In the Community
Advisory committees oversee and provide direction for the project. Committee members' expertise reflects diverse professional backgrounds, including minority-owned firms, advocacy groups, workforce development organizations, industry associations and community-based organizations. Many members are leaders and volunteers with strong ties to historic Albina, have a wide array of civic and community interests, and strong records of advocating for people, particularly people of color and other diverse groups.
We welcome community members and invite them to comment at the beginning of the meetings for the following committees.
Historic Albina Advisory Board
The purpose of the Historic Albina Advisory Board is to elevate voices in the Black community to ensure that project outcomes reflect community interests and values, and that historic Albina directly benefits from the investments of this project. ODOT's Urban Mobility Office formed the Board in December 2020 based on the project's values and feedback from the community, including the project's former Community Advisory Committee (sunset in August 2020).
The Board brings community perspectives into the project's decision-making process concerning elements that most directly support community connections, urban design, and wealth generation in the Black and historic Albina community. Areas of advice and recommendations include the following:
- Highway cover design responsive to community economic development needs, public health and aesthetic desires.
- Connections between the highway and local streets and paths to improve movements for people within and through the project area.
- Input to partnership opportunities to support community wealth generation through project area re-development, including potential partnerships between ODOT and other agencies, businesses and organizations.
Board members review project information, discuss and deliberate, and provide interest- and value-based advice and recommendations to project leadership to substantively inform its recommendations to the Oregon Transportation Commission.
The Historic Albina Advisory Board members include Black Portlanders and those with ties to historic Albina. Members are leaders and volunteers who work with and serve the Black community in Albina and Portland. They represent a wide array of civic and community interests.
Ericka Warren of Try Excellence, LLC, a third-generation Portlander, facilitates the Historic Albina Advisory Board meetings. Ericka supports the members during and between their meetings, ensures a good flow of communication between the Board and the project team, and maintains the integrity of the process.
Historic Albina Advisory Board Members
Dr. Ebony Amato-Blackmon:
Co-owner, XOPDX; Co-owner, 10th Avenue Liquor; Owner, 228 Group; Former Member, I-5 Rose Quarter Executive Steering Committee -
Dr. Amato-Blackmon is a Portland native with over 20 years’ experience as a banker, manager and public affairs liaison. She has been directly responsible for managing communications and relationships in both the finance and power business lines at Bonneville Power Administration and in the private sector. In addition, she has been active in educating and teaching small business classes at Portland Community College, Warner Pacific University and Portland State University. Dr. Amato-Blackmon also has stepped into the entrepreneurial world and is the owner of several local businesses. She holds a bachelor’s degree from George Fox University, a Master of Business Administration from Marylhurst University, a Doctorate of Management from George Fox University and a doctoral degree from Walden University. Dr. Amato-Blackmon has served on the Board since September 2021.
Co-founder and Executive Director, ELSO Inc. -
Sprinavasa is an experienced change agent, recognized community leader and social entrepreneur with 12 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector. As co-founder of ELSO, Inc. (Experience Life Science Outdoors), she is leading change for Black and Brown youth through camp culture and innovation in science, environmental and nature-based education. A Portland native, Sprinavasa has a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree from Gonzaga University. She has served on the Board since January 2021.
Board Chair, Word Is Bond; Mentor and Development Consultant, Multnomah County Health Department; Former Member, I-5 Rose Quarter Community Advisory Committee -
Andrew is a Portland local raised in the historic Albina community. He attended Boise-Eliot Elementary, Harriet Tubman Middle School and Benson Polytechnic High School. Andrew holds two bachelor’s degrees, in psychology and sociology, from Tuskegee University and a master’s in sports psychology from the University of Tennessee. He has over 10 years of professional experience in physiological training, and social and psychological sciences. He is passionate about creating healthier environments in Black and Brown communities to influence positive behavior and cultural cohesion. Andrew has served on the Board since January 2021.
