Why Historic Laurelhurst Supports A Slate in the LNA Election

(Apologies: this post will mostly be of local interest to residents of Laurelhurst. We'll return to our regular programming soon.)

The last time Historic Laurelhurst supported a slate of candidates in the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association (LNA) elections was during the neighborhood's historic district process. Why are we doing it again?

We support the candidate slate that recognizes that there are multiple issues facing the neighborhood, seeks input from the neighbors for greater transparency, and will involve all Laurelhurst residents, business owners, and community partners in tackling the challenges facing our neighborhood.

Increasing involvement and engagement between neighbors, community groups, and the LNA, to work together on the needs of the neighborhood, our schools, and Portland's community groups are foundational to this slate of candidates. And, we agree.

These candidates see that as a neighborhood we need to be engaged in:

- How to reconnect, readjust our neighborhood's programs and events and how we live post-pandemic;

- How to keep our neighborhood safe, accessible, and moving towards a vision of real change and progress;

- The opportunity of restoring the Laurelhurst Club and looking at how that can best serve the community;

- Supporting the affordable housing community soon coming to the Mann House;

- And that it is critical to be actively involved in key decisions in the city around homelessness, demolitions, and community safety.

Homelessness is a big problem for Portland at this time. Camping is directly harming historic Laurelhurst Park and other places in Laurelhurst. The Board should be actively involved in pushing our city to a real, lasting solution to homelessness and camping. No one group or neighborhood can solve homelessness and camping on its own: Laurelhurst will have to work with many other neighborhoods and community groups -- AND we'd like to see our next board start by reaching out to the whole neighborhood, and engage in these issues by being informed by the neighbors.

Another major challenge is the demolition of historic houses and potentially losing the Laurelhurst Historic District's protections. Earlier this year, many individuals, groups, and even some cities came together to address HB2558, which would have rezoned the north part of Laurelhurst to 4 and 5 story apartment buildings with no "affordability" requirement. The LNA was silent.

This year, the city will rewrite its Historic Code and may eliminate demolition protections for historic houses in our Historic District. Demolitions and rezoning are forever. We need the Board to be committed to our district and provide a strong voice from the neighborhood in these discussions. We feel these candidates will do that.

Consensus-building and a broad neighborhood effort are how Laurelhurst united itself, overcame many obstacles, and achieved its Historic District. There is a great community here and all Laurelhurst neighbors should have input into the LNA's positions. A broad consensus will make the LNA's efforts stronger and have a greater lasting impact.

Historic Laurelhurst supports the following slate of candidates for the LNA Board elections on May 11.

President John Liu

Vice-President Jennifer Moffatt

NW Quad Rep Tanya Baikow-Smith

NE Quad Rep John Deodato

SW Quad Rep Mike Parrott

SE Quad Rep Regina Winkler

At Large Rep Gabriel Aaron

SEUL Rep Guy Fiorita

How to vote: see the LNA website for instructions. The online voting period starts 8:00 pm on May 11 and runs to 8:00 pm on May 12. Earlier or later votes will not be counted. The in-person voting is from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm on May 12 at the Laurelhurst Club.