Read the original article in The Oregonian here.
Before six Portland State University grad students launch into a gentrification displacement report, they asked Cully residents about their Northeast Portland neighborhood -- and their fears about gentrification.
About 40 people met at Scott School Thursday night to offer opinions. They gathered in small groups and said affordability, safety, large lots, and proximity to downtown were among the things that drew them to Cully, one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Portland.
The 40 said they don't want to become a "destination" for diners and shoppers. They want to remain diverse and affordable and they welcome development and growth that brings in businesses and services that will benefit everyone in the community.
The six students are working on a project for the Living Cully Ecodistrict, a partnership program between three Cully-area nonprofits: the Native American Youth & Family Center, Verde, and Hacienda CDC.
The goal of the project, student Rebecca Kennedy said, is to offer the community groups a strategic plan to help prevent the displacement that pushed many of Portland's black residents out of the Albina community as new businesses and development sprouted on North Williams Street and Mississippi Avenue.
The students repeatedly said the goal is not to stifle investment and development but to try to put in place changes that will make sure residents and business owners who want to stay can stay, even as housing prices and rental leases rise.
They showed Thursday's gathering two examples of positive gentrification, one in Chicago and one outside Seattle, where groups got ahead of development, built affordable housing and played an active role in shaping change.
The next step is to present ideas at a second community forum, Kennedy said. The workshop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.Thursday, May 2, at Rigler School, 5401 N.E. Prescott St.