The Lents Neighborhood Association elections occur at the September General Meeting, per the LNA Bylaws. This series of posts is intended to provide a sense of what serving in the current board positions may be like!


Name: Jean

Pronouns: She/Her

LNA Board Position: LNA Vice Chair

How long have you lived in Lents? 1.5 years

Hello Lents!

I have served as the LNA’s Vice Chair since October 2020, this is my first term on the LNA Board. In my role, I primarily serve to back-up the chair with their responsibilities, and fill in any gaps on the board that need additional support. Prior to this term with the LNA, I have not previously served on a non-profit board, however, I have a background in project management, which I think was helpful in coordinating and facilitating meetings, as well as planning our big May clean-up event.

Below I’ve included a few bullet points on what this position does, my favorite parts of serving on the board of the LNA, and the most challenging parts of serving on the board.

Main Responsibilities of the Vice Chair…

Acts in the absence of the President/Chair, with the same responsibilities:

  • Sets the agenda for each meeting, adding any requests approved for the agenda
  • Facilitates all board and general meetings
  • Calls special and emergency meetings when necessary, as outlined in the bylaws
  • Receives and replies to email and other correspondence, notifying other board members and delegating requests as needed
  • Handles other tasks as requested by the Chair or other board members

General Responsibilities

  • Recruits new members and encourages participation in the association
  • Understand organization’s bylaws
  • Encourage openness and transparency

Time Commitment: approx.15 hrs per month (may vary based on programming, event planning, board support, grant writing, etc.)

Best Parts of the Role: 

  • Community & Relationship Building. Meeting and working with neighbors (housed and unhoused) I might not have crossed paths with! I’ve made new friends and built relationships that I look forward to continuing to develop even after my term on the LNA Board is over.
  • Civic Engagement. Working on the LNA Board has required learning about and understanding City processes in a way I had not previously done (or needed to do!) – great learning experience increasing my depth of knowledge in our civic processes.

Most Challenging Parts of the Role:

  • Conflict Management. Neighborhoods are full of different kinds of people with different beliefs, values, personalities, and motivations. Balancing the organizational goals while encouraging participation and discouraging derisive behavior has been challenging, both organizationally and personally. It’s been a big learning and development opportunity for me.
  • Time Management & Strategic Planning. The Lents Neighborhood Association is an entirely volunteer-run organization. Outside of the LNA we all have jobs, lives, families, etc., so ensuring enough time and aligning schedules to make sure the organization keeps moving forward can be challenging (but rewarding!). Because of this, we have typically been looking only 1 – 2 months out. One potential improvement for the LNA would be to develop and document and clear long term strategic plan to ensure continuity and impact of the organization. Generally, the purview of a neighborhood association is to provide advocacy, organize gatherings and events, address livability issues, encourage communication, and foster identity as a neighborhood* (SE Uplift NA Training, Oct ‘20 linked below I’m resources) – these are very broad topics that might be best addressed in a deliberate way with a long-term plan.

Name: Morgin

Pronouns: She/They

LNA Board Position: LNA Secretary

How long have you lived in Lents? 5 years

Hi there!

I have served in the role as LNA Secretary since October of 2020. This was my first instance of serving on a non-profit board. My primary function is to record and maintain the Minutes of the LNA Board and General Membership meetings as well as assist the Chair with correspondence and maintain the non-financial files of the organization.

Main Responsibilities of the Secretary…

Records and maintains minutes of membership and board meetings, assists the Chair with correspondence, and maintains the non‐financial files of the LNA:

  • Records meeting minutes for both LNA Board and General Membership Meetings
  • Takes care to note all votes and corresponding times stamps
  • Posts the Minutes to the LNA website
  • Receives and replies to email and other correspondence, notifying other board members and delegating requests as needed
  • Maintains non-financial files in an organized and accessible fashion

General Responsibilities

  • Recruits new members and encourages participation in the association
  • Understand organization’s bylaws
  • Encourage openness and transparency

Time Commitment: approx.20 hrs per month (may vary based on programming, event planning, Board support, etc.Note: There is no one way to write Minutes and one can spend more or less time on them depending on personal preference and organizational needs)

Best Parts of the Role: 

  • Community & Relationship Building. As Jean said, one of the best parts is meeting new neighbors both housed and unhoused and the friends I’ve made.

Most Challenging Parts of the Role:

  • Conflict Management: Again, I am with Jean in that conflict management is definitely a skill worth cultivating. It can be difficult at times, but so very rewarding when you get it right.
  • Time Management: Managing my time and avoiding burn out is something I definitely struggle with. This can be especially difficult during a large project or event. There are many things to juggle and it’s always hard to ensure that things don’t slip through the cracks. This being a volunteer position can add another level of pressure and an inability step back and call it good.

Name: Jennifer Breedlove
Pronouns:  (she/they)
LNA Board Position: Land Use Chair
How long have you lived in Lents? 15 Years

Hello Lents!
Being the former Land Use Chair for the Lents Neighborhood Association was a humbling
experience. I was able to meet many neighbors all around Lents in person and own an
understanding of what is important to this neighborhood from all types of neighbors.
Main Responsibilities:
● Research what permits are being requested in Lents for developments or
residential/commercial existing structure changes.
● Connect with and actively listen to the concerns and/or needs of neighbors and business
owners regarding Land Use.
Best Parts of the Job:
● Meeting Lents neighbors
● Advocating for the best interests of land uses in the Lents community based on the
voices of those who reside in Lents.
Most Challenging Parts of the Job:
● Holding folks accountable to the best interests of the community and environment in
Lents.


*Please see for the caveat from the SE Uplift training on “neighborhood identity”, summarized here and linked below under Resources, link #2: neighborhood associations are participatory organizations and one way that people get involved with their neighborhoods, but not the only way! The NA represents the people that come to NA meetings, not necessarily the neighborhood as a whole.

If you have any questions, please feel free to use the Contact Us page to get in touch!

Other Useful NA Resources:

  1. LNA’s District Coalition: East Portland Community Office (EPCO) https://www.eastportland.org/
  2. Neighborhood Association Virtual Training by SE Uplift:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOI_De4t5ok
  3. More information about Neighborhood Association Boards: https://www.seuplift.org/library/community-resources-orientation-packets2020/
  4. Consider also checking out EPAP, EPN, EPRC… there are a multitude of volunteer organizations working in East Portland!
  5. Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) Standards: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/civic/article/97870