Attorney, PNW Business Law; Director, Soul Business District Association; Board Chair, Williams & Russell CDC; Board Secretary, Business for a Better Portland; Director, A Renaissance School of Arts and Sciences; Former Member, I-5 Rose Quarter Executive Steering Committee -
Bryson is committed to improving social and economic equity across marginalized communities. He is an active board member of several nonprofit organizations and focuses his volunteer work on diversity and business development issues. He was co-chair of the community-elected Williams & Russell Project Working Group and is the current chair of the Williams & Russell Community Development Corporation, a collaborative effort between the Project Working Group, Prosper Portland, Legacy Health and the City of Portland involving Legacy Health returning to the community a 1.7-acre vacant block at N. Russell St. and N. Williams Ave. known as the Hill Block. Bryson holds a bachelor’s degree from Reed College and a juris doctor from the University of Washington School of Law. He has served on the Board since September 2021.
Artist in Residence, City of Portland Archives; Co-Artist, Historic Black Williams Art Project and the Alberta St Black Heritage markers; Owner and Designer, Soapbox Theory -
Cleo combines disciplines of cultural and creative arts while utilizing design, historic preservation, economic development and city policy in his work. Cleo’s work takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues, reproducing familiar visual signs and arranging them into new, conceptually layered pieces, while advocating for tools of economic growth and policy change. Most recently, Cleo orchestrated moving a historic house in order to create a Black/Afro-American cornerstone of creative genius that promotes art, research, and imagination. Cleo has served on the Board since June 2023.
Joy Alise Davis:
Hailing from Cincinnati, Joy Alise Davis (she/her) graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and from Parsons School of Design with a Master of Arts in Theories of Urban Practice. She is a speculative design strategist who has held support and leadership roles at various social justice organizations for over ten years. Joy Alise has consulted on urban planning, urban design, and racial equity projects with government bureaus in the State of Oregon for over eight years. She is the founder of the award-winning collaborative design firm Design + Culture Lab, and is an Assistant Professor at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). Currently, Joy Alise serves as the President and Executive Director of Imagine Black, where she works to help our Black community imagine the alternatives they deserve and build political participation to achieve those alternatives.
Retired Electrician, IBEW Local 48; Board Director, Tri-Met; Mentor Development Specialist, Multnomah County -
During a distinguished 44-year career, Keith broke many barriers in the Black community. He became the first Black business manager of a construction local in the history of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), was the first to serve as a member of the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, and co-founded the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus in 1974. He was the first Black person appointed to the Executive Board of IBEW Local 48, and he served as an international representative for IBEW’s Ninth District. The Jefferson High School graduate has been active with the Coalition of Black Men, the Portland Workforce Alliance and the NAACP, for which he has served as president of the Portland chapter. Keith has served on the Board since January 2021.
Strategic Communications, Albina Vision Trust -
Bio coming soon.
Leslie Goodlow, LMSW:
Equity and Business Operations Manager, Portland Housing Bureau -
Leslie grew up in the historic Albina community, where she still resides. She attended Holladay Park and Irvington elementary schools, and Grant High School. Leslie holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Grambling State University and a Master of Social Work from Portland State University. She has 30 years of public service in progressively more senior roles with Multnomah County and currently with the City of Portland. Leslie is very active in the community, most notably with the Portland Rose Festival Foundation, where she has been a board member since 1999 and in 2007 served as president for the Centennial Celebration. She is a member of the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission and is president of the Zeta Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She also serves as the Conference Planning Chair for the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. Leslie has served on the Board since January 2021.
Cobi Lewis is the Executive Director of Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO). MESO brings a holistic array of services and programs to small businesses, including access to capital through loans and grants, real estate lending, business planning, market research, IDA, Bookkeeping, Classes, navigation and mentoring.
Prior to coming to MESO, Cobi served as the Sr. VP and Director of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and Corporate Responsibility at Umpqua Bank, was comprised of Community Development, Philanthropy, Volunteerism, DEI and Government Relations. Cobi also served on the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation Board of Directors.
Prior to coming to Umpqua Bank, Cobi worked at Wells Fargo Bank, managing Community Development and CRA for the Oregon and SW Washington. She also previously served as the VP of Programs for One Economy Corporation, a national technology and advocacy nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.
Cobi currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Portland Housing Center, the Audit Committee for the Oregon Youth Authority, the National Association of Minority Contractors and on the Leadership Council of the Albina Vision Trust. She also serves on the Governor’s Central City Task Force and the Advance Portland Advisory Committee. Just a few notable accomplishments include the Portland Business Journals 40 under 40, 2020 Women of Influence, Top 100 African-Americans in Business, 22 Leaders to follow in 2022, and on the national list of Most Influential Bankers.
