We started today with two awesome presenters Martha Pelligrino and Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward. We explored the levels of government (city, county, state, and federal) and their responsibilities. There is not a definite trend, but it is safe to say that the state government manages “things” and the county manages the needs of the “people”. We also learned that while the levels of government work together, if an issue does not get solved at a higher level of government, it will get pushed down until it gets solved. That means some issues do not get a solution. The presenters also mentioned the possible ways that youth can participate and learn about local issues. One of them being to meet with local government leaders in coffee shops.
After that, we headed to Hacker Architects where we had a speedy lunch under the carefully designed roof of their building. Our main task at Hacker was to design an all function gymnasium that was to surpass the usual presumptions of school gymnasiums. First, we brainstormed the purposes of gyms as a whole, then split up into groups of three where we designed and presented our finished gymnasiums. The point of the project was to realize how everything was designed with intention and the impact it has on its surroundings.
Today at PLACE we started off our day in Downtown Portland in the front of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, once everyone arrived we talked in a circle and went around saying how we were feeling today. I honestly did not know how I felt about the day and decided to pass on that question. We paired off in two groups of three and one of four students to start a scavenger hunt around the Downtown area. I was nervous because I was going to talk to people I had never met before, but as we started I felt more comfortable because my teammates were really cool and nice people. Doing the scavenger hunt was a good way to bond and talk to the other students, it was also a great opportunity to be able to learn about the history of many great places in Portland such as the the Tom McCall Waterfront, The Pearl district and more.
Later we me met up in the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability with the rest of the students. We were presented with a presentation about the Climate Action Plan that Bill Beamer presented to all the students. Which is a road map to cut 80% of our carbon footprint by 2050 in Portland. I learned that it takes a lot of effort and other people to contribute to the change to be able to see anything change in our community. After all today I felt that youth and others need to speak on topics such as decisions others make that affect our environment because those decisions are very important and could drastically change anyone’s community. It is important for us to use our voice and speak our truth for the people around us to hear. As a community we need to take care of our earth because it’s the only one we have. At the end of the day I felt full of happiness and excitement from the things that we will be learning in the next three weeks in PLACE.
After the first day of the 2018 PLACE program, I could not be more excited for the weeks to come. Today, we were not only introduced to the PLACE program, but the CENTER as well. To start out the day, we walked behind the CENTER to look at some quotes engraved in metal pipes, in search of one that spoke true to us. I loved that we created goals for the group through a metaphorical “BBQ” lead by George, discussing the symbolism behind which utensils/food items we would bring. I appreciated that we took time as a group to reflect upon what emotions we were feeling after we encountered a new experience with each activity. I instantly felt comfortable in our group setting because everybody was incredibly respectful of the perspective/stories that each individual had to share.
Jasmine Love was nice enough to come in today to help facilitate an activity that asked the group to reflect on issues that are meaningful tot them and their potential solutions. Even though we only had half an hour to consider the prompt, I was impressed by the thoughtfulness of our answers as a whole. I’m eager to see what we can accomplish as a group with the knowledge that we will acquire from multiple aspects of this program. I look forward to connecting to all the students,George, and Kofi!