Archive | Community Outreach

A Plug for a Good Cause

To a large degree, I try to allocate my charitable giving dollars in alignment with my policy advocacy.

Which is why for each of the last two years, one of the bigger (tax-deductible) checks I’ve written has been to the Community Cycling Center.

Right now they’re engaged in a campaign to fund their program to help create a more inclusive bicycle economy for Portland.

The CCC is one of the bright spots in expanding cycling to diverse communities that haven’t traditionally participated. It’s important to me that the benefits of cycling don’t just accrue to segments of our society, but to our whole city and region.

This new initiative will go even further, helping develop job skills and employment opportunities for minority youth in the cycling industry.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting this vibrant and vital organization.

Calling All Wonks

Scotty hit it in the open thread for this month, but I want to reinforce it – Metro is taking applications for three seats on TPAC – the “Transportation Policy Alternatives Committee”.

As I suspect I’ve mentioned before, TPAC is one of the places where I got my education in transportation policy. Six citizens have the opportunity to sit with transportation staffers from jurisdictions all over the region and help frame up choices for the elected officials on JPACT.

I can’t think of a better way to get a handle on all the ins and outs of transportation in our region, and you have a chance to inject some reality into the process…

SW Corridor public outreach

For those interested in the SW corridor project, Metro now has a series of public events scheduled as part of the agency’s public outreach on the project. These events, scheduled during the months of September and October, include an open house, numerous presentations at various local farmers’ markets and other agricultural festivals, and a pair of walks through Burlingame.

Metro is looking for a few good Republicans

Metro looking for volunteers for its Opt-In panel, especially those who aren’t white college-educated Democrats living in Multnomah County.

And minorities. And suburbanites. And people without college degrees.

Why?

To join the Opt-In Panel, a voluntary group which gets periodically polled on issues facing Metro. The agency wants 10,000 local participants, and has 2,000. Unfortunately, the participants on the panel so far are not a representative sample of the region: According to a report,

Ninety-five percent of the participants are white. Seventy percent are Democrats, six percent Republican. Eighty-six percent have a college degree, and less than one percent say they never attended any college. Only 23 percent hail from Clackamas or Washington counties, which collectively have 56 percent of Metro’s constituency.

I’ve joined the panel myself, both to exert whatever influence I can (how much weight community input will be given in decision-making remains to be seen), and to get a better handle on what’s up. I mostly fit the profile (I’m white, independent but progressive, hold an advanced degree, but live in Washington County).

People who join by March 15 might win a $50 gift card, good anywhere.

So if you hate public transit, or think that the region is spending too much money building trains and should build more bus service, or have any other opinions you think are not adequately represented in the planning process, consider joining.

Disclosure: Nobody at Metro or any other agency asked me to write this, nor do either I or Portland Transport derive any benefit whatsoever from people joining in response to this article.