07 30 2016
  11:51 am  
read latest

breaking news

The Wake of Vanport

Portland City Council voted unanimously to rename University Park Community Center the Charles Jordan Community Center Wednesday June 6. Jordan, pictured here right of Commissioner Amanda Fritz, was at the meeting.

UPDATE: The Portland City Council voted unanimously today to rename University Park Community Center in honor of Charles Jordan.
"No one in the Parks family is more deserving of this honor," says Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish, in charge of city parks. 
"Charles Jordan took Portland Parks and Recreation to the next level. He was a champion for the environment and conservation nationwide. His commitment to children, families, and to building community is extraordinary."
The Charles Jordan Community Center – a building made possible by his efforts - will be dedicated on Sunday, July 22 with a free public celebration. 
WHAT: Charles Jordan Community Celebration
Please join us for a joyful ice-cream social featuring music and activities for the whole family. 
WHEN:  Sunday, July 22, 3:30-6:30pm
WHERE: University Park Community Center (soon to be the Charles Jordan Community Center)  9009 North Foss Ave.  Portland, OR  97203
WHO: Free and open to all friends and neighbors
The event will be followed by a free concert in neighboring McCoy Park.
The Story
Charles Jordan has been a towering presence in Portland–and not just because he's 6 foot 7." During his 10 years as Portland's first African American City Commissioner, and later during 14 years as the city's visionary Parks director, Jordan literally changed Portland's landscape.

Now, a proposal slated to go before City Council June 6, seeks to rename University Park Community Center in his honor, as the Charles Jordan Community Center.

"There never has, and there never will be, someone under our policies more deserving of having something named in his honor," says Commissioner Nick Fish.

Fish is asking community members to weigh in on the plan. If everyone agrees on the name change, the Parks bureau will host a renaming ceremony and community celebration later this summer.

Last year, Portland won the National Recreation and Parks Association's top honor – the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Fish says he and his team wouldn't dream of taking all the credit. The award was 150 years in the making, and many people contributed. Jordan was one of the most significant.

"He was the person who took Portland Parks and Rec. to the next level," Fish says. "He was a first in terms of his public service here in Portland. He was a champion for the environment and conservation statewide. And he was a national leader for the Conservation Fund in making sure that historically significant African American sites were preserved and protected for future generations."

University Park Community Center serves hundreds of children. Pictured are: Back row (from L) Catalina, Da'Lasha, D.J., C.J. and Miaah: Front row: Jessica, Destiny, Thomas.

Fish asked former Portland Parks and Recreation administrators Michelle Harper and David Judd, to co-chair a nine-person committee to suggest a fitting tribute for the man who added 44 new parks and natural areas to Portland's system, and put people front and center of the city's parks policy.

"There's not a place where you can look in this city and not see his footprint," says Michelle Harper, who worked with Jordan at the City and at Portland Parks. "'Portland's living room,' Pioneer Courthouse Square, would not have existed if not for his leadership. And he was the first to call it Portland's living room. In so many ways, he was ahead of his time."

Jordan was the guiding light behind quintessential Portland landmarks such as: the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, Delta Park, Southwest Community Center, renovations to Tom McCall Waterfront Park, and to Matt Dishman Center and, of course, Pioneer Square.

"His great saying was, 'Parks are more than just fun and games,'" Harper says. "He is a spiritual person with a strong connection to his church, and he saw us all as being connected. Parks were where we could come together to build community and family."

Built to house shipyard workers who arrived in Portland during the 1940s, University Park Community Center is a relic of Vanport. The low-income multi-racial community was lost to flooding when a dike broke on the Columbia River. When Jordan became Parks director in 1989, the center was a run-down building in a crime-ridden neighborhood.

"He was determined to make sure the families who came to that center felt that they had a safe place to play that was as good as any in the City," the proposal committee writes. "He often walked the halls of the center to watch the children play and to show that this place was special, just like the children who played there."

Against advice to raze the center, Jordan won voter approval to turn it into one of the best and most-used community centers in Portland.

Jordan spent much of his career in Portland, first as a twice-elected city commissioner, and later as Director of Portland Parks and Recreation. Yet his advocacy, big-picture vision and sheer charisma won him friends and admirers not just in Oregon, but across the nation.

His legacy includes five years as parks director for Austin, Texas, and five years at the helm of the Conservation Fund. Wherever he went, he fought to bring people of color to the table.

"He broadened the agenda of the environmental movement and land conservation to make it more inclusive," the proposal says. "His groundbreaking approach put people – particularly people of color –at the heart of the American conservation movement."

In Austin, the Charles Jordan Hall, at Conley- Guerrero Senior Center was named for him. "Lady Bird Johnson was one of his strongest supporters," Fish says. "If there were any stumbling blocks, she'd move them right out of his way."

