[Description] An abstract background with many colors including red, pink, green, blue and yellow. In the foreground are three yellow rectangles with curved edges with text. The text reads 8 perspectives, On the art of access, From 8 Portland Leaders.

Changing Disability Conversations

If you walk through a public park or a college campus, you’ll see well-worn trails that lead off the sidewalk and cut through the grass. These are known as “desire paths,” and they are created by people wanting to take the shorter, more direct (or more fun) way to their destination, even though it is not the preapproved way.

Desire Path: Dreaming Access Art is a series of learning materials about artful access created by
The Curiosity Paradox, a Disabled-led organization reimagining Disability access through consulting, workshops, and interactive art. “Access Art” is an evolving movement that aims to create access for and by multiply-marginalized Disabled people and that shifts the conversation beyond what Disabled people need and on to what they want.

“The lives of Disabled people are beautiful and meaningful, and we deserve access to spaces led by us that are beautiful and enrich us,” said Grant Miller, Access Artist with The Curiosity Paradox.

In 2021, The Curiosity Paradox was awarded a sponsorship from Civic Life’s Disability Leadership Sponsorship and Grant opportunity which helped fund Desire Path. The sponsorship supports ways for people with disabilities, especially those who experience oppression related to intersecting identities, to engage in local government and their communities.

The Curiosity Paradox collaborated with other Disabled and non-Disabled artists and activists to discuss what Access Art is and why it is important, and developed these free, opensource learning materials for anyone to use. The project will launch in a free virtual event on Friday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m., and will have closed captions, ASL interpretation, as well as audio description for pre-recorded parts of the event.
[Description] Branching lichen floats in the sky. Text reads “Desire Path” Dreaming Access Art. Virtual Launch Event February 18th, 2022, 6:00PM PST. Register at Captions and ASL. Presented by The Curiosity Paradox.
You can find out more and register for the event here:
[Description] Two people in Constructing Hope's training program wearing red hard hats, orange safety vests, and gloves measure and cut a piece of lumber.
Constructing Hope for Vulnerable Portlanders
The Social Equity & Educational Development (SEED) Initiatives is the largest city-led grant initiative in the U.S. that prioritizes racial and social equity. The SEED Grant Fund prioritizes BIPOC- and women-led small business initiatives and projects, programs, or services that support economic and educational development of communities most impacted by past cannabis prohibition.
The 2021 SEED Grant Fund awarded grants to 17 community organizations, including Constructing Hope. Constructing Hope is a BIPOC-led nonprofit organization that works with Portland residents who are low income, BIPOC, unemployed, or who have experienced the criminal justice system to rebuild our communities by providing skills training and education in the construction industry.
One of the greatest challenges facing people reentering our communities is the ability to get a job. Prejudice against people with a criminal record and employment gaps often means they will be outright rejected for a job. Having a criminal record can also legally prevent someone from having certain jobs. Depending on the state law, people with drug or alcohol convictions are often barred from jobs in government, healthcare, education, and bars and restaurants. This is part of a violent cycle of injustice that continually harms our most vulnerable community members.
[Description] An orange arrow turns in a circle, representing a cycle. The first icon on the cycle is a stack of dollar bills, text reads Low Wages & Unemployment. The second icon is an ear of corn, text reads Housing & Food Insecurity. The third icons is an ambulance, text reads Poor Health, Drug Use or Engaging in Crime. The final icon is a house next to a tree, text reads Incarceration or Houselessness.
Constructing Hope provides pre-apprenticeship training to Portlanders looking to enter the construction industry. They administer a free, 10-week program helping participants build the life skills and foundation they need to enter construction trades — like blueprint reading and site safety. The program is led by professional craftspeople and includes classes, tutoring, and testing, followed by real world experience working on actual construction projects. To date, Constructing Hope has trained more than 1,300 graduates and helped place them in jobs.
“The more people we can help, the more lives we touch, rippling through them to their families to their communities,” said Director of Development Courtney Jenkins.
Though Constructing Hope was originally founded in 1995 as part of Irvington Covenant Church, 2022 marks the organization’s 15th anniversary as an independent organization. To celebrate both their anniversary and Black History Month, Constructing Hope is hosting these free virtual events to honor African American people from Oregon who were and are pioneers in the construction industry:
  • Wednesday, Feb. 16: Building Equity Program will provide information about driver's license reinstatement and Oregon criminal record expungement processes.
  • TBD Date in Feb: Constructing Hope partners with Dovetail Workwear to highlight Amaranta Colindres, one of the local artists commissioned for their mural project.
Learn more about Constructing Hope and how you can get involved here:
An image of the Tongan flag. A red cross stands out in a white field in the top left corner, the rest of the flag is red.
[Description] An image of the Tongan flag. A red cross stands out in a white field in the top left corner, the rest of the flag is red.
Tongan Day of Remembrance
On Jan. 14, the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga suffered the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano. In the weeks since, the island kingdom was hit by a devastating 49-foot-high tsunami and a 6.2 earthquake.

