In April, Verde Landscape Crew Supervisor Mateo Fletes celebrated 11 years working at Verde! We cannot thank him enough for the mentorship and passion he brings to the Verde team.
Verde and Enhabit share goals of advancing Affordable Small Homes, also known as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s), as one strategy to address the region’s affordable housing crisis. Enhabit is an Oregon non-profit dedicated to energy efficiency and, more recently, ADU’s. To help accelerate the development of affordable ADU programs envisioned by citywide community-based collaborators, Enhabit is providing its resources, designs, and engagement tools to Verde, a leader in catalyzing equity-first community building strategies.
Everyone should have access to the tools and information they need in order to make the changes they want to see in their communities.
“When you attend programs [like Lideres Verdes] you learn that you have a power. You have the power to organize more people and make changes for your community,” said Melecia Torres, a 2019 Lideres Verdes participant, “It’s called empowerment.”
This winter, neighborhood youth are learning to confront climate change and displacement in their community; and it all begins with a garden.
J’hane and Cierra hop on a yellow school bus with the other Multnomah Youth Corps (MYC) students once a week to join Verde and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council in building rain gardens on the properties of low-income homeowners.
On behalf of the Verde staff, board, and community, thank you for your support! This past year has been transformational for our organization. We’ve grown in many ways: read about it all in our very first annual report.
We completed construction of Cully Park, led an effort to secure the City of Portland’s first ordinance to protect vulnerable mobile home park residents from displacement, and passed the Portland Clean Energy Initiative, creating an annual fund of an estimated $30 million for renewable energy projects that support low-income communities and communities of color.
As an organization, we continue to innovate and perform in building environmental wealth in our communities and prevent displacement as those investments are made.
Verde welcomes Raina Brot-Goldberg to our outreach team, our second Confluence Environmental Center AmeriCorps member. Raina will be working closely with our Education Coordinator Nestor Campos to support our youth programs. You will see her around coordinating our annual Cully Critter Cruise, leading field trips to the Columbia Slough natural areas, building solar panels with Cully youth, and rebooting the Club Aves neighborhood birding group!
Thanks to supporters like you, we have many election victories to celebrate!
Just minutes after the polls closed, local news agencies announced the Portland Clean Energy Initiative, Measure 26-201, passed by a strong margin: 63% to 35%! This is truly a historic achievement by communities of color in coalition with mainstream environmental organizations, faith institutions, neighborhood associations, and more.
***En español abajo.***
Portland Clean Energy Initiative: Yes on Measure 26-201
Verde supports the Portland Clean Energy Initiative because it ensures low-income communities and communities of color have access to the green energy revolution that is coming.
Low-income communities and communities-of-color have borne the burdens of the fossil-fuel economy and have fewer resources to be able to withstand the impacts of climate change. In addition, these communities have been left out of the city of Portland’s sustainability movement, and the Portland Clean Energy Initiative centers these communities to be the leaders in climate change adaptation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.
EVs, Uber and Lyft, Bird, Autonomous Vehicles - our options for getting around are quickly changing and expanding. Living Cully is interested in understanding how these new technologies can help Cully residents meet community needs. For this reason, Living Cully developed the “Living Cully Community Mobility Needs Assessment.”
The assessment focuses on “Clean Mobility.” Clean Mobility refers to forms of transportation technology or programs that reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions. Examples of Clean Mobility are:
· electric vehicles, e-bikes and e-scooters
· car-ride programs such as Taxis, Lyft and Uber
· car-share programs such as SmartCar, Car2Go and traditional car rental services
· adequate transit programs
· carpool programs
· walking, biking and rolling
By investing in greater clean mobility options for Cully residents, we can take local action on climate change and make it easier for people to get around the city better.
During the spring and summer of 2018, Living Cully talked to over 120 Cully residents via surveys and focus groups about their transportation experiences and needs. The Assessment identifies four clean mobility recommendations to move forward in the Cully neighborhood.
· Launch a Cully Neighborhood Shuttle Pilot
· Provide More EV and E-bike Education
· Research Alternatives to Financial and Technological Requirements for Clean Mobility Participation
· Explore Utilizing Rideshare Credits for Senior Residents
Living Cully’s next step is to identify funding to move forward the communities’ recommendations. You can read the full Living Cully Community Mobility Assessment here.