As city commissioner, Jordan created Portland's first police accountability body, the Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee or PIIAC. He brought police into schools to create positive relationships, pushed for equity in city recruitment, and championed citizen involvement. He also fired two police officers for dumping dead possums outside an African American-owned restaurant. That spurred a police march on city hall. Jordan didn't back down, but in a now-familiar process the officers were rehired.

At Portland Parks, he set in motion popular programs such as, Pot Luck in the Park and Movies in the Park, as well as too many youth initiatives to mention. He also succeeded in gaining public support for two large bond measures and a parks levy. Famously, his love of young people fueled his work.

"I am in the business of crime prevention," he said about his mission at the Parks bureau. "I challenge any police bureau in the country to beat me at crime prevention. We have thousands of young people playing on fields and courts, and when they are with me they are not hurting themselves or anyone else."

Regular users of the weight room at UPCC: (from left) Physical trainer and instructor Diallo Chambers, Nick Maunu, Lametrius Davis

Jordan's son, Dion Jordan, said the family feels honored by the proposal.

"I think it's a good choice as far as location, across from the school and the Boys and Girls Club, and that it's a community center, because he is all about community."

Now 74, Jordan is in good health, but is dealing with some short-term memory loss.

"That's another reason why it's such a good time to do this," he says. "We don't know how fast his memory will go, but we know there's no going backward."

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • Russian hackers likely responsible for hacking attack on Clinton HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Giddy if exhausted, Hillary Clinton embarked on a post-convention Rust Belt bus tour just hours after becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. The celebratory mood quickly evaporated amid fresh revelations that hackers had breached a program used by her campaign and Republican nominee Donald Trump promised to sharpen his barbs. "Remember this," Trump said during a rally Friday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "Trump is going to be no more Mr. Nice Guy." And for the first time he encouraged his supporters' anti-Clinton chants of "lock her up." "I've been saying let's just beat her on Nov. 8," Trump said, "but you know what? I'm starting to agree with you." About an hour later, Clinton aides acknowledged that a hacking attack that exposed Democratic Party emails also reached into a computer system used by her own campaign. The FBI said it was working to determine the "accuracy, nature and scope" of the cyberattacks. Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said the newly disclosed breach affected a Democratic National Committee data analytics program used by the campaign and other organizations. Outside experts found no evidence that the campaign's "internal systems have been compromised," Merrill said, but he gave no details on the program or nature of the attacks. Partnerships with modern e-commerce companies can allow sophisticated tracking, categorization and identification of website visitors and voters. President Barack Obama and cybersecurity experts have said Russia was almost certainly responsible for the DNC hack. The House Democratic campaign committee reported Friday that its information had been accessed. The developments followed the leaking of DNC emails earlier in the week that pointed to a pro-Clinton bias by party officials during her primary contest against Bernie Sanders. In the furor that followed, party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz resigned just as Democrats launched their convention. Clinton and her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, will attempt to return attention to their positive economic message on Saturday, with campaign stops through economically struggling areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio. "When we take that oath of office next January, we know we can make life better. We know we can create more good jobs," she told voters gathered at an outside market in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Clinton cited an economic analysis by economist Mark Zandi, a former economic adviser to 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, that found more than 10 million jobs could be created in her first term if her economic proposals were put in place. Zandi's analysis of Trump's plans found they would cost the country 3.5 million jobs and lead to a "lengthy recession." Joined on the bus tour by her husband, Bill Clinton, Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, Clinton stopped at a toy and plastics manufacturer in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, where she and Kaine cast Trump as a con artist out for his own gain. "We don't resent success in America but we do resent people who take advantage of others in order to line their own pockets," Clinton said. Trump is also focusing on Ohio and Pennsylvania, two states where he might make headway with blue-collar white men. That group of voters has eluded Clinton and may be a hard sell after a Democratic convention that heavily celebrated racial and gender diversity. Clinton is playing up economic opportunity, diversity and national security. Democrats hammered home those themes this week with an array of politicians, celebrities, gun-violence victims, law enforcement officers and activists of all races and sexual orientation. Their goal is to turn out the coalition of minority, female and young voters that twice elected Obama while offsetting expected losses among the white men drawn to Trump's message. Democrats continued contrasting their optimistic message with the more troubled vision of the state of the nation presented by Trump and others at the GOP convention a week earlier. Kaine called the "very dark and negative" event a "journey through Donald Trump's mind." "That's a very frightening place," he told thousands of supporters in Philadelphia. Clinton told voters that they faced a "stark choice," calling the coming election the most important one in her lifetime. "This is a moment of reckoning for our country. I don't recognize the country that Donald Trump describes," she said.___Lemire reported from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.
    Read More
  • Six current or former state employees were charged Friday with misconduct and other crimes in the Flint water crisis 
    Read More
  • Hillary Clinton cast herself as a unifier for divided times, an experienced leader steeled for a volatile world 
    Read More
  • The Portland Harbor Community Coalition wants a more intensive cleanup and more time for public comment  
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all
Oregon Lottery


Oregon Shakespeare Festival The Wiz

Hood to Coast 2016