Daily Report: October 14
Notes and reflections from Wednesday, October 14
Back and Forth Across the River
We started the morning with Joyce Fleming, staff at US Rep. Blumenauer’s Portland office – once again, the delegates had many questions and the discussion was stimulating – this time on constituent services and responsiveness of elected representatives. Then, our wonderful drivers, Mary McWilliams and Ann Mulroney took us across the river to the Portland City Council meeting where each delegate received a city of Portland pin and was introduced in session by the Mayor. The delegation received applause from the chamber audience and they told us over lunch that it made them feel really good.
We were once again whisked across the river to the Multnomah County Elections Division where we had a long discussion with Tim Scott, Director of Elections and Communications Specialist Eric Sample. This was followed by a tour of the entire election facility. After a wonderful lunch at Nostrana, we were driven to Station Place Tower in the Pearl District, a housing development of 176 units for low income senior citizens. Dee Walsh of REACH Community Development Corporation and Steve Rudman of the Housing Authority of Portland explained the construction and operational subsidies that made the project possible. All delegates, but especially Sergei Yeger, had many questions and was engaged by the speakers to explain the huge challenges in Russia in encouraging private investment and ownership of housing and water, sewer, heating and other utilities, all in need of rehabilitation. We then toured a one bedroom unit at the project and the rooftop garden on the 12 story building where the delegates took pictures of each other using as the backdrop the incredible Portland view.
At all meetings we have been providing materials on LWV and Open World, including the digital directory that will allow the Portland and Russian leaders to stay in touch if they register with the directory which includes a language translation component. The meetings were followed by window shopping in the Pearl district and dinner at the home of David and Marnie Lonsdale.