Cheers went up and bells rang out when Commissioner Sam Adams announced the Cully Association of Neighbors as a recipient of the Spirit of Portland Neighborhood Association Award. The City of Portland annually recognizes individuals and groups who have enriched our community by energizing and revitalizing our neighborhoods, providing a special service, raising cross cultural awareness and implementing outstanding projects.
Cully neighbors Jean Thompson and Lea and Erwin Bergman cheered and rang a bell from the balcony as Kathy Fuerstenau and Susan Nelson accepted the award whilst Commissioner Adams read excerpts from the December 13th award program below.
The Cully Association of Neighbors (CAN) has helped to reenergize the neighborhood. Notification and information dissemination is key to encouraging neighborhood awareness and involvement. Anywhere from 40 to 85 people attend the monthly meetings. In addition to e-mails, membership mailings and quarterly newsletters, neighbors are able to pick up meeting notices at six newsstand boxes located throughout the area.
The CAN has been very active encouraging a sense of community and improving neighborhood livability. Cully members have participated in newsletter distributions, Airport Noise and safety committees; a bilingual Portland State University/BDS/CAN survey, neighborhood fairs, tree plantings, Cuisine in Cully, Good Neighbor Agreements and in sewing and donating 100 blankets to nearby schools. With a total of 108 tons of yard debris and bulky waste collected, CAN has had the largest one-day neighborhood association cleanup for the entire City of Portland the past 2 years. Special emphasis was made on recycling to lessen the burden on the environment, reaching the 20% Latino population with bilingual flyers and to partner with neighborhood schools, businesses and other organizations.
In March 2006, a 3.38-acre parkland donation was finalized. The CAN leadership worked with the City and land developers for ten months that resulted in tripling the park area for this park deficient neighborhood. Being actively connected to community issues and city government, the Cully Association of Neighbors has made their infrastructure needs of street improvements, parks and a community center known to the Mayor and City Council and is working together to craft improvements.