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Albina Vision Trust

Honoring the neighborhood’s past by transforming what exists today into a socially and economically inclusive community of residents, businesses, artists, makers, and visitors. This vibrantly diverse community is anchored by intentionally conceived parks, plazas, combined with civic and cultural event spaces of different size and use, and is seamlessly connected to the river and its surrounding neighborhoods.

We can’t call a place home until we’ve made it our own—added our touches—made it comfortable—made it functional—put out a few plants, some art, a fish, maybe a rug. Then we stand back, arms akimbo, proud, ready to invite friends and family over. Then we call it home.

This is our home.

All of it. Portland. And the Rose Quarter falls under our home duties. We’re responsible for adding our touches to it and making it comfortable for ourselves and anyone who may join us for dinner. And as good homeowners with ninety acres of to-do-lists to tackle, we look at the Rose Quarter and ask ourselves the most difficult question—where should we start?

Intimidating isn’t big enough of a word. There’s about 150 years of history in the Rose Quarter part of town and our job is to pay respect to it by creating an inclusive, affordable, vibrant, welcoming part of our home: welcoming parks, inclusive schools, vibrant churches, affordable housing, connecting with the river and reconnecting with a part of our home that is overdue for some love and attention—jeez it’s a lot of work.

But this is our home, right?

Right, and while we’re at it, we’ll restore its identity and call it by its name—ALB!NA.

Our Vision

The Organization

The Albina Vision Trust (AVT) was created to steward the vision for the future of lower Albina and achieved non-profit status in 2017. AVT seeks innovative solutions with a focus on building partnerships. As a nonprofit organization, AVT is positioned to link private interests and public priorities with community values.

The core values guiding the vision for lower Albina are:
• Honor what was, what happened, and what could be
• Heal ourselves and our communities
• Reconnect to the river
• Build a place to live, work, and play
• Integrate arts in the process and product
• Be intentionally remarkable

Staff

Winta Yohannes

Executive Director, winta@albinavision.org

Judy Hutchison

Operations Manager, judy@albinavision.org

Kayin Talton Davis

Communications Manager, kayin@albinavision.org

Ken Wilson

Real Estate Project Executive, ken@albinavision.org

Tyler White

Communications and Engagement Fellow, tyler@albinavision.org

Leadership Council

Intisar Abioto

Photographer, Dancer, Writer

Michael Burch

Community Relations & Outreach, NW Carpenters

Ron Herndon

Director, Albina Head Start

Cobi Lewis

Executive Director, Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO)

Nolan Lienhart

Principal and Director of Planning & Urban Design, ZGF

Christopher Mattaliano

Stage Director, Teacher, Arts Consultant

Chris Oxley

Senior Vice President, Portland Trail Blazers

Kay Toran

President/CEO, Volunteers of America Oregon

Bob Walsh

Chairman of Board, Walsh Construction

Board of Directors

Rukaiyah Adams

Chair

Michael Alexander

Secretary

Tom Cody

At-Large

Gregg Kantor

Treasurer

Zari Santner

At-Large

Len Bergstein

Board Advisor

Resources

In the News

The Portland Observer

Nov 7 Albina Visionaries

Albina Vision has created renderings of what the Rose Quarter development could look like. The supporters hope to bring the area back to a more neighborhood-friendly place that can house community gathering spaces, affordable housing, and local businesses. The group’s aim is to have a community driven plan that determines the future development of the Rose Quarter area for the next 50 to 60 years.

Albina Vision mentioned in Interfaith Alliance on Poverty

Feb 17 Better by Design Portland Alliance

The Albina Vision plans to restore a 30-acre area into a version of the largely residential neighborhood that existed 60 years ago, before it was razed for construction of the Memorial Coliseum and other structures. Led by Rukaiyah Adams (Chief Investment Officer with the Meyer Memorial Trust) and Zari Santner (former Portland Parks Bureau director), the "Albina Vision" hopes to "rebuild a community, not just physical spaces" and "be honest about the destruction of this neighborhood, not back away from that history."

PDX Monthly

Mar 27 From the Editor: A Radical Plan to Transform the Rose Quarter

Albina Vision Trust: a bold idea to transform 94 acres centered on the Rose Quarter into a high-density, mixed-use neighborhood. The area has a problematic history. The Moda Center and Portland’s transportation heart sit on what was once an African American neighborhood, bulldozed in the ’50s and ’60s. Mishmash design has bequethed us dreary plazas and traffic tangles.

Oregon Humanities

Apr 27 Albina Rising

In Albina between 1960 and 1970, plans to clear areas deemed blighted ultimately displaced more than three thousand residents—again, most of them African American. The people who were displaced moved to the far reaches of the city. The Albina Vision aims to reclaim the multicultural community of Portland from decades ago. The group behind the Albina Vision says it wants Albina to be representative of the people who lived there in the past and to be affordable, inclusive, and multicultural. “[The Albina Vision is] about trying to make the case for what social justice looks like in city development and planning,” Adams says. “That our voices and our benefits have to be at the forefront; they can’t just be an afterthought.” [Board Member, Rukaiyah Adams says the Albina Vision provides an opportunity to build a community for people of color. “We need more of each other,” she says. “We need to go to church together,” she says. “We need schools that have a critical mass so that kids don’t feel isolated.”

Bridgeliner

Feb 20 Vision is 50 Year Plan Starting NOW

The group’s 50-year plan to transform the area around the Rose Quarter is ambitious, and a lot needs to happen to make the whole thing possible, including acquisition of the Portland Public Schools property near the Broadway Bridge. But the first steps are already underway, including an effort to get the Oregon Department of Transportation to cap the I-5 freeway that displaced thousands of families in the 1960s.

