Portland for Everyone


In this episode, we chat with Madeline Kovacs on affordable housing and Portland’s future.

Madeline Kovacs profile photoMadeline Kovacs is the coordinator of Portland for Everyone at 1000 Friends of Oregon. Portland for Everyone is a local coalition of affordable housing providers, community based and environmental organizations, neighborhoods, and local businesses that advocates together for land use decisions that can deliver more abundant, diverse, and affordable housing options for Portlanders.

Prior to coordinating Portland for Everyone, Madeline worked for a decade in the international youth climate movement. This advocacy work included organizing on college campuses, national movement building and communications, and at the 2009 and 2011 United Nations Climate Negotiations. For three years she co-directed Project Survival Media, a global youth journalism network, covering direct actions and producing online media to amplify under-represented voices in the climate conversation.

Madeline’s urban planning and housing work experience includes staffing Orange Splot LLC, a small housing development company and general contractor, and interning for two years at the Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability. She earned her BA in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Studies from Macalester College. Madeline currently serves on the Board of Directors of Proud Ground Community Land Trust.

Show Notes:

Madeline also wished to clarify a few of her points. To say that exclusionary zoning was mapped over American cities beginning in the late 1950’s is a true statement but not the whole story. From 1959 and on was when, in Portland, a lot of single-family zoning was mapped on top of older neighborhoods with more varied housing stock. There were also periods of exclusionary zoning prior to that, namely “redlining” maps of the 1920s through 1930s, and other more overtly racist and classist policies that set aside neighborhoods like Eastmoreland, Alameda, and Irvington etc as “Class A”:

Race/Ethnicity & Neighborhood Housing Choice

How does race factor into the choices and opportunities involved in homeownership? We explored the answer to this question and many more with researcher C. Aujean Lee from Los Angeles.

C. Aujean Lee profile photoC. Aujean Lee is a doctoral candidate at UCLA in the Department of Urban Planning. She received her Master’s of Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her B.A. from UCLA in Psychology and Asian American Studies. Her research examines the racial wealth gap with a focus on homeownership and the role of ethnic- and neighborhood-based institutions.

Roll credits: 

Today’s show was produced by Steph Routh and Alexis Gabriel. Music is by Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet. You can find us on our Facebook page and on Twitter @whyisntanyone.

We are a project of Umbrella, a Portland-based nonprofit that encourages community-based street culture. We record from the delightful Airstream-now-studio, StreamPDX.

Episode 1: #RenterSOS

On September 15, 2015, the Community Alliance of Tenants— Oregon’s statewide tenant rights association—declared a Renter State of Emergency. How can Portland remain home to the people who live here, and what does the future look like?

logo-500Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About This host Mychal Tetteh—joined by fellow hosts Alexis Gabriel and (myself) —spoke with Justin Buri, the Executive Director of the Community Alliance of Tenants.

Roll Credits

EP 001 was produced by Eric Klein and Mychal Tetteh; edited by Eric Klein, and hosted by Mychal Tetteh, Alexis Gabriel, and Steph Routh. Intro music is by Nick Humphrey, outro music by Bluebird Entertainment. You can find us on our Facebook page and on Twitter @whyisntanyone. We are a project of Umbrella, a Portland-based nonprofit that encourages community-based street culture.

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