What is WENA about? The purpose of the West End Neighborhood Association is to address issues and concerns that affect the quality of life of all who live and/or work in the West End. The Association fosters and sponsors projects of the individual districts that comprise the West End; serves as a liaison with City Hall; and monitors the delivery of city services, questions of development and design, and maintenance of neighborhoods to ensure that they are clean, safe, quiet and attractive.
To address the quality of life in the West End,
To build trust and a spirit of community,
To protect the diverse character of our neighborhoods,
To identify needs and concerns of residents and business partners, and
To provide a way for those needs and concerns to be addressed.
Here are the WENA By-Laws approved on December 14, 2016.
WENA meetings are usually held on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 PM in the community room on the upper level of the Reiche Community Center, adjacent to the Reiche Community School at 166 Brackett Street. WENA welcomes all those with a vested interest in the West End, regardless of residence.
Find out more and see meeting agendas and minutes.
Officers & Board
Kim Sutton, President
Pamela Shaw, Vice President
Bryan Van Dussen, Treasurer
WENA Programs & Participation
Residential boundaries are as follows, excluding blocks within the current boundaries of the Western Promenade Neighborhood Association and those of the St. John Valley Neighborhood Association.
Neighborhood associations have a strong presence and substantive history in Portland. The Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization (MHNO), for instance, dates back to the late 1960s and the Western Promenade Neighborhood Association (WPNA) to the early 1970s. While the Western Promenade constitutes part of the official West End, the area our association covers differs from the Prom in population make up, density, and land use. In 2003, neighbors Jodie Lapchick, Jo Coyne, Dennis “Chip” Martin, Chris Hirsch and a few others banded together to form an association for this part of the peninsula. We became an official 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation two years later when grant funds to address a variety of neighborhood needs became available. We have consistently enjoyed cordial, productive working relationships with the WPNA and other neighborhood associations around town.
WENA’s basic mission has remained the same throughout our almost 20 year history, but how we have carried out that mission has varied over time and with leadership changes. In addition to being one of Portland’s only neighborhood associations to hold monthly informational meetings, some of our public accomplishments include:
- Initiating the move of our Neighborhood Community Policing office to its current, more central, location at Reiche School
- Working with the City and other collaborators to buttress Neighborhood Watch efforts
Education and Awareness
- Posting and mailing announcements of neighborhood and City events, meetings and initiatives
- Hosting candidate forums for individuals competing in municipal elections
- Sponsoring safety and public health trainings on CPR and AAA Driver Awareness
Families, Children, and Reiche School
- Conducting a major Community Design Workshop to re-envision Reiche Community Center
- Creating the World’s Longest Lobster Roll in 2009 at the Old Port Festival as a fund-raiser for children’s swimming lessons at Reiche pool
- Offering four years of West Fest in conjunction with the Recreation Department to continue funding swim lessons
- Funding, for more than a decade, summer open swims for all neighborhood school children
Increasing Neighborhood Connections
- Hosting monthly meetings
- Maintaining a list serve of 500+ people
- Maintaining a website with meeting minutes, announcements, and topics of neighborhood relevance
- Establishing Next Door West End as a limited social network to increase communications and connections among neighbors
- Initiating and providing volunteers for a variety of activities at Reiche Community Center
- Creating and staffing the Book Nook library and book exchange at Reiche Community Center with the support of volunteers, Portland library and the Rec Department
Neighborhood Infrastructure, Parks and Gardens
- Conducting seasonal neighborhood clean-ups and stenciling storm drains to reduce dumping
- Planting and maintaining pollinator gardens in and improving neighborhood parks
- Initiating efforts to revitalize Harbor View Park as a community green space and food forest
- Growing fresh produce in a community garden plot for food insecure Reiche school children
Seniors and Aging in Place
- Conducting a survey of senior neighbors’ needs and concerns
- Helping to start Portland Area Villages
- Organizing social events at Reiche Community Center
- Recruiting volunteers to shovel snow off older residents’ sidewalks
2003 Jodie Lapchick
2004 Jo Coyne
2005 Robert O’Brien
2006-08 Leana Good-Simpson
2009 Rosanne Graef
2010-11 Dennis “Chip” Martin
2012-14 Rosanne Graef
2015-16 Ian Jacob
2017-18 Elizabeth Parsons
2019 Pamela Shaw