Dear friends & neighbors,
All children in our community deserve the chance to enter kindergarten with the tools they need to learn, grow, and be successful. That’s why I secured funding to convene a the Preschool for All task force that will kick off later this month and be charged with creating a set of recommendations to expand pathways to preschool and early learning opportunities for the children in our community who need it the most. The task force is made up of educators, parents, community and business leaders, superintendents, and early childhood experts and advocates.
When children have access to quality early learning experiences, their positive outcomes in school increase significantly and they are more likely to be on track to graduate. Research shows that investing in early childhood learning returns up to $10 in benefits for every $1 spent.
Earlier this month, I wrote an opinion piece highlighting the importance of early learning in helping children develop the skills needed to success in school. Communities across the country are stepping up for their young children and making significant investments in preschool and early learning opportunities. Multnomah County can be the next to take this step and invest in our children.
District 3 Happenings
Latinx Heritage Month
Last week, I sponsored a proclamation adopted by the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners proclaiming September 15th through October 15th as Latinx Heritage Month. We heard from influential Latino community leaders including Diana Nunez, Linda Castillo, state Representative Andrea Salinas, Orlando Zurita-Rodriguez, and Juan Martinez about the work they and their organizations are doing to center the voices and issues of Latinos in Multnomah County. Read more about the proclamation here.
I was proud to attend the Cascade Aids Project’s annual AIDS Walk on September 8th. This fantastic event helps to highlight the work being done to fight the AIDS epidemic, raise funds to support those living with HIV/AIDS, and remember those we have lost to this terrible disease.
Constituent Spotlight: Frieda Christopher
Frieda Christopher is a champion of east Portland schools, communities, and families. Frieda moved to east Portland 42 years ago, and has been volunteering in David Douglas schools for the last 40! She currently serves as the Chair of the David Douglas School Board and Treasurer of the David Douglas Education Foundation, and is very involved with the East Portland Action Plan.
Frieda first began volunteering in our community more than 40 years ago because she believes that every child, regardless of their family’s income or where they come from, should receive a quality education. When asked what she hopes readers take away from her story, she said: “If everybody volunteers a little bit, our community can be so much more!” Thank you for your service, Frieda!
Walk it out!
Please join me on Monday, September 17 at 5:30 pm, for a STEPtember walk around the Gateway area. Oregon Walks is partnering with community organizations to organize STEPtember events to highlight the benefits and challenges of walking in Portland. We will begin and end at Gateway Discovery Park (NE 106th & Halsey), and walk about 1.5 miles total. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a reusable water bottle with plenty of water. You can learn more and RSVP here.
Stopping to Appreciate Art
Our community has an abundance of wonderful public art. Yet we often speed by it without taking note. One example of artwork that goes under-appreciated is on the Multnomah Building, where two beautiful bas reliefs called Connections reside.
But on Friday, September 21st, we’re going to draw attention to these pieces and I invite you to join us! We’re going to commandeer two parking spaces in front of the artwork (via Portland’s Park(ing) Day!), set up tables and chairs, provide beverages and refreshments in the morning (coffee, tea, bagels) and afternoon (lemonade, iced tea and Arnold Palmers) and invite you to stop and enjoy the artwork!
What’s more, the artist, Wayne Chabre, will be talking about the artwork and answering questions over the lunch hour. Bring your own lunch and join us to obtain a better perspective on art. Or stop by during your morning (8:00-9:30 am) and/or evening commute (4-5:30 pm). Check out the Facebook event pageand please RSVP if you’d like to join us for lunch.
Bridge Building - Share Your Thoughts!
Portland’s aging downtown bridges are not expected to withstand a major earthquake. That is why Multnomah County is taking the lead on making the Burnside Bridge earthquake ready. We’ve winnowed down the list of options, and now you can weigh in at open house events this month. Click here for more information on our two open houses, or participate in our online open house.