On Jan. 26, Portland City Council addressed the natural disasters and issued a proclamation recognizing Jan. 26, 2022, as Tongan Day of Remembrance as Portland is home to many Tongan immigrants and refugees, and the community has been greatly impacted by this disaster.

“We have created a core team…brainstorming and sharing information, what resources is available, supplies to send back home, and what funding can be supportive of our local community and also back home,” said Kolini Fusitu’a, a program coordinator at the
Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization and member of the New Portlanders Policy Commission.

On Jan. 22, the Portland community came together for a Tongan Community Healing event, and many organizations like IRCO are developing ways to support Tongan recovery efforts.

You can watch the full proclamation session on the City's YouTube page.
[Description] Workers tend to cannabis plants in rows in a field. There are logos for the City of Portland, the Office of Community & Civic Life, NuProject, The Initiative, and the Oregon Cannabis Association. Text reads Cannabis Emergency Relief Grants Now Available for Individuals & Businesses. The City of Portland is first U.S. government entity to support cannabis recovery by allocation $1.33 million in cannabis tax revenue to launch the Cannabis Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). Three grant partners will administer the grant and aim to provide equitable economic relief to an industry that has endured the same disasters other industries are weathering.
For more information on how to apply for the Cannabis Emergency Relief Fund, visit:
[Description] A tall glass bottle of brown liquid sits on bar top. A bartender wearing a black shirt and face mask squeezes juice from an orange into a glass full of brown liquid.
New Liquor Licensing Invoice System
The City of Portland Liquor Licensing Program is now accepting all liquor license applications digitally!

Licensees can now apply for a Temporary Sales License or an Annual License by email and pay online. This new feature is a fast and secure way to apply for a license and will help streamline the liquor licensing process for both applicants and regulatory agencies.

Check out Civic Life’s website for more info about:

Submitting an annual liquor license *new*
Submitting a temporary sales license *new*
Renewing an annual liquor license (unchanged)
[Description] Five blank pink, purple, and gray speech bubbles in various sizes.
Document Accessibility Testing
The Office of Equity and Human Rights’ Community Engagement Liaison (CEL) program is seeking Portlanders with communication disabilities to test digital content (primarily documents produced in Word, PowerPoint, or as PDFs). This is paid, flexible, periodic work. Share your perspective and help make our community more accessible by providing feedback on the accessibility of digital content CEL will host an
informational meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting

Questions? email:
[Description] Yellow stars surround text on a dark gray background. Text reads Youth against violence invites you to apply for 2022 Anti-Violence Mini-Grant.
MYC Small Grant Opportunity
The Multnomah Youth Commission's (MYC) Youth Against Violence Committee is partnering with the Oregon Community Foundation to award grants ranging from $1,000-$5,000 for youth in Multnomah County to develop a youth-led project that addresses police violence or sexual/dating violence in their community. This is a unique opportunity for youth in schools, school clubs, after-school programs, and within organizations to put together a project proposal around police violence or sexual/dating violence that directly impacts them.
The following criteria must be met in order to be considered:
1. This application MUST be written BY YOUTH (ages 12-25).
2. The project must be LED by youth, as it is for youth.
3. Must address police violence or sexual/dating violence.
Applications are due Sunday, Feb. 27, by 11:59 p.m. You can apply online or by mail.
Click here to learn more and apply. If you have any questions, please email

Join an Advisory Body!

Joining an advisory body is a way for Portlanders to lend their expertise and personal or professional experience to the City of Portland. As an advisory body member, you will work closely with community members and City of Portland liaisons to impact policies and programs.

Bureau of Emergency Communications User Board - Closes Feb. 21
The BOEC User Board is a group made up of government officials and community members who come together to make guiding recommendations about public safety topics related to 9-1-1, including call answering times, budget decisions, and ways 9-1-1 can improve to support a safe community. Each meeting is an opportunity to impact program initiatives and shape community safety. Learn more about member responsibilities and

Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee - Closes Feb. 28
The Bicycle Advisory Committee advises City Council and all City departments on all matters that encourage and enhance bicycling as a means of transportation, recreation, wellness, and environmental enhancement. Committee responsibilities include reviewing and making recommendations on transportation planning documents, project designs, and funding priorities as they impact bicycle transportation. Learn more about member responsibilities and apply
Office of Community & Civic Life
1221 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 110
Portland, Oregon 97204
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