may come before the board, plus any other duties the board agrees to assign to them.
- Chair – Becky Luening
- Vice-Chair – Elisa Edgington
- Secretary – Florence Dejeix
- Treasurer – Merrilee Spence
- SEUL Representative – Moshe Lenske
- Newsletter Editor – Ruthann Bedenkop
- Web Administrator – Chris Tarwater
- Area Representatives:
1 – OPEN
2 – Ann Crowder
3 – Jan Elliott
4 – OPEN
5 – Jacky Jarrahzadeh
- Co-Chairs, Land Use Committee – Terry Griffiths and Aaron Cronan
- Chair, Friends of the Woodstock Community Center – Lonnie Port
- Chair, Outreach – Kenny Heggem
Please come out to WNA’s May 6th meeting (7pm at the Woodstock Community Center), and show your support by participating in our little election, and voting in the board that will steer WNA for the next year. I look forward to seeing you there!
—Becky Luening, Chair, Woodstock Neighborhood Association