Neighbors West-Northwest is the coalition office representing 8 Northwest and 4 Southwest Neighborhood Associations encompassing one of the most varied sections of Portland, where heavy industry, commerce and a variety of residential communities co-exist with large, pristine natural areas and riparian habitats.
Each of these neighborhoods sends a representative and an alternate to serve on the non-profit NWNW Coalition board. The board hires staff and provides fiduciary direction to the organization. The coalition only advocates on issues when all twelve neighborhoods agree; however, individual member neighborhoods often work together on topics of mutual interest. NWNW was founded in 1969.
The Neighbors West-Northwest Coalition promotes direct participation in grassroots democracy by supporting community efforts at the neighborhood level. Our services advance the voices of our constituent Neighborhood Associations as they strive to create livable, sustainable and equitable communities.
There are 95 officially recognized volunteer Neighborhood Associations in the City of Portland made up of people who live, own a business, or work near each other within the defined geographic boundaries. These associations are grouped into district coalitions of adjacent associations to deal with issues larger than the individual neighborhoods themselves. Portland has seven coalitions that operate independently to better serve the unique regions of the city and that contract with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) to provide services to their member neighborhood associations. Neighborhoods are a volunteer-driven training ground for aspiring citizen activists. Coalition staff provide resources to help develop these future leaders.
“Portland is fortunate to have a formal system of Neighborhood Associations that covers the whole city. This provides a vehicle for every community to gather and identify issues.”
– Paul Leistner, Executive Director, Center for Public Participation, Portland State University League of Women Voters of Portland, How Portland’s NA Program Works Today
You have the Power!
As a member of your neighborhood association, you can work to improve the livability of your part of the city. Members gather on a regular basis to discuss and resolve common issues related to crime prevention, transportation, and land use. Neighbors can bring concerns to association meetings for discussion and also coordinate social gatherings to build community (like ice cream socials, picnics, and concerts in the park). Because neighborhoods are participatory organizations, the work they do depends on the interests and motivation of volunteers who are involved. Neighborhood volunteers are people like you who are interested, engaged, and active in the local community.