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TWST Hits Oregon City
We hit the road again on Wednesday for our second TWST stop in historic Oregon City. Armed with my newly repaired smart phone (and its GPS), I was determined to regain a bit of Sally’s confidence in my navigation skills. Much to my delight, we landed at our destination without a single missed turn! As I shared some self-congratulatory remarks about my spot-on navigation performance, Sally quickly noticed another facet of my personality – a “slightly” competitive nature. So, I challenged her to a foot race to the door. After winning, I promised to let her beat me in the arm wrestling match I had planned for the afternoon.
It was a blustery and soggy day, but 27 folks joined us at the Clackamas County Development Services Building to engage in a lively discussion about the work they do to create stronger, healthier communities and how MMT can support this important work. Our gracious hosts were Melissa Etlbaum and Pamela White of Clackamas Women’s Services, an organization that works to end domestic and sexual violence and support women and children who have experienced it.
Former MMT program officer and now Clackamas County Commissioner, Ann Lininger, stopped in to greet all of the participants and welcome us to the County facilities. She expressed her gratitude for the critical work of non-profits in the County and made us all feel right at home.
During the course of our discussion, the group landed on a frequent TWST topic: the concept of leverage. Tonia Hunt of the Children’s Center, shared a great story of leverage about the Center’s now-almost-complete $4.5 million capital campaign to build a new facility, and how they used early foundation grants to leverage additional support, including a Community Development Block Grant, and individual gifts. Building from this discussion, we shifted to the importance of planning and timing of fundraising campaigns. Sally noted that foundation funding is typically “slow money” because grant cycles can take awhile compared with some other sources of revenue. The MMT responsive grant review process is about seven months and the grassroots grants cycle is about half of that. As an aside, MMT also has been researching local food systems and how that keeps money in local communities. This is a different “slow money” concept that you may also be interested in learning more about.
Multiple local sources recommended Cypress Restaurant located on Oregon City’s main street. So, we made our way down the hill to enjoy some lunch. Two thumbs up on their delicious Mediterranean fare, as well as the cozy atmosphere. See the picture of our lunch – doesn’t it look tasty! We also over-indulged in Cypress’ delicious Lebanese tea. Being caffeine-sensitive, we both sounded like Alvin and Simon of the Chipmunks by the time we left.
Next, we took a ride on the Oregon City Municipal Elevator, one of only four municipal elevators in the world. The original water-powered elevator was built in 1915 to help residents get down the steep bluff from their neighborhoods to the downtown area on foot. The original was replaced in 1954 by an electric powered one, which is what still operates today. Pedestrians may also take a 722 step stone staircase up the cliffside, but Sally and I opted to save this adventure for our next visit.
As we made our way out of town, we passed by the Oregon City McMenamins. In the spring and summer of 1995, I was part of the crew that opened this pub, and worked there during its first six months of operations. Sipping Hammerhead, my favorite McMenamins beer, or some other extra-hoppy, locally-brewed ale is still one of my favorite ways to enjoy a warm summer evening. Can’t wait for that four months from now.
Next, we’re off for a double-header in Woodburn and Salem on Thursday and the grand finale in Stayton on Friday. More musings from the TWSTing road coming soon.
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