She is a proud mother of two, Grandmother of one and an alumna of the University of Oregon.
Estelle comes from a Vanport family, and was born in and has deep roots in the historic Albina community. Her service on the Board represents a continuation of a legacy of family activism against the gentrification of Albina. Estelle's family owned several businesses in Albina, including The Chinese Kitchen, which closed its doors due to the construction of the Emmanuel Hospital. She attended Duniway Elementary and Cleveland High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a graduate certificate in collaborative governance from Portland State University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Multnomah County chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the National Society United States Daughters of 1812. Estelle is also a member of the N/NE Oversight Committee and Life Change Church. She has served on the Board since January 2021.
Retired, Assistant Chief, Portland Police Bureau; Campus Public Safety Police, Portland State University; Safety and Justice Challenge participant with the John F. Kennedy School of Government and MacArthur Foundation -
Kevin moved to Portland in the late 1970s to attend Portland State University and play basketball. After graduating, he began his professional career in corrections and policing. In 1986 he became a Portland police officer and served the community in progressively more senior roles with the Portland Police Bureau for over 31 years, retiring as assistant chief in 2017. Kevin has recently worked as an advisor and staffer to Oregon State Senator Lew Frederick of Senate District 22 and has board of director experience with CASA, Black Parent Initiative and former Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s Police Training Task Force. He is a voice for fairness and safety in the community, and continues to be an advisor to several elected and professional public safety agency directors. He holds several certifications in public safety administration. Kevin has served on the Board since January 2021.
President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Portland Chapter; Co-founder of the National Association of Minority Contractors of Oregon (NAMCO) -
James is a longtime Portland resident with a legacy of advocating for minority contractors in Oregon. After serving in the U.S. Air Force and National Guard, James moved to the Pacific Northwest and worked for the U.S. Forestry Service in Washington State. Upon retiring in 1990, he started his own trucking company with a focus on the construction industry. For more than 20 years, James used his experience in the trucking and asphalt paving business to voice strong support for fair practices for minority businesses. He is a co-founder of NAMCO, a former mayoral candidate and current President of the NAACP Portland Chapter. James continues to fight unapologetically for equity and justice in the construction industry and beyond. He sits on the project’s Community Oversight Advisory Committee, holding project leaders accountable to the minority workforce goals and identifying opportunities for minority contracting. James has served on the Board since June 2023.
Dr. Carlos Richard:
Adjunct Professor of Leadership and Diversity, Warner Pacific University; Equity and Inclusion Manager, Multnomah County, Department of County Human Services (DCHS) -
Dr. Richard currently serves as the equity and inclusion manager with DCHS and as the adjunct professor of leadership and diversity at Warner Pacific University. Dr. Richard also served as co-chair of the Oregon Commission on Black Affairs and is the former director of the Successful Families 2020 Initiative of the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. Dr. Richard holds a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University, a master’s degree from Warner Pacific University, and a Master of Divinity and a doctorate from George Fox University. He has served on the Board since January 2021.
John “Bubba” Washington:
CEO and Editor in Chief, Flossin Media; Executive Director, Soul Business District Association; Former Member, I-5 Rose Quarter Community Advisory Committee; Member, N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy Oversight Committee; Former Chair, Alberta Commons Art and Design Committee; Longtime Member, NAACP -
John attended Rutgers University and has over 25 years of experience as an equity facilitator, intervention specialist, land use developer, community activist, small business consultant and national publisher/editor. As the executive director of the Soul District Business Association (SDBA), he demonstrates a deep and abiding commitment to bolstering community perceptions of capability, significance and influence. John's fierce and uncompromising advocacy involves testifying on behalf of small, minority-owned businesses and helping access funding and economic development opportunities for underrepresented populations in N/NE Portland neighborhoods. Under his leadership, SDBA assisted more than 100 Black-owned businesses and community members in submitting their applications to The Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief and Resilience during the pandemic. John publishes a triannual publication, Flossin Magazine; hosts the Black Beat Podcast; co-produces the PDX Black Rose Podcast; and has an outdoor program called “Boating with Bubba.” Each of these platforms amplifies the voices and perspectives of Black Oregonians in the Pacific Northwest. John has served on the Board since January 2021.
