Gentrification has been a problem in the Portland area for decades. The issue boiled over In 2014 after the announcement of an $8 million development in NE Portland for a Trader Joe’s and retail stores. The Portland Development Commission signed off on the project without obtaining feedback from members of the surrounding neighborhood, who saw this as a final domino in the gentrification of the area which had already displaced many households. PAALF took the lead and organized protests against the development, gaining major media coverage. The backlash was harsh, so harsh that Trader Joe’s decided to pull out of the deal. Once PAALF witnessed the effective community response, they turned their sights on the broader issue of gentrification happening across the Portland area. Feeling left out of the development process that has been displacing black households across Northeast Portland and other areas, the idea sparked for a community-driven urban plan that would engage the black community and get them involved in the planning process.
Read more on the PAALF People’s Plan at The Global Grid.