Noel's blog

Weston Award Winner #1: Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson

Weston Award Winner:
Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson

Oregon Walks Testimony on Portland Central City 2035 Plan

September​ ​6th,​ ​2017

Portland​ ​City​ ​Council

Re:​ ​Testimony​ ​on​ ​Central​ ​City​ ​2035​ ​Plan

Mayor Wheeler & Commissioners,

Oregon Walks appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on Portland’s Central City 2035 Plan. We are the state’s pedestrian advocacy organization and we work to ensure that walking is safe, convenient and accessible for everyone.

We believe there are a lot of important and exciting elements to this plan, as well as some serious concerns that we ask you to address before adopting.

ACTION ALERT! Contact Governor Brown TODAY to support Capitol Hwy

We urge our members to write to Governor Brown TODAY to save the Capitol Hwy Project from a line-item veto.

We support this funding for sidewalk improvements on one of the most dangerous sections of Capitol Hwy (the intersection of Barbur Blvd and I5). This funding is the final piece needed for sidewalk completion and safety improvements on Capitol Hwy, a project that has been in the works for decades.  In fact, it has been a priority for neighbors since the year Oregon Walks was founded: 1991.

With many earmarked projects upheld in the transportation package that lack safety benefits for vulnerable road users or longstanding community support, we are confused and disheartened by Governor Brown's decision to veto this project in the final hour - after bipartisan support in legislature.

Please write to Governor Brown today to show your support for the dedication of $2 million toward sidewalk improvements on Capitol Highway!

Read our full statement below:

Check out the vendors joining us at Oregon Walkways: Lents Founders Fair


Meet Fiona Yau-Luu, Oregon Walks Board President

We are excited to introduce our new Board President, Fiona Yau-Luu! Fiona has been serving on the Board since 2015, and Vice-President since 2016. 

She is currently the Policy & Advocacy Coordinator for the Oregon Community Health Workers Association (ORCHWA). She has previously served as a Political Organizer with SEIU, and has a background in electoral politics and community organizing. She is also a community member representative on Metro's Public Engagement Review Committee. 

State Transportation Package falls short of meeting our goals

While there are critical investments included in this package that we support, there are even more concerns with what type of projects are prioritized, how these projects are funded, and who stands to benefit. The current level of funding for transit, biking, and walking is a bare minimum - and we urge the committee to address the following concerns within this package:


Addressing congestion

Internship Opportunity: Event Support Specialist (July-September)

Event Support Specialist Internship Description

Summer 2017 (July 5th - September 30th)

About This Internship:
This role will provide staff support on two major projects: Steptember, Oregon Walk’s month-long event series and Oregon Walkways: Lents Founders Fair, our second annual walking focused open-streets event series.

Compensation: $1,500 stipend

To apply:

Please submit a short letter of interest and your resume to Inna Levin, Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator ( by Wednesday, June 14th. We hope to have an intern identified by June 21st.

See you in the streets - a farewell from Aaron Brown, Oregon Walks Board President

Four years ago, in a warm conference room, I nervously brushed off my knowledge of Robert’s Rules of Order and led my first board meeting as Board President of Oregon Walks. I was the youngest person in the room, knew virtually nothing about nonprofit management, and had been convinced to join the organization over a beer in a backyard party hosted by a friend and Oregon Walks board member. We were in for a ride; Oregon Walks was preparing to hire our second Executive Director, experiencing a shift of Board leadership, and the Weston Awards were being held together with bubble gum, scotch tape and those dorky pedestrian pins. 

Join Oregon Walks on National Walking Day!

Because of you, we are able to advocate for safer streets for everyone in our city, state, and region. Together, we can effectively promote walking for health, community, and the simple joy of movement.

Today is National Walking Day, and we are celebrating by kicking off our 2017 membership drive.

Please take a moment to join me in celebrating by becoming a new, or renewed, member to Oregon Walks.

Meet Izzy Armenta - Oregon Walks' Transportation Justice Advocate

Please join us in welcoming Izzy Armenta to the Oregon Walks team!

Izzy is Oregon Walks' new Transportation Justice Advocate. He will be focused on elevating our work in grassroots engagement, particularly with communities most impacted by disparities in the walking environment.

He will be focusing a lot of his work in East Portland, and will be working to grow our partnerships and coalition building with organizations working with low income people, communities of color, youth, older adults, and people with disabilities.

Read on to learn more about Izzy!