Lights in the colors of the Ukrainian flag (blue and yellow) shine on the pillars of the Morrison Bridge at night. The colors reflect on the water below.
To support the Ukrainian people during their national crisis, Multnomah County lit the Morrison Bridge in blue and yellow, the colors of Ukraine's flag.
Resources for Immigrants and Refugees
On February 24, the City's Slavic Empowerment Team gave a statement on the crisis in Ukraine, saying, "To the over 150,000 members of the Slavic and Eastern European community living in the Portland Metro area and those employed at the City of Portland, we stand with you."
Civic Life houses the Immigrant & Refugee Program, and we stand with the people of Ukrain
e, and with our allies around the world who are uniting against this senseless act of war. Like you, we hope for a world in which the people of Ukraine can live with peace, freedom, and democracy. We stand true to our values in support of human rights.

Oregon has one of the largest Slavic immigrant populations, many of whom are Ukrainian or have family ties to Ukraine. Although the physical war is happening on Ukrainian soil, it is also being experienced by our local immigrant community, particularly in the form of trauma and stress. Please be mindful and offer support to your Ukrainian friends and neighbors without burdening them to explain the details of the conflict.

The values of our Immigrant and Refugee Program are that everyone deserves safety from violence, sovereignty, freedom and the right to shelter and refuge. No matter the politics happening overseas, no matter your nationality, race, religion or gender, Portland welcomes you.
If you have specific questions on immigration law changes for Ukrainians seeking Temporary Protected Status, please contact our Immigrant and Refugee Program. In addition, we have put together a brochure with resources for newcomers.

Civic Life has many resources for immigrants
and refugees and their families. You can contact our Immigrant & Refugee Program online. We also have a brochure full of information on:
  • Resettlement and legal services
  • Job training
  • Mental health services
  • Education assistance
  • and more
How can I get involved?
A portrait of Akil Patterson, a Black man with a broad smile, and close cut hair and beard, wearing a light blue dress shirt and a navy blue suit jacket.
Akil Patterson is the Cannabis Program's new SEED Initiatives coordinator.
The First SEED Initiatives Coordinator
Akil Patterson is the first
 Social Equity & Educational Development (SEED) Initiatives Coordinator for Civic Life’s Cannabis Program. The SEED Initiatives Coordinator’s responsibilities include overseeing annual SEED Grant processes, coordinating the SEED Technical Assistance program, developing public-private SEED Grant Fund partnerships, and leading the measuring, monitoring, and reporting of the City’s annual cannabis tax revenue.
Akil’s tremendous local and national experience in community advocacy, public health, and government relations are essential for this equity-centered work and will serve the community well as the SEED Initiatives program grows. Prior to joining the City, Akil was the founder and president of his own consulting firm for more than 10 years. The firm worked with organizations and individuals to develop community relationships and sustainable operations, implement programs focused on diversity and inclusion, and advise clients on political issues and legislative processes.
In recognition of his work in a variety of community spaces, Akil was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in 2016. Among his list of well-deserved awards, he has been an outspoken advocate for anti-bullying efforts, LGBTQIA+ athletes in sports, and national social justice topics. He is also a former Division I athlete, having played football for the University of Maryland.
A garden full of plants with long, grassy leaves in fresh, dark brown dirt with a rock-filled pool of water and large decorative rocks scattered throughout.
A rain garden rock trench like the one pictured above can collect rainwater and give it time to soak into the ground instead of flowing into the sewer.
Protect Your Home From Rainwater
What’s that thing people always say about the weather in Portland? “It rains all the time!” With Portland’s rainy season lasting from mid-fall to mid-spring, it’s true that water is one of our important natural resources. Unless it’s correctly handled, rainwater can damage your home and the environment.

Managing the rainwater at your home can help protect our rivers and the wildlife living in them. When clean rainwater touches the road, it picks up chemicals that are toxic to wildlife, especially salmon. To stop this toxic water from reaching the river, it has to be sent to a treatment plant to be cleaned. Keeping rainwater in your yard helps keep Portland’s water system cleaner and it’s great for your plants!

Here are some easy, low-cost ways you can manage rainwater to prevent damage to your home and protect our environment:
  • Clean out your gutters. Water spilling from a clogged gutter is not flowing away from the home the way it should.
  • Check that water from your disconnected downspout is flowing to a good area in your yard. The extension should take the water away from the foundation of a home:
    • At least two feet away from a home without a basement or six feet away from home with a basement
    • The end of the extension should stay within five feet of the property line, so it doesn’t run into the street or to a neighbor’s property
    • Water should be sent to a vegetated area that is 10% of your roof’s square footage
  • Some downspouts go right into the ground and are connected to the sewer system. These can get clogged and overflow into your yard. You can either clear out the clog or disconnect the downspout and run an extension out into your yard (see guidelines above).
  • If your basement has windows, you can get or make a simple cover for the below-ground area outside (window well). You can put a sheet of metal or other material that doesn’t absorb water over the window well at an angle to catch water and send it away from the home.
  • If you see water pooling in an area near your home, you can add more dirt to fill in that area. Add enough dirt that the area begins to slope away from the home.
If these options don’t fix your problem, you can contact the Bureau of Environmental Services at 503-823-5858 or If you need more on-site help, BES offers free technical assistance to solve your drainage issues while saving our waterways.

