Drew's Views

Christmas is coming. These are my three Christmas wishes for Southwest Portland in the coming PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Drew Dakessian.

1. For The SFC Jerome F. Sears Army Reserve Center to be put to use

After years and years of deliberations about the best use of this vacant site, the city of Portland took possession of the former U.S. Army reserve site in September 2012 and has now earmarked it to serve as Portland’s west side emergency operations facility. The plan is still tangled up in red tape. Everything needs to be done by the book, but because a massive earthquake may very well rock the city some point in our lifetime, I think the process of readying this Southwest Portland site needs to be expedited.

2. For Stephens Creek Crossing residents to be embraced by the community

The new affordable housing community will be opening in January. There is sure to be some unease about our new neighbors, but it’s important to keep in mind that many of them are actually returning neighbors, having received relocation services since vacating the Hillsdale Terrace public housing community. And those who are new have chosen to move to Stephens Creek Crossing and, by extension, Southwest Portland because of the promise of a good place for their children and opportunities for education and job training. As far as I’m concerned, these are additions to Southwest that should be welcomed with open arms.

3. For Southwest Portland to get its due

Too often, I feel, Southwest Portland gets passed over when deciding how to allocate city funds and private donations. It’s true that Southwest is generally more affluent than its neighbors across the river, but there is poverty here too — it’s just not as prominent, which makes it less likely to receive the benefit of resources. But it just doesn’t sit right with me that any kid Southwest should have to go hungry just because they live in an area with a higher average income than his or her parents’.

Of course, we can’t rely on Santa Claus to grant these wishes. We have to do the work to make them come true.

Drew Dakessian is the lead reporter of The Southwest Community Connection. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 108.

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