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By Helen Silvis of The Skanner News
Published: 07 March 2013

A public hearing on the city budget was held March 6 at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization in East Portland. Speakers urged the council not to cut support for the East Portland Action Plan, including early childhood education and a family resource center at Earl Boyles Elementary; and sidewalks on N.E. 136th Avenue, where Morgan Maynard-Cook, 5, was killed last week crossing the road.

Speakers also urged commissioners to support IRCOs elders  and youth programs. Djimi Dongo of Africa House got a standing ovation when he said that the city must pay attention to the crisis facing youth from African immigrant families.

David Douglas High school principal John Bier, was just one who spoke in support of the SUN School program that offers after-school academic enrichment programs, food and family support to students.

David Douglas Superintendent, Don Grotting and representatives of the East Portland Plan also asked the council to continue full support for their efforts. The plan currently receives almost $280,000.  Parents from Earl Boyle elementary, some using interpreters, said their children were ready for kindergarten because of the pre-k program.

Others told the commissioners of the value of the Portland Parks' elders hiking program and Resolutions Northwest, the mediation program that works with neighbors, city bureaus and schools to resolve conflicts.

City Commissioners had also requested suggestions of what they should cut to fill the budget shortfall, but fewer people had ideas to share. Among the suggestions offered were: furlough days for city staff and a hiring freeze on empty positions.

John Bier, principal of David Douglas High School spoke in support of the SUN school program

Next Hearing Dates:

Tuesday, March 12th, 6:30pm-8:30pm
George Middle School
10000 N Burr Ave.
Portland, OR 97203

Thursday, April 11th, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Montgomery Park
2701 NW Vaughn Street
Portland, OR 97210

In addition, Council will hold a hearing for the Mayor's Proposed Budget.

Thursday, May 16th, 6:30pm-8:30pm
City Hall – Council Chambers
1221 SW 4th Ave.
Portland, OR 97204


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