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To pique the interest of residents in attending one of their neighborhood assn. meetings, WNA served food

DAVID F. ASHTON - The presence of a potluck buffet supper was a big inducement to come to the subsequent meeting of the Woodstock Neighborhood Association at the Woodstock Community Center on September 7th. The neighborhood associations of Southeast Portland, and others around the city, regularly seek ways to encourage residents and merchants to attend their meetings; pending any changes in the city charter, the 95 recognized neighborhood associations in Portland are the closest thing to providing district input to the Portland City Council.

The Woodstock Neighborhood Association, on Wednesday, September 7, held an afternoon potluck supper as a prelude to its monthly General Meeting that evening in the Woodstock Community Center. For those who didn't bring a food item, the association itself provided pizza.

WNA President Anna Weichsel invited more neighbor participation, "Because we want to initiate a few things: A Climate Action Plan; our Right of Way project; and we need to have more people getting involved with the Woodstock Community Center, so we can keep it open. Also, we want to promote the classes that are held at the Center."

As for the purpose of having a meal for the community just before the General Meeting, she said, "The dinner came up, because we are a little tired of our forward meetings. We wanted to have a little more fun; a little more 'small talk' in a more relaxed way for neighbors. Everything goes better over food and some ginger beer!

"I think this is a nice way of engaging. I realize a lot of people do not want to come to formal meetings. Or, they might be afraid to talk in front of many people. Getting together like this really helps make it easier for people to talk about ideas that they might have."

The conversations which followed between attendees over food seemed to center particularly on issues relating to those camping on the streets, as well garbage and trash accumulation. Weichsel pointed out, "We have a new action group that deals with clean-ups. I just secured our insurance with the city for our clean-up projects."

DAVID F. ASHTON - This musical trio, providing a background for the Woodstock potluck, was called Status Crow. It wasn't all business. Live music was provided by musical trio "Status Crow", and there was a crowd pretty continuously around the table set up in front of the Community Center on which there was pizza. Although it's likely there will not be potlucks before most monthly WNA General Meetings, it was clear that the Woodstock neighbors who came appreciated the opportunity to get together informally this way, and many expressed the hope of doing it again soon.


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