If the rain on your property safely soaks into the ground instead of running into the sewer, you could get a discount on your sewer/stormwater/water bill. Learn more about the
Clean River Rewards program and see if you qualify.

You can find more resources for your at-home yard projects using the East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District
 Conservation Directory.
2021: Portland's Noisiest Year Ever
Lively public festivals, an energetic music scene, and spirited sporting events all help to make Portland a vibrant city. As Portland’s population grows, it is more and more important to deal with environmental health issues like noise pollution equitably. With more people working, learning, and playing from home, the amount of noise they make and hear at home has gone up. Data from Civic Life’s Noise Program shows that 2021 was Portland’s noisiest year ever.

Each year, from March to September, the Noise Program sees a big rise in the number of complaints they get as the warmer weather brings more people outside and more people open up their windows to enjoy the breeze. 
With homes and businesses opening up to enjoy the weather, please be mindful of neighbors when starting your home renovation, opening outdoor seating for your business, or having friends over for a party.
A dotted line graph plotting the number of noise complaints in 2020 and 2021. The line for 2021 is higher for every month except August and October.
A graph showing the number of noise complaints by month in 2020 (blue) vs. 2021 (pink). The drop in September 2020 complaints was likely a result of people staying home to avoid smoke from the wildfires.
The more complaints the Noise Program gets, the longer it takes for them to be processed. Here are some tips to help your complaint get processed correctly:
  • Check the list of which cases the Noise Program can help with. If your complaint is not covered, check the list of other resources.
  • Sometimes a neighbor will have a one-time event with loud noise, and it never happens again. Please only file a complaint if the noise is an ongoing problem.
  • We do not accept anonymous complaints. We require your name, and email or phone number so we can contact you. We keep this info confidential.
  • When filing a complaint about construction, please try to find out who is doing the work (PBOT, BES, Water, utilities) to help us contact them sooner.
You can visit the Noise Program website to learn more about getting a noise variance for your event and when to make a complaint.
A collage of images. Top row: a drawing of trees and buildings in front of a mountain. Text reads, "East Portland Action Plan." The bottom row has three images. Left: a group of people paint a multicolored mural on a street intersection. Middle: A group of people stand close together and smile at the camera. Right: Four people in dark green t-shirts with a white design smile at the camera.
A collage of images from different EPAP community events and activities.

East Portland Action Plan Grants
The East Portland Action Plan (EPAP) has multiple grants open to support the efforts of partners to meet the needs of East Portland community members. Check the EPAP website for grant detail and application deadlines.
Please contact JR Lilly at 503-823-8027 or if you have any questions about your current grant.

Text over the Portland landscape. Text reads," Make your voice heard. Portland Charter Commission, unlimited virtual public comment, March 10 at 6 p.m. Sign up at"
"Haz que to voz se escuche. La comisión de estatutos de Portland organizará comentario público el 10 de Marzo a las 6 p.m. Regístrate en"
Charter Commission Meeting
On March 10, the Portland Charter Commission has a virtual meeting starting at 6 p.m. where they will be taking public comment from an unlimited number of community members! Community members will have three minutes to share their thoughts. The Commission would love to hear from you! Don’t forget to sign up! Community members are highly encouraged to sign-up to give public comment in advance of the meeting.

Can’t make it? Submit written public comment. More info here: 
¡El 10 de marzo, la Comisión de la Constitución de Portland tiene una reunión virtual a partir de las 6 p. m. donde recibirán comentarios públicos de un número ilimitado de miembros de la comunidad! Los miembros de la comunidad tendrán tres minutos para compartir sus pensamientos. ¡A la Comisión le encantaría saber lo que piensa! No olvide registrarse! Se recomienda registrarse para dar comentarios públicos antes de la reunión.

¿No puedes atender? Envíe un comentario público por escrito. Más información aquí: 

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.

Portland Historic Landmarks Commission - Closes Monday, March 21
The Historic Landmarks Commission provides leadership and expertise on maintaining and enhancing Portland's historic and architectural heritage. The Commission identifies and protects buildings and other properties with historic or cultural significance or special architectural merit. It provides advice on historic preservation matters and coordinates historic preservation programs in the City. Learn more about member responsibilities and apply here!

Development Review Advisory Committee - Closes Sunday, April 3
The Development Review Advisory Committee advises the Bureau of Development Services and other City bureaus that are involved with construction-related permits. DRAC fosters a timely, predictable, and accountable development review process that implements the City's goals for land use, transportation, housing, economic development, neighborhood livability, and the environment. DRAC advocates for and supports the consistent and fair application and implementation of regulations. Learn more about member responsibilities and apply here!

Portland Children's Levy Community Council - Closes Sunday, April 10
The Portland Children’s Levy invests in community-based programs designed to support children’s academic success and well-being, and to eliminate inequities in outcomes based on race, ethnicity, income, and ability. The Portland Children’s Levy Community Council is being created to advise PCL staff and the PCL Allocation Committee on Levy policy and procedures including community engagement and future competitive grantmaking rounds. Learn more about member responsibilities and apply here!
Office of Community & Civic Life
1221 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 110
Portland, Oregon 97204
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