AVT Commentary on Highway Covers Willamette Week

Jun 30 AVT Commentary on Highway Covers Willamette Week

Albina Vision Trust, a nonprofit that seeks to redevelop Portland's largest historically Black neighborhood, won't support the proposed expansion of Interstate 5 in the Rose Quarter, according to an email obtained by WW. The group's support was key politically, in part because Albina Vision is exerting pressure to address historic injustices in the neighborhood, including the bulldozing of homes in the largely Black neighborhood to build the highway.

The Oregonian

Jun 30 Elected Officials Back AVT & Pull Support for I – 5 Project

A state project to expand Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter lost major support Tuesday after a community nonprofit leading an effort to revitalize the nearby Albina neighborhood and city, county and regional elected officials announced they no longer support the plan. In an email to the project’s manager and another Oregon Department of Transportation official, Albina Vision Trust Managing Director Winta Yohannes said the project doesn’t align with her group’s values. Elected leaders who testified against the project in January were among those who said Tuesday they supported Albina Vision Trust’s decision and that they too no longer support the project. Eudaly, the Portland City Council member who oversees the city’s transportation bureau, said Tuesday she will step down from her position on the project’s executive steering committee, calling it “the wrong project for the city,” and the existing Rose Quarter I-5 corridor “a monument to the racist legacy of our transportation system.”

Bike Portland

Jan 20 Albina Vision Trust will develop housing and theater project in Lower Albina

Albina Vision Trust (AVT) has taken a major step toward the dream of restoring a historic Portland neighborhood. Calling it a “huge milestone,” the nonprofit announced today they’ve partnered with Edlen & Company to develop an affordable housing and community theater project in the Lower Albina district.

Street Roots

Jan 27 In remembering the America of yesterday, we pursue the America of tomorrow

On Jan. 20, just two weeks after a Capitol siege rooted in white supremacy, a young poet helped lead us forward

National Geographic

Mar 8 Oregon once legally banned Black people. Has the state reconciled its racist past?

Cleo Davis and Kayin Talton Davis are artists and activists who have made it their mission to preserve and celebrate African American history in Portland. Talton and Davis have a residency with the city archives to help the city think about reparations. Another project they’re involved with, the Albina Vision Trust, has plans to redevelop parts of the neighborhood that were bulldozed for development. But to truly fix the system, Davis says, the city needs to “make laws so it doesn’t happen again.”

OPB

Apr 29 National Infrastructure Program Signals Shift

AVT is looking to create a space and a place that is reflective of what we aspire to as a city and as a region in terms of equity and inclusion, but also one that builds upon the history of the Albina community. This is a community that has been devastated over the course of decades, at the expense of transportation policies and other institutional uses that have displaced hundreds of families.

Oregon Live

Apr 30 Restorative Justice or Business as Usual?

Decades of distrust, displacement, and divestment are the foundations of the relationship between Portland’s Black Community whose roots are anchored in the Northeast Neighborhood of Albina and the numerous state and city offices of Portland. Restoring faith and trust with the Black Community is paramount at this juncture of the RQ Freeway project. On the table is an $800 million dollar project that, if executed with equity at the center, has the potential to make important strides to repairing the deeply damaged relationship.

The Oregonian

May 25 PPS First Right of Refusal Oregon Live

The Portland School Board voted Tuesday night to give the nonprofit first rights of purchase to the Robert Blanchard Education Service Center, its central administration building nestled slightly north of Veterans Memorial Coliseum and between Interstate 5 and the Willamette River.

OPB

May 26 If Portland Public Schools sells headquarters, Albina Vision first in line to buy

Portland Public Schools is not planning to sell its headquarters, at least not right now. But should district leaders decide to relocate, the first bid is likely to go to Albina Vision Trust, a nonprofit focused on revitalizing a part of Portland that was once a major hub of the city’s Black community. A resolution the PPS board approved Tuesday night allows the nonprofit the first chance at buying the property, should the district sell it.

KING 5 Seattle

Aug 23 Lower Albina Highlighted as an Urban Heat Island

Cleo and Kayin Talton Davis explain, “Racist housing policies in the past combined with construction projects that demolished homes led to more pavement and fewer parks, making Lower Albina one of the places that are disproportionately warmer today.” As we build the future, environmental stewardship will continue to be key to the #AlbinaVision. Environmental justice is racial justice.

Portland Housing Bureau Website

Oct 13 AVT secures Portland Housing Bureau’s recommendation for $13.4M in funding from Metro’s Affordable Housing Bond

Together with Colas Construction , POIC + Rosemary Anderson High School, LEVER Architecture and Edlen + Co, Albina Vision Trust will be developing Albina One, a 94-unit family-focused project. As the first development project in the Albina Vision, these units are designed to counter the intentional displacement of Black people from the neighborhood due to urban renewal, freeway siting, and long-term gentrification. The mix of one, two and three-bedroom units will serve young Portlanders, notably those that work in the trades. POICS + RAHS will support residents with culturally specific education, mentoring, family outreach, employment training, and career placement services for Black and BIPOC households.

Willamette Week Give!Guide

Nov 1 Albina Vision is in the 2021 Willamette Week Give!Guide

Albina Vision is returning to Willamette Week Give!Guide again this year! Visit our campaign site to see our goals, our incentives, learn about Big Give Days and make a donation: https://giveguide.org/nonprofits/albina-vision-trust In a nutshell, Give!Guide is Portland's easiest path to end-of-year giving. The campaign begins on November 1 and closes at midnight December 31. Give!Guide is Willamette Week’s annual effort to raise funds for — and draw attention to — the good works of local nonprofits. G!G has raised over $40 million for hundreds of local nonprofits since inception in 2004.