New Portlanders: Our History * Our Story

Blog Post

Life flows through the breathing of our city.

From “the cradle of mankind”, to the land of modern civilization

From the home of slivers gleaming white sand, to the highland of Shimbiris

From the places of superlatives, to the places of Enchantment.

We came, from near and thousand miles afar

Some came without knowing why

Some abandoned and forgotten by the ruler of their land

Some escaped, for one last hope of survival

Some came for glimpses of better opportunity.     

Written by New Portland Policy Commissioners Ping Khaw, Anne Downing, and Yonas Kassie

Whatever the reasons for which we arrived, New Portlanders Policy Commissioners convene and gather at the big oval table at the Rose conference room.  We carry history of foe and adversary, diversity, experience and expectation. All our faith pulled us together.

Our purpose, redefined through the mission of NPPC, is to engage and change. Pulling muscles with city leaders, sharing laughter and tears with newcomers, to the betterment of our community and city. We thrive.  

Our quest for equity shapes our Commission. This floor welcomes us to deliver the strength in us to our beloved city. We take pride in consulting those in need of advice, to advocate for those who have little voices, to educate those who don’t see us, and to partner with those who honor our dedication.

Running a wild stream of faith, beliefs, cultures and politics, it drives us red and sweaty, at times. But we offer our sincere passion and heart. The state of our being echo’s in this luscious land of Oregon. Regardless of who and where we came from, it’s our common vision now - to provide a safe harbor to our refugee and immigrant brothers and sisters in Portland.  With this, we welcome you from the bottom of our heart. Be here now.

Finally, we cannot close this first edition without expressing our admiration for the beauty of our city of Portlandia, Roses, Columbia and Willamette rivers, parks, bridges and bicycle paths, eco-friendliness, microbreweries, coffeehouses, the Japanese Garden and the Oregon Zoo. Portland!

** Our great appreciation extends to Commissioner Eudaly for kindly giving us this space to express/share our experience. That’s all for now. Stay tuned for the next chapter. We will be back with progress, honesty and stories.

** This august commission consists of members from Malaysia, Ethiopia, Iraq, East and Southeast Asia, Myanmar (Burma), Chad, the Former Soviet Union, Chuuk and Tonga (Federated States of Micronesia), Mexico, Bhutan, Nepal, Somalia, Eritrea, Yemen, Japan, and the United States

The New Portlanders Policy Commission is a 25-member Mayor appointed body established to provide technical and policy advice to all City Bureaus and Elected Officials. Its mission is to demonstrate the City’s commitment to engaging immigrant and refugee communities in policy making and service delivery, and to better serve and fully integrate the immigrant and refugee community into the civic life of the City of Portland.