The Historic Albina Advisory Board generally meets monthly on the second Tuesday, with some exceptions. Most meetings are open to the public. Please visit the Events and Meetings page for more details about the Historic Albina Advisory Board meetings.
Community Oversight Advisory Committee
The Community Oversight Advisory Committee (COAC) ensures the construction contractor meets its community and project goals and expectations for contracting with disadvantaged businesses and employing minorities and women. COAC members bring a broad perspective on community, social, economic and workforce issues in the project area. The committee last met in January 2023 and will resume a regular meeting schedule when construction on the project begins.
The committee is responsible for:
- Reviewing the construction team's disadvantaged business subcontracting and workforce plans, participation, diversity, and results.
- Providing recommendations, comments and resources in support of the successful implementation of the construction team's Diversity and Subcontracting Plan.
- Assisting a culture of success related to disadvantaged business and workforce program implementation.
- Making recommendations to the project team.
ODOT, in partnership with the City of Portland, identified and appointed the original committee members, who represented minority firms and advocacy groups; diverse workforce development organizations; other contractors (with no real or perceived conflict of interest); association representatives; and representatives from community-based organizations with a strong record of accomplishment serving racial and ethnic minorities, women and other disadvantaged groups.
Johnell Bell of Espousal Strategies, LLC, acted as committee facilitator until the committee was paused in 2023. In this role, Johnell supported members, maintained the integrity of the process, and facilitated communication about the process among members and other interested parties.
Community Oversight Advisory Committee Members
- Michael Burch, Community Member
- Bob Carroll, IBEW Local-48
- Katrina Cloud, Northwest College of Construction
- Art Cortez, LatinoBuilt
- Pastor Matt Hennessee, Ministerial Alliance
- Twauna Hennessee, Southwest Mountain States Regional Council of Carpenters
- Joe McFerrin, Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. (POIC)
- James Posey, NAACP
- Felicia Tripp Folsom, Community Member
The Community Oversight Advisory Committee will resume meetings when project construction begins. For summaries and recordings of past meetings, see the project Library.
EXECUTIVE STEERING COMMITTEE
From the spring of 2020 through the summer of 2021, an Executive Steering Committee advised the Oregon Transportation Commission and ODOT on major decisions related to the project. The committee was formed to provide a forum for agency partners and key stakeholders to work cooperatively on major design details for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project, particularly the highway cover. The Executive Steering Committee received and considered advice and input from the Historic Albina Advisory Board, the Community Oversight Advisory Committee and the Independent Cover Assessment team in decision-making. The Executive Steering Committee was sunset after their final meeting on August 31, 2021, at which point they empowered the HAAB to assume their advisory role to ODOT for the project.
The Oregon Transportation Commission convened the Executive Steering Committee in consultation with ODOT and regional partners. The committee was composed of local government officials and representatives of community-based organizations in our region. The Executive Steering Committee was facilitated by Dr. Steven Holt of Try Excellence, LLC.
Executive Steering Committee Members
- Chair Alando Simpson - Oregon Transportation Commission, Vice Chair
- Lynn Peterson - Metro, President
- Brendan Finn - Oregon Department of Transportation, Urban Mobility Office Director
- Kristen Sheeran - Governor's Office, Climate and Energy Policy Advisor
- Steve Witter - TriMet, Executive Director Capital Projects and Construction
- Nate McCoy - National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC)
- Dr. Ebony Amato - N/NE Community Development Initiative
- Julia Brim-Edwards - Portland Public Schools, PPS Board Member
- Marlon Holmes - N/NE Housing Strategy
- Bryson Davis - Williams and Russell Project
- Jana Jarvis - Oregon Trucking Association, President
- Robert Camarillo - Oregon Building Trades, Executive Secretary
The Executive Steering Committee met 14 times in 2020 and 2021. The final meeting was on August 31, 2021, when the project's committees advanced the Proposed Hybrid 3 Cover Concept to the Oregon Transportation Commission. The Historic Albina Advisory Board has taken the place of the Executive Steering Committee in project collaboration and decision-making. For recordings of past meetings, check out our YouTube.