PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The highly anticipated board election for the Montavilla Neighborhood Association happened Monday night without the intense division or contention many expected.
Some former members of the board said their has been a lot of infighting and political tension within the group and the neighborhood lately but Monday’s vote was all about the community.
Neighbors were uneasy about the meeting after the controversial political demonstrator Joey Gibson said he was going to show up. People were concerned members of Portland’s “antifa” group were trying to take over.
“None of the controversy or issues that we were worried about,” board candidate David Linn said. “No one even raised voices at anybody, it was really great.”
All 11 seats on the board were up for grabs and candidates had 2 minutes to sway voters in the packed house. Most, if not all, left politics out of it.
“It was a perfect example of democracy in action,” neighbor Jeff Church said.
“We have to stand together,” Fletcher told the community. “I don’t have an ideology, you want to know what my politics is? I don’t. I hate it. I’m doing this because I don’t have a choice, we don’t have a choice.”
The association doesn’t have any governing power. It’s main purpose is to serve as a way for them to communicate with city hall.
“This is actually the largest community in Portland and it’s very diverse and I think we did a great job today of just showing that we could get along and show that we can vote and not have it be divisive,” Church said.