The Woodstock Neighborhood Association believes that creating a strong sense of community starts at the grass roots level and is fundamental to building a strong, vibrant, and equitable Portland. We are proud to represent all our neighbors and work hard to ensure diverse backgrounds and points of view are respected and represented. The proposed changes to the City of Portland’s Office of Community and Civic Life does very little to promote community building among historically underrepresented members of the community, but rather, further fractures and divides Portland at the very grass roots level it was built upon by gutting the vital community building our city’s 95 neighborhood associations have accomplished. We are all in agreement that neighborhood associations must progress and evolve with the communities they represent, however, the proposed changes lack specific structure or direction for incorporating voices from marginalized and/or minority communities. We are saddened that our City leaders have chosen to abandon and abolish our neighborhood organizations rather than supporting and working alongside with everyone in the community. The City should bring more voices to the table versus dismantling the table. All of us united are what makes our neighborhood great, and what makes us a strong and inclusive community. The Woodstock Neighborhood Association opposes the current City Code 3.96 draft language, because it abolishes rather than progresses the current neighborhood association system and reduces the City’s communication responsibility to the community.