Author Archives: Mike.Vander.Veen

Second Stories Intern To Work with MAXaction

The last couple weeks have been fun and challenging. East Portland neighbor, MAXaction participant, and Rosewood Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative board member, Jerome Funchess and I have been hard at work to follow up on Jerome’s desire to put his skills and abilities into gear in even greater support for MAXaction.

 Second Stories and MAXaction partnered last summer to do graffiti and trash cleanups. Jerome will participate in a course of study as he supports such events this summer. He will also help follow up on our recent survey and help move forward the TriMet adopt-a-station pilot project.

If you scroll down a couple posts, you will see Jerome’s picture that was taken at the East Portland Neighborhood Office as he and I worked to enter survey data. Jerome’s enthusiasm, degree in planning, great people skills, and desire to leave the community better than he found it all tell me that we are in for a great summer!

Jerome is second from the left sharing a thought during a recent Asset Based Community Development Strategies Workshop facilitated by Second Stories staff.

Just so you know, Second Stories is working to help Jerome raise personal support for this six month position. He is not in a position to be able to do a free internship. You are welcome to offer support via


Action – Bus Riders Unite

While MAXaction is focused on developing the MAX as a community asset in East Portland, there are others working for broader change. OPAL (Organizing People, Activating Leaders) works on environmental justice issues and started Bus Riders Unite to address issues regarding regional mass transit. We support the campaign to extend transfer times and other improvements to bus service. Learn more at:

Here’s a couple meetings you can attend to help the effort:

OPAL’s next Bus Riders Unite Membership Meeting: Tuesday, June 12th, 5:30-8 PM at the OPAL office, 2407 SE 49th Avenue. This is a true “Call to Arms” for transit riders – we will be going over final strategy and plans for the following morning’s TriMet Board meeting, including developing testimony, making targeted phone calls and rallying bus riders.

TriMet Board of Directors meeting: Wednesday, June 13th, 9 AM at the former Advantis Credit Union building (new location) at 3717 SE 17th Ave (off bus line 17). This meeting is a MUST if you ride transit and want to keep fares affordable and service moving, so put this on your calendars now and let OPAL know we can count on you to be there: 503.928.4354

Update – 6:45pm Tonight

6:45pm is the start time for tonights’s memorial service at Eastside Free Methodist. The potluch is finger food. Hope to see you there.

Memorial Service Scheduled

Here’s a post that Theresa’s daughter put on Theresa’s Facebook wall about the memorial service:

“to all of theresa ‘s friends and family and associates as you may have herd she passed away wednesday 5-23-2012 we are planning a memorial service at eastside free methodist church on 139th right off stark on wednesday june 6th 2012 at 6 p.m. we are trying to do a fundraiser or pull together donations so if anyone can help event just $1 or what ever please feel free to contact her niece Tralaney Thomas on facebook or her daughter amanda on this facebook and again thank you. any and all face book friends , family ,etc are welcome .”

And, here’s a link to the Facebook event:

Theresa with some of the crew at the Rosewood Rummage Sale posing for a photo to put on Craigs List

Theresa Thucker

Friends of MAXaction. It’s with a heavy heart that I share this with you. I have been told that Theresa Tucker passed away in her sleep Wednesday. Theresa was an amazing volunteer!

Theresa (in red) started volunteering with MAXaction after our Townhall Work Session November of 2010. That’s the setting for this and the photo below. At the time I barely had an inkling of the wonderful person she was.

Theresa and I recently completed a comparison of the two latest drafts of the adopt-a-station program guiding document. Just Friday I was at her apartment after our MAXaction meeting dropping off books and Christmas decorations she had selected while volunteering at a Rosewood rummage sale.

Theresa was so generous with her time. Here she is seated at the table supporting a  MAXaction cleanup by making sure other volunteers were well equipped with golves, bags, litter pickers, vests, and more.

I want to extend to the family and friends of Theresa from MAXaction and myself a thank you for sharing Theresa while she was with us and our sympathies for the loss.

We will work to share with MAXaction participants plans for a celebration of Theresa’s life.

Meeting 6:30pm Tonight

Join us at Faith Community Church (124th and Burnside, south of the tracks, just east of the Menlo MAX Station and Park & Ride).  It’s wonderful that they are donating space so close to one of our stations! Thank you Pastor Bob!


Theresa Tucker reviewing survey sheets filled out at the Menlo MAX Station

e’ve got a fun meeting lined up focused on the Adopt-a-Station guiding document. Theresa and I have made it through the most recent draft  submitted by TriMet and I’m happy to report that there is some good agreement between that draft and the last one we submitted. We’ll discuss some of the differences and work to achieve consensus on how to respond. Then, we’ll discuss what is missing from the document (volunteer recongnition/reward and progress measurements) and get suggestions as to our next steps for crafting suggested language.

Both sections just mentioned are items that Jefferson Smith has been consistantly requesting as he feels they are critical to maintaining a vibrant program that will maintain a healthy number of participating volunteers.

Our work is leading to a FIRST EVER program that has community members conducting approved activities in partnership with TriMet on MAX platforms and other TriMet property. All the work we’ve done so far and will do yet are worth it to get started on the right foot. Both TriMet and neighbors want the stations to feel safer and more welcoming and we are working together to make that a reality.

Thanks for your help!

Data Entry Complete!! Meeting 6:30pm NEXT Week Friday, May 4


Jerome (pictured above) and I dug through the last 100 survey forms this morning at Heavenly Donuts (102nd and Glisan). Come join in 6:30pm Friday May 4 at Faith Community Church (12414 E Burnside) as we strategize how to follow up.