After 21 years working across disciplines to create a more equitable and sustainable region, the Coalition for a Livable Future will be closing our doors at the end of June. While it wasn’t an easy call to make, the real story is the CLF successes that are felt throughout the Portland region and the lasting impact of our work moving forward.
CLF made this decision in significant part to support the next phase of the Regional Equity Atlas’s development. For the Equity Atlas to continue to grow and thrive as an essential tool for the region, it should now be housed at an organization with greater research capacity. The research, outreach, and engagement that make the Equity Atlas a powerful tool to improve our communities will continue, though with a different structure. We will share details in the coming weeks.
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We have so much to celebrate.
We fostered interdisciplinary partnerships
From the beginning, CLF brought together groups from disparate sectors – including the environment, social justice, land use, affordable housing, bicycling and walking, food security, and labor - to work together at a time when no one else was working that way. We found we were stronger working together than separately. These partnerships have led to better decisions, and policies that have improved people’s lives and the places where we live. Thanks to CLF, cross-sector coalition work has become part of the fabric of how nonprofits work in this region. Our community now has a rich network of organizations working to address disparities with the experience and perspective of those most impacted, which is exactly what we want to see happen.
Our region is more committed to equity
We have also been at the forefront of spurring local and regional governments to address equity, which is now becoming ingrained into how government makes decisions. The first Regional Equity Atlas received national attention for its groundbreaking analysis of inequality, and the second Equity Atlas may well be the most advanced publicly available mapping tool in the country. The Equity Atlas plays a vital role in supporting advocacy and policy change to promote greater equity, and will continue to play this role in the future.
We created real, concrete wins for the community
The Coalition and our members have worked to develop sustainable communities through smart planning and policy. CLF successfully advocated for tens of millions in funding for affordable housing, parks, and active transportation. We’ve successfully worked to improve transit, increase and equitably distribute affordable housing, prevent displacement, and establish community benefits. We supported the creation of parks in low income neighborhoods, and contributed to the cancellation of the multi-billion dollar Columbia River Crossing freeway project. The impact of our work is felt throughout the region, and will be into the future.
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Thanks to a diverse network of partners like you, CLF has been able to promote a vision where equity is at the heart a livable region. We have spent over two decades working for a region where a sustainable relationship with the natural world and an economy that promotes widespread prosperity go hand in hand. While this chapter is ending, we’re confident that the legacy we leave is a deeper commitment in the region to a livable future for everyone.