March Newsletter

Division Midway Alliance Monthly Newsletter
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Spring 2017 DMA News

Ann Ereline, Editor

DMA is a place to gather & connect

     DMA wants the community to know that as we move through the onslaught of federal changes regarding immigrants and refugees, DMA will remain a safe space for residents to gather and connect.  We continue to work with partner organizations and will convey accurate information and resources to the community members.
    Please tell us what YOU are doing to support community and how we can work together.  
    If you'd like to display either the lawn sign or poster (below), please contact us at
Reflections and fresh starts at DMA
By Lori Boisen
   More than six months ago, on Aug. 6, I suffered cardiac arrest, an event that deeply affects me personally and also DMA. I want to share an update with you. First, I thank my husband, Lyle, and the fire department for saving my life. Doctors at Adventist Medical Center stabilized me via therapeutic hypothermia and installed a pacemaker and defibrillator to regulate my genetically weakened heart, which I did not know I had.  
    I spent the rest of 2016 recovering and working when able.
    As I recovered, I learned the importance of taking care of myself. I am eating better and moving more. I'm spending more time with friends and family -- and with my love for reading. I now listen to my body and slow down when it says I'm tired or stressed. I finally understand that in order to be good for others, I must be good to myself.  I am happy to report that the changes are working: my most recent echocardiogram shows that my heart is at optimum output!  
    While I recuperated, DMA’s community of volunteers worked to assure DMA’s mission moved forward, and I am ever grateful for all your work and support.  Last year, 250 community members donated over 2,500 service hours toward DMA’s success, and I can’t even begin to thank everyone for all the time and effort. Neither DMA nor I could have done it without you. 

Recent accomplishments include: 
  • 16 tons of trash removed from the district in February 2017 through a partnership with Powellhurst Gilbert Neighborhood Association, METRO, BPS, and EPNO;
  • Eight business mixers in 2016 sponsored by Mt. Hood Community College in partnership with Midway Business Association;
  • Bhutanese citizenship classes at DMA's office since 2016 have resulted in 12 of 14 students receiving citizenship;
  • Myanmar community office hours and civic fluency classes began in March 2016 and have served over 200 Myanmar Community members;
  • 2016 Festival of Nations and beginning plans for 2017 Festival of Nations;
  • Pilot Art on the box Mural Installation at 122nd & Division;
  • Two Storefront Improvement Grants – Casa Del Sol & Pdx Mailroom Plus
As we move through 2017, I appeal to everyone in Midway’s community to contribute time, talent and/or treasure toward improving and connecting to our neighborhood.  Who knows what we might accomplish if we all work together to build the neighborhood we want to see?  I look forward to hearing from you all soon!
Everything but the kitchen sink: When you gather 30 volunteers to assist 110 households get rid of their unwanted stuff, what you end up with is 16 tons of gadgets, furniture and you name it.
     DMA joined with the Powellhurst Gilbert Neighborhood on Feb. 25 at West Powellhurst Elementary for the snow-delayed annual event. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the event's success.  See you next year! 
Upcoming events
Below is a partial list of East Portland community and DMA meetings and events. Have an event to share? Email the details to
Wednesday, March 22, 6:30-8:30, EPAP at David Douglas School Board room, the East Portland Action Plan meets the 4th Wednesday of the month.  Dinner is provided.  
Monday, March 27 @ 6:30 – Mill Park Neighborhood Association MeetingJoin Mill Park for its general membership meeting the 4th Monday of the month at Gethsemane Lutheran Church at 11560 SE Market Street.
Thursday, March 30 6-7:30 p.m., Mill & Midland Parks Community Meeting: Midland Libary, 805 SE 122nd Avenue.  See proposals for the new places to play, garden, gather & read.  Share your thoughts about the design options with us.
Tuesday, April 11, noon, Pizza Baron - Midway Business Association monthly meeting. The scheduled topic is brownfields.

Tuesday, April 11, 5:30 p.m. Festival Committee at DMA's office, 11721 SE Division Street - The Festival Committee is planning for this year's Festival of Nations.  Feel free to attend if you like to plan parties as much as we do!!
Every Wednesday & Thursday, 4-7 p.m. – Myanmar Community Office Hours at DMA's office 
Every Wednesday, 9am to 1pm - PSU Business Outreach Office Hours @ DMA's office – 11721 SE Division Street - PSU offers FREE professional business technical assistance every Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.  

See you all soon!!!


Smart Growth weekend
inspires DMA's
Connor Riggs

     The experience of the Smart Growth Conference in St. Louis, Mo., early last month inspired and humbled DMA Board member Connor Riggs. (He was also "blown away" by the city's "beautiful architecture and terribly cold wind." Our DMA rep was among hundreds of community and small business advocates to share knowledge and experiences and network.
     Connor was joined by Candace Kita and Maiyee Yuan, representing APANO and the Jade District, to talk about the value of East Portland's placemaking projects.  Connor shared pictures and information about DMA's hosting of the Festival of Nations, our efforts to improve bus stops with graffiti-proof trash cans and our work with Division Street's local artistic talent." Thanks to Connor, the St. Louis audience knows about our local placemaking artists  Hampton Rodriguez, Yelena Roslaya and Joe X. Jiang.
      Connor also toured St. Louis, partaking of an art/development tour to different projects and example locations for placemaking and development. He toured theaters being renovated, a media center, art galleries and co-working spaces on Historic Cherokee Street, and, of course, the St. Louis Gateway Arch.
      "I left with a lot of great information and confidence that I brought back to DMA," Connor says. "The Smart Growth Conference was an incredibly worthwhile event. I would highly recommend it to organizations looking for a boost in knowledge, capacity and confidence. One final shout out to Lori Boisen for giving me this great opportunity, and all of the hard work she does to provide opportunity for our local neighborhood."

2017 Placemaking Artists learn about the Pilot Art on the Box mural project on a recent tour of the Midway District.

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