January 4, 2021
Contact: April deLeon-Galloway, 971.233.6514, email@example.com
Today, ODOT’s Urban Mobility Office announced the 13 members of the new Historic Albina Advisory Board. The Board will advise the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project and its Executive Steering Committee about project design and how the project can support future development opportunities within the historic Albina neighborhood. This volunteer Board will include Black Portlanders with strong connections to historic Albina.
“The purpose of the Board is to elevate voices in the Black community to ensure that project outcomes reflect community interests and values, and that historic Albina benefits from the investments of this project,” said Megan Channell, Project Director.
The Board includes appointed members and at-large members selected through a public application process. The ten appointed members were identified by ODOT’s strategic engagement team led by Ericka Warren of Try Excellence, LLC., a third-generation Portlander, who will also serve as the Board’s facilitator. The members at-large were chosen and interviewed by the strategic engagement team through a collaborative process with ODOT and Metro as a project partner. “It was our goal to identify individuals with deep personal ties to Albina, whose professional and volunteer experience serve the community and who are willing to work collaboratively to bring positive change,” said Warren. “In line with doing business differently, ODOT empowered a team of strategic advisors deeply connected and invested in this community to lead this charge, which is a positive first step.”
ODOT brought Try Excellence, LLC to the table to help in strategy development as it pertains to community relations, particularly related to building connections and facilitating conversations between the agency and the Black community. “We felt that this was a great opportunity to help influence the potential for growth and change in this area,” said Dr. Steven Holt, Founder and President of Try Excellence, LLC and facilitator of the project’s Executive Steering Committee.
The Board was set up to advance the project’s values and provide meaningful opportunities for those with deep ties to Albina who have been impacted by past harm to influence the project design. “The Historic Albina Advisory Board really developed as a result of wanting to have measurable outcomes associated with the ideal of elevating the voices of the Black community and those that were historically harmed by past transportation projects,” Ericka Warren said.
When asked what success looks like for the Historic Albina Advisory Board, Warren said, “To me, success means thoughtful and authentic conversations between the Board and ODOT that lead to realizing growth and positive change in Albina.” She added, “Honest conversations and community-led outcomes will help to reduce the trust deficit between the Black community and ODOT after years of living in and with a systemically racist transportation system.”
The Historic Albina Advisory Board is scheduled to meet January 12, 2021. The list of members can be found here. Meeting materials and the agenda for the first meeting will be posted this week at https://www.i5rosequarter.org/events/.