a little bit more on 'gentrification'...
many cities around the world have been feeling the effects of what is widely known as gentrification (which is traditionally defined as: "the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.") portland of course is no stranger to that, with its long history of displacing not only working class and low-income folks, but thriving black communities as well, due to factors such as imminent domain.
one of the latest issues surrounding gentrification is the proposed construction of a major grocery chain (trader joe's) in an area which, for the last few decades at the very least has been identified as being an 'historically black area'. the proposal was created on the grounds that the store would fulfill a need to preventy a 'food desert'; however the location the store is set to be in would be in a location where over a dozen markets cover a mile of that area.
this is one of the concern about the proposal. other concerns are based on pedestrian access in the midst of heavy traffic; affordability issues; as well as the preference of a non-local chain over local ones.
various community groups and individuals have gotten together to bring attention to their concerns, addressing them to the portland development commission (or the PDC) and the mayor's office. two individuals who have been involved in community efforts to bring attention to this are steven gilliam and maxine fitzpatrick of PAALF (portland african american leadership forum- http://aalfnw.org/portland/about-paal/); alan silver, chair of the king neighborhood association- http://kingneighborhood.wordpress.com); community activist/ex-mayoral (and state treasurer) candidate cameron whitten (http://twitter.com/cameronwhitten); and tricia tillman from the oregon health authority (http://www.oregon.gov/oha/Pages/index.aspx). there may be others in this solid community to lend their voices to this issue as well- we'd love to hear from you to contribute to this conversation, no matter where you're from!