Dear Mayor Wheeler,
My name's Dave Ganslein, I'm the Director of Land Use & Transportation for the Sumner Neighborhood Association.
In the mid-2000s, the 5300-block of Northeast 87th avenue between Northeast Emerson & Killingsworth Streets was decommissioned as a street and repurposed as a green space. This area is bordered by Helensview school on the west, & Broadway cab on the east. No provision was made to maintain this area and it has severely deteriorated. The area is routinely used for camping, illegal dumping, wildfires, prostitution and criminal activities. It is a hazard for students, pedestrians and cyclists. This is a blight on the neighborhood.
For over 15 years, I have traversed Portland's bureaucratic quagmire attempting to determine which Portland bureau is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of this area. All deny responsibility and refer me to the next. Eventually, I complete the circle and return to the starting point utterly frustrated. I attempt to maintain the area myself to the limits of my ability. This can be precarious as it has led to confrontations with campers who claim the area as their own.
This area was featured in a June 12th, 2021 Washington Post newspaper story titled 'The Mansion on Emerson Street'.
Like many cities across the U.S., the homeless population in Portland has increased due to the coronavirus, leading the overwhelmed city to start issuing ultimatums to people to clear out.
I have cleaned up after Mr. Wooldridge on several occasions.
On behalf of residents of the Sumner neighborhood, I ask the City of Portland do the right thing and maintain this area as you would if you lived in this neighborhood. If the city is unwilling or unable to maintain this area, please assist me in what way you can and I will do it myself.
Sumner Neighborhood Assocation
Land Use & Transportation Director